CRAMOND KIRK MAGAZINE
ISSUE No. 77
FRIENDS OF THE RIVER ALMOND WALKWAY
Committee is very keen to encourage the progress of this
exciting project but it has been abruptly delayed by a plan by
SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) to remove
the weirs on the river.
he Friends of the River Almond Walkway continues to
progress well. Our new website is now operational
will be regularly updated. Please take a look at it and let us
know what you think. We’re also up and running on Facebook
and you can follow us on Twitter at @FRAW2012.
We have a schedule of dates for work parties over the next
few months and hope that as many as possible will join in.
These will take place on Sunday 18 November 2012, Saturday
15 December 2012, Sunday 20 January 2013 and Saturday 16
February 2013. Meeting places and times will be published on
Our membership is continuing to grow and, as well as
subscriptions and donations from members, our finances have
been further strengthened by a grant by the Community Fund
of Edinburgh Airport which will allow us to increase our
options such as investing in tools and equipment.
There are two larger related issues of importance, the
proposed replacement of the Salvesen Steps by a walkway
around the cliff, and the removal of the weirs at Dowies Mill
and Fair-a-far Mill. Replacing the steps has many attractions,
not least by providing much needed access to the entire length
of the route for elderly or disabled people, many of whom find
the existing steps impossible to tackle, or for people with
young families, pushchairs or cycles. The cost is considerable
but the present wooden steps have a limited life-span and it is
more than possible that they would not be replaced, thus
permanently rendering the walkway non-continuous. The
Council has plans at a relatively advanced stage. Capital
funding is also largely in place from a variety of sources. The
SEPA are proposing to dynamite the weir at Fair-a-Far and
mechanically remove the weir at Dowies Mill. Their rationale
is that it would return the river to its natural state with
consequent advantages for the environment, particularly fish.
There are however serious objections because of the special
local heritage and status of the River Almond at Cramond.
The weirs are an important feature of Scotland’s first industrial
iron industry. The appearance of the river would also be
affected particularly by the removal of the popular waterfall at
Fair-a-Far (which is ‘listed’). The removal of the Dowies Mill
weir would alter the appearance of the river at Cramond Brig
by lowering its level there. Some years ago a large amount of
money was spent when large stones were piled to fill a break
in it, as it was feared that the change in the water level was
damaging the bridge.
The danger is that this proposal by SEPA will drag on and
prevent the Salvesen Steps project from taking place. It would
therefore be of advantage if this issue was speedily resolved.
The Committee would like to press for this and our
membership supports our stance on both these issues. We
would also welcome views from the local community as to
both the value of replacing the steps and SEPA’s proposal.
This can be done via our website or by email to
Also, the more members we have, the more seriously
our proposals will be taken. Our membership currently
extends to close on 100 households. This is a substantial
number and a most encouraging start. Doubling this would
be very useful indeed. This is not a fund-raising proposal.
This is simply to make us more representative and give
our voice more strength. It is very easy to join, and a
membership application, with details of how to submit it,
is available via the ‘Forms’ link on our website
emailing [email protected] to
SUNDAY SERVICES AT CRAMOND KIRK
Morning Prayers : 8.45 am
Morning Worship : 10.00 am
Christmas Services – details inside
Evening Services (7pm in the Kirk Hall) : 2 Dec, 3 Feb, 3 March.
Communion Services: 3 February (8.45 am, 10 am, 7 pm); 2 Dec, 3 March (8.45 am)
T HE GRA P E V I N E
ollowing the December break, the Breakfast Club
reconvenes on Saturday, 27 January 2013 when our guest
speaker will describe and illustrate the work of SCRAN,
an educational service of the Royal Commission on the Ancient
and Historical Monuments of Scotland. SCRAN is basically a
user-friendly, learning website with thousands of images,
videos and sounds covering almost every imaginable topic.
You will want to know more so do come along.
Our final session for this winter season of meetings will be on
Saturday, 24 February when our own Oliver Riches will pay a
welcome return visit to the Breakfast Club to bring us up to date
with progress on the building of the third River Forth crossing.
As we have become accustomed, Dr Barr will provide for our
spiritual sustenance, Leslie Pendreigh will accompany our
warbling and Joyce Sharp's celebrated bacon butties will set us
up for the day. I look forward to seeing you all.
10.00 am - 11.30 am
adies, do you want to keep fit and enjoy chatting with
like-minded people? We are a group of active ladies who
enjoy playing badminton socially every Wednesday from
the beginning of September through to the end of June.
If so, please come to the Kirk Hall on a Wednesday morning to
meet us - or, for more information, call Sue Ledingham on
THE WEDNESDAY CLUB
here are no meetings of the club in December so we start
the New Year looking ahead with Diane Longmuir from
Barrhead Travel, giving a talk on 16th January followed
by Andrew Johnston on 30th January with an illustrated talk on
the "Jewels of the Forth".
On 13th February Marjorie Vennelle's talk is entitled "To sleep
perchance to?" based on her work on sleep. Cramond Kirk's
Bob Kernohan is well placed as author, journalist and
broadcaster to talk on "Changing Media" on the 20th February.
Please note these last two talks are on consecutive weeks. All
ladies are welcome.
BARNTON & CRAMOND
f you would like to join our Club, we meet in the
Millennium Room of Cramond Kirk Halls every alternate
Thursday, from 2 pm to 4 pm, between the months of
September and April.
At each meeting we invite a speaker to give a talk on a variety
of subjects, followed by tea and biscuits.
We are a very friendly group of retired ladies and if you are
interested in attending, please call me on 312 7794 for further
TH E GRA PEVI NE
• FROM THE MANSE •
Some years ago the General Assembly decided that as
well as the ancient Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and the
Westminster Confession of Faith it was time for the Church
of Scotland to have a new statement of Christian faith. A
committee was established and given the remit of
preparing a contemporary statement. It set to work and in
due course produced a statement which was discussed and
approved by the General Assembly.
Although it appears in the latest edition (1994) of the
Book of Common Order as far as I can tell it is not widely
used by the church and I can only remember repeating it on
one occasion during a church service.
Setting what had been produced by the Assembly against
the classic statements of Christian faith, the late Alec
Cheyne, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Edinburgh’s
New College, drew various comparisons. Towards the end
of his article however Cheyne remarked that the next
occasion the General Assembly decided to produce a new
statement of Christian faith it might be better to
commission someone to write a hymn. Although it might
lack academic precision, Cheyne was persuaded that
people learned far more about the meaning of Christmas or
Easter by singing hymns like Come thou long expected Jesus or
When I survey the wondrous cross then reading any statement of
I think there is considerable wisdom in Alec Cheyne’s
With hardly any musical scores surviving from the
ancient world, and those which do being little more than
fragments, it is impossible to know what the music of the
early church sounded like. Suffice to say one of the many
places where music and singing was heard in the ancient
world was in worship and from the evidence of St Paul’s
correspondence music and singing formed an important
part of early Christian worship.
In his letter to the Ephesians Paul encourages people to
sing and makes reference to three different categories of
music; psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Frustratingly
Paul does indicate whether these were three different types
of song or whether they overlapped. If the psalms were
taken from the worship of Jerusalem’s temple or the local
synagogue perhaps the hymns and spiritual songs
celebrated the life and teaching, death and rising again of
We will never know but there is perhaps a tantalizing
glimpse of a verse from one of these early hymns in Paul’s
correspondence (Ephesians 5 v14) where he writes
Wake up O sleeper
Rise from the dead
And Christ will shine on you
As this edition of Grapevine is published the season of
Advent will have begun and with Christian people the
world over we will turn our attention towards Bethlehem
and the birth of Jesus. For all that preachers like me will
have to say about what has been described by one
theologian as the ‘scandal’ of the incarnation, that God
became a human being, I
suspect it will be from singing
the glorious Advent hymns
and well loved Christmas
carols that your faith will find
So in the coming weeks
whether at home or at church
or even out walking your dog,
let me encourage you to
sing………..to sing up and to
sing out………….to sing with
all your heart and voice….…and may the joy, hope and
peace of the Christ child be
God’s gifts to you and yours.
With best wishes
The General Assembly’s statement of
Christian Faith (1992)
We believe in one God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
God is love.
We praise God the Father:
who created the universe and keeps it in being.
He has made us his sons and daughters,
to share his joy and to live together in peace, caring for his
world and for each other.
We confess Jesus Christ, God the Son:
born of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit,
he became one of us sharing our life and our death.
He made known God’s compassion and mercy,
giving hope and declaring forgiveness of sin,
offering healing and wholeness to all.
By his death on the cross and by his resurrection,
he has triumphed over evil.
Jesus is Lord of life and of all creation.
We trust God the Holy Spirit:
who unites us to Christ and gives life to the Church;
who brings us to repentance and assures us of
The Spirit guides us in our understanding of the bible,
renews us in the sacraments,
and calls us to serve God in the world.
We rejoice in the gift of eternal life:
we have sure and certain hope of resurrection
and we look for his coming again to judge the world.
Then all things will be made new;
and creation will rejoice
in worshipping the Father,
through the Son,
in the power of the Spirit,
one God, blessed for ever.
T HE GRA P E V I N E
Sunday, 2 December : Advent 1
8.45 am : Morning Prayers with Communion
10.00 am : Gift Service – children to bring unwrapped toys
for the Old Kirk, Pilton
7.00 pm : Christmas Songs of Praise in the Kirk Hall
Sunday, 9 December – Advent 2
8.45 am : Morning Prayers
10.00 am : Morning Worship
Monday, 10 December
4.30 pm : Cargilfield School Christmas Service
Tuesday, 11 December
2.30 pm : Almond Mains Christmas Service in the Kirk Hall
Wednesday, 12 December
2.00 pm : Bright Horizons Nursery Christmas Service
7.30 pm : Carols by Candlelight in the Kirk Hall
Sunday, 16 December – Advent 3
8.45 am : Morning Prayers
10.00 am : Sunday Club Nativity Service
Monday, 17 December
7.00 pm : Cramond Primary Carol Service
Sunday, 23 December - Advent 4
8.45 am : Morning Prayers
10.00 am : Service of Lessons & Carols
11.00 pm : Carol Singing
11.30 pm : Watchnight Service
10.00 am : Morning Worship
(children encouraged to bring a Christmas toy)
10.45 am : Sacrament of Holy Communion
Sunday, 30 December 2012
8.45 am : Morning Prayers
10.00 am : Morning Worship
Sunday, 6 January 2013
8.45 am : Morning Prayers with Communion
10.00 am : Morning Worship followed by Communion
Come & join us for a
Saturday, 22 December
11.00 am : Children’s Christmas Club in the Kirk Hall
all children from 3 years upwards
Cramond Kirk Hall
Saturday, 22 December
10 am – 2 pm
£5 per child
Snacks & lunch will be provided & all are welcome.
Booking forms are
the Kirk Office, the Manse,
16 Cramond Glebe Road
between 9 am and 12 noon
or from the Kirk website at
& will also be available from
Cramond Primary School
The Sunday Club are
already busy preparing for
Christmas. The shoeboxes
are packed and on their way to Eastern Europe and
on Sunday, 2 December we will be celebrating the Gift
Service in church when the children will be donating
gifts for children much closer to home. Sunday, 9
December is a morning of glitter & glue as we make
our Christmas crafts & then on Sunday, 16 December the
Sunday Club children will be performing their Nativity
for the whole congregation.
As Christmas gets even nearer, there’s all the fun of
Christmas Club. This will be taking place on Saturday,
22 December when children aged 3 and upwards are
welcome to come along and enjoy a fun packed time,
making, baking, playing & eating!
Further details are available
Hope you can join us & from all
the Sunday Club children and
helpers : we wish you a very
Colour in the picture & count the presents ….
TH E GRA PEVI NE
T HE GRAP E V I N E
T H E GRA PEVI NE
hanks to Cramond Kirk, I attended the National
Youth Assembly (NYA), which took place at the
Westpark Conference Centre in Dundee in
August of this year. I had been to the NYA once before,
last year, and so I knew (to some extent) what I was
letting myself in for. The NYA is one of the ways in
which young people are encouraged to make a
difference in the Church of Scotland. It gives us a voice
in the General Assembly, which receives and considers
our views and ideas on key issues of concern. These are
expressed through sections of deliverance, resulting
from debate in which every member of the NYA is
encouraged to participate. This ensures that the
sections of deliverance accurately reflect the views of
the NYA, which produces three deliverances each year.
It became apparent during the input session from
Scottish Women’s Aid that, alarmingly, many people
are still ignorant about certain aspects of domestic
abuse. There is a common misconception that all
victims are female and married or in long-term
relationships. While the majority of victims do fit this
stereotype, domestic abuse can happen to anyone, and
may take the form of not only physical abuse, as is
often thought to be the case, but also verbal, emotional,
psychological and financial abuse. The NYA drew
attention to this in its deliverances, and encouraged its
male delegates to sign the Amnesty International White
Ribbon Campaign, which commits them to never
perpetrating, condoning or permitting violence
This year, the theme was “Breaking Barriers” and the
NYA produced deliverances on tax evasion and
avoidance, HIV, and domestic abuse. Each debate was
preceded by an “input session” in order to introduce
the relevant issue, and get us thinking about our own
views on the matter. In addition, because domestic
abuse is such an emotional issue, there were two latenight discussions held to prepare us for that debate.
These dealt with issues surrounding gender and sex,
and really helped to cut through some of the
The NYA ran over four days and during that time I
was privileged to join with other young people in
hearing about and discussing the issues outlined
above. In addition to this, there was also time for
socialising, including a fundraising dinner, the
proceeds of which went to an HIV project in the Kibera
slum in Nairobi, Kenya, which supports children
orphaned by HIV and their guardians, and to the COSY
Collective, which is a special trust managed by the
Church of Scotland Mission and Discipleship Council,
for use by young people in projects that enable them to
creatively reach out to their communities.
Given that the NYA is made up of 16-25 year olds, it
was initially thought that the tax evasion and
avoidance debate would be quite difficult, as many of
the delegates knew little about the issues involved.
However, the input session from Christian Aid was
helpful in setting out some background, and as a law
student, I was even able to use a little legal knowledge
when explaining to my small group what the difference
was between avoidance and evasion. Due to the initial
lack of knowledge of many delegates, a section of
deliverance was passed during the debate advocating
that the issue of taxes and finance should be discussed
publicly without the use of jargon, and a further section
was passed urging the government to address the
problem of insufficient financial education in schools.
The NYA became painfully aware of the lack of
knowledge and understanding surrounding HIV.
During the input session from the Church of Scotland
HIV Programme, we played a game which involved
sorting HIV facts from fiction. Worryingly, there are
still a great many misconceptions about the disease,
including the mistaken belief that it can be spread by
kissing. In fact, we were informed that it would take 16
buckets of saliva to infect someone with HIV. Due to
this and other misunderstandings of HIV, a section of
deliverance was passed encouraging “regular, open
discussion amongst youth and inter-generational
I really enjoyed my NYA experience, and I would
recommend it to other young people in the
If you are interested in finding out more about the
issues mentioned in this article, you can access the
Tax Evasion and Avoidance
Christian Aid Collective:
“Trace the Tax” Christian Aid Campaign:
Church of Scotland HIV Programme:
Global Fund: www.theglobalfund.org.en
Here I Am Campaign: www.hereiamcampaign.org
Souper Sunday: www.soupersunday.info/
World Aids Day: www.worldaidsday.org/
Scottish Women’s Aid:
Amnesty International White Ribbon Campaign:
T HE GRA P E V I N E
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TH E GRA PEVI NE
number of Sundays ago Dr Barr, in Children’s
Church, mentioned Mr Dick Lenny, an elder in
Garthamlock Church who was a welder and
Residential, Commercial & Industrial
had only one arm. It was quite amazing all he could
Free estimates and professional advice
do but the thing which stirred my memory was that he
insurance enquiries welcomed
“did” the flowers in his church each week.
In Cramond Kirk, in the days of Dr Stott, we too had
a lady who “did” the flowers. Her name was Mrs
Christie and she lived in Glebe Road.
Committee in those days nor buying flowers. Mrs
Christie got flowers from her garden and from friends’
including fire retardant coatings
industrial paint finishes and spray
Mrs Christie arranged the flowers for my marriage,
which were from the garden of my home and from
hand painted furniture
wide vinyl and wallpaper hanging
friends’ gardens. My lasting memory of the flowers
was arriving at the Kirk door to an arrangement of
flowers in a vase in the shape of a bulldog. We as a
family all had our bulldogs! Actually no, Davida my
sister had a Pekinese but there hangs another tale!
Years later and my daughter Anne was being
married in Cramond Kirk and Davida “did” the
flowers. The flowers again were from our gardens,
mostly roses on that occasion, and the lasting memory
Waterfront Dance Studio
was the perfume ….. I remember members remarking
on it as they entered the church on the Sunday
morning, the wedding having been on the Saturday.
Ballet, Tap , funky from 2yrs to Teens
Adult Fitness, Zumba, Adult Tap
Performance & Training opportunities available
There may have been no perfume from the flowers in
church today but I could not imagine anything lovelier
than the flowers on this year’s Harvest Thanksgiving
Sunday which set me off again remembering!
Dr Stott held a children’s thanksgiving service in the
afternoon and the children of the three Sunday schools
attended, bringing their gifts : pots of homemade jam,
fruit and vegetables from the garden, eggs and home
Established over 10 years,.
All instructors hold professional
New Class!-TUTU TOTS
A brand new class exploring the joy of
movement for tiny dancers from 2yrs
with a participating adult.
Pay on the day or block booking discount
baking. As we arrived, we went up to the Communion
table and handed over our gifts to the minister who
Visit our dance studio
On West Shore Road.
2 studios, mirrors, barres ,
plenty of free parking
put them round the table, which was always decorated
with a sheaf of corn from Drylaw Farm. The pulpit
was hung all round with bunches of grapes, even
down the banister!
I think the grapes came from
Muirhouse but don’t quote me on that one!
Junior classes also held
In Cramond Kirk Hall
T HE GRA P E V I N E
YOUTH COMMITTEE REPORT 2012
he youth work in Cramond Kirk continues to go
from strength to strength. A large number of
children and young people come along to the kirk
and the halls through both the church organisations and
the uniformed organisations. The Youth Committee
would like to acknowledge and thank all those who make
these organisations work so well by their hard work and
Club, this still requires organisation and a dedicated team
of people to run smoothly. Kirk Club offers less formal
activities than Sunday Club, such as craft and games. Kirk
Club needs additional helpers. Helpers are on a rota so
anyone offering to help would know that they would only
be called on occasionally.
The Corner Café has now
been running for almost two
The number of
children coming along is
steadily growing. Loyalty
cards were introduced this year and the number there are
of these shows that the café has a loyal customer base.
We have around 60 children regularly coming to Sunday
Club on a Sunday
morning. They meet in
four main groups, with
occasionally being split
groups. During this
session the Sunday
Club have continued to
make contributions to the Harvest, Mothering Sunday,
Children’s Christmas and Flower Services.
The Sunday Club held a bread and soup lunch as a ‘get to
know you’ for new families and a ‘bacon buttie’ lunch for
the Church of Scotland’s HIV project.
The children also contributed to the children’s gift service
at the beginning of December and to the shoe box appeal
The older children tried their
hands at climbing and abseiling
at the EICA at Ratho for their
All the groups visited the zoo in
April to see the pandas, as one of
the Sunday Club’s charities this
year was the World Wildlife
Earlier this year Edith Butler and
Susie Thornton trained as Godly
Play teachers. This allows us to build on our use of Godly
Kirk Club runs for about
20 Sundays each year and
mainly covers the school
Although there aren’t
usually as many children
as there are at Sunday
Corner Café –
Contact Edith Butler
A little more structure has been introduced to the café
over the past year, with registration forms and signing in.
Although this is not compulsory, it helps parents know
that their children are safe.
The activities are now pre-planned and advertised. They
have ranged from arts and crafts, through baking and
treasure hunts, to an ice cream day.
The children coming along are mainly primary school
age. Some parents also come along for a tea or coffee.
The Café could not exist without the group of dedicated
volunteers who help run it. There are 5 leaders and 34
people in the rota pool of helpers. We need some more
helpers for the rota, to allow the number of times people
are called on to be kept at the current low rate.
The café has continued to make a small profit, which has
gone to the Corner Project account.
Edith Butler and LJ Forrest attended a Presbytery
workshop on church cafes in April, which has provided
ideas to help us move the café forward.
Scouts, Sea Scouts, Cubs, Explorers and Beavers
Contact – Group Scout Leader Russell Shoulder
There are over 190 scouts in six sections. The 2011
summer camp was at Loch Rannoch. Sea Scouts have
recently added wind surfing as an activity.
Senior Section, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows
Contact – District Commissioner Sharon Robertson
Over 160 girls in the different groups and there continues
to be a waiting list for these. The Senior Section, for the
older girls, is growing.
Alex Mackenzie – Youth Committee Convenor
TH E GRA PEVI NE
ALL CHANGE IN BLANTYRE
(Members of the congregation and community at Cramond have
been working with the Synod Education Department since 2003.
We enjoy a happy friendship and a positive working relationship)
There have been some significant changes at the Department
since our last update. These are in both staff and policy.
Readers will be pleased to learn that Dorothy Simbota, the
Education Administrator whom we originally sponsored, is
still in post so is able to act as an effective "continuity girl". A
new Education Secretary was appointed this year. He is Mr
Moses Kasitomu, who takes over from Lester Namathaka.
Lester has retired but intends to write some educational
materials for use in schools. He sends his good wishes to
everyone at Cramond and says he has very much
appreciated our link through his years of office.
The Department is working to implement some strategic
changes, in line with the policy of increasing
decentralisation. It was always envisaged that Southern
Malawi would be divided into 3 educational "zones" to try to
facilitate better working with local primary school staff,
educational partners, district and divisional education
officers. Trying to cover the whole of the area from Blantyre
was unmanageable and indeed expensive in terms of travel
and time. The Department seemed distant to many teachers
and maintaining personal links with remote rural schools
was almost impossible . Richard Mpaso has therefore moved
from Blantyre to take up the post created in Zomba and a
further office will be established in Mulanje. We hope this
will be of benefit to the schools.
Some of the money we gave the department has been used
for essential buildings and maintenance work. At last they
have been able to make the main offices watertight. They
have also redecorated and re-tiled.
An exciting development is that the Synod will open another
secondary school in Zomba next academic year. This is
hugely important since of course the number of secondary
school places is never sufficient for all those who have
successfully completed primary education.
We have sent messages of support to the staff as they go
through this transition period and hope that young learners
and their teachers continue to benefit.
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T HE GRA P E V I N E
MORE FROM THE KIRKYARD
ccording to the dictionary, the word 'Volunteer'
means 'a person who undertakes military or other
service of his or her own free will - to offer one's
services'. When you are young and into retirement, the former
part of the statement is true. When you are older, with more
time to spare, you find that you have to offer your service
because you are no longer asked. It may be, because you are
no longer able, depending on the task, or liable to
forgetfulness, and I think the mind improves with use.
My first recollection of volunteering was when I passed my
St Johns Ambulance test, which is a recognised course in first
aid, and I was allocated, at week-ends, to attend Tynecastle
Football Ground, for Hearts home matches, or the same for the
Hibernian Club. I was and never have been 'into football' but
it was quite a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon and
any crisis we were expected to deal with had nothing to do
with 'chanting', using bad language or fights on the terraces. I
do not recall any players hugging each other when goals were
scored, the encouragement from the supporters seemed to be
On a Friday or Saturday we were also on call to attend
theatres and concerts - a much more acceptable duty! Most of
our patients were those suffering from fainting, due to
over¬heating, but on one occasion my colleague and myself
dispatched a gentleman who was in great pain to the E.R.I. in
Laurieston with suspected appendicitis - and were thanked
for our correct diagnosis. During the 'Cold War' our training
was a bit more intensive. There was no need, it seemed, for
elbow bandages or a bit of TLC. Hauling adults from smoke¬filled shelters, which fortunately were brick built and situated
on the ground, and how to cope with 'fall-out' was the drill.
After seeing the destruction caused in Japan after the atomic
bomb was dropped, our 'so-called' training was a bit
Then, after I married and the Young Wives Club in
Cramond Kirk was founded, we were volunteered! The
minister found helpers were required to take children from
Westerlea School, in Ellerslie Road, swimming. It was
necessary that there was warm water for them and so we
travelled to Donaldson’s Hospital for the Blind's pool. It was
wonderful to see the joy on these young faces when they were
free from clothing, braces and supports and lowered into the
comforting water. We volunteers supported them in the water
and shared their delight in the fact that for a little while they
could believe they were like other children and free from
restraints. At the end of the session we dried them and
dressed them before applying their aids. This was a truly
rewarding task. Also, while in Young Wives, we were enrolled
as assistants in the Cheshire Home for the Disabled in Trinity.
We were assigned to the Laundry Room where my job was the
ironing of the men's trousers. This was not an onerous task as
there were large machines to help. We flattened out the
trouser legs and placed the fabric between two hot presses, the
tops of the trousers were smoothed at the end of the press and,
as if by magic, the garments were acceptable! This was an
ideal job for me who at that time was not a very good ironer.
These trousers were changed frequently during the day and
built up into quite a pile. The lady in charge did not seem to
mind that I, perhaps, was not too thorough and when I had
completed the pile, I was allowed to go into the home and chat
with the patients. This outing ceased when the Unions
objected to unpaid labour working in the laundry.
It was some time before I could commit myself to voluntary
work again - in fact, it was not until I was retired from work
early because of my hearing impairment. After the initial
pleasure of having the time to ‘play at houses', I began to get
a bit bored. Our lawyer suggested, since I was critical of the
‘hand-outs' received by some of the public from the
Department of Social Security, I should investigate becoming
a member of one of the Tribunals. My name was passed to the
Department and, after an interview, I was accepted and
invited to attend the course which was held at Riccarton
Campus, Currie. After two years, during which I learned a lot,
I found that my attitude changed, the so-called ‘spongers’
were whittled down to an extent and many deserving cases
When I was interviewed, I made it clear that I could function
audio-wise if I was face to face with the client. Consequently,
when the Disablement Appeals were introduced, I was invited
to serve as a supporter for those appellants who were
physically handicapped. This was a whole new ball-game!
Some of these cases were inspirational! The daily traumas
faced by people attempting to live as normal a life as possible
were awesome. It made me realise just how lucky I was. When
I reached the age of 72, my life on the Tribunals ceased - I was
too old! I left, reluctantly, but some of my colleagues were the
same age and we all left together.
Having always been interested in history - Scottish, in
particular - I was pleased to be invited to work in the Georgian
House in Charlotte Square as a guide. I enjoyed meeting with
the visitors, particularly the tourists, but had one or two
issues, sometimes with some of the directives. In time these
were voiced and I was prepared to move on but I was then to
be placed on the desk, taking the money - this was a laugh, as
those of you who know me are aware of my weakness with
figures! It turned out to be a good move. I was still able to
converse with the visitors and was not really involved in ‘in
house' problems. A change of staff meant time to move on. I
was also a receptionist at St Columba's Hospice at this time.
My friend had been a patient there and I visited her often.
Some of my friends could not believe that I would wish to
work there, saying that it must be depressing. It is certainly
not that! It is a place of inspiration and hope and there are
many pictures in my mind of those whom I was privileged to
meet. The courage and determination of the patients and the
dedication and care of the staff are lessons I will never forget.
These warm my heart when I read or see mindless and
troublesome traits within our society. There is so much good
and so many worthwhile results - Thank the Good Lord!
So, why not volunteer? You will meet new people and learn
something different, you can add to your C.V. and you can
take on a new challenge. So, if you have some time to spare,
Volunteering can be fun!
The Kirkyard Gardeners were invited to a 'thank-you' drink
in the hall on Wednesday, 3 October. Unfortunately, it was
also the evening of the Wednesday Club and perhaps the
meeting was not publicised properly but there were very few
of us present. I am sorry I could not show my appreciation and
will try to remedy this next time. I intimated that I hoped to
order gravel for the patch between the Offertory House and
the disabled toilet as this is subject to prolific weed growth.
Also, the path along the south wall of the Kirk could be
improved with a couple of bags of grey slate. I hope this will
TH E GRA PEVI NE
be implemented during the early spring. I also intend to order
several bags of soil improver and hope that these bags will be
placed at gardeners’ plots so that they can apply the improver
when the daffodils have ceased to flower. Gardeners are free
to resume their gardening duties whenever the weather
allows and in their own time. Those who would like to have
more daffodils within their plot, feel free to phone me and I
will arrange this. A member of the congregation has kindly
donated a bag full of these for our use.
Can I again thank the gardeners for all their efforts on the
Kirk's behalf and I wish them, and those whom they love, a
very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2013!
Afterthought : It is not fair to ask others what you are not
willing to do yourself.
CRICKET, CULTURE AND COCKROACHES
(Well only one cockroach actually)
I’ve never really taken much interest in cricket over the years
but that all changed during a recent four week stint of pulpit
supply at St. Andrew’s Scots Kirk in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I
arrived in Colombo in the middle of September, just before the
start of the 20/20 International Cricket Competition. Reclining
on a lounger at the side of the five-star Cinnamon Grand
Hotel’s swimming pool, which is almost next door to the Scots
Kirk, I asked my neighbour if he was here for the cricket. It
transpired that he was and that he was in fact one of the
England cricketers, Johnny Bairstow by name. The name
meant nothing to me but it certainly resonated with my
cricket-loving brother-in-law, Norman Shanks. Another visit
to the pool found me in conversation with Shane Watson, the
star of the Australian side and with one of the Pakistani
players who asked me if I was in town on business. I said I was
a retired pastor filling in for a colleague at a near-by church,
but on account of the slightly bemused look on his face, I’m
not sure how much of that he really took in. Anyhow, the very
helpful girl at the tourist office queued up for five hours to get
me a ticket for the Cricket Semi-Finals, so I‘m now something
of a cricket convert.
Away from the excitement of the cricket it was good to travel
up to Anuradhapura in the ‘Cultural Triangle’ and see the
great Samadhi Buddha, carved from limestone in the 4th
century AD and showing the Buddha in the meditation
(Samadhi) posture. A seemingly timeless creation which
apparently greatly moved Pandit Nehru on a visit to Ceylon.
Moving on to Polonnaruwa it was exciting to arrive at the site
of the huge set of four Bhuddas that had so impressed Thomas
Merton when he visited Ceylon in the course of his ill-fated
Asian Tour. All carved from the same massive rock outcrop,
they include the fourteen metre long reclining Buddha, ‘a
huge but supremely graceful figure which manages to
combine the serenely transcendental with the touchingly
human.’ (The Rough Guide to Sri Lanka.)
I followed the advice of the minister, the Rev John Purves and
his wife Patricia almost to the letter and so week three saw me
heading south to their favourite beach resort, the Paradise
Beach Club, some fifty or sixty miles south of Colombo. I
quickly adapted to the life-style, which basically entails
spending the day in your beach wear reading a book under the
helpful shade of one of the ‘King Coconut’ palm trees that
fringe the beach, and occasionally walking down into the sea
and getting tossed about by the waves which come crashing in
from the Indian Ocean. On the way down to the resort we
passed a memorial to the 1700 plus train passengers who were
washed away by the tsunami in 2004. (St. Andrew’s Kirk
became a centre for the relief operation following on from the
tsunami and the minister was awarded an MBE for the role he
played in the emergency).
I suppose the people of Sri Lanka are by and large relieved
and grateful that the savage and bloody civil war is now over.
However the defeat of the Tamil Tigers came about in a
particularly distressing manner, which seems to have
involved the killing of thousands of civilians. The
international community would like to investigate, but the
efforts of the West do not appear to have the backing of China
and Iran, both of whom seem to be big players in the
reconstruction of the country. The minister’s wife, Patricia
Purves, is a lawyer by profession and has worked in the north
of the country with UNICEF and World Vision and other
agencies, in the aftermath of the war. It must have been a
Oh yes and the cockroach. Well, the last I saw of it it was
upside down just outside the door to my bedroom. I left its
fate in the hands of Shiromi, who was employed to do a bit of
washing, cooking and cleaning around the Manse. As you can
tell, it can be a tough life being retired!
All good wishes, Colin
T HE GRA P E V I N E
CRAMOND & BARNTON
INCORPORATING CRAMOND, BARNTON,
CAMMO AND QUALITY STREET (WEST)
Chair: Andrew Mather
21 Inveralmond Drive
Edinburgh EH4 6JX
Phone: 336 2336
12 Brae Park
Edinburgh EH4 6DJ
Phone: 339 1331
The notes below describe some of the Community Council
activities over the summer – but not all of them! Those of you
who have attended our public meetings and contributed to
them (and those on our data base) will recognise that the
Community Council has carried through a number of items on
It has been an exceptional busy summer since the Community
Council (CC) and a lot of the work has however been behind
the scenes with much phoning, attending meetings and much
Barnton Hotel Site: This was granted at the planning subcommittee meeting on the 29th August. As the purchase of
the land was subject to planning, the legal process of
transferring ownership will now be completed. McCarthy and
Stone will advise when they are the legal owners. They will
start on the refurbishment of the hotel first, but that may not be
until next summer as detailed planning and building control
consent still require to be obtained. Although McCarthy and
Stone will manage the project, they will have to tender for the
At our request McCarthy and Stone sent us a their press
release, which has been displayed on our notice boards.
Barnton Avenue West: BUPA advised us of their proposal for
a 64-bed care home at 6/8 Barnton Avenue West, replacing 4
of the 5 houses that have been given consent but are not built.
After a ‘kitchen table’ meeting with a few CC members and a
few residents including the manager of the Royal Burgess, the
developer and architect set up a manned exhibition in the
Gathering Space at the church to allow residents to make
comment on their proposal.
A planning application has been now been lodged and a
further exhibition of their plans was arranged by the CC in the
Gathering Space at the church. The period for public comment
has now been extended until 26th October and already there
are 32 letters of comment with the planners showing the level
of interest, particularly from the residents of Barnton Avenue
West who have concerns at the introduction of this use in the
road. The CC will respond to the planners expressing as best
they can the community view in their capacity as a consultee.
Cammo Home Farm: The Community Council organised for
Cala to present their plans for two houses to replace the old
farmhouse on Cammo Road on Thursday 31st May in the
Millennium Hall. Around 28 residents and Councillors were
present. The planning committee considered this application,
together with another for refurbishment of Cammo Home
Farm, on 12th September. The planners had recommended
approval of the refurbishment scheme and rejection of the
demolition proposal. The committee decided to have a site
visit and consider both applications following a hearing to be
held on 10th October. At the Planning sub-committee meeting
both the Cala application to develop and the application to
restore the old Cramond Brig golf club come farmhouse to a
family house were passed. We wait to see if Historic Scotland
calls in the Cala application. Only Historic Scotland can
decide whether a listed building can be demolished. It requires
to pass a number of tests called a SHEP test.
Cramond Place: Kelvin Donaldson from Gilbert’s Associates
keeps us informed but there is no information as yet on an
operator for this proposed nursing home
Gilberts reported ‘On that subject, we have little definite positive
news but that belies ongoing attempts to move the project forward on
multiple fronts, the details of which really have to remain confidential
at present. We still have an operator lined up but have effectively
moved past our involvement with THI on the site and are looking to
put a funding package together ourselves. In this market, as I'm sure
you can appreciate, that is not easy. We do remain committed to
successfully implementing the consent on the site and hope to reach
a point shortly where timescale can start to be looked at with more
Like you, I too believe that this site is important for the community
and very much hope that we can deliver it sooner rather than later.’
The Campus: AMA was understood to be in discussion with
Judy Murray for her Tennis Academy, including adjusting
plans to suit her specific requirements. As you may have read
in the Evening News, Cricket Scotland is now in discussion
about moving to Cramond. The CC has also reminded AMA
that a Curling Club is very much needed in Edinburgh.
Discussions with other sports operators and health
organisations are also continuing. We have asked AMA for an
update as a recent press article suggests that Judy Murray has
abandoned the Campus site option.
Environment: The bombshell was recently dropped that SEPA
wanted to demolish the weirs on the River Almond to improve
fishing and biodiversity. Although this possible project was in
its very early stages of discussion with Edinburgh City
Council, SEPA agreed to meet on a one to one basis.
Ultimately the CC secretary and John Dods from Cramond
Heritage (also a CC member) and the Sepa project manager
John highlighted the fact that these structures were of historic
& cultural significance and that they are also a major tourist
attraction to the area. The aim of removal is to remove any
man made obstruction that could possibly impede the passage
of fish and improve biodiversity. Our hope is that improving
and modernising the fish ladders could provide a
compromise. If they can do it at Pitlochry, I can’t see why they
can’t do it here.
SEPA did agree at our meeting that they would arrange an
exhibition of their ecological findings along the river as soon as
The education/water framework display panel are presently
being prepared by SEPA , so hopefully we will be able to get
TH E GRA PEVI NE
them out to the community soon
The driver here is a European directive to bring rivers back to
their natural state by removing man made barriers, all to
improve the fish stock and biodiversity. Our understanding is
that the fish stocks are already improving in the area, thanks
amongst other reasons to the Cramond Angling Club who do
so much work to keep our river and burns clean.
Braehead Area: We have been investigating the demise of the
Braehead Residents Association, as sadly a lot of the
Community Spaces are in badly in need of management.
Thanks to some residents, some areas are being well kept.
The CC is hoping to have a public meeting to re-start the
Association in the near future. We will need willing residents
to initially take the lead. Volunteers wanted please.
Friends of the River Almond Walkway: Thanks to the group
of people who agreed to promote this. They have done a
sterling amount of work so far and now have over a 100
members. Even if you are not fit enough to join the work
parties, your membership fee is welcome and so are unused
gardening tools. For further information see a CC member or
e-mail [email protected] Congratulations were sent
from the Core Paths team on the City Council for the success
of the Friends group.
Flower Tubs: Again we should like to thank Douglas
Cruikshank and The Inch Nursery for providing flower tubs in
the village and outside the Cramond Kirk and the flowers for
the promenade. Sadly they were not up to the usual standard
(possibly because the secretary planted them!).
Community Litter Picking Kit. I am glad this has been well
used by Friends of Cammo and the Cubs. The kit consists of
pickers of all lengths, gloves and black poly bags. If you know
of a group who would like to help on the beach, walkways or
riversides please contact the secretary to borrow the kit.
Christmas Tree at Barnton shops:
The shops were
unsuccessful last year at being allowed to have a Christmas
tree on the shop frontage. This year the roads department
have given in and will consider a tree. A planning application
to roads has been submitted. The Rev. Russell Barr has also
organised for Cramond Primary to sing at the lighting of the
tree (let’s hope the shops have been successful this year).
It is amazing what a ‘meet the neighbours’ over a delicious cup
of coffee at Cloudberry will do to show the officials the extent
this community wants to encourage local community spirit.
Donny, we will have coffee at the bakery next time, but just
think of all the bacon rolls you are going to sell when they start
renovating the Barnton Hotel site!
Public Toilets at the Cramond Promenade: We have been told
that these toilets will not be closed. Sadly they are still not
suitable for the disabled. The CC had plans drawn up which
with the co-operation of the Cramond Inn, would ensure they
were suitable. The next move will have to be from the Council
with the will to proceed.
Official Visits: We no longer have our own Lord Provost,
living in the area. However, we have had the former Convener
and Vice Convener of Culture and Leisure visit the Maltings,
and learn all about the work of the Interpretation Centre last
year. An invite has already been sent to Councillor Lewis, the
present convener and Councillor Norma Hart (Vice Convener)
for a similar visit, Councillor Lewis is sorting out some dates
and Councillor Hart has already been. Councillor Hart was
also thrilled to see children playing on Ronnie’s Fish the day
The more officials we can invite to the area and learn about the
area, the more I would hope Cramond & Barnton would be
more appreciated. The secretary’s role at these meetings is to
generally make the tea and let Kathleen and John Dods, John
Lawson (City Archaeologist) and Andrew Mather do the
Focus on fixing it: Did you send in your list of repairs to the
West team and were you successful? We did notice some
works being undertaken which may not otherwise have been
The Salveson Steps on the River Almond Walkway
Here is the report from Duncan Monteith, City of Edinburgh
Council, to the Community Council:
The proposed walkway around the Salveson steps is still in the design
phase. A detailed design on a high level part suspended walkway
looks to be the best solution but there are difficulties in securing a
long-term maintenance solution. We are waiting to go to the next
phase, public consultation, planning permission, environmental
assessment and clearing some of the vegetation from the site so that
detailed surveys can be done for the anchor points on the suspended
parts of the walkway. This work is however on hold until decisions
have been made about the removal of the weir.
Community Choir: Following the proposal put forward by the
CC who then merely acted as facilitators in arranging the
meeting hall, the constitution and an initial start up grant
Rosina Archibald has had great success in attracting some 50
plus residents to the initial choral events at the Drumbrae Hub.
She has attracted Eleanor Logan as an enthusiastic choirmaster
and Leslie Pendreigh as pianist. All present seem to be
thoroughly enjoying singing in the choir. New, larger premises
soon be required.
T HE GRA P E V I N E
ovember is only a mere breath away as I sit down to
write this. I have just walked for an hour along by the
sea, in wonderful heat and sunshine. I am back in my
beloved Cadiz to soak up a week of rest and love. My daughter
and her lovely partner have just moved into a beautiful old 3rd
floor apartment, bursting with charm and history, in the old
walled town. The famous gold domed cathedral is just around
the corner....gold, so the sailors could see it way out at sea and
head for home. You can almost touch the bell tower when you
hang out the washing on the terrace, “prettiest clothes line in the
world” I tell her. The shock and joy of the light has chased the
Scottish autumnal greyness out of my heart, and left instead a
little dance of mirth and “what shall we do today?” energy.
It is a relief to get away from bracing up to winter; nights
closing in, huddled against the cold and the general
introversion of it all. I sort of love and hate it, but I don’t realise
how hard it is, until my body is flung out of the plane into the
comfort of sun and warmth. There is no arguing with the truth
of a spontaneous response. I expand again, and everything
seems a little more hopeful, a little more possible. This of course
is all a metaphor....you know me by now! But it has got me
thinking about light and dark and how we manage both in our
lives. For manage both we must. I learned this by osmosis as a
young child in being with my grandmother. A lady of sparkle
and wit and devilment, she bore the losses and suffering of life
with dignity and inner peace. She wove them seamlessly
around each other like embroidery threads making a tapestry.
My little open child’s heart felt all this in her, as we walked the
fields foraging, or lay spine to spine at night under the thick
heavy quilts. By the time I was nine I had absorbed a
fundamental lesson about life. I learned it by breathing her into
my soul. She knew that life is wonderful, terrible, painful and
glorious and we cannot insist it be otherwise.
Much as I love southern Spain I also love the darkness of
Edinburgh. It brings its own beauty and its own quiet rhythms.
It can be a relief to be less extroverted, to circle down inwards to
something quiet and primal. A different kind of creativity and
reflection happens. The dark has different gifts. But what are
they and why would we want them? We don’t really have much
choice about this. If we don’t find our home with the dark, we
live an unlived life. Life is not what we signed up for at
birth...all innocence and pretty things. It is full of the
unpredictable and the unexpected. The world is not doing so
well just now. Uncertainty, anxiety and fear of loss are with us
at a global as well as a personal level. I remember writing this
Christmas article last year and hoping these hard times were
transitory, that by now smiles would be brighter again. I was
But I am not seduced by the doom and gloom. I can’t quite
believe in it. It doesn’t feel completely real. I suspect I have
changed much in the last few years. Working increasingly as I
do with people suffering with cancer, I see what is in the human
spirit: Suffering embraced with courage, fear transformed into
strength, death faced with dignity and value systems shaken,
stirred and rewritten. I have come to believe in people. I have
returned to my grandmother’s hearth. I like it here. It is a place
of hope and wisdom and strength.
In Spanish they do not have the phrase “to give birth”, they
say “dar a luz”, to give to light. A mother brings her child from
the shadows of the womb to the light of the world. After that
she tries to keep the darkness away by soothing and comforting
us, making our anxieties bearable. But life is a funny old
business and there are few of us that meander along forever at
the edge of the rainbow. Loss, pain, illness, disillusionment
bring us all to our knees at some point. I am so often asked the
question “why?” Why has this happened? Why me? Where did
I go wrong? What did I do to deserve this? The answer is a
silence as dense as a mountain. These questions only torture the
heart. We control so little.
Finding a way to accept what cannot be changed often
involves time with darkness....the suffering of the unknown, the
forfeit of the quick fix or the magical belief in fairness.
Connection to our own source of inner nourishment is what
sustains us through this. Like everything it requires dedication
and care. There is an oak tree that grows in Australia. When the
seed is planted nothing happens above the ground, nothing at
all. Little hair roots begin to push down into the soil, gradually
strengthening and deepening. This goes on and on until the root
system finally finds its source of water. Then and only then,
does life begin to emerge above the ground. Sometimes it takes
as long as twenty years. Wisdom is born in quiet places.
At Maggie’s I work in one of the best teams in the world, with
an unending supply of love, kindness, fun and vitality. We cry
together and laugh together. We rely on each other deeply; our
support for each other is huge. But there comes a point when we
each have to go it alone and find our own nourishment. We all
have our individual ways, but I have noticed that being with
nature seems to be common to us all. As a child I thought fields
and mountains were things you looked at out of the side
window of the car! Now it’s a bit different. What is it about
nature and the landscape that is so compellingly comforting?
Have you ever sat under a tree in the forest when it’s raining?
Or enjoyed the smell of fresh hay, and the first frosts of winter
in your nostrils? Think of the trees in late autumn, or the sound
of the geese flying south in September. The endless wrap
around hug of nature and weather and landscape feeds us in
ways that are so primal and essential we are lost orphans
So as my father would say, I have two statements to make.
Firstly, we are living in a pandemic of disconnectedness.
Secondly, it is serious. The new statistics about how much of our
lives, and more worryingly how much our children’s lives, are
lived through a small screen are frightening. The laptop, ipad,
iphone, play station and all the other communication gadgets
are changing us as people faster than anything ever has before.
Social skills are rapidly sinking. Children are not playing with
each other; they are living life through a screen. The natural
capacity for solitude and quietness is being eroded. Everything
is instant. We are stimulated to the point of madness. It is
making us, stressed, disconnected from ourselves and others,
and increasingly lonely and impoverished. We have created a
virtual world of bright colours with no emotional or spiritual
substance. Gloss and instant control are not real life. They are
of no help when life gets hard.
So let’s get back to it. We are passed from light to dark over
and over again throughout our lives. Both are part of what it is
to be human. Suffering closes us for a while but opens us again
in deeper and different ways. There is something magical about
the fading out of colour into the arms of night. There is
something breathtaking about dawn as nature takes on new
colour and form, and energy unfurls again. Change is constant.
It has taken me almost three years to get through my own
personal tsunami. I have learned much, but mostly about the
power of vulnerability and the utter kindness of people. We
need the love of family and friends constantly but especially in
transition points. It is coming into Christmas and some of those
magical solstice days when light merely hovers for a while.
Sunrise and sunset almost embrace. Take some quiet time.
Think about your life. Love it, wrestle with it, make it yours.
Deirdre Carr, Psychologist & Psychotherapist
Email: [email protected]
TH E GRA PEVI NE
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T HE GRA P E V I N E
A VOLUNTEERING TRIP
TO NEPAL – JUNE/JULY 2012
I am extremely
lucky that my
company has a long
policy. I decided at
the beginning of the
year that after 17
years of working
Walter Scott &
Partners I should
take advantage of
the opportunity to enjoy three months off. But how best to spend
the time? I have for some while been keen to do a little more
charitable work, other than participating in and donating to the
odd sponsorship event. It dawned on me that a sabbatical was the
perfect opportunity to spend time as a volunteer somewhere off
the beaten track. I spoke with a variety of people, Dr Barr
included, to discuss a range of projects and opportunities. I was
keen to do something positive whilst living outside of my ‘comfort
zone’, and I also wanted an adventure! I considered lots of options,
including a Habitat for Humanity house building expedition to
Ethiopia and working in a village in Uganda.
In April my younger sister Victoria, who lives in Dubai, mentioned
something in passing about what sounded like a very interesting
orphanage she had heard about in Nepal. It is a place called
Hamro Gaun (translated from Nepali it means ‘My Little Village’)
near the old trading town of Sankhu in the Kathmandu Valley, and
is run by a Dutch chap called Rene Veldt. Victoria didn’t know too
much about the place or about Rene, other than she’d heard it was
‘amazing’ and run by an ‘eccentric visionary’. She tracked down
and passed on Rene’s contact details and suggested I get in touch,
which I did. I explained my situation to Rene via e-mail and asked
whether he could put me to good use for a few weeks. I received a
response almost immediately, saying nothing more than “Roy – I
look forward to having you to work in Hamro Gaun. I will pick
you up in Kathmandu on June 21st.” And so it was settled. I was
off to spend part of my sabbatical working in a Nepali orphanage.
Victoria decided to join me for the first week which was
tremendous. We met up in Kathmandu and had a day to
acclimatise before being collected by Rene. When he picked us up,
we set off with much trepidation towards Sankhu in a rickety SUV.
The roads in Nepal are little more than dirt tracks and are littered
with giant potholes. Some even have pylons standing right in the
middle, due to the roads having been widened but with the poles
yet to be moved to the new road edge! In fact most of the
infrastructure is desperately unstable in Nepal. Sadly this is a
reflection of the state of governance as a whole in the country.
Unlike most of Asia, it is hard to conclude that Nepal is moving
forward. Problems are numerous, many due to a 10 year civil war
which ended in 2006. Along with tumultuous economic, social and
political problems the war also tragically created a lot of orphans
and left behind quite a few landmines.
As well as being an orphanage, Hamro Gaun has a day-care centre
and vocational training facility within it. Environmental
sustainability is present in every aspect of its running, whether it
be the use of solar powered cooking facilities, bio-gas generation or
hydro power. Even waste water is purified with a barley filter and
re-used. Hamro Gaun is home to about 40 children and is mainly
funded by a Dutch NGO called Stichting Veldwerk. There is an
incredible sense of community in Hamro Gaun.
The ages range from 18 months to 18 years and every child
considers all the others to be part of their family. The older kids
play a central role in bringing up the younger ones. It was
astonishing to experience just how content people can be without
all the trappings and material possessions that we take for granted.
I didn’t hear a single child cry for the first three days of being there!
My accommodation was a very basic and poorly ventilated room
in a small apartment block in Sankhu, about a mile from Hamro
Gaun. There were three other volunteers in the building, as well as
a couple of Nepali families, and we had rats, mice, a stray dog and
unlimited numbers of flies, mosquitoes, spiders and other beasties
for company. My ‘bed’ was a wooden bench that would have been
too short for Ronnie Corbett (I am 6 foot 2!) and electricity and
running water were very sporadic. Quite often I would shower by
standing out in the rain on the building’s roof. I was most certainly
out of my comfort zone!
Every morning I enjoyed the walk from the apartment block to
Hamro Gaun. People of all ages would be coming and going in
every direction and the school kids were always smiling and either
greeted you loudly with "good morning sir" or "Namaste".
Motorcycles and buses zoomed past, sometimes close to
overflowing and with passengers on the roof and clinging on to
the sides. The motorbikes carried numerous passengers
(sometimes entire families of six or seven!) and almost none of
them wore helmets.
There was one particular
passing in which three
generations of a family
live on the ground floor
and basement whilst
their animals (chickens,
goats, dogs and hens) live
on the floors above.
The work at Hamro Gaun
was wide and varied.
Amongst other things I secured the bunk beds to the dormitory
walls to prevent them falling during earthquakes, planted bamboo
roots, led conversational English classes with the staff, played
football with and read stories to the children, brought some order
to the library, dug rain channels and helped build a bamboo
structure in which various fruit trees will be grown. Even though
my time there was relatively short I was able to bond with a
number of the kids and staff. I will certainly be following their
progress in the years ahead. On leaving they held a traditional
farewell ceremony in my honour which was very emotional.
I also became friendly with some of the other volunteers, who
were all Dutch, and in particular a couple called Krien and Sohaille
who had driven in a camper van all the way from Amsterdam.
They had some incredible tales to tell about the different people
and cultures they had encountered on the way. I enjoyed a few
entertaining evenings in their van, which rather disconcertingly
was parked next to the village cremation pit, exchanging stories
over a glass or two of roxi which is the local (and rather
disgusting!) Nepali fire water.
In addition to the orphanage work I managed to do a little
sightseeing in Nepal. Kathmandu is amazing for lots of reasons
and the architecture of the ancient city of Bhaktapur is mind
TH E GRA PEVI NE
blowing. The temple at Namo Bhudda is very spiritual and
obviously the Himalayas are a sight to behold. There is a lot more
for me to do in Nepal so I will certainly go back.
At the very least I want to return to Hamro Gaun with my wife
Jennifer, and children Caitlin and Emma when they are old
enough to volunteer themselves.
The time I spent in Nepal was an experience I will never forget.
Hopefully I managed to do something positive, however small, for
the orphans of Hamro
Gaun. It was a tremendous
pleasure and privilege to
spend time with Rene, his
staff and the children. Rene
is so passionate about
building a better future for
the kids and his energy
and enthusiasm have
inspired me. Roy Leckie
January – March 2013
Saturday 5th January New Year Walk
Beinn an t-Sidhein Mod 4 ½ miles
The first walk of the year is at the village of Strathyre. Although
quite an exerting climb, this hill, pronounced Ben Sheann is still
suitable for most abilities; and the views from its summit of the
surrounding hills and glens are fantastic and well worth that
bit of extra exertion! Those of you who simply cannot face
climbing 572m can do the alternative and attractive, low level
walk along the floodplain of the river Balvag. There will be an
opportunity for light refreshments before returning home.
Meet: Barnton Ave West at 9.30 am
Sunday 13th January Abercorn – Blackness Circular
Easy 4 ½ miles
This is a delightful walk starting from the charming church of
Abercorn. It leads us down a newly constructed path through
woodland and the shores of the Forth to reach Blackness
Castle; so it is advised to bring your Historic Scotland
membership cards. Meet: Barnton Ave West at 12.30 pm
Saturday 26th January
A longish walk but mostly on forestry tracks. We will firstly
ascend Little Bin (441m) and in a short while Meikle Bin(570m).
Meikle Bin which is situated near the Carron valley Reservoir
is quite a striking landmark and can be seen from most vantage
points in central Scotland. Meet: Barnton Ave West at 8 am
Tuesday 5th February Devilla Forest Kincardine
Easy 6 miles
A lovely walk through mature woodland and past the four
Devilla lochs (Bordie, Keir, Moor and Peppermill Dam) The
whole area is partly a nature reserve and so we should be
ensured of a very pleasant ‘outing’. It will also allow us an
opportunity to cross the new and very graceful Kincardine
Bridge which curves over the River Forth for ¾ mile Meet:
Barnton Ave West at 9.30 am
Saturday 9th February Eddleston – Peebles
After enjoying a ‘cuppa’ at the Scots Pine Tearoom our walk
will lead us through the grounds of Barony Castle and onto the
old post road to Peebles. This is a very attractive Border walk
with one or two surprises in store. Travel by public transport.
Meet: St. Andrews Bus Station at 9.50 am
Friday 15th February Logierait – Loch Skiach – Craig
Lochie Mod/Hard 10 miles
Refreshed after a nice cup of coffee at the super Alium garden
shop near Ballinluig we will start our walk by crossing the old
Logierait Bridge and follow the River Tay for a short distance
before heading off up a track towards Loch Skiach. There will
be glimpses of the new 68-turbine Griffin wind farm just very
recently completed. However do not let this deter you from
coming as this will prove to be a most attractive and varied
walk in a beautiful part of Highland Perthshire. Meet: Barnton
Ave West at 9 am Alium Garden Shop at 10.15 am
Saturday 16th February Shee of Ardtalnaig
Hard 9 miles
On the south side of Loch Tay are gently rounded hills with
spectacular views of their northerly neighbours across the loch,
namely the Ben Lawers Massif. Our walk takes us up Claggan
Glen which lies directly above Ardtalnaig. The Shee is at 759m
and is a long ridge covered in mica schist and silver sand, so
very interesting for budding geologists. There also used to be
silver mines in these hills many years ago but they proved to be
unprofitable. Meet: Barnton Ave West at 8 am
Tuesday 26th February
Moderate 8 miles
A pleasant country walk over an ancient common, granted to
the local people of Auchtermuchty by King James V in 1517;
and then through a woodland and up mighty Weddersbie hill,
all of 196m. We should find refreshments in the village. Meet:
Barnton Ave West at 9.30 am
Saturday 2nd March
The Ettrick Walk
This is an invigorating figure-of-eight walk that takes in the
two valleys, of the Yarrow and the Ettrick which had been so
familiar to James Hogg, the famous Ettrick Shepherd who
wrote evocative tales of life in the borders for the Blackwood
magazine. As well as visiting the famous Tibbie Shiels Inn and
the Ettrick Kirk we will climb at least three hills and walk
beside the Loch of the Lowes. Meet: Barnton Ave West at 8 am
Wednesday 6th March Ravensheugh East Lothian
A refreshing seaside walk to St. Baldreds Cradle and then onto
Ravensheugh Sands eventually reaching Seacliff before
returning to Tyninghame. There is a delightful tearoom in the
village of Tyninghame plus an excellent farmshop at
Phantassie. Meet: Barnton Ave West at 9.30 am
Interested in any of these walks? Then please contact Fiona
Black on 339 6644.
T HE GRA P E V I N E
AMAZON HOPE PERU
Medical and Dental volunteer project – September 2012
The Amazon Hope
is a boat purchased
by the Vine Trust
and transported to
Peru to provide
health care to the
villages along the
Amazon river and
its tributaries. The
worked on the boat
in 2003 and the
programme has developed and expanded since then, with the
Amazon Hope 2 joining the project in 2005. The boats are manned
by full time Peruvian staff and healthcare professionals who
volunteer to spend two weeks of their annual leave assisting on
one of the trips. Many of the remote communities on the Amazon
river have little or no access to healthcare provision. The villagers
would have to travel for many hours or days by boat to reach even
basic medical or dental facilities. Historically many went without,
suffering pain, illness and preventable diseases or chose to move
to the shanty towns in the cities, swapping one form of deprivation
for another. The medical project now visits 200+ Amazon village
communities and treats around 100,000 people a year.
I am a GP in Corstorphine, Edinburgh and was fortunate to be
chosen to work as a volunteer for the Vine Trust in 2007 when I
joined Amazon Hope 2 on one of its healthcare expeditions. I
returned enthused as to why I was a doctor and that we can make
a difference if each of us gives what we can by way of help. There
was always the desire to go back and at long last this year I could
see a window of time where the practice, teaching, family and
other commitments could be abandoned for a month. I was
delighted to be accepted to join a team this September. Family and
colleagues then had to endure six months of my squeezing
Spanish lessons into an already full timetable, reading strange
tropical diseases books rather than the BMJ and fundraising.
Volunteers are asked to pay for their own flights to Peru and give
a donation to the project. I was keen to both cover my expenses
and donate additional funds to the Vine Trust as it costs
approximately £10,000 to run each two week trip, fuel being a large
part of this expenditure. We ran a very successful ceilidh in
Cramond Kirk hall, received a kind donation from the Cramond
Kirk outreach fund and my patients were very generous in
tolerating my absence and contributing to the charity.
After months of preparation, top up vaccinations, paring down my
packing and the last minute purchase of a kindle so that
appropriate medical texts, dictionary, bible and the odd novel
could be fitted into the bag, I was setting “out of office” and
boarding the flight to Lima. There was plenty of time to get to
know my fellow volunteers; two other doctors and a dental nurse,
during the flight and in the time that it took us to travel from Lima
to Iquitos and then onto the Amazon Hope 2. We spent 24 hours
in Iquitos recovering from the journey, acclimatising to the heat
and visiting some of the other projects supported by the Vine Trust
such as the Girasoles programme which works with abandoned
children. It was strange seeing (and smelling) Belen in the dry
season. On my previous visit we travelled by boat to visit the
market, this time we clambered amongst stinking rubbish to reach
the vibrant stalls selling everything from toiletries to every
imaginable part of animal and bizarre fruits and vegetables.
Revived we all crammed into a minibus for a transfer to Nauta,
gazing out at the lush scenery, wooden houses on stilts and crops
growing on every available piece of land. There we joined Amazon
Hope 2 and met the rest of the team that we were going to be
working with. There were introductions, safety briefing and the all
important medical information as to the drugs that we had
available to us and diseases that we were likely to see. We
nervously spent the day helping each other with drug doses,
reminders about tropical diseases, and basic medical Spanish. We
were travelling upstream, to the Rio Tigre for our trip, and had
plenty of time to gaze at the wildlife and scenery in between our
studies. The day concluded with the sighting of a pink dolphin
then a beautiful sunset.
We soon settled into our daily routine of morning prayers, led each
day by a different member of the team, breakfast and then the
registration of patients. Once registered patients were weighed
and measured and then queued to see the doctor or dentist. The
boat was alive with activity, whole families arriving together and
cramming into my tiny consulting area, awaiting their turn. Many
of the problems were familiar to me although patients often had
much more severe symptoms and signs than I am used to seeing.
If I could hear the crackles of pneumonia above the cacophony of
the engine, dental drill and people it was pretty bad! There were
harrowing sights of children who in the UK could be treated but
on the Amazon with no hope of travelling to a hospital might not
survive and elderly in pain whose only way of having food to eat
is to tend their crops. Once all the patients in a village had been
seen we would stop for lunch, a meal eaten on deck with the whole
team. This was followed by a siesta; the volunteers usually staying
on deck too excited by watching the world go by to go to our
cabins. Whilst we rested the boat would move on to the next
village where we would start all over again.
The work is hard, both in quantity and taxing every diagnostic
skill that I have with no recourse to the back up of hospital tests or
onward referral. We could test for malaria and anaemia but the
nearest scan was 24 hours away and the journey too expensive for
most. My Spanish coped with the most basic of communications;
the translators did a fantastic job of helping us, including
describing pelvic floor exercises to one poor lady. If it was still light
when we finished work we would visit the village, playing
football, volleyball or going for a walk. The Amazon Hope team
provided much entertainment on the football pitch where we
usually came second. The villagers cheered if I even managed to
touch the ball, recognising that this gringo had no skills in the area
of ball games. Supper was again eaten on deck, and then we
TH E GRA PEVI NE
to our bunks
for the night.
their knowledge, skills and faith and we all worked together
towards a common goal of taking healthcare to the Amazonian
Peruvians. No job was too arduous, and whoever was free and
able would undertake it, be it dig some steps to help us clamber
ashore, show a patient how to open a childproof bottle or carry the
dirty dishes to the galley.
Once again I returned home invigorated by my experience,
pushed medically, and have worked with some amazing people. It
seems strange not having to douse myself in DEET in the morning
and I do miss the camaraderie of life on the boat, but not the
overwhelming humid heat. I am extremely grateful to those who
supported my going; both financially and my partners and
patients who allowed me to take all of my annual leave in one
Now when can I go again???
Dr Sally Tothill (Mrs Sally Cook) October 2012
If you would like to find out more about the Vine Trust or give a
donation their website is: www.vinetrust.org
Cramond Through Time
A new book entitled Cramond Through Time has recently
been produced by Amberley Publishing. In part it is a
photographic record of the former parish of Cramond
including Davidson's Mains, Silverknowes and Barnton and in part it contrasts these historic images with matching
complementary others which are familiar to us in 2012.
Collectively, the book represents Cramond over the past
100 years and the authors, John Dods and Bill Scholes,
have combined their knowledge of the area to tell and
show it 'as it was' and 'as it is'.
My thanks to the ladies of the church for their attention
when I accidentally fell at the interval of the Phil
Cunningham and Aly Bain Concert. Thank you also to the
paramedics for their care and attention in the ambulance
en route to the E.R.I. and their endeavours to give me
The illustrations include evidence of an astonishing
proposed development in the 1930's (which did not take
place) of Silverknowes foreshore becoming a landing area
for civilian land and sea aircraft. Others indicate a
proposed development (which might take place) of the
replacement of Cramond's ancient ferry with a chain ferry.
Whilst features such as the Kirk, the River Almond and the
vista across the Forth (which show little evidence of
change) contribute an element of constancy to a period
which has seen considerable progress and development.
Thanks also for the "looking after" by the doctors and staff
of the E.R.I.
My hopes are that I did not in any way hurt the limb of the
gentleman on whom I landed nor spoiled the concert for
others in the audience.
Thanks to Phil C & Aly B. My two friends who stayed
with me during the upset will enjoy their concert in the
Thank you all
THE BRILLIANCE OF ANGELS
The book is available (priced £14.99) from the Kirk Office
(336 2036), from the Kirk on Sundays and from Cramond
Heritage Trust at 10 Cramond Gardens. It will also be on
sale at the Kirk Fair on Saturday, 1 December. With
Christmas just around the corner it would be the ideal
In the lights and glimmer of modern Christmas
decorations, we see a tiny speck of the brilliance that is the
reality angels see, share and return to when their task on
earth is complete.
It is a brilliance we can one day see for ourselves when our
task is done as well.
UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
CRAFTED FROM LOCAL WOOD
RELIEVE YOUR –
Finely figured bowls, lidded boxes,
goblets, platters, candle holders etc.
BACKPAIN • STRESS •
TANYA MANN DSM RMT SMTO
REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST
15 DOWIE’S MILL LANE
River Almond, behind Cramond Brig)
RING 0131 339 6147
GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE
MEMBER OF SCOTTISH MASSAGE THERAPISTS ORGANISATION
T HE GRA P E V I N E
FISH ‘N’ CHIP BABIES
(Knitted all in one)
Approx. 50g DK wool
Every day babies are born into extreme poverty in Africa.
Many are born already infected with HIV, or premature,
and their families are so poor that the babies are sent
in newspaper giving them the
name 'fish and
You can help
to give newborn
Uganda a better
start in life.
Use double knitting wool and 4mm
needles, cast on 44 stitches.
Work 18 Rows in K2, P2 rib
Work 30 Rows stocking stitch (1 row plain, 1 row purl)
Cast on 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows and at the
same time change to K2, P2 (for sleeve)
Rib 22 more rows.
What can I do?
Next row: Rib 21, cast off 26 stitches, rib 21 (Please cast
these stitches off loosely in rib, to Allow The neck to
stretch over a baby's head)
You can help by knitting a jumper and hat for these
babies, so that they can go home wrapped up warm and
with proper clothing.
Next row: Rib 21, cast on 26 stitches, rib 21 (Please cast
these stitches on loosely. using one size bigger needles if
The jumpers themselves are very easy to knit and they are
made in one piece. For most knitters they take an
afternoon or an evening to complete. They are very
important because in Africa the nights can be very cold
and the babies have nothing else to keep them warm. The
jumpers and hats can also help to prevent them from
Work 22 rows in K2, P2 rib
Help us show that we believe every baby is special and
deserves a better start in life than yesterday's newspaper.
If you can knit, then you can help these newborn babies.
Just use the pattern below and knit a jumper and hat, then
take them to the Kirk Office, 16 Cramond Glebe Road,
EH4 6NS and they will be sent on to Knit for Africa for
sending on to Uganda.
The clothes can be plain or striped, in as many colours as
you choose to use, the only request being that you use
only dark and bright colours for the clothing rather than
pastel shades as these may be the only clothes they have
and so may not be removed very often for washing.
Cast off 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows
Work 30 rows stocking stitch
Work 18 rows, K2, P2 rib
Cast off. Sew side and sleeve seams.
Baby Beanie Hat Pattern
(Approx. 20g DK wool)
Using double knitting wool and 4mm needles cast on 64
stitches and work 14 rows in (Kl PI) rib.
Work 18 rows in stocking stitch or until work measures
llcm from cast on edge
Shape crown as follows - Row 1: *k6, k2tog. Repeat from
* to end of row (56 stitches)
Row 2 and every alternate following row: Knit
How Else Can I Help?
Perhaps you have oddments of wool that you could
donate to be knitted into garments for these babies. These
can also be left at the Kirk
Office or in the Session
House of the Kirk along
with donations of size 8
Row 3: *k5, k2tog. Repeat from * to end of row (48
Row 5: *k4, k2tog. Repeat from * to end of row (40
Continue decreasing in this manner until (kl k2tog) has
been completed and 16 stitches remain.
Knit 1 row. Break yarn and thread through remaining 16
stitches. Pull up tightly and join Seam
TH E GRA PEVI NE
A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS
“LIVE THE DREAM” by Judy Arrowsmith
Let the hope of the Christ-child be with you this
Let your heart brim over with love.
Show your family and neighbours and strangers
just don’t come
And infants sit staring and still
And live the dream in the world.
There are lands where the crops fail and rains
Where parents are frightened; the future is bleak
He was born in a stable. The going was tough
But aid workers come with new will.
Young Mary was dusty and sore.
She had ridden a donkey – with nowhere
But with joy she laid on the floor
Our banks may go bust and shares may
Our media shriek of gunblast and war
And reports bring unspeakable news.
Snipers and bombs take so many lives
But medics keep braving the queues.
And greedy folk always want more.
But what is important is love and respect
With that you will never be poor.
hints of something deeper
in the nakedness of Nature,
gasping in the shock of chill.
Water stilled and secret snow,
huddled in the furrow ripple,
dappling up the mole-splash slope
to texture earth with glow-worm stipple,
whisper of mysterious wonder,
nurse some hidden hope.
for a dentist?
PRIVATE AND NHS PATIENTS WELCOME
Following our practice extension
Dr Emma Laing BDS
Through the greyness, frosty sealed,
where the fields half-smile with light,
steals a subtle inner glow of joy,
revealed to those who know.
Winter is the waiting woman,
is registering new patients
65 Main Street, Davidson’s Mains
For details please call in
telephone 336 3903
T HE GRAP E V I N E
A COMMUNITY GARDEN
FOR THE KIRK HALLS
based voluntary organisation for people over the age of 65,
are also set to get involved and reap the benefits to health
and well being through gardening for the more senior
members in the area.
At the moment we are working towards developing a
sustainable container garden to grow fruit and vegetables,
plants and flowers. As time goes on the garden will evolve
and as new ideas come on board it can but grow.
ramond Playgroup has been working hard recently to
develop the already fantastic Kirk Halls. It has
undertaken a project to enhance the outdoor patio
space for the benefit of the wider community as well as
children attending the playgroup.
Our aim is to create an attractive community garden space
that benefits each and every visitor to the Kirk Halls. And for
those wanting to get involved, promote a feeling of
satisfaction through being part of the team bringing it alive.
As many of you will be aware, the Kirk Halls are used by
a large number of people and a wide range of age groups.
Everyone from mothers and toddlers, to brownies and
scouts, zumba classes, jumble sales and over 60's badminton
classes. Each of these groups will be able to experience, first
hand, the joy of a small communal green space.
Through the efforts of the parent-led team at Playgroup
we've managed to secure valuable help and funding from a
wide variety of both public and private sector organisations.
Without this help we would not have been able to make the
garden project happen.
Our support so far has come from Awards for All,
Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, Dobbies and our
new neighbours Little Monkeys Nursery.
Cramond Playgroup is passionate about the benefits of
outdoor activity for the health, well-being, self-confidence
and self-worth of our children. Jenny Shearer, Playgroup
Leader, and her team are dedicated to nurturing and
developing each and every child at Playgroup and embrace
the value of enhancing the Playgroup's facilities with the
Jenny said “the children have thoroughly enjoyed the first
phase of the garden project. We planted up in the summer
and have watered regularly since then. We released Painted
Lady butterflies we grew and studied from caterpillars in the
garden at the end of last term and every child has taken
ownership in some way of this wonderful communal space.
Gus is currently building our more permanent rustic planters
and any help from green fingered locals would be very
welcome in the spring when we would like to try our hand
at growing vegetables & fruit!”
We are delighted that this idea can benefit the wider
community and bring together young and old to share in the
transformation of this currently under-utilised space. Our
friends at the Almond Mains Initiative, a small community-
Thanks to the donation from Little Monkeys Nursery we
will have a wildlife feeding station so watch out for some
feathered friends putting in an appearance. Nursery
Manager, Grace Kerr, commented "Little Monkeys Cramond
House is delighted to have donated funds to purchase a
wildlife table for this invaluable community project. We look
forward to seeing the site develop and hope to be involved in
helping to sustain it for many years to come - gardening
gloves and binoculars at the ready!"
Dobbies, Dunfermline contributed a generous amount to
enable us to fill the existing baskets and troughs over the
summer and buy children gardening tools.
Awards for All has enabled us to implement an entire
outdoor education programme for playgroup, meaning it is
not only set to become a place of beauty but also a valuable
Edinburgh and Lothian’s Greenspace Trust (ELGT) gave a
joint grant to Playgroup and the Almond Mains Initiative
with the objective to improve the health and well being of all
involved and build ties between the generations. Mark
Vrionides of ELGT explains, “Edinburgh & Lothian’s
Greenspace Trust were happy to support the Cramond
Playgroup/AMI Community Garden with one of our
Growing Communities for Health small grants. I came down
to visit the garden and chat to some of the folk involved and
was blown away by what had been achieved. It's a lovely
outdoor space now, and the children seem to love it - being
extremely thorough with their watering!”
The value of this new and exciting garden space doesn't
just stop at making it somewhere nice to look at; but brings a
heart to the community and a chance for everyone, young
and old together with local businesses to get involved. That's
where you can get involved and we would be delighted to
hear from you with any contribution you would like to make
TH E GRA PEVI NE
towards keeping the garden alive into the future, whether it
be an hour or two of your time or funding to see this idea
We will be keeping our Facebook page updated with our
efforts and launching a new website for the Playgroup
shortly to report on our gardens progress.
In the meantime, if you would like to get involved, please
contact [email protected]
Cramond Playgroup is a small parent-led, community-based
playgroup for pre-school children based in the Kirk Halls at
Cramond. As a registered charity the playgroup is a nonprofit making organisation which exists for the benefit of
children in our immediate community.
ALL AT THE CORNER CAFE
FOR DONATING PAINT TO BRIGHTEN OUR CAFE!
55 Craigcrook Road
0131 332 5000
The Corner Café
is open for all ages 2-4pm every Saturday in the Kirk Halls.
T HE GRAP E V I N E
A view from the Choir Gallery
ne of the most beautiful and
appropriate pieces of music
I’ve heard in a Cramond
service recently wasn’t “sacred music”
in the usual sense and I was wrong in
thinking it a folk tune which might
have been used with hymn words. For
the “Ashokan Farewell” turns out to
have been written by the modern
American folk musician Jay Ungar,
though it’s best known for the way it
fits in with the American Civil War
music which helped make Ken Burns’
historical series on “the war between
the States” one of the artistic triumphs
acknowledged inspiration, however, from the
widower’s lament by the famous Scottish fiddler Niel
Gow (as his name is spelled on the monument at
song which has some claim to be a
Scots-American hymn, for Sankey was
inspired by words (written by a
Canadian) which he stumbled on while
reading on a train from Glasgow to the
next campaign in Edinburgh. Only
“Blessed Assurance” and another hymn
by the prolific American writer Fanny
Crosby, “To God be the Glory”, whose
tunes aren’t by Sankey, really represent
this great tradition in our current
hymnbook and even they have become
less familiar since age and illness forced
Billy Graham to rest from his labours.
Ungar’s piece was beautiful enough to convince me
that modern composers can still write tunes when they
try and was very appropriate, for Ian Macpherson
played it as the Bible was taken to the pulpit at the start
of the thanksgiving service for the rich and loving life of
Roberta Horne, the American-born Edinburgh artist
who was a Cramond Kirk member. It was a fitting start
- “a song without words” as Mendelssohn might have
said - for a service whose benediction was appropriately
preceded by one of the greatest American hymns, “Mine
eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”,
which Julia Ward Howe wrote to give a fine tune and the
Federal cause better words than “John Brown’s Body”,
some of whose versions were near-doggerel.
Maybe it’s surprising, given the vigour and diversity
of American Christianity, that there aren’t more
American items in mainstream worship although two
fine Whittier hymns have been extracted from longer
poems. (“What a friend we have in Jesus” is also
transatlantic but Irish-Canadian.)
Even among the modern hymns bidding for a regular
place in the repertoire, surprisingly few are American
while most of the hymns of the Moody and Sankey
revivalist tradition seem to have faded from view, even
“There were ninety-and nine that safely lay....” which I
remember from childhood. Few Scots now seem to
know of this once immensely popular hymn or Gospel
There’s probably one ancient and one
modern reason for this under-representation of
American Christianity in our hymnody. In the formative
years of the United States, the mainstream Churches
were happy to stay with the metrical psalms and to take
up British hymns from the great age of hymn-writing
that began with Watts, Wesley, and Newton. “Amazing
Grace”, for example, flourished across the Atlantic when
neglected in Britain before its very modern and well
deserved revival. When the Americans decided not to
imitate but to innovate, their most successful hymns
were in a style that often grated on the ears and minds of
the snootier sort of hymn-book editors here. It was too
much like popular music. The tunes seemed to lack
refinement, the words appeared too sentimental. Often
they were, but the best American revival hymns and
songs have the same strengths as good folk music –
which in a sense they were.
There’s even a shadow of doubt about the provenance
of one great early American hymn, “Jesus Christ the
Apple-Tree”, which has also some of the qualities of a
fine folk song and was published by a New Hampshire
Yankee in 1784. The unknown author was probably but
not certainly an American. Nowadays it is best known as
an anthem or Christmas carol, and gets a good hearing
at Cramond from time to time. It certainly shines like a
bright Christmas star above much else that popular
American music has given to a very sentimental but
rather secular and even inter-faith Yuletide of merry
little Christmases, red-nosed reindeer, sleigh-bells in the
snow, and whatever we’re expected to rhyme or dream
of “with every Christmas card we write”.
TH E GRA PEVI NE
THE WI RASCALS YOUNG
CARERS’ SUPPORT GROUP
he group was started in 2008 by Marcia
McGuinness to provide an outlet for the young
carers in the Muirhouse and Pilton areas of the city.
Her background is in social work and she felt these
children needed to have both the time and place to be
'children' instead of young adults helping to care for
difficult situations at home. She is assisted by Kerry
Wilson, who started as a volunteer and became a
They have been receiving a certain amount of funding
from Children in Need but this will cease next April. The
rest of the money needed has been raised in other ways
but their finances are limited.
There are two groups, one for 5 to 11 year olds and one
for 12 to 16 year olds. I went to a Halloween party with
the younger group and met :
referred to her as Katie by mistake! I apologised and said
it must be my 'English ears'.
One child is the voice for their entire family as all the
rest are deaf. Another has an elder brother with severe
learning disabilities so the younger child tends to get lost
within the family as a result. A third has a mother with
multiple neurological problems. These are just some of
the situations these children have to cope with at home so
once a week they come to have some fun. Their activities
have included such things as trips to the Botanic Gardens,
Princes Street Gardens, KFC, McDonalds, Camera
Obscura and watching River City.
The older group - 12 to 16 year olds - have similar
activities such as visits to the cinema or the zoo, baking
sessions, DVD or Wi nights or discussion sessions. Their
favourite excursion is a trip to Poundland with £5 in their
pocket to spend! Marcia tells me that for some reason this
causes great excitement.
When I was told that I could select a charity to receive
50% of our Christmas Fair proceeds, I wanted to support
something near home. I also wanted something which
was not well known but which seemed to be providing a
much needed role. I hope you will agree that we have
9 - who was most annoyed when I
TOYS, TALKS AND HANDMADE
anted Toys & Special Needs Toys/Resources. I am also available for Talks for a donation and I have some
beautiful handmade jewellery made by local artisans in Jinja East Uganda. I am really looking for toys for
children for two wonderful groups I volunteer with in Chibolya, Zambia and Jinja Uganda. The Zambian group
really needs Special Needs resources as they are just
starting a class for disabled children. Toys/Resources
needed for example: Wooden toys, Posters of any kind,
Tent (for a ball pit) Sensory Toys, Large/small chiffon
type Scarves so as to dance with etc. Parachutes, Puzzles
and Fidget toys, Rattles, Dolls, Cushions, Patterns to
make various items, Educational toys Etc. (no soft fluffy
toys, other soft toys are fine). If you have any spare
material as well that can be used to sew items would be
useful thanks so much.
If you can post yourself would be great too I can provide
the addresses. Or you can drop off at my flat in Cramond.
Or I can collect! Please contact me for more information
on [email protected] or 538 4158, thanks Gillian
T HE GRAP E V I N E
his article introduces the fellowship of Al-Anon;
founded by the wives of the founders of Alcoholics
Anonymous (AA). Although separate, Al-Anon
cooperates with AA and remains a seminal development in
supporting those who have experienced the stressful and at
times debilitating effects of living with a problem-drinker. It is
jointly, yet anonymously*1 authored by a long-term Al-Anon
member and wife of a problem-drinker, and a lesserexperienced, yet highly grateful member and husband.
Although alcohol abuse is widely discussed, what is often
over-looked is the considerable stress placed on family and
friends as they stand powerless in witnessing a physical,
mental and spiritual deterioration in their loved one. The cruel
irony is that even if the drinking stops, expectations can be
shattered as drinking is only one part of the problem. Al-Anon
seeks to support family and friends regardless of whether the
drinker stops drinking or not.
Some members of Al-Anon count their membership at over
40 years. The UK and Eire have benefited from the Al-Anon
way of life since 1951. Founded in the USA soon after AA, AlAnon utilises the primary ‘tools’ of AA, known as The Twelve
Steps. Space does not allow an in-depth discussion of these
steps here, however in summary; they are simple, effective
principles allowing some of the most hardened sceptics to live
a spiritual way of life. Suffice to say that this way of life has
helped millions to ‘recover’ from the drink problem and live
loving, compassionate lives.
Its unique place in providing a spiritual solution to a spirit
(alcohol) problem lies in the fact that Al-Anon is not affiliated
with any religion, sect, denomination, political entity or
professional body. No referrals are required and no money is
demanded. It subsists wholly on the freely donated
contributions of its own members. Meetings are held
throughout the country; including Edinburgh and at least one
can be found on most days *2. A wife and a husband of
problem-drinkers share how they have been helped by AlAnon:
“22 years ago, I lived a privileged life in a residential area in
Edinburgh, however my husband’s drinking was causing me
problems. I searched out help from Al-Anon, and remain in the
programme today. Al-Anon did not bring me a sober husband,
however I did learn to live a better way of life and slowly
realised the possibility of a brighter tomorrow. The miracle for
me was the gift of an ability to face tragic circumstances along
with my family; and bring life and love to the foreground
again. Al-Anon members understood my pain, and by sharing
their Experience, Strength and Hope have helped me to live
through the good and bad times of life...”
“I first heard an Al-Anon member share during the darkest
days of my life. My wife, as many problem-drinkers do, had
deteriorated physically, mentally, and as Al-Anon taught me,
spiritually. In her case the deterioration amalgamated with
despair and she took the decision, and action, to end her own
life. It left our families and friends heart-broken, and me in a
state of what I have best heard described as Zerrissenheit; tornto-pieces-hood. It sounds horrible and it was. Yet the moment I
heard an Al-Anon member share, I felt a deep sense of not being
alone. At least one person knew about that state. Over six years
tragedy, I can honestly say
– I am happy with my lot. I
can think of no greater
words of love for those who
*1 Al-Anon members’
identities are kept
anonymous from the
public and it values
*2 Telephone Al-Anon in
confidence: 020 743 0888
(National) 0141 339 8884
EDINBURGH PARKRUN AT CRAMOND
very Saturday morning at 9.30am, even on Christmas
day, something special happens at Cramond beach.
Over 200 runners meet on the promenade beside the
Fish sculpture and run to Gypsy Brae Park and back, a
distance of five kilometres.
The runners are of all shapes and sizes, from school age to
senior citizen, small or tall, Olympians or beginners. Some
have dogs on a lead; others are pushing their baby in a buggy.
They are not racing, but
themselves – trying to
equal or better their last
run. They all start at the
individual times are
recorded and they receive
an email later giving their
time. The fastest recorded
is an incredible fourteen minutes thirty-one seconds but most
take a few minutes more.
It is described as a “fun run” and it’s free. Last week there
were 285 runners but the Edinburgh record so far is 389
people. They come mostly from the Edinburgh area but there
are also tourist runners who may be on holiday or travelling to
experience different runs around the country. The third
anniversary of this run is on 17 October 2012 but there are 2082
similar running clubs around the world, the earliest beginning
eight years ago . Run entirely by volunteers on a non profit
basis, there were more than a dozen volunteers present. The
runners contribute weekly to charities including the
Alzheimer’s Society and in their turn are supported by
sponsors who provide running shoes and other items as
So next Saturday why not get up early, feel the buzz and join
the fun at Cramond beach, with or without your running
TH E GR APEV I NE
From basic gardening jobs to help with growing
your own veg. Hard work and good rates.
Did you know the best time to start planning
for next years garden is NOW ?
winter/spring bulb planting
tree / shrub pruning (fruit trees are a
autumn and winter garden tidy ups
snow and ice clearing
now undertaking hard landscaping
all jobs considered, please call for a
Rob Davidson: 07714768341
26 The Square, Kirkliston, Edinburgh, EH29 9AX
T HE GRAP E V I N E
Olivia Jennifer Jean, daughter of Ross & Elizabeth Murdoch, 63 East Pilton Farm Wynd
Lewis William, son of John & Alison Downes, 14 Brighouse Park Cross
Elizabeth Rose, daughter of Neil & Caroline Morey, 39 Fair-a-Far
Barbara Louisa Caira, 13 Barnton Park View
Arianna Helena, daughter of Luciano & Barbara Caira, 13 Barnton Park View
Giles Lomax to Rebecca Williams, 118 Upper Craigour
Jonathan Dunlop to Caroline Smart, 53 Mountcastle Gardens
Steven McNamara to Annemarie Borthwick, 19 Cramond Avenue
Christopher Maher to Julie Wright, 7/20 Waterfront Gait
Ruth Charles, Corstorphine Hospital
Dorothy Tait, 58 Silverknowes Terrace
Moira Pearson, Renaissance Nursing Home
Nicholas Stormonth, 66 Glassel Park Road, Longniddry
Stuart Oliphant, 1/176 Whitehouse Road
Sandy Shedden, 1 Campbell Avenue
Robert Robertson, 1 Cramond Road South
Peter Barton, 14 Succoth Heights
John Wood, Findlay House Nursing Home
NEW MEMBERS JOINING BY PROFESSION OF FAITH - 26 AUGUST 2012
Daniel Priyadharshan, 1 Brae Park
Rohi Shah, 23 Cramond Road North
LIFE AND WORK
t’s now time to order next year’s magazines. I would
like to thank all the current subscribers very much
indeed for their loyalty and also to encourage some
more people to subscribe to this very worthwhile
Life and Work is the magazine specifically for the
Church of Scotland. Since it first appeared in 1879, it has
established itself as the pre-eminent voice of the Church
of Scotland. As well as giving information about life in
the Kirk, it also aims to cover a broad range of subjects of
interest to church-goers. These range from international
affairs and British political and social issues, to science,
ethics, the arts and health. The Life and Work of today is
very different to that of 1879. However, the spirit and
ethos of that first edition remain: to be a unifying force
within the Church whilst offering an independent forum
for debate from a Christian perspective.
One of the magazine's most important elements is
reader feedback. The letters pages are among the liveliest
in the magazine business, and are very revealing about
general attitudes both within and beyond the Church.
Letters are actively encouraged, but should be kept
succinct (but not without humour!), so that as many as
possible can be published.
As Rev M Douglas Campbell, Executive Director, The
Scottish Bible Society wrote on the magazine’s 125th
anniversary:“You’ve told the Kirk’s story and imagined its
future, prodded our consciences, celebrated the Good
News ... and even made us laugh at ourselves. Long may
If you would just like to purchase copies now and again
rather than subscribe for a full year, there are always
spare copies in the Session House and all you have to do
is to put your money into the tin there or give it to a duty
If you would like to become a new subscriber, I’d be
very happy to arrange this for you so please do give me a
Thank you very much.
Tel : 0131 339 3248
TH E GRA PEVI NE
BEADLE & HALL BOOKINGS
GIFT AID TREASURER
F W O TREASURER
KEEPER OF THE ROLL
(9 + years)
CHILD CARE & PROTECTION
LIFE & WORK MAGAZINE
ALMOND MAINS CLUB
CRAMOND BABY & TODDLER
CRAMOND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
CRAMOND ANGLING CLUB
197th Company - Wed. 7.15 - 9.00
229th Company – Wed. 7.15 – 9.00
213th Company - Thurs. 7.30 - 9.00
197th Tues. 6.30 - 8.00
229th Tues 6.30 - 8.00
213th Wed 5.45 - 7.00
BROWNIE & GUIDE WAITING LIST
229th Wed 6.00 - 7.00
213th Thur 6.15 - 7.15
RAINBOWS WAITING LIST
SCOUT GROUP LEADER
Mon 7.15 - 9.15
Fri 7.15 - 9.15
Fri 7.15 – 9.15
Mon 6.30 - 7.45
Fri 6.00 - 7.15
Mon 6.15 - 7.15
Fri 6.00 - 7.00
FRIDAY BEAVERS WAITING LIST
Rev Dr Russell Barr
Rev Colin Douglas
312 6911 or 07979 795331
Louise Madeley, the Kirk Office, 16 Cramond Glebe Road, EH4 6NS
(Office Hours 9.00 - 12.00 Mon-Fri)
Ian J Macpherson
David & Christine Fairweather, c/o The Kirk Office
L J Forrest
The Kirk Office
Rebecca Kennedy, Almond Mains Initiative, c/o Cramond Kirk Hall
Louise Stevens (waiting list secretary)
Millar Haxton Laing
These groups all meet in Cramond Kirk Halls
T HE GRAP E V I N E
CHRISTMAS FAIR 2012
Saturday, 1st December 12 – 3 pm
In Cramond Kirk Halls
A large range of luxurious hampers filled
with Christmas goodies. Write your name
and address on an envelope, pop in a £1 and you could
be a lucky winner in the Hamper Draw. Get your
envelopes early early for 3 chances to win.
Convener Eileen Barnwell : 336 2660 &
Alex Mackenzie : 339 2472
Christmas shopping is made easy by visiting our stall.
Beautiful craft work all
ideal for gifts, or you could just treat yourself!
Convener: Anne Mather : 336 2336
A wonderful place for bookworms.
Conveners John and
Kathleen Dods : 336 2124
BOTTLES & TOMBOLA
Test your luck and skill and win a
super a super prize.
Convener Hurley Mendelssohn : 336 4737
Come and search for that hidden treasure from an
enticing collection of knick-knacks.
Convener Marjorie Vennelle : 332 8142
Good quality toys, books and games for sale.
Convener Susan Robertson : 336 2572
LUNCHES & REFRESHMENTS
Come and relax over a light lunch. A choice of soup,
baked potatoes, sandwiches, tea, coffee and cakes
will be available.
Convener: Margaret Barr : 336 2036
Cold old ladies huddle by the heat
and draw the rug to snuggle aching feet
Age and fear shrink movement to a shake
but take the mind
to great unfathomable dreams
of mystery and peace.
In secret they confess what
those whose young lives race and pant,
can never guess.
CD’s, RECORDS, DVDs,VIDEOS
Find that elusive track or film that you
have always wanted.
Convener Stuart Richardson : 339 7331
A selection of charming new and unused
gifts at modest prices.
Convener: Mavis Little : 339 6948
Purchase yummy chocolate and other delicacies,
and support the third world.
Convener: Iain Watt : 336 2071
Information about the Kirk’s activities. Also a chance to
buy re-cycled Xmas decorations.
Convener: Irene Dunn : 336 1251
CAKE & CANDY
A wide range of home-made cakes, scones, tablet, jams
and other delectable goodies will be for sale.
Convener: Janet Thaw : 312 7556
“The Grapevine” is published quarterly by Cramond Kirk,
and distributed by volunteers to 3,200 homes in the Parish.
Editorial contributions for the next issue should reach the
Editors, David & Christine Fairweather (336 4471), by
Sunday 20 January 2013, via the Kirk Office.
Articles and submissions are welcome from all.
Advertising enquiries: Grahame Boyne (336 2632)
Distribution enquiries: Dorothy Anne Newlands (339 5609)
Views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily those of
the Editors or of Cramond Kirk.
Printed by BARR Printers Limited, 0131 554 1736
Cramond Kirk - Registered Charity no: SC003430