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Scottish Interesting Facts

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cheyenne 09

cheyenne 09

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Did You Know.... Wee Scottish facts

* The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one and a half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The journey takes 1 minute 14 seconds to complete.

* The wildcat is the quickest Scottish animal to fend for itself after birth. It faces the world at a month old and begins hunting at the age of 3 months.

* Golf has been played in St. Andrews, Scotland since the 15th Century.

* Eas Coul Aulin Waterfall in the county of Sutherland, with a sheer drop of 658 ft, four times the height of Niagara Falls, is the highest waterfall in Britain.

* The very first recorded appearance of the elusive Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a " water beast " attacked one of St. Columba's followers in the loch. '''

* The windiest place in Scotland is the Island of Tiree, which has the highest average gusts over 100 mph.

* There are 787 Scottish Islands.

* The Chapel of St. Oran on the island of lona in the Hebrides, holds the tombs of 48 kings of Scotland, 8 kings of Norway, 4 kings of Ireland and 4 kings of France.

* 7 out of every 10 Scots have blue eyes.

* Seven Scotsmen were in the US 7th Cavalry with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn on 25 June, 1876.

*Herring no more! An ancient bell, suspended from a tree in a churchyard in the fishing village of St. Monans in the County of Fife, and rung to summon people to worship, was removed during the Herring fishing season because local fishermen believed in the superstition that its noise frightened the fish away.

*Conan Doyle, writer and creator of Sherlock Holmes, was Scottish.

The Full List
*The first official international football match was played at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick in 1872. It was between Scotland and England.

The splendid and spectacularly domed glasshouse the Kibble Palace' (1873) located in the Botanic Gardens (1842) was originally the conservatory of John Kibble - a Victorian eccentric. In 1873 he made an agreement with the Royal Botanic Institution to have it transferred to the Botanic Gardens.
Part of the agreement was that he could retain the use of the glasshouse for concerts and entertainment. For over 20 years it was the social focus of the West End gentry.

Partick has been in existence since at least 1136 at various times being known as Perdeyc, Perthic, Perthec and Partic. Until the mid-1880s Partick had a drummer who would beat his drum every day at 5am, to get everyone up for work, and at 9pm to signify that it was time to go back to bed.

There are only five Clyde built sailing-ships left afloat in the world - the SV 'Glenlee' is one of them and can be seen at close range at the Clyde Maritime Centre.

The world's last sea-going paddle-steamer, the 'Waverley' was built on the banks of the River Kelvin by A & J Inglis in 1947. This was a replacement for an earlier Waverley, which had been sunk at Dunkirk.
The 'new' Waverley is still in use - you can take a trip 'doon the watter' throughout the summer.

The first weekly service to North America sailed from Yorkhill Quay.

There is a widely held belief that Glasgow's Art Gallery and Museum was built back-to-front in anticipation of the main road being moved to what is now the back of the Gallery. I've recently discovered that, although the myth is untrue, the front of the building actually points away from the main road towards the River Kelvin and Glasgow University, whilst the back points to Dumbarton Road - the main thoroughfare.

In 1807 the Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum became the first public museum in Scotland.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was of course a Westender - staying at 78 Southpark Avenue.
Alexander Greek Thomson built many famous buildings in the West End; notably Great Western Terrace ( Great Western Road ) which is easily the 'grandest terrace in Glasgow', also Westbourne Terrace, Northpark Terrace and part of Oakfield Avenue, where I used to live in a basement flat.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Both Glasgow's most famous architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander 'Greek' Thomson came from very large families - 11 and 20 children respectively. I suppose thats why they were fond of building such big houses.

Alexander 'Greek' Thomson never visited Greece - in fact he was not a noted traveller. He did, however, found the 'Thomson Travel Scholarship' that enabled Charles Rennie Mackintosh to make educational visits to Venice, Florence and Rome.

You may have heard that Charles Rennie Mackintosh was married to Margaret MacDonald but did you know that he had previously been the long time partner of Jessie Keppie the youngest sister of John Keppie (also a Westender and junior partner in Honeyman and Keppie where Mackintosh worked). Jessie and Margaret were part of the same group of art students at Glasgow School of Art. Apparently Jessie never got over her 'disappointment' - she never married.

You will find the world's largest collection of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. University Avenue.

The University of Glasgow's Building is the second largest 'Gothic Revival' building in Britain (built 1867). When the architect Gilbert Scott was chosen to design it there was no competition. Alexander Thomson was displeased and showed his annoyance and disapproval by delivering a lecture damning its Gothic style and pointing to the fact that no Scottish architects were able to compete for the design.

The Glasgow underground or 'tube', which has stations in the West End at Kelvinbridge, Hillhead, Kelvin Hall and Partick was called the 'Clockwork Orange' by locals because ( I imagine ) of the colour of the carriages. Glasgow is the only city in Scotland which has an underground train service.
The original underground system was cable operated and is the oldest underground system in the world. Carriages from the original underground can be found in the Museum of Transport on Bunhouse Road

The Mitchell Library is Europe's largest public reference library with more than a million volumes. It also houses the world's largest Robert Burns Collection. Stephen Mitchell the libraries founder died in 1874 the same year the library came into existence. ( North Street )

People who live in the West End of Glasgow are reputedly called 'Wendys' (West End Trendies) by those who live outwith the area.

The West End is made up of a group of hills which were formed by the action of ice flows during the last ice age. Glasgow University sits on top of one of them: Gilmorehill.

The Western Baths - a private club - located in Cranworth Street is famed for the trapeze which spans the pool. It is also known for its occasional classical concerts held in the pool - when it has been emptied of water of course. Until the 1930 it had the biggest indoor pool in Scotland.

A statue of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin was put up in 1913 and is located in Kelvingrove Park. For 53 years William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) was Professor of Natural Philisophy at Glasgow University where he did research into marine instrumentation and thermo_electricity.

The Kelvin temperature scale, which identifies -273 C as Absolute Zero, is named after him. I have been told by my friend David Donald - don't know if it's true or not - that the first refrigerators were called Kelvinators - again named in reference to Lord Kelvin.

An arm from one of the statues on the Kelvin Way Bridge, which had been detatched by the explosion of a 1914 bomb, lay in the mud of the river Kelvin until 1995 when a passer-by spotted and retrieved it. ( Thanks to 'Sculpture in Glasgow' by Ray McKenzie, Glasgow School of Art for this bit of information.)

The Kibble Palace, which is now located in the Botanic Gardens, was a gift from John Kibble - having been re-located from his home in Coulport in 1873. An enthusiastic amateur photographer he produced some of the largest photographs of his time ( no such thing as enlargements in those days). The negatives of some of his photographs were so big they had to be moved around in a horse-drawn camera!

On 24th January1914 twenty seven panes of glass from the Kibble Palace where broken by a bomb allegedly planted by militant suffragettes. A second explosion was narrowly avoided when the burning end of a lighted fuse was cut of by the night stoker. Evidence that it was the work of suffragettes included the impression of high-heeled ladies shoes in the soft ground and a lady's black silk scarf found nearby. ( From Kibble's Palace by Eric W Curtis)


Just a thought other member's Tech's and Staff could put fact's in about there own countries

Edited by cheyenne 09, 17 October 2006 - 02:54 AM.

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cheyenne 09

cheyenne 09

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USA.... did you know facts.....

1. The longest street in San Francisco is Geary Boulevard?

2. There are 43 named hills in San Francisco?

3. The only living coral reefs in the US (hawaii not included) is in the Florida Keys?

4. The first African American ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor was William H. Carney in 1900?

5. The White House in Washington DC has 132 rooms?

6. The state of Maryland has no natural lakes?

7. There are 125 drinking fountains in Central Park, New York?

8. George W. Bush and John Kerry are related?

9. The Florida Keys is home to 882 islands?

10. In 1913 over one million cars where registered in the US?

11. The state motto of Alaska is "north to the future"?

12. On January 3, 1959 Alaska became the 49th state?

13. The former vice-president Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were roommates at Harvard?

14. The first zoo in America was opened in Philadelphia in 1874?

15. In average over 60000 people fly over the US every hour?

16. Route 20 is the longest highway in the US?

17. The most superstitious president in the US history are belived to be Theodore Roosevelt?

18. The oldest city in the US is St. Augustine in Florida?

19. American green cards are not green. In 1964 they where green?

20. Henry Bronk gave name to The Bronx in New York?

21. The first submarine attack in history took place in New York Harbor in 1776?

22. Many of the American Quakers relocated to Costa Rica in 1951?

23. The first telephone book was published in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878. The book was only one page long and had fifty names in it?

24. San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments?

25. The ZIP code 12345 is assigned to a company in Schenectady, New York - General Electric?

26. The highest city in the United States is Leadville, Colorado(10,200 feet)?

27. 90% of New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants?

28. Americans throw away 44 million newspapers every day?

29. A 1997 Gallup poll discovered that 24 percent of American workers would, if they could, fire their boss?

30. During a lifetime an American Man will spend about 3,500 hours shaving?

31. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace?

32. The smallest state capital in the US is Montpelier?

33. Atlantic City is home to longest boardwalk in the world?

34. The twin towers of World Trade Center in New York had 208 elevators?

35. The White House in Washington, DC was the biggest house in the United States until the Civil War?

36. The US Military Academy at West Point was the first engineering school in the US?

37. It's only called Air Force one when the US president is aboard the aircraft?

38. Alaska has rain forests?

39. Alaska has no borders to any other state?

40. The worlds longest cave system is the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky?

41. When it comes to making New Year's resolutions weight loss is one of the most common in the US?

42. Lake Tahoe is the highest alpine Lake in the US?

43. San Francisco has no cemeteries?

44. Dallas has More than 6000 restaurants?

45. A tornado once carried a motel sign 30 miles, from Oklahoma to Arkansas?

46. Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii is the most active volcano on Earth?

47. Hawaii has the largest number of introduced plants in the world?

48. The average number of tornadoes each year in the US is about 800?

49. Hawaii is one of the worlds most popular honeymoon destination?

50. Hawaii was once known as the Sandwich Islands?

51. Old segregation laws in Virginia required separate toilet for black and white people and thats why Pentagon has twice as many toilets as they actually need?

52. Reno in Nevada is located west of Los Angeles in California?

53. The first dollar coin in the US was the silver dollar in 1794?

54. Dollar bills are mostly made from cloths?

55. Since 1928 the picture of Benjamin Franklin has appeared on every $100 bill?

56. The Chinook salmon is the state fish of Oregon?

57. Nebraska is home to the largest porch swing in the world. 25 adults can sit in it?

58. New York City has 722 miles of subway track?

59. New York was once called Mahatta by local Indians?

60. New York was the first capital of the United States?

61. New York has the largest population of Jewish people outside of Israel?

62. Coffee is the second largest import in the US?

63. People in some countires, like Sweden, open their Christmas presents 24 of Dec while in the US people open their presents on the 25 of Dec?

64. Delaware was the first State in the U.S?

65. Tennessee is the birthplace of miniature golf?

66. Wisconsin produce more cranberries that any other state?

67. The first jukebox in the world was located in San Francisco in 1899?

68. 75% of all raisins eaten by people in the U.S. are eaten at breakfast?

69. Americans eat six times the amount of protein they actually need in a day?

70. Americans throw away about 5 million bicycles each year?

71. The Green Card is actually pink?

72. In 1991, the average bra size in the United States was 34B. Now it's 36C?

73. Americans alone consume more than nine pounds of pickles per person each year?

74. Tennessee is home to the steepest passenger incline railway in the U.S.
Americans change about 400 million oil filters a year?

75. 93% of American children will go out trick or treating for Halloween?

76. Americans are making roughly three times more trips to casinos than trips to ballparks?

77. Americans file about 70000 lawsuits every single day?

78. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace?

79. The longest beach in the U.S. is in Washington State?

80. The first umbrella factory in the U.S. was built in Maryland?

81. A B-25 bomber airplane crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building on July 28, 1945?

82. Americans eat about 35000 tons of pasta every year?

83. Some people living in Canada are automatically citizens of the U.S.?

84. Americans eat so much cereal each year that a chain of empty boxes would stretch all the way to the moon and back to earth?

85. The state nickname of Iowa is The Hawkeye State?

86. Americans save less than one percent of their incomes?

87. Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee?

88. Americans will eat about 150 million hot dogs every day?

89. Where ever you stand in Michigan, you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake?

90. Americans consume more ice cream than any other nation in the world?

91. Maryland is home to 10 different kinds of bats?

92. Americans consume an average of about 67 pounds of sugar each in a year?

93. During a lifetime an American Man will spend about 3 500 hours shaving?

94. Americans throw away 44 million newspapers everyday?

95. On March 29, 1848, Niagara Falls stopped flowing for 30 hours because of ice blocking the River?

96. Americans consume on an average 3 hamburgers a week?

97. Americans gamble more money each year than the money they spend on groceries?

98. Montana is home to the shortest river in the world. Roe River is about 200 feet long?

99. There are 556 officially recognized native American tribes?

100. Americans consume 17 billion quarts of popcorn annually?

101. Kansas City has more fountains than Rome?

102. Americans eat more than 16 pounds of French fries per person annually?

103. The average number of people airborne over the U.S. at any given hour is about 61,000?

104. Americans write more than 42 billion checks every year?

105. Americans spent about 54 - 55 billion dollars on gambling every year?

106. The word Arkansas comes from an old Indian word. The word means "land of the orange barrels"?

107. Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors?

108. The poorest state i U.S. is Mississippi?

109. 75% of all immigrants who come to US are settled i California, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas?

110. Americans are the biggest polluters in the world?

111. Illinois has the highest number of personalized license plates than any other state?

112. Americans spend about $500 million a year on ketchup?

113. Every 45 seconds, a house catches on fire in the United States?

114. Americans have not always driven on the right?

115. Americans tops the world in plastic surgery. Mexico comes in second place?

116. During the Civil War, more soldiers died of disease than they did from gunshots and fighting?

117. More Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than in any other state?

118. Americans use an average of about eight batteries a year per person?

119. A town in Texas is called "Ding Dong"?

120. Over 20% of the population of California are born in other countries?

121. Americans trow away 4.4 pounds of trash each day per person?

122. Idaho is home to the deepest gorge in the U.S?

123. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour?

124. Americans eat 18 acres of pizza each day?
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cheyenne 09

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States by Order of Entry into Union

State Entered .... Union Year ...settled

1. Delaware Dec. 7, 1787 1638
2. Pennsylvania Dec. 12, 1787 1682
3. New Jersey Dec. 18, 1787 1660
4. Georgia Jan. 2, 1788 1733
5. Connecticut Jan. 9, 1788 1634
6. Massachusetts Feb. 6, 1788 1620
7. Maryland Apr. 28, 1788 1634
8. South Carolina May 23, 1788 1670
9. New Hampshire June 21, 1788 1623
10. Virginia June 25, 1788 1607
11. New York July 26, 1788 1614
12. North Carolina Nov. 21, 1789 1660
13. Rhode Island May 29, 1790 1636
14. Vermont Mar. 4, 1791 1724
15. Kentucky June 1, 1792 1774
16. Tennessee June 1, 1796 1769
17. Ohio Mar. 1, 1803 1788
18. Louisiana Apr. 30, 1812 1699
19. Indiana Dec. 11, 1816 1733
20. Mississippi Dec. 10, 1817 1699
21. Illinois Dec. 3, 1818 1720
22. Alabama Dec. 14, 1819 1702
23. Maine Mar. 15, 1820 1624
24. Missouri Aug. 10, 1821 1735
25. Arkansas June 15, 1836 1686
26. Michigan Jan. 26, 1837 1668
27. Florida Mar. 3, 1845 1565
28. Texas Dec. 29, 1845 1682
29. Iowa Dec. 28, 1846 1788
30. Wisconsin May 29, 1848 1766
31. California Sept. 9, 1850 1769
32. Minnesota May 11, 1858 1805
33. Oregon Feb. 14, 1859 1811
34. Kansas Jan. 29, 1861 1727
35. West Virginia June 20, 1863 1727
36. Nevada Oct. 31, 1864 1849
37. Nebraska Mar. 1, 1867 1823
38. Colorado Aug. 1, 1876 1858
39. North Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 1812
40. South Dakota Nov. 2, 1889 1859
41. Montana Nov. 8, 1889 1809
42. Washington Nov. 11, 1889 1811
43. Idaho July 3, 1890 1842
44. Wyoming July 10, 1890 1834
45. Utah Jan. 4, 1896 1847
46. Oklahoma Nov. 16, 1907 1889
47. New Mexico Jan. 6, 1912 1610
48. Arizona Feb. 14, 1912 1776
49. Alaska Jan. 3, 1959 1784
50. Hawaii Aug. 21, 1959 1820
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Shock Box

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Scone Palace

Scone (pron. Skoon; Gaelic, skene, “a cutting”), a parish of Perthshire, Scotland, containing Old Scone, the site of an historic abbey and palace, and New Scone, a modern village (pop. 1585), 2 miles North of Perth, near the left bank of the Tay. It became the capital of Pictavia, the kingdom of northern Picts, in succession to Forteviot Parliaments occasionally assembled on the Moot Hill, where the first national council of which we possess records was held (906). The Moot Hill was known also as the Hill of Belief from the fact that here the Pictish king promulgated the edict regulating the Christian church. The abbey was founded in 1115 by Alexander I., but long before this date Scone had been a centre of ecclesiastical activity and the seat of a monastery. Kenneth is alleged to have brought the Stone of Destiny, on which the Celtic kings were crowned, from Dunstaffnage Castle on Loch Etive, and to have deposited it in Scone, whence it was conveyed to Westminster Abbey by Edward I. in 1296.

Most of the Scottish kings were crowned at Scone, the last function being held on the 1st of January 1651, when Charles II. received the crown. Apparently there was never any royal residence in the town, owing to the proximity of Perth. Probably the ancient House of Scone, which stood near the abbey, provided the kings with temporary accommodation. Both the abbey and the house were burned down by the Reformers in 1559, and next year the estates were granted to the Ruthvens. On the attainder of the family after the Gowrie conspiracy in 1600, the land passed to Sir David Murray of the Tullibardine line, who became 1st viscount Stormont (1621) and was the ancestor of the earl of Mansfield, to whom the existing house belongs. Sir David completed in 1606 the palace which the earl of Gowrie had begun. The 5th viscount, father of the 1st earl of Mansfield, the lord chief justice of England (b. at Scone 1705), entertained the Old Pretender for three weeks in I716, and his son received Prince Charles Edward in 1746. The present palace, which dates from 1803, stands in a beautiful park. It contains several historic relics, the most interesting being a bed adorned with embroidery worked by Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment in Lochleven Castle. The gallery in which Charles II. was crowned, a hall 160 ft. long, has been included in the palace. Two hundred yards east of the mansion is an ancient gateway, supposed to have led to the old House of Scone, and near it stands the cross of Scone, removed hither from its original site in the town.
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cheyenne 09

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Scottish Castle's

Edinburgh Castle

Home of Scottish kings and queens from centuries past, high above the city on its perch of volcanic rock.
This most famous of castles dominates the World Heritage listed Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and gives stunning views of the city and countryside. St. Margarets Chapel, Mons Meg siege cannon, the Great Hall, the magnificently restored Laich Hall and the Scottish National War Memorial are here together with the highly acclaimed "Honours of the Kingdom" exhibition which traces the history of Scotland's Crown Jewels and culminates in a visit to the Crown Room housing the Scottish Regalia and the Stone of Destiny.

Stirling Castle, Central Scotland

Perhaps the best known ghost of Stirling Castle is that of the Green Lady, a phantom said to appear at the most unexpected times and places in the castle. In recent years she is said to have caused dinner to be served late in the officers' mess - the castle is an Army garrison - when she appeared in the kitchens to watch the cook going about his catering chores. He, being aware of the feeling of being watched, turned and saw the misty-green figure totally absorbed in what he was doing, and promptly fainted.

In life the Green Lady could have been an attendant to Mary, Queen of Scots. Her greatest claim to fame at that time was that one night, whilst asleep, she had a dream that the Queen was in danger. Waking up with a start she had rushed to the Queen's bedchamber to find the curtains of the four-poster bed aflame with the Queen herself asleep inside. When the Queen was rescued from the burning bed she had recalled a prophecy that her life would be endangered by a fire whilst she was at Stirling Castle.

It has also be suggested that the Green Lady was the daughter of a governor of the castle who was betrothed to an officer garrisoned there. The poor man was accidentally killed by the girl's father and she in despair and anguish is said to have thrown herself from the battlements to her death on the rocks 250 feet below.

Any appearance of the Green Lady is taken very seriously by the authorities at the castle. Many of her appearances have been followed by a disaster of some kind and indeed several fires at the castle have followed a sighting of the silent figure.

The Upper Square of the castle, known as the Governor's Block, is where footsteps echo across the ceiling of a room at the top of a flight of stairs and yet there is nothing above that room except for a roof on which nobody could walk. In 1946 these footsteps were heard several times at infrequent intervals by an officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and in 1956 by a major occupying that room.

In the 1820's there was a "sentry beat" along the battlement that then existed over the Governor's Block. One night a sentry, taking over guard duty, found the previous guard dead at his post, mouth wide open, a look of utter terror on his face. No explanation was ever made for this incident although it is known that after several other guards reported strange and terrifying incidents on the beat. The sentry duty above the Governor's Block was discontinued during early Victorian times.

Stirling Castle has also a Pink Lady, a young girl dressed in pink surrounded by a pink glow, who actually walks from the castle to the nearby church at Lady's Rock. It was at this spot that the women of the court used to watch their menfolk as they jousted. It is thought that this particular lady was one of the occupants of the castle when it was besieged by Edward I in 1304. She was the only one to escape from the castle and it is thought that she may return to the castle searching for her husband who was killed in the siege.

Balmoral Castle

The immense castellated mansion of Balmoral is set in the gently wooded countryside of the River Dee. Robert II had a hunting lodge here, the Sir Malcolm Drummond built a tower on the same site. The Gordon Earls of Huntly bought the estate in the 15th century and it subsequently changed hands in 1662 and 1798. in c.1845 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert paid their first visit. Prince Albert paid Ł31, 500 for the 24, 000 acre site and it remains the Royal Family's favourite retreat today

Culzean Castle

Near Dunure, Strathclyde

Culzean Castle was the scene of the roasting to death of a member of the Stuart Clan in 1570 and echoes of this gruesome act have been witnessed even in recent years.

In the 16th century the castle was the home of the Kennedy Family and it was Gilbert Kennedy, fourth Earl of Cassillie, who had Alan Stuart, Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, seized. Alan Stuart was taken to the Black Vault, stripped naked and bound to a spit and then roasted in front of a great fire.

Under such pressure he signed a document giving the lands of Crossraguel Abbey to the Earl, but six days later was roasted again before he could sign a confirmation document. For this act, which nearly cost Alan Stuart his life, Gilbert Kennedy was fined the sum of Ł2,000 by the Privy Council but kept the lands he had forcibly acquired. He paid Alan Stuart a life pension.

Since that time the crackling and roaring sounds of a great fire have been heard coming from within the walls of the castle, accompanied by screams and sobs that fade away into the silence. Strangely enough the sounds have been heard mainly on Sunday mornings.

In 1972, three servants of the castle independently saw an indistinct shape in the dungeons but it is though that this is the ghost of a Kennedy piper who was murdered at the castle.

St Andrews Castle

The first Castle of St. Andrews was built about 1200 by Bishop Roger, son of Robert, third Earl of Leicester. It was seized by Edward I, and he held here the parliament at which the Scottish barons gave him their allegiance.

It was again garrisoned by Edward III, but shortly after he retired to England, Sir Andrew Moray, the Regent, captured it after a siege of three weeks, and entirely demolished it. It was reconstructed by Bishop Trail about the end of the fourteenth century. At his death in 1401 the governor, Albany, took possession, and confined here the Duke of Rothesay, heir to the Crown, before his death by starvation at Falkland.

The strength of the castle at this time is shown by the fact that the revenues of the kingdom, by act of parliament, were kept in "a kist of four keys," in the "Castle of St. Andrews, under the care of the bishop and prior of the monastery." James III was born in the castle.

In the days of Archbishop Beaton (1528-1589), the castle was kept with great splendour. The English ambassador wrote, "I understand there hath not been such a house kept in Scotland many days before, as of late the said archbishop hath kept, and yet keepeth; insomuch as at the being with him of these lords (Angus, Lennox, Argyle, etc.), both horses and men, lie gave livery nightly to twenty-one score horses."

On the 28th of March, 1545, George Wishart of Pitarrow, the famous divine, was burned alive before the castle by order of Cardinal Beaton. The tower was hung with tapestry as for a festival, and the cardinal and his friends reclined on cushions of velvet in the windows to enjoy the spectacle.

Before his death Wishart foretold the cardinal's impending death with much exactness. At this very time, Henry VIII had entered into a conspiracy with several Scottish noblemen, includina Norman Leslev. Master of Rothes, his uncle John Lesley, and Kirkcaldy of Grange, for the murder of the prelate.

On the 29th of Nay of the same year, the conspirators, about a dozen in number, gained admittance to the castle early in the morning when the drawbridge was lowered to admit workmen who were strengthening the fortifications. They stabbed the porter, sent off the workmen, and gradually turned out all the servants as they appeared from their beds.

Eventually, having thus quietly disposed of more than one hundred and fifty of his defenders, they were left alone in the castle with the cardinal. They forced open his door, and stabbed him repeatedly with daggers. "A few angry words, a bright gleam of steel as the weapons flashed in the morning light, and the cardinal fell covered with wounds, crying 'Fy ! Fy ! I am a priest; all is gone!' and vengeance was satisfied.

The citizens having been aroused, assembled at the gate, clamouring for 'a word with my lord cardinal,' but were, instead, presented with his mangled body, suspended from the balcony of the tower 'by the tane arm and the tane fut,' and requested to look at their god." Sir David Lindsay of the Mount thus expresses the feeling of most of the reformers: --

"As for the cardinal, I grant,
He was the man we well might want;
God will forgive it soon.
But of a truth, the sooth to say,
Although the bun be well away,
The deed was foully done."

The conspirators were soon joined in the castle by one hundred and twenty of their friends and held the place for more than a year. The French finally sent twenty-one galleys under the command of Leo Strozzi, Prior of Capua, a knight of Rhodes, to finish the siege.

Lindsay of Pitscottie relates that " when the news came that these vessels were seen off St. Abb's Head, steering for St. Andrews, the governor well content hereof, hasted him to St. Andrews, with the gentlemen of Fife, Angus, and Strathearn, and welcomed the French captain. . . . They clapt about the house so hastily and unexpectedly, that many were closed out, and divers were closed in, against their will.

Then they mounted their ordnance both upon the college steeple, and also upon the walls of the abbey kirk, wherewith they commanded the castle close; so that no man durst walk therein, or go up to the wall head. The captain told the governor, that they had been unexpert warriors who had not mounted their ordnance on the steeple heads in that manner, and that he wondered at the keepers of the castle; that they had not first broken down the heads of the steeples.

He caused also the great battery to be laid to the castle, the two Scottish cannons and six French; and to prevent slaughter, he devised that the cannons should pass down the streets by engines, without any man with them; which thing when the Italian engineer (which had been sent from England for the support of those within the castle) perceived, he said that they had now to do with men of war, and therefore had need to take heed to themselves.

They answered that they should defend their castle against Scotland, France, and Ireland, all three. But the battery within a few hours made such breaches in the wall that, despairing of their strength, after consultation, they yielded the castle and themselves to the King of France. The French captain entered and spoiled the castle very rigorously; wherein they found great store of vivers, clothes, armour, silver, and plate, which, with the captives, they carried away in their galleys. The governor, by the advice of the council, demolished the castle, least it should be a receptacle of rebels."

The castle was rebuilt by Archbishop Hamilton, and what stands to-day is mostly his work, though portions are represented by the guides as being much older. "A genial keeper was one day conducting a party of tourists over the ruins, and was describing their various parts and explaining the uses to which they were put in the heyday of the castle.

'This, gentlemen,' he said, 'is the room used by Cardinal Beaton, and that,' pointing to the opening, 'is the window from which he wit nessed the burning of George Wishart the martyr.' 'But,' interrupted one of the party, 'this is not Beaton's castle; what remains is the work of Archbishop Hamilton.' 'I ken that,' replied the keeper, 'but if I were to pay off Cardinal Beaton and George Wishart I might just as well close the gate.'"

The ruins of St. Andrews Castle, standing on a bold headland washed by the North Sea, offer a conspicuous landmark to manners. The castle was very extensive, but is now reduced to a very ruinous condition. It was originally a courtyard about one hundred and fifty feet square, partly surrounded by a moat, with towers at each corner.

The entrance was once through the central tower of the south side, the highest portion of the ruins. A new gate, reached by a drawbridge, was later cut through the north curtain on this side. Little of the internal arrangements remains. The chief items of interest to visitors are the bottle dungeon in the northwest dungeon, and a subterranean passage under the moat, recently discovered.

Glamis Castle, near Forfar, Tayside

Situated just west of Forfar, this splendid seat of the Strathmores is referred to by Shakespeare in Macbeth, Macbeth having killed Duncan there in 1040, and it is also there that King Malcolm II was murdered by assassins in 1034. It is the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and is also the birthplace of Princess Margaret.

High up in the uninhabited West Tower is the room where the ghost of "Earl Beardie" perpetually gambles with the "devil". "Earl Beardie" was Alexander, Fourth Earl of Crawford during the days of James II of Scotland, who had a quarrel with the Lord Glamis of the day whilst they were gambling with two other Scottish chieftains.

During the argument "Beardie", who was a giant of a man, was thrown down the stone staircase but returned, stamping his feet with rage and bellowing that if no man would play with him he would play with the very "devil" himself.

Instantly a tall dark man, wearing a long cloak, walked into the room and play began between himself and "Beardie". It is not known what happened after that but the tall dark man was never seen again and "Beardie" died five years afterwards. Legend says that the tall dark man was the "devil" and that "Beardie" has indeed "sold his soul" as a result of the gambling.

Following his death the ghost of "Beardie" was often heard, stamping has feet and swearing at "something" in rage in the room and even today castle servants are adamant that they often hear the rattle of dice at night, heavy stamping noises and the sound of men swearing at each other from the direction of the locked and empty room.

The ghost of "Beardie" has been seen many times, including several modern appearances. Lord Halifax certainly saw him when he spent a night there. "Beardie" has also been seen on the roof on stormy nights at a spot known as "Mad Earl's Walk", swearing and raging. He has been seen by residents and guests alike, adults and children, leaning over their beds and peering at them. The sightings and sounds always happen at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Although it is not known who the tall dark man in the cloak was there is a distinct possibility that he was yet another of the many ghosts of Glamis. The Provost of Perth was to see this same figure enter his room one night dressed in a long dark cloak, walking across the room and disappearing through the far wall. The same figure was seen by Dr. Nicholson, Dean of Brechin, when he awoke to find the figure standing at the side of his bed looking down at him. The figure later disappeared through a wall. Dr. Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, was to see the same figure the following night.

The Haunted Chamber, or Secret Room, it's position is only known to a few, is thought to have got it's name from the feuding days when a number of the Ogilvy Clan, fleeing from the Lindsays after a terrible slaughter, sought shelter at Glamis. Although they were admitted the then owner of Glamis had no sympathy for them, and on the pretence of hiding them, secured the visitors in a remote spot of the Castle and literally left them there to starve to death.

It is said that the Chamber contains the ghosts of the Ogilvys. Many years ago the then Lord Strathmore and some companions went to the Haunted Chamber following many disturbances said to have come from that part of the Castle. Strathmore is said to have collapsed when he encountered the contents of the unventilated chamber. Piles of skeletons lay twisted and contorted in the last agonies of starvation. Some are even thought to have died in the act of eating the flesh from their own arms. Even today the bare chamber is thought to have a sense of uneasiness.

In a room, thought to be adjacent to the Haunted Chamber, a woman, spending the night at Glamis, is said to have seen the tall figure of a man in armour passing through her room and enter the next room in which her son lay asleep. The poor boy awoke to find this figure staring at him, peering very closely. Those who have come close to discovering the location of the Haunted Chamber have been paid large sums of money and forced to emigrate, after swearing on oath that they would never breath a word of what they had seen.

Some years ago a party of youngsters, spending a holiday at Glamis, made up their minds to discover whether or not the secret room had a window. Whilst Lord Strathmore and his family were out shooting for the day the youngsters visited every room in the castle and hung towels and sheets out to mark them.

They were sure that they had visited every room but when they gathered outside they counted no less than seven windows with nothing hanging from them. It is said that Lord Strathmore was furious when he returned and put a stop to further exploration. The location of the Haunted Chamber still remains a mystery except for those few who are allowed to know.

"The White lady", who haunts the Clock Tower, and who has been seen gliding around the main avenue, is thought to be Janet Douglas, wife of the Sixth Earl of Glamis, who was put to the stake at Castle Hill, Edinburgh, in 1537 following her trial on a charge of witchcraft. It is thought that she may have been connected with an attempt to murder King James V. Her spectre, surrounded by a reddish glow, has been frequently seen in both locations.

The ghostly little Black Boy, who sits on a stone seat by the door leading into the Queen Mother's sitting room, is thought to be the ghost of a Negro servant who was unkindly treated at Glamis in the middle of the 18th century. A small dressing-room off the Queen Mother's main bedroom used to be haunted. People who have slept there have often felt their bedclothes being pulled off the bed but there have been no disturbances since the room was converted into a bathroom.

A former Lord Castleton's daughter woke during the night she was spending at the castle to see the figure of "a huge old man" seated in front of the fire in her bedroom. When he turned to face her she observed that his face was "that of a dead man".

The figure of a Grey Lady has been seen many times in the chapel dedicated to St Michael. On one occasion she was seen by a Mrs Hunter, who worked and lived at Glamis, whilst she was in the chapel intending to arrange some flowers. Normally seen kneeling in one of the pews, the Grey Lady has also been seen by Lady Granville, sister of the Queen Mother, who was able to describe the dress she was wearing and who was also able to observe the sunlight shining through the chapel window, shining through the outline of the figure and making a pattern on the floor.

A recent Lord Strathmore saw her on one occasion when he went into the chapel to look at a picture on one of the walls. Not wishing to disturb her he quietly left the chapel. The Grey Lady has also been seen walking into the chapel. Nobody knows who she is or why she visits the chapel.

The Hangman's Chamber is never used these days. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of a butler who hanged himself there.
The tongueless figure of a woman with large mournful eyes, pressing her pale face against a window as if appealing for help, and clutching her hands at the bars, has been seen on several occasions looking out of a latticed upper window before apparently being dragged away as if by someone who has leaped up behind her.

The scene is always followed by violent screams. She has also been seen running across the park, pointing in anguish to her bloody mouth. Did this poor woman suffer having her tongue cut out because she learned one of the secrets of Glamis Castle?

There are persistent reports of a strange, elusive, thin figure, nicknamed "Jack the Runner", who has been seen many times racing across the park on moonlit nights towards the castle.

The legend of the Monster of Glamis relates to somewhere around the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, when a grotesque and bloated monster was born to be Heir of Glamis. Completely misshapen, he had no neck, very small arms and legs, and looked like "a flabby egg", half-human, half-monster.

In spite of such deformities he is said to have been immensely strong and is reputed to have lived for nearly 150 years, some people thinking that he finally died in 1921. He lived in a special room at the castle, where he was kept from everybody's eye. His existence was known to only four men at one time, the Earl of Strathmore, his heir, the family lawyer and the factor of the estate. At the age of 21 each succeeding heir was told the secret and shown the rightful Earl.

Succeeding family lawyers and factors were also told of the secret, but at any one time no more than four knew of the existence of the Monster. As no Countess of Strathmore was ever told the story, one Lady Strathmore, having heard rumours approach the then factor, Mr Ralston, who flatly refused to reveal the secret saying "it is fortunate you do not know the truth for if you did you would never be happy", a reference presumably to the unhappy state of several Earls of Strathmore during the suspected lifetime of the Monster.

Even now it is suspected that the remains of the Monster are still retained in the secret room. Mr Ralston, who was described as a shrewd, hard-headed Scot, would never sleep in the castle under any circumstances. One night, when he had worked late, a sudden snowstorm came on. Pressed to stay for the night he refused to do so and insisted that a path be dug in the snow to his house nearly a mile away.

Offering strength to the belief of a hideous monster being born into the family, is a portrait hung in the drawing-room. It depicts a previous Earl of Strathmore with his two sons and an indescribably ugly deformed dwarf.

Drummond Castle ... Drummond Clan ....Motto.... ( Gang Warily ) ....

Drummond Castle was built by the Drummonds from Stobhall in 1491. After it was built, the castle became the residence and seat of the family. The castle itself is located outside of Crieff, 25 miles away from Stobhall, which is near Perth on the river Tay. The original portions of the castle are a classical tower keep that is found frequently in Scotland.

During the 1600's additions were made to the castle for the Earl of Perth. It was John Mylne of Perth, Master Mason to King Charles I, that was commissioned to make the alterations and additions. One was the gateway below the great tower with the date 1630 carved on the gables.

During this time the formal gardens at Drummond Castle were laid. It included stone work and statues that came from the Continental Europe as well as a carved stone sundial that was the work of John Mylne of Perth. The castle gardens are sometimes called the pride and jewel of the highlands.

Around 1650, the Drummonds were removed from Drummond Castle to Stobhall for their loyalty to Charles I. After leaving, Drummond Castle was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops. It wasn't until after Cromwell left Scotland were the Drummonds able to return.
The Duchess of Perth was imprisoned within the castle for having sheltered Prince Charlie at Drummond Castle. She stayed there until her death in 1773.

Drummond Castle has even made it to the silver screen. In the movie "Rob Roy, legends of the mist", Drummond Castle and Gardens were used for the residence of Montrose. All of the castle shots, both exterior and interior was done on site at Drummond Castle. In one scene of the movie, you see the camera pan up from a gate to the gardens to the shield above it. They are the arms of Drummond. As to the castle now, it is now the residence of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, a descendent of Sir John Drummond through the female line. The gardens are open to the public during the summer.

The Drummonds were loyal to Scotland and her Kings. They served the House of Bruce and then later the House of Stuart. For over 500 years they served, and no better was an ally than a Drummond. The Drummond Chiefs held some of the highest offices in both the government and the military. The Drummond ladies were of such beauty that two were crowned Queen of Scotland. It is even rumored that there may have been a third. Drummonds have also been known for their temper. In Perth in the 17th century, there was a prayer, "From the ire of the Drummonds, Good Lord deliver us!"

According to legend, the Drummonds are descendent from Yorik de Marot. Yorik was the Royal Admiral to Hungary and a grandson of King Andrew of Hungary. It was he who took the perilous journey, in winter, to reach the Scottish shore at Stirling. It was he who delivered unto Malcolm Canmore, St. Margaret, the future queen of Scotland.

This was in the early 11th century. The king was grateful and granted lands which were to become the ancestral homeland of the Drummonds. One source states that a Donald of Drymen fought in Malcolm Canmore's army against MacBeth in 1056, and that this was the reason for the grant of lands. It may be that Yorik married into the highlands clan and became its chief.

The earliest ancestor, of unbroken decent, is that of Malcolm Begg, or "Little Malcolm" of Drymen, who in 1225 was the Thane of Lennox. Malcolm received his name due to his stature. He was the Earl of Lennox's Seneschal. It was from this time, and the lands if Drymen, that the Clan Chiefs of Drummond are known as "An Drumanach Mor" - "The Great man of Drymen." It was Malcolm's son, Sir Malcolm, that took the name Drummond.

Sir Malcolm, in the wars with England, was their bane. In 1296, at the Battle of Dunbar, the English captured Malcolm and sent him to London. Sir Malcolm was released only after swearing allegiance to the King and promising to fight with the English in France. It wasn't long before Malcolm was once again in Scotland and causing trouble for the English. In 1301 he was captured again to the great joy of King Edward I.

Sir Malcolm II, son of Malcolm, was the hero of Bannockburn in 1314. It was he, after realizing that the Scots would not be able to withstand the charge of the cavalry, who took matters into his own hands by having the ground between his men and the English heavy cavalry strewn with caltrops.

These are small iron devices with four sharp points, not unlike the jacks kids play with today. The English horses were brought down by these, and as the mounted soldiers lay helpless, they were killed by the waiting Clans. It was this ingenuity that gave the Drummond Chiefs the right to display caltrops on a field of green beneath the Chief's shield. King Robert the Bruce also rewarded Malcolm with extensive lands near Perth for this service.

In 1345, Sir John Drummond married the Maid of Monfichets. With the marriage came the estates of Stobhall on the river Tay, which have remained in the family since and is the residence of the present Chief. It has also been the home of two Scottish Queens and a royal mistress.
Margaret, sister of John Drummond, won the heart of King David II, who was the son of Robert the Bruce. They were married in 1363, and she was crowned queen.

In 1366 Annabella the beautiful, daughter of Sir John Drummond, became the wife of John Stewart of Kyle. John was crowned Robert III, the second Stewart King. She was also the mother of James I. The royal families of Scotland and England claim their heritage from Robert and Annabella.

In 1491 Drummond Castle was built 25 miles from Stobhall, and 3 1/2 miles from Crieff. It is now the residence of Lady Willoughby de Eresby, a descendent of Sir John Drummond through the female line. Its castle gardens are sometimes called the pride and jewel of the highlands.
In 1498, the first Lord Drummond of Drummond received the Barony of Drummond which remained in the family until 1605, when the estates were sold.

In 1589 John Drummond was appointed Royal Forester of Glenartney. It was in this post that he had the ears of some MacGregor (one account says MacDonalds) poachers cropped. Clan MacGregor swore revenge and attacked Drummond and chopped off his head. They then proceeded to John's sisters residence, burst in, and demanded bread and cheese. The MacGregors then unwrapped John's head and crammed its mouth full. The feud between the two clans lasted for over a century.

Near the end of the 1500's, another Drummond, Margaret the fair, enraptured King James IV. She was, to him, "The diamond of Delight." Because of his love for her, James originally declined the marriage to Mary Tudor, daughter of the King of England, Henry VII. It is rumored that James had indeed married Margaret and was to have her crowned Queen of Scotland.

The nobles, mostly lowlanders and border Lords, feared that the Drummonds were becoming too powerful. They decided that Margaret must die, thus forcing James to marry the Tudor Princess. Margaret, and her two sisters, were poisoned. Shortly after, James married Mary Tudor, which made way for the union of the Scottish and English Crowns a century later.

In 1605, after James had been crowned King of Both England and Scotland, he elevated the Drummond Chief to that of the Earl of Perth. Around 1650, the Drummonds were removed from Drummond Castle to Stobhall for their loyalty to Charles I. After leaving, Drummond Castle was garrisoned by Cromwell's troops. During the Cromwell protectorate, Sir William Drummond was Governor of Smolensk in Muscovy. After his exile he had the dubious honor of bringing thumb screws back with him to Scotland.

In 1689, as the Highlands rose behind the Stuart flag, the Drummonds followed Bonnie Dundee into battle. At the battle of Killiecrankie the clan army attacked the English as it marched into the pass. Of the 3,000 English who went into the pass only 500 made it out alive.

When the rising was surprised, the Earl of Perth was captured and imprisoned at Kircaldy till 1693. After that, he and his brother followed James VII into exile. For their service to James, they were elevated to Dukes. The Duke of Perth was then made a Knight of the Golden Fleece, the highest order of knighthood in Spain.

By the end of the 17th century, the Drummonds were the most powerful Clan in Scotland. The Earl of Perth was Lord Chancellor; his brother, the Earl of Melfort, was Secretary of State. Their cousin, General Sir William Drummond, created Viscount Strathallan, was commander-in-chief of the army in Scotland. The first Duke of Perth was also awarded the Knight of the Garter for his service to James VII.

The Drummonds supported the Stuarts until the end. They helped in the uprising of 1715 and again in 1745. In 1746, the Highland Clans followed Bonnie Prince Charlie to Culloden, to fight for the Stuarts for the last time. The Drummonds were at the fore, with the Duke of Perth and his brother, the Duke of Melfort, commanding the left wing and the center of the battle line. However, within two hours, the clan army had been destroyed by the Hanoverian army.

The Duke of Perth followed the Prince into exile. John also went with them but died during the voyage due to his wounds. The Viscount of Strathallan was mortally wounded while rallying the cavalry. Even the Duchess of Perth was imprisoned for having sheltered Prince Charlie at Drummond Castle. She stayed there until her death in 1773. Loyalty had cost them everything.

It wasn't until 1784 that the Drummonds were restored to their lands. It wasn't until the 1830's that they received back their old titles.
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cheyenne 09

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Scottish Castle Fact's

The first use of cannon in Scotland to attack a castle was in 1334 when Regent Andrew Moray captured Dundarg Castle.

The first castle in Britain to be designed specifically for defense by guns was Ravenscraig Castle located in Scotland. Built in 1460.

Cubbie Roo's Castle, built in 1145, was one of the earliest stone castles to be built in Scotland.

In 1787 Robert Burns was knighted at Clackmannan Tower by Henry Bruce's widow with the sword of Robert the Bruce.

Orchardton Tower is the only circular free-standing tower house in Scotland. It was built by John Cairns in the 15th century.

Loch Doon Castle once sat on an island in the middle of Loch Doon. In 1934 the castle was moved, stone by stone, to the west shore of the Loch.

One of the last tower houses to be built in Scotland was Lethendy Tower, dating to 1678.

Kelburn Castle, in Scotland, is one of oldest houses continously occupied by the same family.

The westernmost castle in Scotland is Kiessimul, located on the Western Isles.

The last castle in Britain to be besieged was Blair Castle, located in Scotland. Lord George Murray attacked and damaged it in 1746.

Traquair Castle is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, and has been visted by 27 kings. It dates from 1492.

The death mask of Mary, Queen of Scots, is in the 14th century keep at Lennoxlove House, Scotland.

The most northerly castle in Britain is Muness Castle, located on the Shetland Isles.

The spiral stairs in castle towers are designed to ascend clockwise as to make the attackers expose more of their body in order to use the sword in their right hand.

Edited by cheyenne 09, 07 October 2006 - 09:58 AM.

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cheyenne 09

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USA....Did You know that...And some other Fact's

You are not allowed to eat ice cream while standing on the sidewalk in Carmel?

In San Francisco it is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear?

A person classified as "ugly" in San Francisco may not walk down any street?

In Blythe, California you are not allowed to wear cowboy boots unless you own at least two cows?

In France there was once a law against selling dolls without human faces?

In Denver Colorado, it is illegal to lend your vacuum cleaner to your neighbors?

It is illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey?

Al Capone was inmate No.85 in Alcatraz?

The first Arabic country to have women police officers was Oman?

It is illegal to import alcohol into the Maldives?

It's illegal to skateboard without a license in Florida?

In Quebec, Canada, it's illegal to make yellow margarine. It has to be white?

In Alberta, Canada, it's illegal to publicly remove bandages?

Bubblegum is forbidden in Singapore?

Between 1979 and 1988 chess was banned in Iran?

Alcatraz is named after a Spanish word meaning pelican?

Pirates almost never had their prisoners walk the plank?

To kiss in public was a crime in Naples in 1562?

Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England, if they work in a tropical fish store?

The average criminal sentence length in Colombia is 137 years?

Until the 1960's men with long hair were not allowed to enter Disneyland?

It is forbidden for aircraft to fly over the Taj Mahal, India?

In Utah, it is illegal to swear in front of a dead person?

You can be imprisoned for not voting in Fiji, Chile and Egypt, at least in theory?

Donald Duck comics were once banned from Finland because Donald doesn't wear pants?

It's against the law to sneeze or burp in a church in Nebraska, USA?

Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer?

In West Virginia, only babies can ride in a baby carriage?

Saudi diplomats are said to have 367 outstanding parking fines in Britain?

About 65 percent of US prison inmates are tattooed?

In Switzerland, it's was once against the law to slam your car door?

A law in Fairbanks, Alaska does not allow moose to have sex on city streets?

In Scotland, children as young as 8 can be guilty of crimes?

It is illegal to hunt camels in the state of Arizona?

It is illegal to sleep within vehicles in the City of Aspen in USA?

On average, each day about 20 banks are robbed in the world?

Swimming during the day was illegal in New South Wales from 1833 until 1903?

Talking on a cellular phone while driving is against the law in Israel?

Did you know that the LAPD had the very first policewoman?

Members of the armed forces and the police are not allowed to vote in the Dominican Republic?

It was for some time illegal to sell ET dolls in France?

0.7% of Americans are currently in prison?

In September 2004, a Minnesota state trooper issued a speeding ticket to a motorcyclist who was clocked at 205 mph?

Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have their own bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter?

In Maine it is illegal to catch a lobster with your bare hands?

Two-thirds of the world's kidnappings occur in Colombia?

You're 66 times more likely to be prosecuted in the USA as in France?

In Quitman, Georgia it is against the law for a chicken to cross the road?

It is illegal to get fish drunk in Oklahoma?

It is a criminal offence to drive around in a dirty car in Russia?

In Iceland, it was once against the law to have a pet dog?

America puts many more of its citizens in prison than any other nation?

More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed each year from using products that are made for right-handed people?

Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors?

A Kentucky law specifies that if you come "face-to-face" with a cow on the road you must remove your hat?

Two-thirds of the world's executions occur in China?

It's against the law to slam your car door in Switzerland?

In Nevada sex without a condom is considered illegal?

In Alaska, it is legal to shoot bears. Waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photo is a crime?

A person's chances of being mugged in London are much higher than in New York City?

Around 1 in 3 persons in Australia is a victim of crime?

715 of every 100 000 people in America are imprisoned?

In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch a mice without a hunting license?

Federal law forbids recycling used eyeglasses in the United States?

In ancient Egypt, killing a cat was a crime punishable by death?

In Florida it's illegal to wear swimwear while singing in a public place?

A Los Angeles man who later said he was "tired of walking" stole a steamroller and led police on a 5 mph chase until an officer stepped aboard the vehicle and stopped him?

When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still refused, so the robber called the police and was arrested?

Former enemies, Americans and Russians, now have a great deal in common. They both lead the world in locking people up?

In Alabama it's against the law to play dominoes on Sunday?

Edited by cheyenne 09, 07 October 2006 - 02:59 PM.

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cheyenne 09

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Unusual... Australian facts...


* Mass moonings - In 1832, 300 female Convicts at the Cascade Female Factory mooned the Governor of Tasmania during a chapel service. It was said that in a "rare moment of collusion with the Convict women, the ladies in the Governor's party could not control their laughter."

* Swimming - In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day! This law was enforced until 1902.

* The secret ballot was first used in Victoria and South Australia following the granting of responsible government. Other states introduced secret ballots as follows: 1856 - Victoria & South Australia 1858 - New South Wales & Tasmania 1859 - Queensland 1893 - Western Australia. The secret ballot was referred to as 'kangaroo voting'. World wide, secret voting is often referred to as the 'Australian ballot.

* Female vote - Australia was the second country to give women the vote.

* Police force - Australia's first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.

* In 1932, Francis De Groot, a retired cavalry officer, managed to get himself selected as part of the honour guard at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When the ribbon was about to be cut, he galloped forward on his horse and slashed the ribbon with his sword, declaring the bridge open in the name of 'the decent citizens of New South Wales'.

The ribbon was then tied back together and the ceremony continued. De Groot was carried off to a mental hospital, declared insane and later fined for the replacement cost of one ribbon.

* Independence for WA- In April 1933, 68 per cent of West Australians voted in favour of seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. However they needed permission from the British Parliament before they could officially become a new country.

Meanwhile, Australia's Federal Parliament was arguing that Britain should not interfere in Australian politics.

The end result was that Britain never made a decision and so Western Australian remained part of the Commonwealth.

* In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.

*Sir John Robertson, five times premier of New South Wales, drank a pint of rum every morning for 35 years. Later said: 'none of the men who have left footprints in this country have been cold water men.'

* Alcohol- It has been reported that the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per head of population than any other community in the history of mankind.

* Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. The event has been referred to as 'the swim that needed no towel'.

* Until 1984, Australia's National anthem was "God save the Queen/King."

* Cartoonists - A cartoon is a drawing that makes a satirical, witty, or humorous point. On 17 July 1924, the world's first society of cartoonists, the Black and White Artists' Society, was formed in Sydney.

* Yowie sighting - In 1987, the Alice Springs police station received a call from a frightened family. The family had stopped for a cup of tea after a morning of rabbit hunting. Then a huge ape like creature, two meters tall and covered in hair, leapt out of an empty water tank and began walking towards them. The family fled to their truck and the creature ran after them before disappearing into the bush. The man, Frank Burns believed it was a man however the women, Phyllis Kenny, told the press she could tell the difference between man and beast and this was definitely a beast. The following day police searched the area and found a man, 203 centimetres tall weighing a estimated 127-159 kg (or about two Oprah Winfreys) sitting naked by the roadside. The man was then taken to a local mental hospital.

* Mungo man - In 1974, scientists discovered the Mungro man, a primate who was ritually buried 40-60,000 years ago. They also found the charred remains of Mungro lady who is now considered to be the world's oldest record of a cremation. ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research, found that the skeleton's genetic material contained a small section of mitochondrial DNA. It was analysed and compared to the genetic material from nearly 3,500 people, including Neanderthals, ancient Aborigines, and present-day Aborigines. It was found that Mungo Man's DNA bore no similarity to the DNA taken from any of the other samples.

Australia day - January 26, Australia day, is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying a load of Convicts.


Robust - The first humans travelled across the sea from Indonesia about 70,000 years ago. The first visitors are called 'Robust' by archaeologists because of their heavy-boned physique.

Gracile - 50, 000 years ago, the more slender 'Gracile' people; the ancestors of Australian Aborigines, arrived in Australia. At the time of their settlement/invasion, the Gracile were the most technologically advanced people in the world.

Tasmanian Aborigine - The Tasmanian Aborigine was of a different race to those on the mainland with features more similar to Africans. No full bloods live today.

Convicts of African descent - Convicts comprised many different racial groups and many of these minority racial groups were very prominent in colonial society. Australia's first bushranger was a Convict of African descent. Another African Convict was arguably Sydney's first eccentrics as he walked around in a top hat and tails.

Gold Rush - During the Gold rush of the 1850's, Australia received massive waves of migration from China, America, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England. An Italian migrant named 'Raefello Carboni' subsequently led the Eureka Rebellion.

People: 92% Caucasian descent, 7% Asian descent, 1% Aboriginal descent.

Post World War II - From 1945 through 1996, nearly 5.5 million immigrants settled in Australia.

Four out of 10 Australians are migrants or the first-generation children of migrants.


Sydney - Australia's first and largest city. Also known as Sin City. Wanted to be Capital of Australia but its convict stigma counted against it.

Melbourne - Wanted to be the Capital of Australia on the basis that it was the home to the Australian establishment and was not founded by Convicts. (Founded by John Batman; son of a Convict)

Canberra - Because Sydney and Melbourne kept bickering over which city should be the capital of Australia, it was decided that neither of them would be capital and instead, a new capital would be built in the middle of them both.

Hobart - Australia's second oldest city. The too-frequent visits by French explorers concerned the British authorities and in 1803 it was decided that a colony should be established on the island to secure British territorial claims. Convicts were then sent.

Newcastle - Newcastle's coal deposits were discovered by a party hunting escaped Convicts. Sydney's difficult Convicts were then sent to Newcastle to mine the coal. Known as an egalitarian city where miners and winemakers share a beer or a fine drop.

Adelaide - Claim to fame is that it is a City that has lots of Churches. Adelaide is the Capital of the only Australian state never to have received Convicts. Is universally recognised as a hole.

Perth - The last Australian state to receive Convicts. It has been said most of them now work in parliament or business.

Brisbane - In 1824, a southern state governor sent a party of difficult Convicts to found a new settlement in Queensland. These days, southern state children send their difficult parents to Queensland to retire. Also a Mecca for Southern State teenagers who upon finishing school, head north for a week of booze and debauchery.

Economy and lifestyle

Homicide - Australia was founded by Convicts. Its homicide rate is 1.8 per 100,000 population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. It's homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000. Almost 400% greater than Australia.

The ocker - 10 percent of Australians satisfy the definition of an 'ocker' . This 10 percent of the population consume 80 percent of the beer drunk in Australia.

Gun toting- On average, American soldiers fired seven times as many bullets as Australian soldiers during the Vietnam war.

Newspaper readership - Per capita, Australians read more newspapers than any other nation.

Urban dwellers - Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities.

Gambling - Per Capita, Australians spend more money on gambling than any other nation.

With less than 1 percent of the world's population, Australia has more than 20 percent of its poker machines.

Australia's expenditure on arts products ranks among the highest in developed countries.

The average world population density is 117 people per square mile, that of the United States 76 and that of Macao is 69,000. Australia's is only 6

Employment of Australians - 80% service sector 14% manufacturing 5% rural.

2.3 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from agriculture.

15 percent of Australia's GDP is derived from mining.

.02 percent of the Australian land mass is used by mines. More land is occupied by pubs.

Rabbits - For each person in Australia there are two sheep and over 16 rabbits, the latter introduced in 1859 by one enterprising man who brought 24 wild rabbits from England in an effort to remind him of home.

Bicentenary - At the highpoint of the Bicentenary in 1988, 51% of Australians couldn't see any good reason for celebrating.

Cannabis arrests- In 1999, 46,000 Australians were arrested for possession or use of Cannabis.

Cannabis use - It is estimated that 50% of Australians aged 14-19 are active users of Cannabis.

Cannabis industry - The sale of illegal cannabis industry constitutes 1 percent of Australia's GDP and is twice the size of the Australian wine industry.


Waltzing Matilda - 'Waltzing Matilda' the title of Australia's most famous song, is German for 'carrying a backpack'.

Bludger - Australians refer to lazy people as 'bludgers'. The word is derived from 'bludgeoner' which is a prostitute's standover man.

Larrikin - A larrikin is a comical, roguish individual who is prone to rowdy and unruly behaviour. The term was coined from an Irish policeman in a Melbourne court, claiming the prisoner was "larkin about".

POME - Australians refer to English people as Poms or Pome. This is an acronym for Prisoners of Mother England. May have originally been an abbreviation for pomegranate which is rhyming slang for immigrant.

The name Australia comes from the Latin Terra Australis Incognito which means the Unknown Southern Land.

Seppo - Australians may refer to Americans as 'Seppos'. This is an abbreviation for 'Septic Tank' which is rhyming slang for 'Yank'.

Drongo - Australians may refer to fools, idiots and hopeless cases as Drongos. Drongo was a 1920's racehorse that showed promise but never won anything in 37 starts. In the 1940s, the term was applied to recruits of the Australian airforce.

Digger - Australian servicemen are referred to as Diggers. This term comes from miners on the Australian goldfields of the 1800's.

Kangaroo - The name for the Australian marsupial Kangaroo came about when some of the first white settlers saw this strange animal hopping along and they asked the Aborigines what it was called. They replied with 'Kanguru', which in the native language meant 'I don't know' (what you are asking).


Stolen baby - On August 17, 1980, Lindy Chamberlain, the wife of a Church minister, told authorities that a dingo took her baby Azaria from their campsite near Uluru. Curiously, the Australian public was more inclined to place faith in the character of a wild dog rather than in a minister's wife and as a consequence, Lindy was convicted of murder. Some years later, her conviction was quashed yet still, some Australians are adamant that the dingo was innocent.

Dropbears - Dropbears are an evil species of koala that fall from trees and attack humans. The evil strain of koala don't actually exist rather the story was created to fool Americans.

Yowies- Like the Nth American big foot, the yowie emits a vile odour and screams offensively. Numerous sightings of Yowies have turned out to be escaped mental patients or hermits in jungle attire.

Lost Prime Minister - In 1967, Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia went for a swim at the beach and was never seen again. Theories about his disappearance include kidnapping by a Russian submarine, eaten by a shark or being carried away by the tide.

Bunyips - Bunyips haunt rivers, swamps, creeks and billabongs. Their main goal in life is to cause nocturnal terror by eating people or animals in their vicinity. They are renowned for their terrifying bellowing cries in the night and have been known to frighten Aborigines to the point where they would not approach any water source where a Bunyip might be waiting to devour them.

Some scientists believe the Bunyip was a real animal, the diprotodon, extinct for some 20,000 years.

Megafauna - 20-30 thousand years ago, Australia was home to Megafauna; giant species of marsupials including a wombat the size of a rhino, meat eating kangaroos, kangaroos three meat tall and lizards 7 meters long. It is not known exactly what happened to them. One theory is that were hunted to extinction by Aborigines or that the Aborigines use of fire destroyed their habitat. Another theory is their habitat was destroyed by the progressive drying of Australia.

Marree man - In 1998, a huge engraving of a Aboriginal warrior appeared in the Australian outback. It was 4km long, held a throwing stick, was bearded and had a [bleep] which was estimated to be 200m in length. The markings appeared to have been made by a tractor pulling some sort of plough which created furrows 10m wide in the difficult terrain. To this day, the artist is a mystery.

Phar lap - Phar Lap was Australia's greatest race horse winning 37 of his 51 starts. After handicappers saddled him with enough weight to stop a train, his owner took him overseas to race in America. He easily won his first race but then died in mysterious circumstances.

Mungo man- Although resembling modern humans, Mungo man appears to have been a separate species. His unique DNA has been used to challenge the 'out of Africa' theory of human evolution.


Rosaleen Norton - Rosaleen was born in 1917. She lived outside the realm of respectable society; flouting all moral and social conventions. Her published book of illustrations was declared obscene by the censors and banned in 1952.

Popularly known as the Kings Cross Witch, she was hounded by the media who seized on her alleged satanic rituals, sex orgies and drug-taking. When asked whether she ever considered leading an ordinary life, she exclaimed: "Oh God no, I couldn't stand it! I'd go mad or sane. I don't know which."

William James Chidley - William was born in 1860 and came to prominence due to his unconventional theories on sex, diet and clothing. Donned in a Spartan tunic, he preached living a 'natural' life of nudity and a diet comprising only fruit and nuts.

He suffered constant persecution by the authorities, was committed to various asylums and jailed. Ironically, he was regarded as a pervert for mentioning sex when he was something of a puritan in his teachings and lifestyle. However the public became fond of him and subsequently petitioned parliamentarians and the media to get him released.

Billy Blue - Billy was a Convict of African decent. He was quite a character due to his respectable attire of top hat and discarded military uniform.

So colourful was his personality that his frequent law infringements were looked upon with a 'benevolent ' air by police.

Tim the Yowie man - Tim began his career as a mild mannered economist but during a bushwalking expedition, his life changed after coming face to face with a Yowie. (Australian bigfoot)

Tim realised his calling and gave up the figures to investigate those mysterious occurrences that others were too afraid to openly discuss. Tim named his genre "cryptonaturalism" and to this day, he remains the genre's only occupant.


Happy birthday anthem - In 1977, Alan Jones scored a surprise victory in the Austrian Grand Prix. Initially officials were going to play the Austrian anthem but then realised that Australia and Austria were not the same country. Unfortunately, they didn't have the Australian anthem so instead a local drunk played "Happy Birthday to You" on a trumpet.

Don Bradman - Don Bradman averaged 99.94 during his career. The next highest average in the entire history of the game is around 60.

Australian Football was invented by Sydney Tom Wills and Henry Harrison who were both born in Sydney. Tom played the Aboriginal game of Mangrook as a child and it is believed the native game inspired the rules he initially proposed.

America's cup - In 1983, the yacht "Australia II" ended the Americans 132 year dominance of the America's cup.

4 X 100 meters - The American 4 X 100 meters freestyle relay team had never been defeated until the 2000 Olympics when they were beaten by the Australians.

Duncan Armstrong - At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, underdog Ducan Armstrong upstaged the great American Matt Biondi to win the 200m freestyle. (Australians like to beat Americans.) The win was made extra enjoyable when American's accused Armstrong of "surfing" the wave created by Biondi. Only thing more enjoyable that seeing Americans defeated, is them bitter as well.

Sydney Olympics - The Sydney Olympics were labelled the 'best ever games' by IOC president Juan Samaranch. What makes this a particularly sweet accolade for Australians is that they followed the Atlanta Olympics - staged by Americans.

A Sydney Australian football match was once stopped after fans smuggled a pig into the stadium, wrote the name of a big-boned player on the pig's side and then released it onto the ground.

Dawn Fraser - Dawn Fraser is the only athlete to ever win gold in the same event at three consecutive Olympics. At the 1964 Olympics, Dawn Fraser marched in the opening ceremony and wore a custom made swimsuit. For these breaches of protocol, the Australian Swimming Federation banned her from competition for ten years.

Rod Laver is the only male tennis player to win the grand slam and he did it twice.

Jeff Thompson once bowled a ball that was calculated to be at least 160 kms per hour which makes him the fastest bowler of all time. He is reported to have said that the sound of the bowl hitting the batsmen skull was music to his ears.

Cazaly - When charging from their trenches, Diggers would yell "Up their Cazaly" in tribute to the ruckmen Roy Cazaly. "Up there Cazaly" was later made into a song that reached number one on the charts.

Susie Maroney is a swimmer who from time to time feels inclined to swim long distances - such as Cuba to Florida.

The day of the Melbourne Cup (a horse race!) is a public holiday in Melbourne.
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cheyenne 09

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Fun Facts About Skyscrapers

The Empire State Building, in New York City

The Empire State Building is designed to be a lightning rod. In fact, it is struck by lightning about 100 times each year!

Citicorp Center

New York's Citicorp Center (915 feet tall, 59 stories, built in 1977) was the first U.S. skyscraper to contain a tuned mass damper in order to control the building's sway. The structure was also the site of a near catastrophe. During construction, instead of welding joints as originally specified, builders bolted them. A year after completion, with hurricane season fast approaching, the building's chief engineer discovered the change and realized the joints would be too weak to withstand hurricane-force winds, potentially leading to the building's collapse in a dense urban neighborhood. To correct the problem, a team of workers was hired to weld two-inch-thick steel plates over each of the 200 bolted joints. Six weeks into the three-month repair job, Hurricane Ella was off the coast of North Carolina, headed for New York. Luckily, just hours before New York City was to face emergency evacuation, the hurricane veered out to sea. This crisis was kept secret from the public for almost 20 years.

The Petronas Towers

In the Petronas Towers, the shape of the floors is based on an eight-point star, common in Malaysian Islamic patterns. The towers have so many windows that window washers take a month to clean each tower! You can get an up-close look at the building in the movie Entrapment, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery.

The Sears Tower, in Chicago, Illinois
John Hancock Center

In order to strengthen the John Hancock Center against Chicago's famous winds, engineers included five enormous diagonal braces on the exterior walls of the building. These diagonals block the view from two windows on each floor. A clever rental agent, however, has made these sightless windows a status symbol and it actually costs more money to rent these rooms!

First Interstate World Center

First Interstate World Center (Library Tower) in Los Angeles is located just 26 miles from the San Andreas Fault and has been designed to withstand an earthquake of 8.3 or more on the Richter scale, with a massively reinforced central core and lighter columns around the perimeter. This design makes it flexible, so it can resist vigorous side-to-side shaking without snapping, yet stiff, so it can withstand the force of the wind.

The Sears Tower

On a clear day, you can see four states from the top of Chicago's Sears Tower: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. To make sure your view is clear, the building features six robotic window-washing machines mounted on the roof.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1889. It was built for the World's Fair to demonstrate that iron could be as strong as stone while being infinitely lighter. And in fact the wrought-iron tower is twice as tall as the masonry Washington Monument and yet it weighs 70,000 tons less! It is repainted every seven years with 50 tons of dark brown paint.

The Home Insurance Building

Called "the father of the skyscraper," the Home Insurance Building, constructed in Chicago in1885 (and demolished in 1931), was 138 feet tall and 10 stories. It was the first building to effectively employ a supporting skeleton of steel beams and columns, allowing it to have many more windows than traditional masonry structures. But this new construction method made people worry that the building would fall down, leading the city to halt construction until they could investigate the structure's safety.

The Chrysler Building

In 1929, auto tycoon Walter Chrysler took part in an intense race with the Bank of Manhattan Trust Company to build the world's tallest skyscraper. Just when it looked like the bank had captured the coveted title, workers at the Chrysler Building jacked a thin spire hidden inside the building through the top of the roof to win the contest (subsequently losing the title four months later to the Empire State Building). Chrysler also decorated his building to mirror his cars, with hubcaps, mudguards, and hood ornaments.
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cheyenne 09

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J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) - in full Sir James Matthew, Baronet Barrie

Scottish journalist, playwright and children's book writer. Barrie became world famous with his play and story about PETER PAN (1904), the boy who lived in Never Land, had a war with Captain Hook, and would not grow up. The first name of Peter Pan was almost certainly taken from Peter Llewellyn Davies (1897-1960), one of the several Davies brothers that Barrie knew.

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies." (from Peter Pan)
James Matthew Barrie was born in the Lowland village of Kirriemuir, in Forfarshire (now Angus). His father, David Barrie was a handloom weaver, and mother, Margaret Ogilvy, the daughter of a stonemason. They had ten children, and Barrie was the ninth. Jamie, as he was called, heard tales of pirates from his mother, who read her children adventure stories in the evenings. Before her marriage Margaret Ogilvy belonged to a religious sect called the Auld Lichts, or Old Lights, and many the stories concerning it inspired later Barrie's work. His father Barrie seldom mentions in his autobiographical works.

When Barrie was seven, his brother David died in a skating accident. David had been the mother's favorite child, and she fell into depression. Barrie tried to gain her affection by dressing up in the dead boy's clothes. The obsessive relationship that grew between mother and son was to mark the whole of his life. After her death Barrie published in 1896 an adoring biography on her.

At the age of 13, Barrie left his home village. At school he became interested in theatre and devoured works by such authors as Jules Verne, Mayne Reid, and James Fenimore Cooper. His classmates Barrie observed like an outsider, they were tall, interested in girls, while he remained small and apparently never had a girlfriend. Barrie studied at Dumfries Academy at the University of Edinburgh, receiving his M.A. in 1882. After working as a journalist for the Nottingham Journal, he moved in 1885 with empty pockets to London as a freelance writer. He sold his writings, mostly humorous, to fashionable magazine, such as The Pall Mall Gazette. In his mystery novel, BETTER DEAD (1888), Barrie made jokes of well-known people. Barrie knew such great figures of literature as G.B. Shaw, who did not like his pipe smoking, and H.G. Wells, and could surprise them with his remarks. Once he said to Wells: "It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you waggle your ears?" When a friend noticed that he ordered Brussels sprouts every day, he explained: "I cannot resists ordering them. The words are so lovely to say." With his friends, Jerome K. Jerome, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.G. Wodehouse and others, Barrie founded a cricket club, called Allahakbarries. Doyle was the only member who could actually play cricket. During World War I Barrie made a western film with his literary friends, starring Shaw, William Archer, G.K. Chesterton, etc.

In 1888 Barie gained his first fame with AULD LICHT IDYLLS, sketches of Scottish life. Critics praised its originality. His melodramatic novel, THE LITTLE MINISTER (1891), became a huge success, and was filmed later three times. After its dramatization Barrie wrote mostly for the theater. In 1894 he married Mary Ansell, who had appeared in his play WALKER, LONDON. According to Janet Dunbar's biography (1970), Barrie was impotent. "Boys can't love", was Barrie's explanation to her.

The Little Minister was a popular stage production in 1897 both in England and in the Unites States, where Barrie began his collaboration with the impresario Charles Frohman and his star Maude Adams. Two of Barrie's best plays, QUALITY STREET, about two sisters who start a school "for genteel children", and THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON, in which a butler saves a family after a shipwreck, were produced in London in 1902, and also later filmed. In the same year, Peter Pan appeared by name in Barrie's adult novel THE LITTLE WHITE BIRD. It was a first-person narrative about a wealthy bachelor clubman's attachment to a little boy, David. Taking this boy for walks in Kensington Gardens, the narrator tells him of Peter Pan, who can be found in the Gardens at night. Peter Pan was produced for the stage in 1904 but the play had to wait several years for a definitive printed version and it did not appear as a narrative story until 1911. The book was titled PETER AND WENDY. In the novel's epilogue Peter visits a grown-up Wendy.

"Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies' there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead." (from Peter Pan)
Peter Pan evolved gradually from the stories that Barrie told to Sylvia Llewelyn Davies's five young sons. She was the daughter of the novelist George du Maurier, and a motherly figure, with whom Barrie formed a long friendship. Arthur, her husband, was not happy about Barrie's invasion of the family. In 1909 Mary Barrie began an affair with the writer Gilbert Cannan and Barrie's marriage ended. When Sylvia Llwelyn Davies and her husband died, Barrie was the unofficial guardian of their sons, but in reality he was perhaps more a sixth child than an adoptive father. George, one of the sons, died in World War I, Michael drowned himself with his boy friend in Oxford. Michael's death was a deep blow to Barrie. Peter, who became a publisher, committed suicide in 1960.

Peter Pan was first performed at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, in 1904. The fantastic world of Peter Pan had previously been presented in Barrie's The Little White Bird (1902). "All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew this." The story begins in the Bloomsbury flat of the Darlings, which is visited by Peter Pan. He is a boy who has run away from his home to avoid growing up. Like his attendant fairy Tinker Bell, he can fly and teaches the skill to the three Darling children. Wendy Darling with her brothers accompany Peter Pan to Never Land where he lives with the Lost Boys, protected by a tribe of Red Indians. Wendy becomes mother to the boys. When Peter is away, she is captured with all her 'family' by the pirate Captain Hook. They are saved from the walk on the plank by Peter's bravery. Hook is eaten by his nemesis, the crocodile who had swallowed a ticking clock. Peter takes Wendy and her brothers back home but he declines an offer of adoption from Mrs. Darling. Wendy promises visit him every year to do the spring cleaning. - Barrie himself was considered by Freudians a suitable target for analysis. Peter Pan has also been seen as an Oedipal tale. Barrie himself had stopped growing when he reached five feet in height, he suffered from migraines and rarely smiled. Wendy, Peter's girl friend, borrowed her name from Barrie - it was his nickname. W.E. Henley's daughter Margaret called Barrie Friendly-Wendy. The portrait of Wendy owes much to Barrie's mother, and orphaned "little mother" who had to raise her younger brother.

Barrie wrote two more fantasy plays. DEAR BRUTUS (1917) described a group of people who enter a magic wood where they are transformed into the people they might have become had they made different choices. MARY ROSE (1920) was a story of a mother, who is searching for her lost child. Eventually she becomes a ghost. WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS (1908) portrayed a determined woman, Maggie, whose husband eventually realizes that he owes his success to her. "It's sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don't need to have anything else, and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have. Some woman, the few, have charm for all; and most have charm for one. But some have charm for none." (from What Every Woman Knows, 1908) In 1913 Barrie became a baronet and in 1922 he received the Order of Merit. Barrie's penthouse at Adelphi Terrace was visited by ministers, duchesses, movie stars, such as Charlie Chaplin, and a number of admirers, whom he occasionally helped with money or advice. Even at his old age, Barrie could play enthusiastically Captain Hook and Peter Pan with the son of his secretary, Lady Cynthia Asquith. Barrie was elected lord rector of St. Andrew's University and in 1930 chancellor of Edinburgh University. Barrie died on June 3, 1937.
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*Herring no more! An ancient bell, suspended from a tree in a churchyard in the fishing village of St. Monans in the County of Fife, and rung to summon people to worship, was removed during the Herring fishing season because local fishermen believed in the superstition that its noise frightened the fish away.

It's actually the Kingdom of Fife and is the largest geographical Kingdom in the world :whistling:
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cheyenne 09

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Famous Scottish People

John Logie Baird (1888 - 1946)

Engineer. Inventor of the television and later developed ideas such as colour, 3-D and large screen television. Also took out a patent on fibre-optics, a technology now used to carry many telephone calls and traffic on the internet.

Alexander Graham Bell (1847 - 1922)

Born in Edinburgh. Having emigrated to Canada and later the USA, Bell became the inventor of the telephone in 1876.

William Wallace (1274 - 1305)

Outlaw and defender of Scottish independence. Defeated the army of Edward I at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Shortly after Wallace's execution, Robert the Bruce was able to re-establish Scotland's independence.

Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Poet and Writer. Amongst many other works he wrote "Auld Lang Syne" which is now sung world-wide at the end of functions and particularly at the end of the year. The Scots celebrate "Burn's Night" on the 25th January.

Sean Connery (1930 - )

Actor. Perhaps best known as James Bond, but more recent roles have included "The Untouchables", for which he won an Oscar and the "Hunt for Red October". Also an accomplished amateur golfer.

Tom Conti (1941 - )

Stage and Film Actor. Film roles include "Reuben, Reuben" (1983), for which he received an academy award nomination, "Heavenly Pursuits" (1986) and "Shirley Valentine" (1989).

Kenny Dalglish (1951 - )

Perhaps Scotland's most successful football player. Born in Glasgow, he joined Jock Stein's Celtic team in 1967, moving to the English team Liverpool in 1977 for a record transfer fee. Won League and European Cups on several occasions and became successful player-manager. One of Scotland's greatest internationalists, playing in successive World Cup championships, and capped 102 times.

Jock (John) Stein (1922 - 1985)

Footballer and Football Manager. Born in Lanarkshire, he led Celtic to League Scottish and European Cup victories. Manager of Scottish national team which qualified for the World Cup Final in 1982.

Jackie Stewart (1939 - )

Racing car driver, who won the World Championship three times, turned Olympic clay pigeon shooter. In 1997, together with his son, he launched his own Formula One motor racing team. He was born in Dumbarton.

Jim Watt (1948 - )

Boxer, born in Glasgow. Won the WBC World Lightweight title in 1979.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930)

Author. Creator of the detective Sherlock Holmes. He graduated from Edinburgh University in medicine and practised in Edinburgh, aboard ship and in the Boer War.

David Douglas (1798 - 1834)

Adventurous Botanist. Born in Scone (Perthshire). Discovered more than 200 new plant species in North America, including the Douglas Fir. Died from injuries received from wild bull having fallen into bull pit in Hawaii.

Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1918)

U.S. iron and steel magnate and great philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, in Fife. Gave a considerable proportion of his fortune to the benefit of Scotland, including substantial educational endowments and 10,000 church organs.

Roy Williamson (1937 - 1990)

Half of the Scottish folk band "The Corries" who, in the 1960's, wrote "Flower of Scotland", which has subsequently been adopted as Scotland's unofficial National Anthem.

Lulu (Marie McDonald Lawrie) (1948 - )

Pop singer, entertainer and TV personality, born in Glasgow. Hits include "Shout" (1964). Sang title song and acted in "To Sir with Love" (1966). Married to Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees) between 1969 and 1973.

Billy Connolly (1942 - )

Glasgow-born comedian and TV personality known as "The Big Yin". Appeared in the U.S. situation-comedy "Head of the Class".

Billy Connolly was born at 65 Dover Street ("on the linoleum, three floors up") in Glasgow, Scotland, to Mary and William Connolly, the son of an Irish immigrant. In 1946, with their son barely four years old, Connolly's mother abandoned his sister and him, while his father was away for the war. He and his sister, Florence ("Flo"), were then looked after by two aunts, Margaret and Mona, his father's sisters.

Connolly was brought up in the Anderston, and later Partick, districts of Glasgow. He attended St. Peter's Primary School in Glasgow and St. Gerard's Secondary School in Govan. At the age of 12, he decided he wanted to become a comedian but felt he didn't fit the mould; he felt he needed to become more "windswept and interesting". Instead, at the age of 15, he left school and became a welder in a Glasgow shipyard. Around the same time he joined the Territorial Army's Parachute Regiment. At the medical, the doctor noted to him, "You're not very big downstairs, are you?", to which Connolly replied, "I thought we were only going to fight them."

Sir Harry Lauder (1870 - 1950)

Singer and Music Hall Entertainer. Came from a poor family to become a world-famous entertainer. Did much to foster an image of Scots as kilt-wearing, whisky drinking and careful with money. Well loved at home and in the U.S.A. for songs such as "Roamin' in the Gloamin'" and "A wee Doch an Dorus".

Oor Wullie (1936 - )

An almost legendary cartoon character appearing weekly in the almost as legendary "Sunday Post" newspaper, published by Dundee company of D.C. Thomson. This mischievous dungaree-wearing boy is known for uttering "Jings! Crivvens! Help ma Boab!". He was created by Dudley D. Watkins, also known for The Broons and Desperate Dan.

Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1918)

U.S. iron and steel magnate and great philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, in Fife. Gave a considerable proportion of his fortune to the benefit of Scotland, including substantial educational endowments and 10,000 church organs.

Rev. Patrick Bell (1800 - 1869)

Invented the reaping machine which was a direct precursor of the modern combine harvester.

Lord MacBeth (c.1005 - 1057)

The last of Scotland's Gaelic Kings. Grandson of Malcolm II. Although best known as the character in William Shakespeare's play of the same name, in reality he could not have been more different from this villainous portrayal.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813 - 1878)

Inventor. Invented the bicycle, but never patented it and it was therefore widely copied.

Charles Mackintosh (1766 - 1843)

Inventor and Entrepreneur. By applying naptha to rubber sheeting strengthened by cloth he invented the fabric for the rain-coat which bears his name.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928)

Architect and Designer. Influential Glasgow designer whose style was a unique blend of art nouveau and scottish celtic traditionalism. His most famous building is the Glasgow School of Art, the design of which was much copied by contemporaries.

Sir Patrick Manson (1844 - 1922)

Born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, he was a pioneer of Tropical Medicine, developing it as a distinct field of study. Showed that Malaria was carried by mosquito, and also did valuable research on sleeping sickness and beri-beri.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831 - 1879)

Mathematician and Physicist. Contributed significantly to the study of electro-magnetism and prepared the way for quantum physics. Ranks along with Newton and Einstein as one of the World's greatest physicists.

Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850)

Born in Glasgow, he was a notable builder of Lighthouses. He solved many of the complex engineering problem relating to the harsh environment in which they were constructed. Grand-father of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

Author. His works included "Kidnapped" and "Treasure Island". Suffered from poor health and died in Samoa.

John Boyd Dunlop (1840 - 1921)

Inventor. Developed the pneumatic tyre which was to improve the comfort of cyclists and later motorists. Contrary to popular opinion, Dunlop did not invent the pneumatic tyre, it was actually invented by Robert William Thomson.

William Hunter (1718 - 1783)

Pioneer in the field of Obstetrics. Born in Lanarkshire and educated at Glasgow University, he gained his reputation in the teaching hospitals of London. Perhaps best known for his collection of anatomical specimens, coins and minerals which he left to the Glasgow Museum which took its name from his, the Hunterian Museum.

Sir Hugh Dalrymple (Lord Drummore) (1700 - 1753)

Invented hollow-pipe drainage. This innovation allowed the drying of water-logged land, bringing large areas into agricultural production.

Sir James Dewar (1842 - 1923)
Physicist and Chemist, born in Kincardine, Fife. Inventor of the vacuum flask.

Joseph Black (1728 - 1799)

Chemist. Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry in Glasgow University (1756) and then Professor of Medicine and Chemistry in Edinburgh (1766). Developed the concept of "Latent Heat" and discovered Carbon Dioxide ("Fixed Air"). Regarded as the Father of Quantitative Chemistry.

James Braid (1795 - 1860)

Surgeon and pioneer in the field of Hypnosis. First used the term 'Neurohypnosis' which was later shortened to simply 'Hypnosis'.

Sir David Brewster (1781 - 1868)

Physicist and Principal of St. Andrews (1838) and then Edinburgh University (1859). Worked with polarised light. Invented the kaleidoscope and suggested it might be useful for designing carpets.

John Buchan (Baron Tweedsmuir) (1875 - 1940)

Author, biographer and politician. Perhaps best known for "The Thirty-Nine Steps". Was also a member of parliament and Governor-General of Canada.

Sir William Burrell (1861 - 1951)

An eccentric shipowner and compulsive collector of art and antiques. In 1944 he presented 8000 items to the City of Glasgow which form the Burrell Collection, now housed in Pollock Park. He also gave 42 paintings to Berwick-upon-Tweed Art Gallery.

Sir Ralph Alexander Cochrane (1895 - 1977)

Air Chief Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Born in Springfield, Fife. He was responsible for planning bombing raids against German industry during World War II, including the 'Dambusters Raid' in 1943.

Edited by cheyenne 09, 26 October 2006 - 09:48 AM.

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cheyenne 09

cheyenne 09

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Did You Know?......... The nine of diamonds ( Curse of Scotland )

Curse of Scotland
The nine of diamonds playing card is often referred to as the "Curse of Scotland" There are a number of reasons given for this connection:
1. It was the playing card used by Sir John Dalrymple, the Earl of Stair, to cryptically authorise the Glencoe Massacre. Certainly there is a resemblance between the nine of diamonds and his coat of arms.

2. The Duke of Cumberland is supposed to have scribbled the order for "no quarter" to be given after the Battle of Culloden on a nine of diamonds playing card..

3. It has also been suggested that it is a misreading of the "Corse of Scotland" ie the "Cross of Scotland" or St Andrew's Saltire. There is a resemblance between the pattern of the nine of diamonds and the Saltire.

4. Nine diamonds were at one time stolen from the crown of Scotland and a tax was levied on the Scottish people to pay for them - the tax got the nickname "The Curse of Scotland".

The first two explanations are the ones most commonly given.

Did You Know?
- Guy Fawkes - 5 November

Historical Background
In 1603, following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England and Wales as well. In both Scotland and England the Reformation of the church had taken place and both Elizabeth and James were Protestants. Indeed, the English Parliament would not have allowed a Catholic to become king.

However, there were still a substantial number of people in the country who adhered to the Church of Rome. Some of these had hopes of restoring Catholicism as the main religion in the country and Guy Fawkes, a Catholic zealot, plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, with the king and all the Members of Parliament. They believed that in the chaos that followed the Roman Catholics would be able to seize power. Their plans were thwarted initially be a delay in opening Parliament - from February to 5 November.

The Plan Goes Wrong
Guy Fawkes obtained a house which adjoined the Parliament building and from there was able to carry 20 barrels of gunpowder to the basement below the seat of government. However, one of the conspirators warned a friend to stay away from Parliament as it was to "receive a terrible blow". This alerted the authorities who discovered Guy Fawkes as he was preparing the explosion. Guy Fawkes was executed on 31 January 1606. Ever since the Gunpowder Plot, there has been a ceremonial search of the basement below the Westminster Parliament building prior to the opening of every session.

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November
Recent research has suggested that if Guy Fawkes had been successful, the amount of gunpowder involved was so large it would not only have destroyed the Houses of Parliament but also many nearby buildings. A relieved government passed a law compelling people to celebrate 5 November and it took until 1859 before the law was repealed.

Although there is no longer any government edict in force, a tradition has grown up of lighting bonfires, with an effigy of Guy Fawkes on top, every 5 November. In more recent years, it became customary for children to take the effigy round the streets and plead for money with cries of "A penny for the guy". Fireworks have also become popular, both in displays beside the organised bonfires and also by parents and children creating a firework display in their own back gardens. In recent years, fireworks have been in the shops for many weeks in advance of 5 November and so the sound of bangers and rockets has become part of Hallowe'en too. But the indiscriminate use of noisy fireworks (not to mention the distress caused to family pets) has led to the introduction of laws controlling the sale of many types of fireworks.
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cheyenne 09

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Did You Know?

- Festive Greetings and Toasts

Many people add greetings with a Scottish flavour at the end of their e-mails (and paper messages too). Here is a selection which has been gathered over the years. Where necessary, a "translation" has been provided!

Firstly, here's a selection in Scots:

May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye'll ivver see.
May the moose ne'er lea' yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye'r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wuss ye aye tae be.

The above, in translation, reads:
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your grain store with a tear drop in its eye.
May you always stay hale and hearty until you are old enough to die.
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be.

Here's to all those that I love
Here's to all those that love me.
And here's to all those that love those that I love,
And all those that love those that love me.
(You have to think about that one!)

I drink to the health of another,
And the other I drink to is he -
In the hope that he drinks to another,
And the other he drinks to is me!

Here's to them that like us -
Them that think us swell -
And here's tae them that hate us -
Let's pray for them as well!

Here's to the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather!

Here's to the heroes that Scotland can boast,
May their names never dee -
That's the Heilan' Man's Toast!

Here's tae us -
Wha's like us -
[bleep] few -
And they're a' deid -
Mairs the pity!

May the hill rise behind you,
And may the mountain be always over the crest;
And may the God that you believe in
Hold you in the palm of his hand.

Or alternatively:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields.

Lang may yer lum reek! (Long may your chimney smoke!)
Wi' ither folks coal! (With other people's coal!)
(The second line is said to have originated in Edinburgh!)

May we be happy - and our enemies know it!

A guid New Year and mony may ye see.

May ye ne'er want a frien' or a dram to gie him.

When we're gaun up the hill of fortune, may we ne'er meet a frien' comin' doun!

And here are two toasts for the start of the meal (both written by Robert Burns):

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat -
And sae the Lord be thankit.

O Thou who kindly dost provide
For every creature's want!
We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
For all thy goodness lent.
And, if it please Thee, heavenly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But, whether granted or denied,
Lord bless us with content.

And here is another Burns toast, this time for after a meal:

O Thou, in whom we live and move, Who made the sea and shore; Thy goodness constantly we prove, And grateful would adore; And, if it please Thee, Power above! Still grant us with such store The friend we trust, the fair we love, And we desire no more.

Here is a lucky folklore chant taken from Highland myths and legends. It is carved on a memorial marking one of Scotland's best known drovers' trails near Gleneagles Hotel.

Great Good Luck to the House.
Good Luck to the Family.
Good Luck to every rafter in it,
and to every Worldly Thing in it.

Good Luck to the Horses and Cattle
Good Luck to the Sheep
Good Luck to Everything
and Good Luck to all your Means.

Good Luck to the Good-Wife
Good Luck to the children
God Luck to every Friend
and Good Fortune and Health to al.

And now, here's a selection of Gaelic greetings (with translations!).

SlĂ inte maith, h-uile latha, na chi 'snach fhaic!
(Good health, every day, whether I see you or not!)
(Particularly appropriate for e-mail only friends?)

Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath Ăąr!
(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slainte agus sonas.
(May your cup overflow with health and happiness.)

SlĂ inte, sonas agus beartas
(Health, wealth and happiness)

A h-uile lĂ  sona dhuibh 's gun lĂ  idir dona dhuib.
(May all your days be happy ones)

And finally, here is the Celtic Blessing of the Nine Elements:

May you go forth under the strength of heaven, under the light of sun, under the radiance of moon;
May you go forth with the splendor of fire, with the speed of lightning, with the swiftness of wind;
May you go forth supported by the depth of sea, by the stability of earth, by the firmness of rock;
May you be surrounded and encircled, with the protection of the nine elements.

Did You Know?
- Marriage Customs in Scotland

Courtship and marriage are important for all societies and all sorts of customs and rituals have arisen which are associated with these events. Here are some of the customs which used to be prevalent in Scotland and some which have survived to this day. Of course, a number of these practices were taken to other parts of the world as a result of emigration.

Although most people married locally, young people learned from an early age how to foretell who their marriage partner would be or what he/she would be like. For example, by paring an apple so that the skin comes off in one length. As the clock strikes twelve, it was swung round the head and thrown over the left shoulder. When it landed it would form the first letter of the name of the future spouse. Also, two nuts were burnt in a fire - if they burnt quietly all would be well, if they exploded and burst, true love would be hard to find.

Valentine Dealing
On 14 February an equal number of male and female names were written on bits of paper and placed in separate hats. Each person drew out a name from the appropriate hat. Whoever became paired, were sweethearts for the following year. The modern custom of sending Valentine cards stems from this. Modern envelopes have "Postman, postman, do not tarry, take this to the girl I'll marry" and "SWALK" (sealed with a loving kiss) and/or HOLLAND (how our love lasts and never dies) written on them.

Walking out was a popular activity for the young men and women in towns. They would gradually pair off and when they became betrothed, they stood on opposite sides of a burn, dipped their hands in the water and joined hands.

The custom of bundling was found in many parts of the country but was particularly prevalent in Orkney (perhaps because of the long, dark, cold winter nights). The courting couple were encouraged to share a bed - but they were fully clothed and the girl had a bolster cover tied over her legs! The idea was to allow the couple to talk and get to know each other but in the safe (and warm) confines of the girl's house.

Name Carving
Initials were often carved on tree trunks or on stones. Some of these bridal stones still exist.

Dance Halls
These were popular meeting places in towns and cities in the 20th century. It was customary for the men to stand on one side of the hall and girls on the other. When the announcement "Please take your partners for..." was made, there was a mad rush by the boys across the dance floor (I remember it well!). The legendary question was "Are ye dancing?" to which the reply was "Are ye askin?" As the evening progressed, there might be a mutual agreement for the young man to "lumber" a girl home.

Bottom Drawer and Dowries
A bride was expected to have a collection of bed-linen, blankets, table linen and bedroom furnishings to take to her new home. The father was also expected to provide a dowry - perhaps a few cattle or sheep or money. Lairds often went into debt to provide their daughters with a good dowry (especially if it was the dowry which made the girl attractive!)

Leap Year
It is said that in the 11th century Queen Margaret introduced the custom of allowing girls to ask the boy to marry her on 29 February in a leap year. It evolved later that if the boy refused, he had to buy her a dress and kid gloves instead!

Minimum Age
Until 1929, a girl could legally get married at the age of 12 or above and a boy at 14 though marriage at such a young age was extremely rare. In 1929 the age was raised to 16. However, in Scotland no parental consent is required from that age, whereas in England the consent of parents was (and is) required until the age of 18. This resulted in young English couples coming to Scotland if they were unable to get their parents' permission. Since the first town of any size over the Scottish/English border was Gretna Green, this became a frequent place for the marriage to take place. The perpetuation of the tradition of the local blacksmith there carrying out a form of wedding ceremonies added to the romance. There are now over 4,000 weddings a year at Gretna in Scotland's "wedding capital" which has now become a popular tourist attraction even for those not getting married.

Announcing the intended wedding in the church was known as "crying the banns" or "crying siller". For some time now, in an increasingly secular society, notices of marriage can also be displayed at the office of the Registrar. This has to be done at least 15 days in advance of the wedding and not more than three months ahead. Such a notice was displayed outside Dornoch Cathedral (pictured here by courtesy of Dornoch Web site) 15 days before the marriage of Madonna and Guy Ritchie in December 2000. Details of the regulations can be found at the General Register Office Web site.

Show of Presents
Friends and relatives provided presents to help the intending couple to set up home. There was a "show of presents" when everyone came to see what they had received. This was a particularly West of Scotland/Glasgow custom though in Moray it was also found and there it was called "bucking".

Stag Night and Hen Nights
I'm sure you know all about those! In addition, female office and factory workers leaving to get married were often dressed up with balloons, "L" plates, carried a chamber pot (often with salt inside) and were covered in paper flowers and sometimes carried in a barrow to be paraded through the streets. Passing men were encouraged to kiss the prospective bride in exchange for money dropped into the chamber pot. While still in evidence, this ritual is dying out.

Until recently, it was possible to become married by "habitation and repute" just by living together as husband and wife. Of course, these days, even if it is no longer called "co-habitation" many couples set up home together and have a family without a formal wedding ceremony. The number of marriages in Scotland is 25% less than it was 25 years ago and the percentage of children born out of wedlock is amongst the highest in Europe.

"Free" weddings were where the father of the bride paid for all the food and drink. Scots weddings usually continue into the evening with dancing and more alcohol! Penny weddings meant each guest provided some food and drink and these often lasted for more than one day.

Wedding Gowns
The colour white for a wedding dress was introduced by Queen Victoria - prior to that any colour was ok except green (which was associated with the fairies) and black (which was for mourning). The tradition of the bride wearing "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" is still often followed. Traditionally, there were never any knots in ribbons or clothing but these were retied after the wedding - tying the knot.

Location of Weddings
Weddings can take place anywhere in the country if an authorised minister of religion is officiating. So weddings on mountain tops or on a ship in territorial waters are possible. But civil weddings can currently only take place in the Registrar's office - though there are moves in the pipeline to change this.

This started as the bride throwing a decorated ball as she left the church. This evolved into the bridegroom throwing coins as he left home and on leaving church. Young boys scrambled to pick them up. The custom is less prevalent now due to the danger of accidents happening as youngsters jostled for the coins.

The ring on the third finger of the left hand goes back to Roman times but was banned in Scotland after the Reformation in the 16th century as being a Popish relic. But the custom came back again in the 17th century. The wearing of wedding rings by men is a recent innovation.

Wedding Cake
This was once a "bridescake" (a sort of shortbread) baked by the brides mother. A piece was broken over the bride's head - if it broke into small pieces, the marriage would be fruitful. The custom of both bride and groom cutting the cake is recent - it used to be just the bride. Everyone got a piece of cake and also sending a piece of cake to all who had given a present became the norm. When the more modern, fruit-cake covered in icing style of cake came into fashion, it was customary to have small trinkets inside so guests had to watch carefully as they ate!

New Home
In earlier times there was rarely money for such things as honeymoons and the young couple would go to their new home after the wedding and reception. The groom carrying the bride over the threshold was to avoid the bad luck of her tripping on the way in.
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cheyenne 09

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Remember Remember The Fifth of November poem About Guy Fawkes
Traditional on Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see of no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!
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