Donate To Those Affected By Floods In Lancashire

I am sure we can all agree that the devastation the recent floods brought to the North of England is something we didn’t expect to see. Those who have been evacuated to rest centres are yet to see just how much damage has been caused to their homes. Others already know that the water level has been in feet not inches.

Sitting here in my comfortable home, I thought what I could do to help. It is not at first obvious how to do so, which made me decide to go look. After an hour or so I found the Lancashire Churches Together group and phoned Canon Ed Saville and explained that I wanted to be able to help and know it was going where it was needed.

Canon Saville advised me that there is a fund specifically set up to co-ordinate what is needed and sent me the web address. http://lancsfloodappeal.org.uk/

This is a bona fide fund set up as an offshoot of the Community Foundation For Lancashire which is supported by many organisations in the area. So if you are looking to offer some help to those who have been victims of the recent flooding then I am confident that this is a suitable fund to receive donations and ensure they are used to their best advantage.

I have seen many on Facebook and Twitter mentioning about helping our own, well now you can, please feel free to donate whatever you can to help those who have been left with scenes of devastation in their homes.

Thank you.


Banking Hours Slashed

As from 7th December the Bank Of Scotland in Auchterarder will no longer be open every working day.  From that date the bank will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 4pm.

Although reported originally in national media in September, it is worth reminding everyone now that banking habits will have to change, especially for businesses used to banking most days.   A night safe is to be available for those who may need it.

In less than 4 weeks the town will no longer have full time banking available.

barbara nesbitt

Barbara Nesbitt Performs In Craigrossie Hotel on Halloween

The Craigrossie Hotel in Auchterarder is delighted to welcome Barbara Nesbitt to perform on Halloween.

Winner of awards for songwriting, acoustic performance and nominated for some of the most prestigious acoustic awards in America Barbara Nesbitt is a Folk music performer admired by other performers.

Based in Austin Texas and currently dividing her time between The Whiskey Sisters (which she helped form), Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe and her “solo” project simply called Barbara Nesbitt.  Barbara is well known on the music scene in Texas and has gained much acclaim for her various collaborations.

So why not drop in and enjoy the sound of true Americana on Halloween?

Issue one pic

Future Plans For Auchterarder

To keep up to date with local plans for Auchterarder check out the Charrette Report here


Any Budding Novelists Out There?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.


If you would like to know more, head for NaNoWriMo


Auchterarder Teenager To Represent Scotland

Auchterarder Community School pupil, Marcus Nicol, Aged 13, is producing some great scores around the Clay Pigeon Shooting circuit. Marcus started shooting on his 12th birthday, so has only been shooting for just under 2 years. His interest was encouraged by his dad, Ken Nicol, who is a qualified APSI Instructor. Marcus first took up the sport at County Clays, Dunkeld, and Clark Taylor, Proprietor, continues to be of great support.

His dad, Ken Nicol said, “It was clear from his first few attempts at clay pigeon shooting that Marcus had a keen eye and a natural ability to understand shooting concepts and disciplines”.

However, in the past few months, he has turned to shooting National Skeet. In a short period of time his scores have continually risen. A few weekends ago saw him shoot his best ever score at Kippen Gun Club – where he is a member – with the result he has been moved from Competitive C Class to B Class in a period of 8 weeks. He shot 95/100 in 2 rounds of 50 – a 21 & 24 and then 2 straight 25s. Marcus has been inspired by and has appreciated the great encouragement he has been given my Max Jeffries of Kippen Gun Club, who represents Britain in the Double Trap discipline.

Ken said. “There were claps and cheers as he came off the shooting ground as he outshot most of the adults there, the top score being a 98!

He then went on to win the Junior Cup and was in the team who picked up the 40 Bird Flush Cup at the Strathendrick RFC Charity Shoot. He then followed this by winning the BASC Junior Sporting Shoot at County Clays, Dunkeld, and came 4th equal in the Sporting Challenge at the BASC Scottish Game Fair the first weekend in July. Even on holiday this past couple of weeks has seen him come second in the only national Sporting Championship in Bulgaria!

His desire to improve and succeed is evident in his attitude. Even when he does not perform as well as he wishes, he stays calm and does not show any frustration or temper. He is a slightly built teenager but his consistent and continual progress over the year has been inspirational.

His hard work and dedication has paid off and Marcus got news a couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday that he had been selected to shoot for Scotland in the Home International on the 21st/22nd August at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre in Trefeglwys,

Marcus said. “This is a great honour and fantastic achievement in such a short space of time shooting in this discipline. It involves two days practice and then 2 day’s competition which is very intense, and will be my first experience of national competition. I am really looking forward to it.”

When asked about the future, Marcus said “My desire is to continually improve in order to reach the top competitively; I would like to make shooting my career and continue to be a great ambassador for the sport and to encourage young shooters like myself. I know I have some way to go but I have found a sport that I love and will continue to dedicate the time required to achieve my goal”.

This weekend saw him pick up the Juniors Cup at the Scottish Captain’s Shoot held at the Scottish Clay Pigeon Shooting Centre at Leuchars, shooting an impressive 93.

Marcus’s dad, Ken Nicol said, “We are hugely grateful for the sponsorship we have received from Trevor Brister of Trev’s House of Tattoos in Perth and also to Alan Harris of Alpa Joiners in Denny, as shooting is such an expensive sport. We are also in the process of approaching cartridge companies for further sponsorship as to compete at this level Marcus requires a lot of practice, firing around 1500 cartridges a month. If anyone reading this article can assist Marcus, he would be delighted to be contacted via the publication.


Beware False Broadband Promises

Living in such a rural location, I have not expected much from my broadband connection.  Really I have been quite happy that we have had broadband.

So when the Ryder Cup was announced and there was all the publicity of how the local area communications network would be upgraded I was looking forward to an improvement in what was available.

There was no doubt that Auchterarder would be the first to benefit and that myself being based in Aberuthven may not see the benefit for some time.  So you can imagine my excitement when we started getting leaflets through the door inviting us to sign up for BT Infinity.

Not being with BT I went onto the website of my broadband and phone supplier and checked what was available.  Sure enough, fibre broadband was available, what excitement, no more yelling at each other to close down windows on the computers.

I waited a few weeks to make sure that we had a day off for the engineer to come and upgrade the telephone wiring in the house.  Once this was sorted, off I went to order my new fibre broadband package.

Funny, it didn’t seem to be available by my supplier anymore.  No matter, we could still get BT Infinity, it said so in the leaflet, addressed to me, not just the householder.  I called BT and asked about upgrading to fibre.  “Oh, that’s not available”.

It seems that the “area” has fibre, however as we are cabinet 3 it may still be some time before it is upgraded.  The operator advised me to call in the middle of this week to check.

I decided to check online and was delighted to find that I could get fibre once they had checked my line.  Having checked prices, BT were very close to my providers price so I decided just to order from them right away.

I filled in all the forms, had the lines checked again etc and was just about to hit order when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the expected line speed.  1-3Mbs.  This was my speed at the moment, this was not a fibre broadband speed.

So it seems that BT were going to allow me to change providers and charge me for fibre broadband and I would gain nothing from this move.  It could be that I would have received a call or email saying they were unable to improve my speed at present, however I wouldn’t like to take bets on that.

So beware false broadband promises, as Plusnet my own provider had also taken my order and only because I wanted to check with BT that it was really available did I cancel that order before giving final card details.

How many I wonder have ordered an upgrade but are still stuck with a slow speed as the cabinet hasn’t been upgraded yet?  It may be worth checking your deal if you still have a slow internet speed, certainly it was the difference between £2.50 per month for standard broadband and between £13 and £15 per month for fibre.

toby carvery

Toby Carvery Revisited

Recently I rediscovered the Toby Carvery at the Isle of Skye in Perth.

It has been a few years since I was last there and to tell the truth I had completely forgotten about it. Then a couple of months ago when Patrick was visiting we were looking for somewhere to go for a Sunday Dinner. Looking on the web for places in Perth I found the Toby Carvery, which was very reasonably priced and had all the required ingredients for Sunday Dinner.

That first visit was a welcome relaxed affair in quiet surroundings. Obviously we chose the right time as on future visits we have had to wait for a table. Never a long wait and no matter how busy it is, still a comfortable and relaxing place to eat.

Tonight was one of the busiest I have seen, which did surprise me for a Wednesday. However it was a treat for myself and Kathleen so we didn’t mind the wait as it gave us time to chat and catch up.

The waiting staff were at full stretch to try and clear tables as quickly as possible so that waiting diners could be seated with as little delay as possible. To Michelle, Kelsey, Natalia and Aneta I can only say, well done, fabulous job. These girls worked so hard tonight and helped each other out when they could to ensure all the diners got seated and fed without too much of a delay. Still smiling and still happy to help even when they were struggling, a credit to the restaurant.

There were people who expected to be seated immediately or complained when a table wasn’t ready within a short time, I was appalled at their treatment of staff who were obviously doing their best and more. Sometimes it is just embarassing to be witness to the way some people treat waiting staff.   Surely a little understanding in an obviously busy situation isn’t too much to ask for?

For myself and Kathleen it was a good night with good food, good service and good prices. It wasn’t our first visit and it most certainly won’t be our last.

ceiling leak

“Drip” “Drip”

“The first indication I had that all was not well with my house was an irritating “drip” “drip” coming from the kitchen.

Eventually unable to stand it anymore I got up and wandered through ready to shout at my daughter for leaving the tap running.  That however would have been the easy option.

It wasn’t a dripping tap that was causing the irritating noise, no, it was a drip from the light in the ceiling.  Water from somewhere had made its way through the house and was now dripping down from my electric light fitting.

I don’t know too much about such things but I do know for sure that water and electricity don’t mix.  So the first thing I did was switch off the light and then go investigate.

What a nightmare, the taping in my kitchen ceiling was coming adrift, there was a huge area of damp plaster on the ceiling and who knew what was happening to my electrics.

Now a lot of the time when I have DIY problems I will call in family and friends.  However this time I knew that it was well beyond that, this was a call to the insurance company.”


This is a typical story of insurance claims for households.  Something happens that is just a bit more than friends and family can deal with.  Safety is a factor because of the mix of water and electrics and so it needs to be handled by the professionals.

This is the point in the story that can make all the difference to you and your insurance claim.  This is the point when you get your own expert to make sure that your best interests are looked after.

Don’t accept that offer of cutting out part of the ceiling and changing the light socket.  You need tests done to make sure things are safe, you need to make sure that your property is put back to a “pre loss condition”.  You need your own Loss Adjuster.

When you find that “drip” “drip” is not a tap but coming from the ceiling, make one of your calls to your own Loss Adjuster.

Public Loss Adjusters Scotland are the only company in Scotland working solely for policy holders.  We are NOT affiliated with any insurance company so our interest is solely in getting you the best possible settlement.

So if you need to make a claim on your household insurance remember to look after your own best interests.  Call 0800 0435 999 and let us help make your claim easier.


An escape of water is one of many reasons to phone the insurance company.  If you have any questions about something else that has happened then please don’t hesitate to email Public Loss Adjusters at – kmcrostie@publicla.co.uk

Alyth bridge

Community Spirit Shines Through In Alyth

alyth flood




From This



Alyth recovers





To This


In less than a week.

It seems so long ago that I posted those photographs from Alyth, unfortunately it was only a couple of weeks ago.  So much devastation in such a short time, it seemed like Alyth was going to be out of commission for some time.

That was until the Community got together.  The Town Hall was opened, donations of food and clothing came in at speed.  As soon as the water receded, members of the local community started fixing things.  Tractors, diggers, trucks, people all appeared and all made a start on the clean up.

A crèche was set up in the town which allowed parents of young children to concentrate on getting their homes back to some semblance of normality.  In some cases this was not possible so alternative accommodation had to be found.  The crèche gave parents a few hours where they could make appointments and organise contractors whilst the children were safe and looked after.

Those of more advanced years whose homes had been affected found they had willing volunteers to help clean out their properties. Within days many properties had damp carpets and furniture removed to allow residents a chance to sort things out safely.

The electricity company sent a food van to the Town Hall so people could get hot drinks and hot food whilst their electricity was off.

In this age where the majority of media stories we hear are negative, the community spirit in Alyth is shining like a beacon of hope.  This is what living in a community is all about, working together to overcome, helping each other get through the worst.

Alyth I take my hat off to you.