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Mag. Peter Csar Laird of Glencairn
In this example there are no pictures included and only the most important items of my newsletter !!!
~~ IN THIS ISSUE ~~
1. Scottish towns and villages (in alphabetical order)
Today: ABERDOUR, Fife and
2. Scottish castles (in alphabetical order)
Today: ABERGELDIE CASTLE, Grampian
3. A short glimpse at the making and history of valuable
(lead crystal) glass
4. Do you want to advertise in this ezine?
Offer just for you: Your GERMAN website and ezine!
5. Scottish joke
6. FR*EE lotto games
7. Personal invitation
8. PLEASE NOTE: All pictures and text Copyright ? 2004
Please click on the pictures to enlarge them!
1a. ABERDOUR, Fife:
Aberdour is a little seaside resort on the shores of the Firth of Forth just opposite of Edinburgh which is very popular with yachtsmen.
Aberdour Church is Norman. The main parts dates from the 16. ct. Note the leper window blocked by the so-called "Pilgrim?s Stone".
Aberdour Castle has already been introduced in one of my last newsletters. Overlooking the harbour it was built between the 14th and 17th ct. Today it is partly ruined but well preserved.
1b. ABERFELDY, Tayside:
Aberfeldy is a market town and tourist centre on the River Tay where the A826 from Milton meets the A 827. It is a very good starting point to explore the surrounding lonely moorland and the fine viewpoint of 2.559 ft high Farragon Hill north of Aberfeldy.
The most important sight seeing feature in Aberfeldy is the great Wade Bridge spanning the River Tay by five arches. It was built by General George Wade to carry the military road in 1733 and is well preserved. There are many other of these Wade bridges in Scotland but this is my favorite one.
Another place to visit is Aberfeldy Destillery which produces one of the best Scottish Whisky.
2. ABERGELDIE CASTLE:
Abergeldie Castle stands six miles west of Ballater, Grampian on the banks of the River Dee.
It is a small oblong tower house dating from the late 16th ct. The castle is three storeys and an attic in height and has a vaulted basement. The Great Hall on the first floor is vaulted too. The interior is in an excellent and original sate and was restored by a descendant of the builder, John Gordon of Abergeldie.
Although Abergeldie Castle was always in Gordon ownership, it was long leased as a royal home. So was it leased by Prince Albert for 40 years from 1848. The then Duchess of of Kent used it as a summer residence between 1850 and 1861, and the Empress Eug?nie stayed there in 1879. Thereafter, it was the Scottish home of the future Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra when Prince and Princess of Wales. After years of disuse it was restored.
3. A SHORT HISTORY OF (LEAD CRYSTAL) GLASS:
The earliest traces of glass were found in Mesopotamia dating from 3000 to 2000 BC, from there the art probably spread to ancient Egypt. One of the first recorded accounts of how glass making was invented is given by the Roman historian Pliny.
Writing in the first century A.D., Pliny relates how a group of Phoenician sailors camped one night on an unknown beach, lit a fire and set their cooking pots on blocks of natron (soda), the cargo they were carrying. The next morning when they woke they found that the heat of the fire had fused the sand of the beach and the natron into glass.
This theory might belong to legend but the formula is correct. Glass is an artificial material. It is one of the commonest man-made materials and has been in use now for over 5,000 years. Glass needs the action of intense heat on silica to create it, although it is sometimes found naturally by the heat of volcanoes or after lightning strikes a beach or desert. Primitive man used obsidian (naturally formed glass, now regarded as a semi-precious ornamental stone) to make knives and arrowheads.
In the first century BC, the greatest discovery in the history of glass making was made - glass could be inflated like a bubble on the end of a hollow pipe, allowing itself to be shaped when blown.
The fine art of glass blowing was thus born. The main ingredients of glass are sand (silica) and soda, a flux which helps lower the melting point of the mixture. Lime is usually added to make the product stronger. The raw materials are crushed into small grains and melted in a furnace to make it a thin liquid, ready to be shaped.
The basic tools for shaping glass have changed little. A blowing iron is used to take the first gather of glass from the furnace. Once blown by skilled glass makers, the glass is rolled on a highly polished slab of metal -known as marvering, and then shaped by using a variety of tools. Seperate gathers of glass are added to create different features.
In 1676, it was discovered by British glassmakers that the addition of lead oxide to their raw materials gave the resulting glass a much greater brilliance and sparkle. This glass became known as lead crystal and very quickly became the perfect medium for glass cutters and engravers. Over the past 300 years, their skills, proudly passed from generation to generation, have given lead crystal it's world famous reputation.
One of today?s excellent lead crystal glass producer is GALLOWAY GLASS in Beeswing near Dumfries, Scotland. This little company was established in 1989 by designer and glass engraver Frances McCallum.
All lead crystal glass items are 100% hand-made, and Galloway Glass offers as a bonus for each customer a FR*EE engraving of your choice on each glass item and wrap your purchased items in fine Scottish tartan!
Beeswing by Dumfries, Scotland