Thursday, 6 August 2009

A Night at the Races

A trip to Perth Races to attend an evening of racing on Tuesday 28th July 2009 was organised by our Treasurer Pam Hopkins and nine Loch Earn Tourism Initiative members set out full of optimism and excitement.

Traffic jams meant the first race was missed but we all proceeded to win, break even and lose in varying degrees. Pam of Earnknowe Holiday Cottages bet carefully while her husband Lawrie was more reckless and would have put his shirt on if allowed. Jan and Richard Spencer of Glenogle Snax bet steadily with some success but more of Jan later. Our Chairman, Alistair Barclay of Alba Virtual Tours kept his hands in his pockets. He must have been cold or simply tight!! Jim and Liz Bradley of Riverside Cabins and Killin Highland Lodges worked as a team. Liz was the banker and Jim the runner and they both got more and more confused as the evening wore on. The dark horse was Andrew Low, of the Four Seasons Hotel who bet just once, on a horse called “Wotchalike”, and it romped in and as a result champagne suddenly appeared!! The rain set in before the last race and the party retired to the Nelson Suite to count up the winnings and to sink our sorrows but the highlight of the evening was yet to occur.

In driving rain an Abba tribute band struck at the end of racing and our abiding memory of a great day out was of Pam and Jan swaying to “Mama Mia” with Lawrie and Richard holding umbrellas above them and Andrew wishing he had a camera for the evidence.

Sadly the next days’ racing was lost due to a waterlogged track despite it being a beautiful day.

LETI: Clearly LETI members take their duty of experiencing events in the region very seriously indeed. No wonder our accommodation, hospitality, sports and event providers are great ambassadors for the area that they love to work and play in!

Briar Cottage -A House with a Past

Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland's "A House With A Past" on Monday 10th August at 10.30 and you will hear me (Kim Proven) asking questions about our thatched property, "Briar Cottage" in Lochearnhead, Perthshire. Fraser and I have gathered some facts about owners from previous centuries from the Clan McGregor and McLaren society websites. We are hoping that the BBC programme's house detective, Bruce Durie, will help us to find out more - for example - who were the tenants when the Duke of Breadalbane bought the cottage from the McGregors? How do we find out more about the McGregor baby who was born here in 1727, registered to Balquhidder Parish.

Guests who book Little Briar, our self catering holiday cottage, are always invited to see inside the original byre (now our lounge) to view the cruck framed timber ceiling. It literally looks like two trees holding the roof up! On September 19th and 20th we are opening the cruck room up to the public as part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park "Doors Open Day" and hope that the BBC will provide us with more information to share.

The McLarens lived in Briar Cottage for 200 years and were related to the McLarens who lived in what is now Earnknowe holiday cottages at Leckine. There you will find the McLarens of Ardveich burial ground. This old private graveyard is also open to visitors on Doors Open Day.

LETI: Members Fraser and Kim Proven are planning to build one more holiday cottage overlooking Loch Earn on their grounds next year. Kim assists the group with website and events publicity and has earned the nickname Max Clifford. She is still trying to work out whether this is a compliment or not.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Fishing Tackle Hire Catches On!

New for 2009, fishing tackle hire is available from Lochearnhead Post Office. It is already proving very popular with visitors, who don’t have their own equipment but want to spend a few hours trying their hand on the loch. This year we are hiring spinning tackle only, but hope to expand next year and also have bait and fly fishing tackle available. Equipment is available to suit all ages.

LETI: Loch Earn Tourism Initiative members Richard and Cathie Nicholson also sell fishing permits and floats from the Lochearnhead Post Office and shop, for trout fishing on Loch Earn. Fishing boats can be hired from Drummond Estates in Ardveich bay on the banks of Loch Earn. The fishing season on Loch Earn begins March 15 and ends October 6th every year.