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Cover Story June 18th, 2009

  Untitled Document


lyle e davis

I don’t want to frighten anyone but the Scots are coming! The Scots are coming! What’s more . . .they’re coming soon!

Ah, lasses and laddies, there’s nae fear! The Scots wha boast o’ havin’ bled wi’ William Wallace, the same Scots that fell at the Battle of Culloden . . . those same fierce warriors of auld, are today, quite friendly folk. It’s a gathering o’ the clans that they feature every year.

When you begin to hear the skirl o’ the pipes, you’ll know the Scots are here! This year they’ll be coming to Brengle Park in Vista. Yes, the San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans will take place on June 27 & 28, 2009, from 9 am to 5 pm at Brengle Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, in Vista.

There will be Highland Dancing, Drum Majors, Bagpipe & Drumming Competitions, Sheep Dog Trials, Scottish Country Dancing and plenty of Scottish food, drink & merchandise. Just who are the Scots, you ask?

Well, they’re a proud people from a country contiguous to and just north of England. Scotland is about 275 miles long and 150 miles wide at its widest point, covering about 30,000 square miles. The circumference around its irregular coastline is over 6000 miles. The furthest distance from the sea that one can get in Scotland is about 40 miles.

They come from a country that is lovely to look at with lots of greenery. But, caution! Thee’s a reason for all that beautiful greenery. It’s called rain. And with that rain comes lots of rivers . . . and running water. And with this combination the wise and thrifty Scots developed a national export. The biggest export of Scotland is whisky. Scotch whisky must be aged only in Scotland; foreign whiskies are usually spelled "whiskey."

Ocht, ay, ye’ll be getting an opportunity of sampling one of the world’s finest whiskys. Glenfiddich will have a tent where, for $10, ye’ll have a variety of samples of fine Glenfiddich whisky. Naturally, ye’ll hae tae be ower 21 years of age, y’ken.

Yes, Scotland does tend toward the cool side, even in summer. But for some reason it seems to turn out might productive folk, artists, inventors, scientists, doctors, all kinds of talent.

For example, it is believed there have been more major inventions from the Scots than any other country in the World, if you are looking at inventions per head of population. Here is a list of some:

photoField of Medicine: John Williams, born Glasgow, developed the vaccine against smallpox.
Alexander Fleming, born in Ayrshire, discovered penicillin.
James Simson, born Bathgate, was the first man to use chloroform.

Field of Communication and Electronics: Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, invented the telephone.
John Logie Baird, born Helensburgh, invented the television.

Field of Transportation: James Watt, born Greenock, invented the modern steam engine, while William Symington born in Lanarkshire, was the first man to propel a boat by steam.
John Boyd Dunlop, born Scotland, patented the pneumatic tire.
John Loudon MacAdam, born in Ayr, invented tarmac road surface.
Kirkpatrick MacMillan, born in Thorhill, invented the bicycle.

Miscellaneous: Charles MacIntosh, born in Glasgow, patented the raincoat.
John Chalmers, born in Dundee, invented the adhesive stamp.
Patrick Ferguson, born in Scotland, invented the breech-loading rifle.
Mrs Keiller, born in Dundee, invented marmalade.
Antiseptic surgery-Joseph Lister Logarithms-John Napier

In addition, the U.S. Navy was founded by a Scot, John Paul Jones, and the arts? Ay, the arts. Well Scots are well known in the arts. Consider:
Robert Burns (poet)
James Barrie ("Peter Pan")
Sir Walter Scott (author)
Andrew Carnegie (philanthropy and libraries)
Arthur Conan Doyle ("Sherlock Holmes")
Robert Louis Stevenson (author)


Scots Drum Major

Well, then, there’s a rather impressive list, Ay? While it’s not been authenticated it is also alleged by a great many that the Scots were the first to discover best how to brew “a nice wee cup o’ tea.”

Oh, by the way, do you drink Lipton Tea? Well, then, say thanks to Sir Thomas Lipton.

Many of the tea plantations in India were developed by Scots. By the late 1800’s Thomas Lipton controlled 10% of the world tea trade. Lipton was born in a Gorbals tenement in Glasgow and emigrated to America when he was 15 years of age. He returned to Glasgow five years later and opened his first grocers shop. Soon he had expanded into a chain of shops and was a millionaire by the time he was 30.

The border between Scotland and England stretches for 108 miles (174 kilometres) between the Solway Firth along the Cheviot Hills and the river Tweed, to the North Sea. Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans, ran further south than this, from Carlisle on the river Eden to the river Tyne in the east.

Ay, laddies, ye’ll hear all about the rich Scots history; aboot how the Scots fought and died with Sir William Wallace, Scotlands greatest national hero, and to whom the song references, “Scots Wha Hae Wi Wallace Bled . . .” - you’ll also hear about the mighty battle of the Culloden battlefield, the last battle fought on British soil. A decisive defeat where brave Scots warriors were soundly thrashed but bravely fought on in a losing battle to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of the Great Britain. Ocht, ay . . . ye’ll be fairly mesmerized by the stories they Scots will tell . . . and ye’ll be surrounded by music, and food, and well trained dogs that will show ye how sheep are to be properly herded . . . the only time of year dogs are allowed at Brengle Park. But to hear to see these things . . you’ve got tae be there at Brengle Park this Saturday! Cheerio the ’noo!


Above, Hadrian's Wall





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