More on raccoons!

I’m indebted to Emma Paterson, of Auchlyne, Killin, for a story backing up Debbie Hewison’s recent encounter with a raccoon, as recounted in this column.

“This reminded me of a similar incident that happened to my grandmother back in the 1960s. She lived in a red sandstone Victorian pile in Dumfries-shire and had masses of bantams that lived and nested in the laurel bushes that surrounded the house and lawns,” recalled Emma.

“One day, she found a number of bantams lying dead in a pile on the lawn, so took her Purdey shotgun to her bedroom that night! On hearing a commotion early the following morning, she opened the bedroom window and fired at something running around on the lawn.

“On closer inspection this turned out to be a raccoon. She never found out where it had come from. The incident made headlines in The Sunday Post.”

The Quiet Man

Those attending the annual general meeting of Highland Perthshire NFU were bemused by the minutes of the previous agm which indicated that Ian Duncan Smith had proposed Jane Anderson as chair for the coming year.

No one could recall that the former Conservative party leader – nicknamed ‘the quiet man’ – being at the meeting. There was even a question as to whether he was even a union member.

However, the confusion was cleared up when Ian Duncan Millar, Tirinie, Aberfeldy, ‘fessed up and admitted it was he who had been at the meeting. A Quiet Man indeed.

Running scared

IT CAUSED a bit of a furore on Islay when

some of the Porter gals gate-crashed the annual ‘men-only’ dinner for the local show society some years ago.

It may have taken some time for their ‘suffrage’ to catch a wider audience in agriculture, but now it seems that their protest against male-only ag dinners has spread southwards.

The men-only awards dinner for the Dartmouth Fatstock Show – which has run for more than 100 years with nary a representative of the fair sex in sight at it – is under fire for this policy.

This ‘it’s aye been done this way’ attitude no longer holds much water. I’d say to show chairman, Phil Bond, let the women in – they’ll soon find out what a boring affair it is!

The current system sees prizes distributed to men and women at an afternoon ceremony, before the men’s awards are presented for a second time at a hotel dinner. One trophy presentation would bore the backside off

most people – but two ... in one day?

One lady has described it as an ‘old tradition’ and said: “They like to have a raucous evening. Perhaps they feel the ladies wouldn’t approve.”

They’ve obviously never been to a Highland Cattle Society trophy presentation evening where the men are running scared!

Housing market bullish

FORMER revellers at the annual Perth Bull Sales will be interested to know that UA’s former auction mart at East Huntingtower may have approval granted for its redevelopment.

It had become somewhat of a sorry sight since the heady days of hosting the world famous bull sales. Now it looks like the local Perth and Kinross Council will approve

plans for 200 properties to be built on the ground where many a championship was won, many a fortune made and many a ‘pun o’ siller’ was handed over the bar!