Author Archives: Admin







The Appeal

The charitable Trust that looks after Sir Walter Scott Steamship has launched an urgent SOS – Save our Steamship appeal to restore the much loved 121-year-old steamer.

£500,000 is needed to restore the historic steamer, which is currently not sailing as she requires a new boiler and other significant repairs. These funds will have to be secured by the end of this year to allow work to begin in time to allow sailing in the National Park in summer 2022.

Sir Walter Scott Steamship, named after the poet whose famous poem ‘Lady of the Lake’ about Loch Katrine was published in 1810. Scott was born 250 years ago, and his work and that of other artists and poets of the day put Loch Katrine on the map.

Support for the appeal to get Sir Walter Scott Steamship back into operation for current and future generations to enjoy sailing on Loch Katrine can be made via the link below..

Steamships on Loch Katrine

Sir Walter Scott was launched in 1900. She was Loch Katrine’s fourth steamer. The first being Gypsy, introduced in 1843, providing competition to ‘Water Witch’, an eight-oared wooden galley.

Gypsy was to sink under mysterious circumstances just a week later, allegedly by the ferrymen who thought the steamer’s arrival threatened their jobs. Rob Roy and then Rob Roy II steamers followed until 1900, when Sir Walter Scott was introduced.







About Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine, in the Trossachs, is part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Scotland’s first National Park and the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve.

The loch is 11 miles long, one mile wide at its widest point, and 540 feet deep. The name comes from the Gaelic ceathairne, meaning cattle thief which may be due to strong links with famous cattle dealer and Clan Chief Rob Roy MacGregor. Loch Katrine is one of Scotland’s natural wonders with a rich history and stunning scenery, attracting visitors for over 200 years.

Sir Walter Scott

In 1809 Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott holidayed in the Trossachs and spent many hours writing his poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’. When released in 1810, it was the blockbuster of its day; 25,000 editions were sold in the first 8 months after release. Sightseers flocked to Loch Katrine to see for themselves the scenes inspired by Scott’s vivid descriptions. He followed this with his adventure novel Rob Roy in 1817, which romanticised the rogue-hero and reinforced the appeal of the loch.















Save Our Steamship






Last weekend Clan Cameron and many other Scottish Clans from the North Coast and further afield enjoyed a wonderful Scottish family day, held at Central Park, Wingham.

Local Marlee Cameron Heather Oldham and husband Murray set-up their Clan Cameron tent which was well attended and supported by Camerons from near and far.

Australian Clan Cameron Commissioner, Dr James Cameron centre, with Heather Oldham, far right, holding the Marlee Clan Cameron Banner.











The Massed Pipes and Drums Band Parade leading the Clan banner bearers is always a highlight of a Scottish gathering.

Massed Pipes and Drums Parade








Malcolm Buchanan, Clan Buchanan heads the Clan banner parade followed by George Hoad bearing the Marlee Clan Cameron banner.











The day included a wonderful range of events and activities including Highland Dancing, Tug-O-War, Hurling the Haggis, foot races for the children and a display of swordsmanship by the Highland Rose Jacobite Re-enactment Group.


Jacaranda Highland Dancers









Children’s Tug-O-War








Highland Rose Jacobite Reenactment Group








Children’s foot race.

Clan Cameron NSW members attended the recent Australian Celtic Festival at Glen Innes, enjoying live music, the pipes and drums and highland dancing.

We were delighted to greet Cameron members and friends at the tent and meet with other Clan representatives from across Australia.











Clan Cameron NSW Inc. members and the Clan banners

Scots Clan on Tynwald Hill













The representation of all Scots Clans on Tynwald Hill lead by the Murrumba Pipe and Drums, together with the Kirking of the Tartan lead by Judi Toms, were highlights.









The uplifting rendition of traditional Scottish music by the Murrumba Pipes and Drums together with the Glen Innes Pipe Band and the Queensland Irish Pipes and Drums certainly added to the occasion.


Clan Cameron NSW Inc members at the Clan Cameron Standing Stone (#8), funded by Clan Cameron NSW Inc. members in 1992.













The Shamrocks

Those fortunate enough to visit the Great Central Hotel at the conclusion of the festival were entertained by the Shamrocks and the band, Limerick, both based in Brisbane.








Below is extraordinary new research into Culloden Battlefield by renowned experts. Well worth watching, but be aware that the entire Webinar goes for 3hrs 37min, so maybe best to watch in a couple of sessions.

This is a mini-conference by Professor Murray Pittock and includes presentations by historian Professor Christopher Duffy on the latest map analysis, and archaeologist Derek Alexander on the analysis of Lidar data which will help understand more about what is hidden under the turf.

Find out what the latest research reveals about the Battle of Culloden.







CULLODEN: A place worth protecting

NB: Lidar data (light detection and ranging) is an optical remote-sensing technique that uses laser light to densely sample the surface of the earth, producing highly accurate x,y,z measurements. Lidar, primarily used in airborne laser mapping applications, is emerging as a cost-effective alternative to traditional surveying techniques such as photogrammetry. Lidar produces mass point cloud datasets that can be managed, visualized, analyzed, and shared.

David Learmonth (GSDC Admin) writes:

Following the 275th Anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, there appears to be a welcome shift notably involving many like-minded organizations towards conservation of Culloden Battlefield.

A well-researched article with viewpoints from many individuals and organisations now apparently reading from the same page can be found in the link below.

The Founders of the GSDC have been trying for seven years to reach this point. They deserve full recognition for all their efforts now rendering such results.

For example, long-time GSDC Admin, Carolyn Seggie mentions the misconception that battlefields already have protection from development.

“The word protection is often misunderstood,” she says. “For example our group recently submitted a 21,600-signature petition to the Scottish Government asking for a change in planning laws to allow for greater protection for all Scottish battlefields. Their response was that protection is already in place.

“It is not in place. If it were, we would not have the current situation where Culloden has been under threat from developers for at least the last seven years.” She said the approval of 16 new homes at Viewhill Farm had effectively opened the floodgates for numerous other development proposals.









More can be found at The Herald (Scotland).

The National Trust for Scotland is marking the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden with a series of online events on Saturday 17 April.

Working with historians, archaeologists and local partners, the Gaelic Society of Inverness and XpoNorth, the Trust has created a thought-provoking programme to share the latest research and to promote the protection of the battlefield. Tickets can be purchased here.

As part of the commemorations, the Trust has launched Culloden’s Fighting Fund to help us protect Culloden Moor. The battlefield is a powerfully emotive place, and it’s rare for a landscape of this age to be so relatively intact.

But the field of battle and the views that surround it are increasingly under threat from development, and we must work harder each day to protect its sense of place.

Action is needed now.

Help Culloden Today

The Highland Council has refused planning permission for the change of use and conversion of Cuchunaig steading.

The original application of 2015 and subsequent application of 2018 were refused, and were also rejected by the Scottish Government Ministers. One would now hope that as with the recently rejected  Treetops Stables  development (December 8) that the fate of this development has finally been determined.

The Culchunaig farmhouse sits on a pivotal part of Culloden Battlefield, outside the ownership of the National Trust for Scotland property, but where fierce hand to hand fighting took place and where soldiers of both sides fought and died.

During the battle HRH Prince Charles Edward Stewart took up a position just to the top right of the building as shown in the picture below.

The Highland Council listed six reasons underpinning their decision to refuse planning permission, which are detailed in The Highland Council Decision Notice below.

Refusal of Planning Permission_ Culchunaig Farmhouse_20-04611-FUL_2293396









A great result for the conservation of Culloden!


Below is a short video from the Roaul Curtis-Machin, Operations Manager at Culloden, National Trust for Scotland concerning developments on Culloden Battlefield.

The 16-luxury house estate at Viewhill that the Group to Stop Development at Culloden (GSDC) was originally set up to oppose can be clearly seen in the video. Like an eyesore as forewarned and fully visible from what some refer to as the ‘core battlefield’.

These are the same houses that the developer, planning agent, HES, the Scottish Government-appointed Reporter and pro-development local councillors, amongst others, insisted would not be the case.

And this is the view through just a small gap in the trees along the B9006 road which are likely to be felled in the near future.

We all share the concerns of the NTS and welcome their revised recognition of the importance of other key sites such as Culchunaig, and GSDC calls on all like-minded individuals and organisations to work to prevent further unwanted developments on the battlefield.

Culloden 300 with Raoul Curtis-Machin

Thanks to David Learmonth and the GSDC  for their commitment to preserving the integrity of the Culloden Battlefield.