Archive Man Friday

November 2017 Once again an enjoyable evening was had which put out of our minds the snowy conditions outside. Some of us are still struggling to keep the bowls on the carpet whereas others are getting better each time - no prizes for the category I fit into! Photos are available in the gallery.

October For the October meeting we watched the Ealing Studios Comedy "The Maggie". The Maggie is a typical Clyde puffer, a small, aged cargo boat with a varied, irascible and argumentative crew. MacTaggart, her rascal of a captain, is in dire need of £300 to renew his licence. In a shipping office in Glasgow, he overhears Mr Pusey, an Englishman complete with bowler hat and umbrella, trying to arrange for the transportation of some personal furniture for his boss, American Calvin B. Marshall. The big, reputable shipping company has nothing immediately available, so MacTaggart gets the job when Pusey mistakenly believes that he works for the company and that the more modern vessel docked next to the Maggie is MacTaggart's. Wine and nibbles were available and enjoyed by all.

September  For the September meeting Doug MacRoberts gave a talk on the subject of ‘Science and Faith’. Doug is a retired Church of Scotland minister, has worked in communications for the BBC and at Dounreay, and has a keen interest in science. Whereas science and faith are often thought of as being contradictory, Doug led us to see that they are complementary by looking at the work and words of some of our great scientists and thinkers including Galileo, Einstein, Allan Sandage and Antony Hewish. Doug then showed a film he’d produced for the Inverness Science Festival. This was an engaging and thought-provoking presentation, and provides a good lead in to the ‘theology of the environment’ topic we’ll be looking at during our mid-week meetings.

August For the August meeting we had a tour of 3 ancient monuments in Culbokie. Our guide for the evening was Allan Mackenzie and we started at the Teanagairn Henge. This is an excellent example and is in the process of being cleared of years of vegetation by a squad of volunteers from the History group of the Culbokie Community Trust. We then moved on to “Culbokie Castle” otherwise known as Carn Mor Dun. Once again we were fortunate that the Rosebay Willow Herb was not too thick and we could see quite clearly the underlying structure. A move was then made to Findon Mills to view the Dun which whilst not as structurally significant as Carn Mor is located in a stunning setting which we managed to view before the dusk took over.
July On a dry and fortunately midge free evening we enjoyed the fellowship of the Conon Bridge Bowlers as they let us loose on their green. I think some of us are now getting the hang of this sport.

June Rod Mackay, Kinkell told us about a recent trip he and Liz took to Thailand to help out at a Christian Charity (Overseas Mission Fellowship). Their role was to support attendees at two major conferences by looking after their children during the day by organising a variety of interesting pursuits. It gave them the opportunity of meeting a wide variety of nationalities and a better understanding of the term "third culture" which is used to describe the children of parents of two different cultures, often living in a third! A good time was had sampling all the different cuisines available and, yes, they did get to wash some elephants on one of their sight-seeing trips.

May  Gordon Robb commenced his talk on the life of a Trading Standards Officer with a biblical quote;

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. 14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. 15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.

This being accepted as one of the earliest known references to illegal trading. Gordon started his career as a Weights and Measures Officer and spent a lot of time chasing after coalmen of whom it had been claimed had given short measure. A more sedentary activity was visiting pubs to establish that there wasn't too much froth on the beer and that the correct spirit measures were being used.

A most enjoyable talk.

April The talk from Roger Fothergill was absolutely fascinating and covered much more than his experiences with Mission Aviation Fellowship as he took us through how he became interested in flying, how, as a result of the Billy Graham experiences he became a Christian. After the MAF days we then heard about his time with Loganair racing the tides on the island of Barra. He is still kept busy travelling the world on various types of Mission work.

March We adopted a slightly different approach to the evening as Jim Jack shared with us, at his home, his experiences as a fisherman operating out of Avoch and visiting fishing grounds far and wide. This gave him the chance to show various films of fishing in action.

February An unpleasant evening, weather-wise, did not prevent an excellent turnout to listen to police constable Gary Dick talk to us about road safety, driving, show us a film and many other associated topics. It was good that some of the ladies joined us in the discussion that ranged far and wide. A competitive spirit entered into the evening over tea and cake as folk tried their hand at measuring their reaction time. No names no pack drill!

January 2017 Once again the Church Community enjoyed an excellent Burns Supper, they get better every year. Piper Ruaraidh Jack accompanied our master of ceremonies, Richard Fyfe while delivering the Chieftain Haggis to the top table. Tom Richards addressed the Haggis and local historian Dr. Jim Mackay gave the Immortal Memory and not, unexpectedly, managed to bring in references to Ferintosh and Cromarty. Mike and Carol Rattenbury carried out a double act re. the Lassies. Becky and Iain Richmond were persuaded to recite two poems and we were all in fine voice accompanied by Mairi Mackenzie. The supper went very well with Balnabeen Neeps, Culbokie Tatties and Dingwall haggis it all had a very local feel. Gallery of photos at footof page.

November 2016 A most enjoyable evening, once again, where the 5 out of 6 inexperienced players took 30 minutes to, at least, keep the bowls on the carpet. However, by the end of the evening all were making a contribution to the winning or losing of the end. Our thanks to Donald for hosting the evening and passing on his skills and for making the facilities available.

October We watched the film "From Scotland with love." Made entirely of Scottish film archive, From Scotland With Love is a 75-minute film. A journey into our collective past, the film explores the universal themes of love, loss resistance, migration, work and play. Whilst not many of us would have memories of the majority of the scenes recorded it gave the opportunity for plenty of reminiscences of the times represented.

September Ian Rhind gave an excellent talk on his role as a Justice of the Peace, a brief history and then concentrated on how he handles Road Traffic cases and his interpretation of the rules. What was remarkable was that after the move of JPs from Highland Council control into the Scottish Criminal organisation the number of JPs in this Sherrifdom was reduced from over 60 to just 3, which due to retirement is now down to 2! They are currently training more but it means for this part of the area Ian is the only one and has to be available at all times to sign documents for the Police. Possibly the most interesting parts of his talk was his exploding the various myths surrounding the penalty points system and the interpretation of what constitutes being in charge of a motor vehicle in relation to mobile phones, for example. It was salutary to hear of the significant increase in court business due to the average speed cameras, especially on the special 40mph section through the dualling roadworks on the A9. Be warned!

August John Gordon, Chairman of the Highland Branch of Seagull Trust Cruises gave us a description of the work of the Trust. This was supported by a slide show of photographs of the vessel and views along the canal. A link to their web site has been added to the "Links" page.

July We had intended to have a bbq at Upper Braefindon in place of the July meeting but our choice of Saturday eventually coincided with the Culbokie Gathering at which the Church has a big commitment so the bbq had to be postponed.

June For our June meeting we were invited to join the Conon Bridge Bowlers to experience bowling on their Green. Fortunately the weather was kind this year and a good time and fellowship was had by all.

May A very select group were taken on a wonderful tour of various Scottish coastlines with our leading kayaker, Richard Fyfe. After donning survival gear we went exploring caves, sea stacks, remote beaches in the company of dolphins, seals and a variety of seabirds. An excellent evening with no capsizing!

April Bill Martin gave a talk on the background of the family business that he and his wife were part of in Glasgow. There were plenty of samples for us to look at and touch and some very interesting historical stories such as supplying the Armed Forces with boots made from leather processed by the Martin Company and providing the leather used for the boots for the first ascent of Everest. I am sure it made some of us realise that we hadn't been caring for our leather shoes quite as well as we should have been. See the photographs in the Gallery at the foot of the page.

March Our own Rev. Mike Rattenbury took us through the complicated history of the United Free Church with its splits and joinings with other denominations. He started with the history of the building of the Resolis United Free Church, the structure of which eventually becames Scott's Garage in Jemmimaville. A fascinating story which took us all round the Black Isle and even strayed into Dingwall as he described the progression of each of the structures into and out of being associated with the United Free Church. An excellent piece of research.

February 2016 At this meeting the Man Friday Group had the geological origins of Scotland explained to us and why the Munros are located predominately in the west. Our speaker, David Jarman, interspersed his diagrams with wonderful photos of the mountains and glens that surround us and explained how it might have been that Ben Wyvis was 4000m high at once stage in its geological life.

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