October 10, 2015 | Posted by victor
Can our Giant Redwood win Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition?
To vote for your favourite tree visit
These six trees are the finalists in Scotland’s Tree of the Year, an annual search for the nation’s best loved tree. The winner will compete against trees from all over the Continent for the title of European Tree of the Year, organised by the Environmental Partnership Association.
Benmore’s Giant Redwood. Dunoon, Argyll and Bute
Bibby Tree. Edinburgh
Birnam Oak. Perthshire
The Clachan Oak. Balfron, Stirling
Poker Tree. Aberfoyle, Stirling
Suffragette Oak. Glasgow
The giant redwood at Benmore Botanic Garden,has so far received the second highest number of votes in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition.
To vote for the Benmore tree in Scottish Tree of the Year visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk /treeoftheyear
At first place at the moment is the sabal palm or bibby tree at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh that is the front runner in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition with 312 votes.
Benmore’s giant redwood is in second place with 260 votes and the Suffragette Oak close behind with 232 votes.
Scottish Tree of the Year is an annual search for the nation’s best loved tree, organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The winning tree is decided by a public vote that takes place until Monday 12 October through the Woodland Trust’s website.
The avenue of Giant Redwoods at Benmore Botanic Garden is thought by many to be the best entrance to any botanic garden in the world.
The majestic Sequoiadendron giganteum at Benmore stand 50 metres tall. In autumn 2013 over 1,500 people attended “Glowing Giants’’, a light show to celebrate the avenue’s 150th anniversary.
The story behind how Sequoiadendron giganteum first reached British shores is entwined in the telling of a particular period of our history. It involves a competitive race to cultivate this remarkable tree and it is tied up with the California Gold Rush. The man credited with introducing it to Britain is the Scot, Patrick Matthew (1790-1874). With three of his sons involved in the Gold Rush, Matthew took advantage of the situation and requested seeds be sent home by steam packet, so narrowly stealing the glory from the famous Exeter nursery, Veitch. Although it isn’t known for certain, it seems likely that the Redwood Avenue grew from the seeds of one of these two collections.
Curator at Benmore, Peter Baxter commented: “Our Giant Redwood is part of an historic avenue that has become an immediately recognisable feature of the Garden. When the trees were planted in 1863 the American Civil War was at its height and Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire. It is heartening to know that so many people have voted for the tree so far. I hope the good support continues.’’
Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “Tree of the Year is all about finding trees with amazing stories to tell that can bring people together.
“It’s fantastic that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are lending their support to this unique celebration of Scotland’s best loved trees. All of the shortlisted entries are inspiring through their links to natural and cultural heritage, and I’m sure it will be a close run vote this year.”
To vote for the Benmore tree in Scottish Tree of the Year visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk /treeoftheyear
With five spectacular walks ahead today and the announcement by Team Cowalfest of the Twinning with the Grancanaria Walking Festival which takes place 5th—8th November has certainly put a spring into everyone’s steps today.
Starting with activity 17 Cowal Way 2 –Tighnabruaiuch to Glen—The route is initially along easy forest roads besides the Kyles of Bute and Loch Riddon. There is a much rougher stretch beside the shore, continuing up through dense woodland. From here on the route is mostly flat and on roads but compensated by the surrounding woods, waters, fields and hills. Minibus from Glendaruel Caravan park to start of the walk.
Listed as a strenuous walk Kilmun Ridge activity 18 in your Cowalfest brochure from Gairletter Caravan Park on the shores of Loch Long via the Kilmun ridge to Blairmore, taking in the stunning views of the River Clyde from forest roads and open hills. The Blairmore Cafe will be open at end of walk.
Activity 18 in your Cowalfest brochure–Lochgoilhead to Coilessan (Duke’s Pass) a walk via the Cowal Way to Coilessan where the minibus will be waiting in the forestry car park at the end of Loch Long forestry road for transport back to Lochgoilhead.
Explore Strathlachlan with activity 19 with the Lachlan Bay Heritage Walk a short off-road walk taking in the main heritage sites around Lachlan Bay, featuring the former croft, Inver Cottage now a world famous restaurant, Kilmorie Chapel, burial place of Maclachlan Clan Chiefs, and ruined mediaeval fortress of the Old Castle Lachlan, with extensive views of the designed landscape of Strathlachlan, “new” Castle Lachlan, and Loch Fyne.
The final activity today is 21 Benmore Gardens To Dunoon a New Walk for Colfest 2015. Starting at Benmore Gardens following beside the River Eachaig to Balagowan & cross over the B836 at Rumbling Bridge to Dalinlongart. Across Finbracken Hill through Ardnadam Glen and Dunloskin coming to Dunoon at the top of John Street.
If you get the opportunity check out the the giant redwood at Benmore Botanic Garden, which has received the second highest number of votes so far in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition. It is the sabal palm or bibby tree at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh that is the front runner in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition with 312 votes. Benmore’s giant redwood is in second place with 260 votes and the Suffragette Oak close behind with 232 votes.
Check GRAN CANARIA WALKING FESTIVAL http://www.grancanariawalkingfestival.com/en/
Great news this weekend as Team Cowalfest announced that Cowalfest Walking And Outdoor Festival has Twinned with Gran Canaria Walking Festival which takes place the 5th –8th November. Cowal Festival committee member Sue Minns visited the Dunoon Community Radio broadcasting studio this morning with Veronica Aleman Diaz Gerente-Managing Director of GranCanaria Walking Festival to make arrangements to tell the listeners of her great expectations of this Twinning by chatting about it after 5.00pm along with Sue Minns who will tell the listeners of the TLLLVLBS of the great advantages for the future of Cowalfest .
DCR97.4fm Presenter Neil Talks to Veronica Aleman Diaz Gerente-Managing Director of GranCanaria Walking Festiva along with Sue Minns who will tell the listeners of the great advantages for the future of Cowalfest tonight after five.
It’s the final day of the Dunoon Book Festival! Yes already where did the time go, still time though to enjoy the last of this the first proper Dunoon Book Festival with six different events. Starting today at 12noon we have a creative workshop at Book Point with Anthea Gage who will show you how can turn a book into a work of art when you have finished with it,
Still at Book Point we have two of Dunoons local poets Tariq Latif and Marion McCready who shall chat and give poetry reading.
Journalist and author Murray Armstrong will be in the Swallow Café at 3.00pm with his book The Liberty Tree: the stirring story of Thomas Muir and Scotland’s first fight for democracy.
ANTHEA GAGE – Book Sculptures Folding Paper Art – Creating Art Workshop
12noon | Bookpoint | £3
Anthea Gage was born and educated in Edinburgh, and is a professional member of both the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and the Society of Scottish Artists. She has worked full time teaching Art and Design in Edinburgh and is the Honorary President of the Edinburgh Art and Sketching Club. Her award winning work has been widely exhibited across the United Kingdom. She now lives and works in Cowal, where, she says, “she can watch the sea all day.”
TARIQ LATIF & MARION MCCREADY – Poetry Reading
2.00pm | Bookpoint | free
Tariq Latif was born in Pakistan. He studied Physics at Sheffield University before joining the family printing business in Manchester, where he worked for fifteen years. He now works part-time in telephone sales on the West Coast of Scotland, where he takes the landscape as inspiration for his verse. His most recent collection is The Punjabi Weddings.
Marion McCready lives in Dunoon, Argyll. Winner of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and the Melita Hume Prize, her first full-length collection is Tree Language (Eyewear Publishing, 2014). She also has a sequence of poems titled The Birth Garden in Our Real Red Selves published by Vagabond Voices (2015).
MURRAY ARMSTRONG – The Liberty Tree: the stirring story of Thomas Muir and Scotland’s first fight for democracy
3.00pm | Swallow cafe | £3
Murray armstrong is a journalist and author. His book tells the story of the people of the 1790s who challenged aristocratic control of parliament and formed Scotland’s first movement for popular democracy.
‘Armstrong has a storyteller’s gift’ — The Herald.
‘Draws on Muir’s scholarship and imagination to tell the compelling story of Muir’s trajectory as radical, agitator and democratic hero’ — Scotland on Sunday.
JESS SMITH –Author and songster Jess Smith will be talking singing about traveling culture at the Burgh Hall Pop Up Shop at 4.30pm ./ £3
LEWIS GORDON – Talk about the 1970s Punk movement
6.00pm | Bookpoint | £3
Nicky plays the drums. One Sunday morning he meets Sid. Fresh from an onstage tussle with an elderly music teacher, Sid needs a new drummer for his punk band. Nicky is the chosen one.
Profane and often absurd, Sheep and Goats uses short, compressed sketches to recount the thrill and pain of teenage awakenings, the drudgery and slog of education and the frantic need
AND don’t forget the Festival Book Quiz. 8.00PM Book Point
Good to see so many Dunoon Community Radio listeners at the Toward Church Concert 2ND October A nearly packed Church audience was treated to a special musical evening with music arranged by and performed by Innellan and Toward churches organist Philip Norris.
Also performing were the recently formed The Toward Songsters Lynn Cotton, Myra Rowan and Elizabeth Garner with special guest Sharon Western and Lynda Norris.
From the opening bars of J. Clarks Prince of Denmark’s March know more commonly as the Trumpet Voluntary everyone knew they were in for a treat. The opening song by the Toward Songsters and their special guest was a beautifully sung version of a song that most people knew and recognised but couldn’t place, it was in fact the House Of The Rising Sun a song very popular in the mid sixties which together with little know lyrics Philip had found and a special arrangement was the perfect way for the Toward Singers to introduce themselves.
There was of course an opportunity for the audience to join in the refrains of popular hymns
The Toward Songsters Lynn, Myra and Elizabeth would like us to mention to our listeners that they have no desire to remain a Trio and are inviting anyone who would like to join them to contact them or Philip. They usually rehearse once a week on a Friday evening in the Toward Church and enjoy music-making together in a friendly atmosphere and look forward to welcoming not only ladies but some male voices would be nice.
After a fantastic first day It’s day two of the Dunoon Book Festival.
So many great events to choose from today including a writing workshop with the ladies favourite Scottish Historical Romance Writer MARAGUERITE KAYE , she will be at the West End Hotel this morning. Marguerite writes hot historical romances from her home in cold and usually rainy Scotland. Featuring Regency Rakes, Highlanders and Sheikhs, she has published almost thirty books and novellas. When she’s not writing she enjoys walking, cycling (but only on the level), gardening (but only what she can eat) and cooking. She also likes to knit and occasionally drink martinis (though not at the same time).
SIR CHARLES MACLEAN at will be at Purdies at 1.30pm His latest of three novels, Home Before Dark, was praised by the New York Times for its “supple prose” and has been greenlighted by Channel 4 as a 4 part series. His colourful life has included co-founding Ecologist magazine, working as a merchant seaman, a rancher, and singing in rodeo bars in California and lives just down the road. His famous non-fiction work St Kilda: Island on the Edge of the World, has never been out of print.
BRIAN PATTON is a prolific scholar and author, specialising in the history
of steamships and other forms of transport. His last book, Mauerfall 25, honoured the anniversary of the fall of the German Democratic Republic as viewed from its transport. His talk on Dresden’s recovery after its tumultuous history echoes these themes. Brian will be in the Seasons Coffee House at 2.00pm
Something for all nursery and primary school age children is JAYNE BALDWIN – Galloway Storytellers at 2.00pm at the Burgh Hall Pop Up Shop when you can meet the team behind South Scotland’s indie children’s publisher Curly Tale Books. Shalla and Jayne have a host of fun characters including Big Bill the Beltie Bull, the Galloway Chilli, Charlotte the sheep and Maxwell the woodmouse. Storytelling and fun activities, a must for all nursery and primary school age children and Mums and Dads
ROY PEDERSEN – is an author, publisher, illustrator and consultant who lives in Inverness. His writing includes works of fiction and non-fiction, including the controversial Who Pays the Ferryman? – The Great Scottish Ferry Swindle. Roy currently serves on the Scottish Government’s Expert Ferries Group. He will be talking on his personal evolution as a writer, and the issues close to his heart at the Seasons Coffee House at 3.15pm
Another children’s favourite and no stranger to Dunoon will be SCOULAR ANDERSON – A tour of Castle MacPelican, a journey from inspiration to completed book – for kids age 5-8 to be held at 3.30pm at the Burgh Hall Pop Up Shop
Scoular Anderson is one of Scotland’s foremost illustrators. He studied graphic design at the Glasgow School of Art before moving to London to work for London University. During this time, he also worked as
an illustrator and writer for various children’s publishers. As well as illustrating other authors’ works, he has written over seventy books himself, including Space Pirates and the Treasure of Salmagundy (Frances Lincoln, 2004), which was short-listed for the 2005 Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book of the Year award.
Billed as a talk from 5 star thriller writer who has recently published his second book, The Samaritan MASON CROSS will be at Bookpoint at 6.00pm
Mason has worked variously as a tax officer, events coordinator, project manager and pizza delivery boy. His short stories have been published in Ellery Queen, Scribble and First Edition. His story ‘A Living’, was shortlisted for the Quick Reads ‘Get Britain Reading’ Award. He is the author of the popular Carter Blake thriller series. The first book, The Killing Season was published by Orion in 2014, and the sequel, The Samaritan, was published in the UK on July 16 2015.
Bringing to a close the second day of the Dunoon Book Festival we have two Scottish Novelists & Playwrights CHRIS DOLAN & ALAN CAMERON .They shall both be at The Braes in the Function Suite at 7.30pm
Chris Dolan has published four novels, (Ascension Day, Redlegs, Potter’s Field and Aliyyah), two collections of short stories and two non-fiction books. He has had three full-length stage plays produced internationally, with five shorter pieces and four collaborations with Spanish dramatists. He has written over fifty hours of television, and more of radio drama. He has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several pieces of public art, has published poems, broadcasts regularly and writes for Scottish and London newspapers. Chris is currently working on a sequel to Potter’s End, two stage plays and a doctorate on the relationship between historical chronicle and narrative fiction.
ALAN CAMERON He has published two novels, The Golden Menagerie (a modern reworking of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, that challenges the ideas and morality of that Latin author, partly his ideas have returned: a cult of success, a lack of compassion, and an obsession with the projection of the self on society), and The Berlusconi Bonus (a political satire of the ideas of the neocons in general and Fukuyama in particular). The second novel has been published in Italian.
He has published a book on language, In Praise of the Garrulous (2008), a collection of poetry, Presbyopia (2009), and a collection of short stories, Can the Gods Cry? (2011).
He is also the translator of more than twenty books from Italian into English, including such writers as Norberto Bobbio, Romano Prodi, Eric Hobsbawm and Alessandro Barbero, and he has published articles in Italian newspapers and political magazines.
Prior to her evening engagement “In Conversation” with Michael Russell at Dunoon’s Studio Cinema Scots Makar Liz Lochhead visited the John Street Broadcasting Studio to chat to Victor and the listeners
No stranger to Dunoon Liz was delighted to be here as part of The Dunoon Book Festival hosted by Dunoon Presents and was equally delighted when walking into the studio to hear that the station was broadcasting one of her favourite genres of music, quickly confessing that she was in fact a Soul music fan and recognised the tune being played as Paul Anka’s 1968 tune “I Can’t Help Loving You” which is known as a Northern Soul Classic.
Liz also told the listeners of her passion for “proper” radio and was so pleased that Dunoon had its own Community Radio Station and was very happy to use it to bring the listeners up to date to some of the projects, solo and with other artist she was working on.
She was especially looking forward to talking to Michael Russell at Dunoon’s Studio Cinema and looking forward to replying to his questions by reciting some of her poetry, she even confessed to having a new poem that had not yet had an introduction to the public……………..
Unfortunately the clock was running and Liz had other commitments to fulfil, but not before in reply to what is the most requested poem she is asked to recite she treated the listeners to Kidspoem Bairnsang recited in both Scots and English, a wee preview of what is in store for tonight maybe .
Listen out to when you can hear this “chat” with Liz Lochhead again Here on 97.4fm Dunoon Community Radio
At 9.00am Some of Team Cowalfest ready to meet and her greet visits at their base at the SEASONS COFFEE HOUSE just yards away from the Tourist Visitor Information Centre on the Alexandra Parade where they will have members of the Cowalfest committee all week hands on to give out the latest news of events, and also like the Visitor Centre take bookings.
All ages and abilities are catered for and the walks cover interest areas of wildlife, bird watching, drama, photography, art, history, heritage, folklore, tai chi, great gardens, great houses and some great hill walks including the opportunity to complete over 6 days the long distance trail ‘The Cowal Way’. New activites this year include a Mountain bike race, Nordic Walking and Canoeing and If you’ve got the time (and the energy!) you can also go to one of the ever popular musical or arts events.
Pictured Jane Foreman, Moira Ferguson, Moira Sinclair discuss Scottish Country Dancing with Cowalfest Scottish Dance Night C0-cordinater Shirley Morton in white jacket
COWALFEST SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING –7.30PM WEDNESDAY 7TH OCTOBER HIGH KIRK HALL, HANOVER STREET.
Beautifully modelled by Moira Sinclair Cowalfest all-purpose hand crafted souvenir bag—just £2.00
What is normally known as an outdoor weekend the first weekend of October this year now has an alternative to the events we usually associate with Cowalfest, hosted by Dunoon Presents the Dunoon Book Festival is a three day event with nearly twenty names from the world of literature, authors, playwrights, poets, illustrators and storytellers will be appearing at venues around the town at individually priced admission.
On the eve of the event it has just been announced that Dunoon Book Festival has just launched a special ‘Book Festival Pass’ available for just £9. Meaning that for the equivalent price of just three events, you can now take in as many as you like as you wander around the town, from Friday 2 Tickets and more information are available from Bookpoint (01369 702377) or the Burgh Hall Pop-up Shop.
Friday 2nd October 2015
MAIRI HEDDERWICK – Creating Katie Morag
4.00pm | The Studio Cinema | £3
Mairi Hedderwicks born in Gourock and know for popular character, Katie Morag, Katie was created in 1984. Katie Morag’s home on the fictional island of Struay, is not a million miles from the authors’ life long association with the Isle of Coll. Mairi was awarded an honory degree from the University of Stirling in recognition of her outstanding contribution to writing and illustrating in Scotland.
LISA BALLANTYNE – Talk about her latest book ‘Redemption Road’
6.00pm | Bookpoint | £3
Scottish author, Lisa Ballantyne’s debut THE GUILTY ONE, about a child on trial for murder, was translated into nearly 30 languages and shortlisted for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. Her new novel, REDEMPTION ROAD also explores the theme of nature and nurture. Lisa will talk about both her novels and the questions raised: the potential for change in an individual, and whether or not we can truly escape our pasts.
DAVID MUNRO – Time Jigsaw and Time Jigsaw Deliverance
6.00pm | The Braes | £3
David has two published books, Time Jigsaw, and recently released Time Jigsaw Deliverance. His latest book is set in the depression of the 1930s, as a desperate woman returns to her native Scotland from the U.S.A.
MAIRI HEDDERWICK – Journeys with paint and paintbox in the Highlands & Islands
7.15pm | Burgh Hall Pop Up Shop | £5
Mairi Hedderwick, a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, has written and illustrated many books for adults and children with the backdrop of the highlands and islands of Scotland. This evening she talks of her books based on her travels, both by boat and land, An Eye on the Hebrides. Highland Journey, and Sea Change, as well as her latest book Shetland Rambles, all of which beautifully depict her love for the west coast, highlands and islands.
LIZ LOCHHEAD photo By NORMAN McBEATH
LIZ LOCHHEAD – In conversation with Michael Russell
8.30pm | The Studio Cinema (small auditorium) | £5
Liz Lochhead is one of the UK’s foremost performers, poets and playwrights. Her career has spanned 4 decades, from her first collection of poety, Memo for Spring (1972), which won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, to the collection Five Plays published in 2012. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including The Saltire Society’s Book of the Year Award, for the publication of her play MEDEA. Following the death of Edwin Morgan, she was created Scots Makar in 2011.
For the Fourteenth year always starting this first week of October Cowalfest once again is attracting folk from all over the world to take part in a very unique 10 day festival with guided tours of some of the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland. This annual Walking and Outdoors Festival is one of the largest and most varied walking festivals in Scotland, with more than 60 walks led by expert and knowledgeable walk leaders.
The acclaimed Cowalfest website is full of information and makes it so easy to make bookings which are really advisable especially as most walks have limits on the number of walkers to visit the site directly please follow this Link http://www.cowalfest.org/
Each day of the Festival the SEASONS COFFEE HOUSE just yards away from the Tourist Visitor Information Centre on the Alexandra Parade will have members of the Cowalfest committee hands on to give out the latest news of events and also like the Visitor Centre take bookings .
All ages and abilities are catered for and the walks cover interest areas of wildlife, bird watching, drama, photography, art, history, heritage, folklore, tai chi, great gardens, great houses and some great hill walks including the opportunity to complete over 6 days the long distance trail ‘The Cowal Way’.
New activites this year include a Mountain bike race, Nordic Walking and Canoeing and If you’ve got the time (and the energy!) you can also go to one of the ever popular musical or arts events.
IT ALL STARTS FRIDAY 9.30AM FULL DETAILS www.cowalfest.org and the Events 2015 Programme
1.MILLHOUSE TO PORTAVADIE
2.NEWTON HILL & FYNE ALES BREWERY
3. BENMORE GARDENS
Just to remind those DCR97.4fm listeners who have been requesting Pink Floyd, Roger Waters and particularly tunes from The Wall recently that Roger Waters: The Wall will be show in 2,000 theaters worldwide (500 in the U.S.) including our very own West Coast Cinema here in Dunoon this Tuesday Sept. 29, after premiering in New York the night before.
The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Waters and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason in London, answering questions submitted early by fans — a session Waters anticipates will be engaging in its own right. ”Nick’s a very funny guy,” says Waters. ”Interestingly enough, Nick’s parents were socialists, as were mine, so we have similar sorts of political backgrounds. We’re very different people, and of course our perspectives were slightly different as I wrote (The Wall) and he didn’t. But it was a huge part of both of our careers, so there’s plenty to say about it.”
Many congratulations to the Heron Valley and their hard working background team from all the presenters and listeners of Dunoon Community Radio 97.4fm.on the release of your first single.
We all wish you the best of luck for the great adventure that lays ahead of you.
The single “Pressed For Time” is now available to purchase and the video available to view
Cowal Open Studios is now in its 8th year attracting many visitors to the area each year. The event is very much a fixed date in the calendar events of Cowal and Argyll. Many local visitors and visitors from afar make their wandering way across this beautiful peninsular to the homes and studios of an eclectic mix of working artists.
Commercial Galleries are a fine place to view art work, but the opportunity for visitors to meet and blether with artists, enquire of their working methods, view their work and perhaps make a purchase for themselves or as a gift. This is the lure and charm of Cowal Open Studios.
Another part of the charm is Cowal itself, a hidden gem on the doorstep of so many people, an hour from Glasgow a hop on a ferry from Gourock and there you are in the heart of Cowal, a wonderland of lochs and glens, mists, reflections and sunshine (perhaps) Small villages and hamlets and a warm welcome.
There are 4 routes on our COS map which will take you to the areas of Toward and Dunoon, the villages along the shore road from Kilmun to Ardentinny, Tighnabruaich, Millhouse and beyond, Strachur, Cairndow & Lochgoilhead, Glendaruel and many wee nooks and crannies in between.
At Cowal Open Studios you will find artists working in a variety of media from painting in watercolour, oil, acrylic, drawing & pastels, wood carving, textiles, ceramics, jesmonite, stained glass, basketry, printmaking, sculpture, classical guitar making, jewellery, metalwork and photography, There will be much competing for your attention and many places to have a wee coffee or a meal along the way, with great places to stay over too if you want to make a weekend of it all.
Pick up COS brochures throughout Cowal and mainland galleries.
Download it from www.cowalopenstudios.co.uk or request a copy by post from
the website contact page.
AFTER LOCAL TREE HEADLINES –LOCAL DOG LEARNS GAELIC COMMANDS IN THREE WEEKS (MAYBE THEY SHOULD GET TOGETHER)
It’s even been reported on national TV news as well as social media. Firstly reported on the Dunoon Observers website after it first surfaced on the Church of Scotland face book page the story of Ginger the dog who learned Gaelic commands in three weeks at Kirk run Gaelic teaching classes.
Neil Smith took his four-year-old hearing dog Ginger along to the weekly session at a church near Dunoon.
Mr Smith said he was amazed to see how quickly the English Cocker Spaniel started responding to the words for sit (suidh), stay (fuirich), come here (trobhad) and good dog (cu math).
Class teacher Elma McArthur said Ginger was a very sharp dog.
Mr Smith and Ginger have been attending the Gaelic group at Strone Church of Scotland every week along with 23 other people including Dunoon Community Radio presenters and volunteers.
Pictured are Moderator the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison, tutor Elma McArthur, Neil Smith and Ginger.
The 67-year-old paid tribute to his hearing dog: “He has given me a lot of confidence because I used to be a very shy person and often felt quite isolated in company, even with family and friends.
“Going to the Gaelic class gets me out and about to meet people, and I have always wanted to learn the language because my great-grandmother spoke it but it was not passed down through the family, so Ginger is helping to lead a family revival.
“Ginger has picked it up really quickly, it only took him about three weeks.
“It is great because I can show off that he is a bi-lingual dog – people think it is amazing that he can do that and it is a wee bit of added interest to the class.”
WATCH Neil Smith give his English Cocker Spaniel instructions in Gaelic – skills the pooch took just three weeks to learn at a language class held at Strone Church in Argyll http://bit.ly/1Mo3vHZ