Wednesday, 17 November 2010

COMPETITION: answers

Right, the answers to the competition. 
First realise my answers are based on my knowledge [as it is], and memory [poor as it is].


Picture 1. 
The village is Dunning, and is listed as having architectural interest as it covers a range of historical features throughout its buildings. One house was the only real 'undamaged' survivor of a highlander attack during the first major Jacobite rebellion of 1715. Apparently it's now been restored. It is one of those annoying fallacies that these rebellions [it and the Bonny Prince Charlie one of 1745] were Scotland rising against the English - a load of twaddle. 


The well itself stood at the top of the street where I lived and actually worked giving fresh spring water when I was a small boy. the village featured two such wells for many years [the other being in Tron Square]. At the back was a hill, the land then was 'empty' common land, and under the grass the hill was made mostly of sand - in fact, a 'sandpit' existed near the top and the steepness of the hill [from the old wood at the top down to behind the well] was the scene of many a sledging accident when young. lol.


Picture 2. 
The oldest church [there are two] in the village and its tower is an example of Norman {Romanesque} Architecture of about 1200 [though not the clock lol], and is called St Serf's. It stands by the edge of Tron Square in the so called 'centre' of the village. The tower has very narrow stairs and it has a lovely view from the top of the surrounding village where the bells are housed. Once, whilst sketching up there, and concentrating on what I was doing, I was caught by a peal of bells and alarmed nearly fell out one of the windows.


St Serf, who established the church in Dunning was, according to legend, where he fought and killed a Dragon that was terrorising the village. Part of the upper village is still called The Dragon [pronounced dreygon], and close by runs the Dunning Burn where people believed its lair [the Dragon's Den] still existed even when I was a boy. I was never convinced, but it was a nice myth. 


Picture 3/4.

This famous Celtic Cross - is the Dupplin Cross
Forteviot, which is close by, was once the last Pict capitol in Scotland, and the cross stood nearby in a field, near the River Earn, protected by an old fence but otherwise overgrown when I was young. It is a beautiful example of Celtic work, and now, after a lot of wrangling, stands in St Serf's church which stopped being a place of worship in 1972. It also has some lovely examples of late Victorian/Edwardian stain glass [see picture below].
For those interested - Forteviot, was also where Edward II had a hunting lodge and he was said to have been there, hunting the valley of Strathearn, the summer before the Battle of Bannockburn 1314 [near Stirling] . One of the great defeats of the English by the Scots, and an interesting aside, in 1513 at the battle of Flodden nearly 200 years later the Scots suffered their worst defeat against the English. In each case, in my opinion, the result of being led by puffed up arrogant fools. War does promote such, doesn't it.

Picture 5.
Happy penguins in front of St Mary's, Dundee by the Nethergate, apparently they are 'marching' towards the Discovery, Captain Scott's ship which is now berthed on the River Tay.


Picture 6. which features the infamous second Q.8 [AArgh!!] 
DC Thomson, is the most famous company in Dundee, and has been responsible for a whole range of comic titles. Having left Art College in Dundee, and having moved to England, I later freelanced for DC Thomson as a comic artist [this was during the early 80's]. The company has always been famous for two 'big foot' comics in particular - The Beano and The Dandy, who featured, among other great characters, Minnie the Minx and Desperate Dan [Dan's statue actually carries a copy of The Dandy]. 


Picture 7.
This cloud picture of a 'dragon' was seen over the village on our last visit. Often patterns, and combinations of objects, and surfaces, can help trigger imaginative ideas for creatures and other things. Such methods reach back to the ideas of Leonardo da Vinci as a source of artistic inspiration. 


The final question was about the local legend of a monument which can be found outside the village on the back road to Auchterarder, which itself is more famous for the Gleneagles Hotel and its golf courses. 
This monument is dedicated to the burning of a witch, called Maggie Walls in 1657. but no records can be found [they say] so it must be a myth. I beg to differ, when a student, I did a lot of research on the village, and, yes, there is no record of a Maggie Walls [witch or not]directly related to Dunning, but in the records of Perth, the city nearby, there was a record of a Maggie Walls accused of witchcraft at around that time. Yet no mention on the Internet; curious.


So there we go. A little about a Scottish village called Dunning, once a thriving market town with around 200 pubs [now 3]; with a Roman marching camp nearby; a standing stone commemorating an ancient battle [legend said], which where, as it was ploughed around, I watched it over the years 'shrink'. Dunning was also where I spent most of my better formative years as a young boy, where living in a house, [near the well in Q.1], that had originally been three three old weavers cottages joined together, strange events often happened. 


In finishing, I realise there were not many entries actually sent in, but thank you for all those who tried. 
I kind of suspect the time of posting was 'poor' and I should have planned it better, and if I ever do another, the competition will stay open for a week and all 'correct' entries will go into a hat, then the winner selected.