The Royal Four Towns branch of Scottish Womens Rural Institutes (the Rural) meets on the first Monday of the month from September to April at 7.30 in the RFT Hall in Hightae.  Our programme covers talks on charities, handcrafts demonstrations, educational topics and topics of general interest, as well as outings.  The Rural is open to ladies from 14 upwards.  This year RFT SWRI will be 90 years old - we must be doing something right!

    For more detailed information, please contact Margaret Vaughan, President, on either 01387 810444  or 0772 532 6635.

    The national website is swri.org.uk

    Royal Four Towns Rural (SWI) October 2015

    The weather had reverted to the usual wet, cool autumn conditions but the ladies who attended the Royal Four Towns Rural in Hightae Hall on Monday 5 October were to have a treat to remind them of the sunny Indian summer that had just ended.

    President, Margaret Vaughan welcomed a good number of members and introduced the Burnhead Wood turners who had come to demonstrate their hobby. Bill Johnstone and Ian Dawson proved to be skilled wood turners with a witty rapport that could rival the Two Ronnies!

    Samples of wood and the products were passed around. Ian made a wooden mushroom from a piece of laburnum showing how to secure the wood safely to the lathe and explaining as he progressed with helpful, or were they hindering comments from Bill. Some woods are easier to turn than others. Sycamore is easy to work but the plain look of the wood can be enhanced with different effects and colours. There were amazing samples of this. A light touch is needed with a fast turn and a heavier hand for a slow turn. Bill then worked on a larger piece of wood and had the outside of a bowl completed in twenty minutes. He says that patience is not needed as there is a result in an hour, even if it is just a big pile of sawdust. There was no evidence of a lack of skill that would cause that outcome. Bill and Ian sell goods to cover the cost of equipment which goes into thousands of pounds. They have a unique working partnership in the wood turning world but sharing some equipment helps to spread costs. Members were pleased to have the opportunity to buy some of their work.

    Eileen Callander gave a sincere vote of thanks for such an instructive and entertaining demonstration.

    After tea the business was dealt with as quickly as possible without missing important details. Arrangements were made to cater for the Guest Night next month.

    The competition results were:

    Item made from wood

    1 S Green

    2 J Laurie

    3 L Kirkbride

    Homemade Photo Frame

    1 S Rooke

    2 P Staire

    3 N Muirhead

    Margaret Vaughan closed the meeting by wishing everyone well.

    Royal Four Towns Rural (SWI) September 2015

    Margaret Vaughan (President) welcomed a good number of members and friends to Hightae Hall on Monday 7 September for the first meeting of the Rural.

    She then introduced Mandy Bleasdale of Happy Hounds Kennels who had agreed to speak about blood donor dogs. She had brought Bengie, Pluto and Ollie who are a trio of affectionate greyhounds that very quickly made lots of new friends in the hall along with Margaret Bleasdale and Arthur Robinson at the other end of the leads.

    Mandy had been asked by a local vet if she had a dog suitable to be a blood donor. Unlike humans and cats, dogs can donate blood without the need to check for blood group types. The only proviso is that the donor is not too old. Bengie was linked to the recipient dog so that the blood flowed directly from his jugular vein. The transfusion took a few minutes with no ill effects to either dog. As a result the recipient has made a full recovery from a life threatening condition.

    Mandy runs commercial kennels but also keeps two kennels that are free of charge for rescued greyhounds, although it soon became clear that she helps more than two greyhounds at a time. It is gratifying that trainers seem to be improving their treatment of dogs as they arrive in a better condition. However, every dog has to earn its keep and is moved on if not doing well on the racing circuit.

    Arthur gave more information about the ancient breed of greyhounds (evidence exists from Ancient Egyptian and Roman times) and how the Greyhound Rescue charity rehomes about 100 dogs a year. Dogs can be fostered with food and vet bills paid by the charity. Greyhounds are bred to be fast and placid so they make excellent pets.

    Eileen Callander gave a comprehensive vote of thanks for such an interesting and informative talk.

    After a sumptuous supper provided by the committee the business was dealt with in as speedy and competent way as possible. It was agreed that generally a cuppa and biscuit would be enough during the "chat time".


    The competition results were:-

    Dog tea towel

    1 Ellen Hyslop

    2 Brenda Cattanach

    3 Sue Rooke and Eileen Callander

    Home made dog lead

    1 Sue Rooke

    2 Eileen Callander

    3 Norah Muirhead

    Margaret Vaughan closed a convivial first meeting by wishing everyone a safe journey home.