Tag Archives: Scottish Highlands

Scotland ~ Highland Folk Museum: Day 3, August 28, 2017


I woke up about 8:30, having had a weird dream last night.  According to my app, I got 8:19 sleep.

Today looks cold and rainy as seen in the screenshot, above. Good thing I brought fleece-lined jeans.

I turned on the heat in the solarium and tried uploading those sermons again.

Tom is still trying to mess with the drain problem from last night.

Found out that since today is the August Bank Holiday, the bikers continue on through tonight.  Not exactly like Labor Day:

The August Bank Holiday was instituted by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 to give bankers a day off so they could participate in cricket matches. Since then, however, its significance has greatly expanded beyond those narrow limits. Now, it is a day intended to give workers of all stripes a three-day weekend before the summer holidays end and employees must return to the workplace and students to their schools.

(The video below says that they celebrate the August Bank Holiday on a different day in Scotland [August 7, 2017].  Where we were, they also celebrated August 28!).

Tom went to the main building to let them know about the drain issue.  They’ll fix it…sometime.

We decided to go to the Highland Folk Museum

The Highland Folk Museum is an open-air museum in Kingussie, Scotland. The museum, said to be Britain’s first mainland open-air museum, was opened in 1944. It was founded by Dr. Isabel F. Grant on a small site in Kingussie to house her collection of Highland life artefacts. Over the following years the museum was developed to include replica buildings such as the Lewis Blackhouse.

In the early 1980s, the museum, by then owned by the Highland Council, acquired a much larger site in Newtonmore. On the new site the open-air living history site was created. The new site was divided into four distinct areas: a 1930s themed working farm, a collection of re-located historical buildings, the Pinewoods and a reproduction of an early 1700s Highland township.

In 2013 the remainder of the collection in Kingussie was moved to the new site, which by then had developed to include a conservation laboratory, research areas, library, meeting rooms and offices.

The Museum now houses a variety of reconstructed buildings raging from an 18th-century highland township, traditional 1930s croft, tin school originally from Knockbain, corrugated church from Culloden, and various trades buildings such as joiners, tailors and clockmakers. Buildings are added on an annual basis to ensure that the traditional highland culture and heritage is preserved.https://www.highlifehighland.com/highlandfolkmuseum/



Welcome to the Highland Folk Museum. We are open every day, 10.30am to 5.30pm (Sept & October 11am to 4.30pm) until Friday 27 October 2017 – we look forward to seeing you in 2017!

Here at the Highland Folk Museum we give our visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! We do this by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations.

Our site is a mile long with our 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to our 1930s working croft at the other. We have an on site cafe, gift shop and a fantastic children’s playground. The Museum is located at Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

We are also home to ‘Am Fasgadh’ storing 10,000 artefacts plus high quality meeting rooms, a research library, conservation laboratory and suite of offices.

Map to the Highland Folk Museum

The Museum was very cool.  We ended up walking 5 floors (some in stairs, some small hills), and 2.6 miles.

Stopped in the Gift store first.  Tom got a book on Scottish History for Children which actually looks very interesting – and I may “acquire” when he’s done.

After that, we went down the little slope and had to choose right or left.  Left went to the 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) and the right got later in time up to the 1930s working croft at the other end.

We went to the 1700s first but stopped several places along the way.

In the gallery at the end of this post there are pictures of  thatched roof houses, a Steam Engine, the bus (we didn’t take it), D. MacPherson Tailor and Outfitter,  Craigdru Tweed Cottage,  Clockmaker with netting to keep the birds from nesting, Lumber/joiners, Engine House and Paint Store, under the machine workshop.

Going to the Pine Forest, we crossed into another county and saw Scottish Water.

We crossed over the Wildcat trail and walked through the Pine Forest where there were some tree sculptures.  Owl, squirrel and raccoon are the ones we spotted.  There may have been more.

We saw a Travelling People’s Camp, lumber, pigs and finally got to 1700s.  It was a bit more than a 5 minute walk but very worthwhile.

These homes were so dark it was hard to get pictures inside.  The first was supposed to be owned by the most well-to-do and they went down in social status from there but I couldn’t see a lot of difference.

The thatched roof with fire inside, no chimney, lots of smoke, dirt floor.  The young man outside said that the things in the house were low down to keep the folks away from the smoke.  He said that the smoke helped keep animals out of the building (which should have been a lesson for all!) and made the roof last longer because no insects or anything would make a home there.

Their thatch lasts about 12 years.  The people living inside about 35-45 years.

Ducks and chickens wandering around.

Outdoor cooking – first barbecue?

A cruck frame (a pair of curved timbers extending from ground level to the transverse beam or ridge of a roof and forming a structure frame in a medieval timber-framed house) that you could assemble (like paint by numbers) and take apart

We left the 1700 for more “modern” times

We sat in the schoolroom where a “teacher” explained the typical day.  The school had a garden and some livestock.

More modern house with actual light inside

We went into the shinty pavilion.

Shinty (Scottish Gaeliccamanachd, iomain) is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread in Scotland, and was even played for a considerable time in England and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.

While comparisons are often made with field hockey, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.

The game was derived from the same root as the Irish game of hurling and the Welsh game of bando, but has developed unique rules and features. These rules are governed by the Camanachd Association. A composite rules shinty–hurling game has been developed, which allows Scotland and Ireland to play annual international matches.

Another sport with common ancestry is bandy, which is played on ice.

We met a man, another visitor, who explained shinty to us.  He is from Wales but has visited the states often.  He’s planning to come back to VA so Tom gave him his business card 🙂

A house with a real bathtub!

A Sheep Fank and Shepherd’s Bothy. A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate.Bothies are to be found in remote mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Ireland and Wales. This bothy was made from an old railway sleeper.

Sheep dip at this time they used tar.  Sheep dip is a liquid formulation of insecticide and fungicide which shepherds and farmers use to protect their sheep from infestation against external parasites such as itch mite, blow-fly, ticks, and lice.

We saw 3 coos aka cows:



Unfortunately, the sweetie store closed when we got there.

The Highland Folk Museum is where the TV Series Outlander was partly filmed so they have an Outlander Day: https://www.highlifehighland.com/highlandfolkmuseum/outlander-day/

Speak to any fan of the television adaption of Outlander, and chances are they’ll mention the incredible costumes, sophisticated sets and breathtaking locations utilised to convincingly recreate 18th Century Scotland. In previous editions of this Scotland Magazine column, we’ve visited various Outlander locations that – largely on account of their construction from stone – haven’t changed too significantly over the years. However, in the rural communities of Scotland’s past, wood was often the building material of choice for many township structures. Unsurprisingly, no suitable originals survived the long years since their construction intact.

This could’ve caused something of a stumbling block, particularly when filming scenes such as those seen in episode five of season one (‘Rent’). The protagonist, Claire, having joined the men of Clan MacKenzie, is taken along on a rent-collecting trip in the Highlands, on behalf of Laird Colum MacKenzie, and visits many impoverished villages constructed in the traditional style of the 1700s.

The episode is of particular note for giving an intimate look at the lives of women in such communities, and in one scene Claire joins the local women in a song as they ‘waulk the cloth’ (also known as ‘wool walking’ or ‘fulling’). The process involves pounding a large mass of wool, stretched across a long table, in order to eliminate dirt and thicken the material; songs were sung to help set the pace of work. The scene holds particular weight, as it is such everyday tasks that are often left out of historic fiction.

From our vantage point in the 21st Century, replete with modern comforts, it can be hard to imagine quite how hard life would have been for the occupants of such villages, thus making a faithful recreation of the period environment pivotal for the success of the series. In many countries, film-makers would now be faced with the daunting task of either building a set from scratch or relying on computer generated effects to create the desired environment; both are costly options and, as we have all seen on-screen many times before, the results of the latter can be less than convincing.

Thankfully, Scotland has its very own, painstakingly recreated, 18th Century township at the Highland Folk Museum near Newtonmore, Inverness-shire. Founded in 1935 by Dr Isobel F. Grant, a pioneer in British folk life studies and author of the seminal text Highland Folk Ways (1961), in just under a decade the collection had outgrown its original home, a church on the Isle of Iona, and relocated to a new site in Kingussie. This new museum, which was named Am Fasgadh (The Shelter), included a recreated late 19th Century blackhouse, livestock, crops and activities.

The Highland Folk Museum subsequently relocated once again, in 1996, to a significantly larger (80 acre / 32 hectare) location in nearby Newtonmore, and ever since has existed as a piece of ‘living history’ that is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. The collection, which now includes over 10,000 items, from teaspoons to tractors, was recognised in 2015 as a ‘Collection of National Significance’ by Museum Galleries Scotland, an accolade that coincided with its 80th anniversary.

The township itself, named Baile Gean (The Township of Goodwill), is based on a real settlement that once existed at Easter Raitts, high up the Spey valley near the hamlet of Lynchat. Raitts, the main settlement in the area prior to the 1790s era ‘planned town’ of Kingussie, was located on a drove road that crossed the River Spey from north to south, leading to the township of Ruthven.

The recreation was informed by significant archaeological excavation, physical and documentary research and extensive practical experimentation on site. Visitors are invited to learn of the complex techniques employed to build the various structures, which include the tackman’s (principal tenant) house; a barn; a cottar’s house (the house of a tenant who cultivated land); a weaver’s house; a stockman’s house (complete with animal pens) and a kiln barn (that demonstrates how villagers would have dried their grains).

After featuring in Outlander, the township has become very popular with fans of the series and as a result the museum now holds an annual ‘Outlander Day’ each June. This includes additional costumed interpreters on site (including a redcoat); cooking in the houses; weaving; an exhibition by the herbalist who advised on the TV series; additional animals; a working pole lathe and, of course, a display of ‘waulking the cloth.’

From http://www.scotlandmag.com/magazine/issue87/12011605.html



Stopped at Tesco.  Way fewer people now that the Thunder in the Glens is finished.

Got back about 5 and fell asleep immediately.  Woke up just after 9 making the total day’s sleep 12:52.

Looking back, I see that yesterday (Sunday) shows as 00: 00 time in the app.  Not sure what happened because I know I slept – and added the time to this blog (10:52).  Maybe the app was confused with time changes.  Interesting that both Sunday and Monday end with 52 minutes.  Hmmm.  The 7 day average is still ok.

And more pictures.  Sooner or later I may add more captions.  Click on any to see the larger slideshow…




Busy Saturday!



Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Competition Noon-5:00 PM
Awards and Massed Piping Performance 6:00 PM

No other event in the United States will feature this many top-level pipe bands.

The Virginia International Tattoo will host the first annual Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship on Scope Plaza in Norfolk, Virginia. The competition, which coincides with the Tattoo performance weekend, will feature Grade 1 and Grade 2 pipe bands from around the world.

Bands will compete from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Scope Plaza, and awards will be presented at 6:00 PM followed by a massed piping performance.

Vendors will be on- site for all of your food and drink needs.

GRADE 1—Top Grade

Inveraray & District Pipe Band, United Kingdom

Peel Regional Police Pipe Band, Canada

Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band, United Kingdom

Toronto Police Pipe Band, Canada


Great Lakes Pipe Band, United States

MacMillan Pipe Band, United States

Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band, United States

New York Metro Pipe Band, United States

Read the press release.

Virginia International Tattoo Hullabaloo

April 23, 2016, 4:30 – 7:30

Scope Plaza, Norfolk

This is a happy hour like no other! Three hours of non-stop performances, craft beer and tasty treats. Expect performances by international military bands, dancers, drill teams and some of our favorite local dancers and musicians.
The Hullabaloo is a perfect opportunity to shake hands with an active duty soldier and get a selfie with an Australian highland dancer.
Get tattooed three hours prior to the Tattoo!

DrumLine Battle

April 23, 2016, 5:00 PM
Scope Plaza, Norfolk

DrumLine Battle is back! A favorite event of the 2015 Hullabaloo, DrumLine Battle showcases marching percussion ensembles of any instrumentation and any skill level year-round, spotlighting their unique talents and creativity in a high energy face-to-face competition. You might see a Canadian pipe band versus a German military band or a Swiss drum corps versus an American fife and drum band!


Check out 2015 matches!

The 20th Annual Virginia International Tattoo

A Time to Celebrate- 20 years of Spectacular Performances

A Time to Remember- 20 years of Service and Sacrifice

Saturday, April 23, 7:30pm 

The 2016 Virginia International Tattoo will celebrate the past 20 years with an extraordinary, once in a lifetime cast of performers and a recorded video tribute by General Colin Powell with script by legendary war correspondent Joe Galloway.

Included are the Swiss drum corps Top Secret, a Dutch Band on Bicycles, world champion pipers from the Highlands of Scotland, a massed choir of EPIC proportions, and the very finest performers the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have to offer.

The heartbeat of the Virginia International Tattoo is always its extraordinary international cast. Every year, the Tattoo includes military bands, drill teams, bagpipers, drummers, celtic dancers, choirs and more from around the globe to create a spectacular performance.

Each year the cast is different but the spirit of the cast remains the same. We invite groups from the U.S. and our key allies who epitomize talent, discipline, hard work and pride. Whether they are young civilian dancers from Canada or military pipers with combat experience from Scotland or our local Navy Band nicknamed “The Finest of the Fleet”, these performers and their passion for the traditions and cultures that they represent will inspire you.

2016 Cast


51 ACU Swan Regiment Drums and Pipes

In 2002, the 51 Army Cadet Unit was formed when the 2/28th Battalion and the 24th Anti-Tank Company Association members donated funds for the purchase of 21 drums and 21 Australian National Flags. Each flag was a representation of the 100 former members killed in action in World War II. When bagpipes were added to the mix in 2011, the Drum Corps transformed into the Drums and Pipes, as seen today.

Presbyterian Ladies’ College Pipe Band

The Presbyterian Ladies’ College was founded in 1915 in Perth, Western Australia, with a strong Scottish heritage. In 1934, the Black Watch tartan uniform was introduced. The Presbyterian Ladies’ College Pipe Band was formed in 1980 and today these two icons have become tangible reminders of the heritage.

OzScot Australia Highland Dancers

First established in 2000, the OzScot Australia Highland Dancers is a team of 24, ranging in ages 15-25. What is so interesting about this team is that the first time they work together is upon arrival at the international event they are performing. These dancers all have held or are currently holding titles and all hale from various parts of Australia, representing the Celtic community of Australia and promoting the country, highland dancing and friendship.


8 Wing Trenton Royal Canadian Air Force Pipes and Drums

The Canadian Forces Base 8 Wing Trenton Pipes and Drums represents the Canadian Armed Forces, specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force and is comprised of both current serving members, some being veterans of the Bosnia conflict and the war in Afghanistan, and civilian volunteers. The band carries with it all calibers of players from beginners to those who compete professionally and at the World Pipeband Championships in Grade 1.

Heeresmusikkorps Kassel, German Army Band Kassel

The Heeresmusikkorps Kassel was formed in 1956 and is the only military band of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces of Germany) in the state of Hesse. This Army orchestra plays all over the globe, performing in both modern and traditional styles while “presenting musical culture in its most beautiful form.”

Jordanian Armed Forces Bagpipe Band

The Jordanian Armed Forces Band was established in 1921 with a core of 10 musicians. In the decades to come, the full band, seven musical groups including an orchestra, was formed includes more than 500 musicians today. Forty members of the Bagpipe Band are participating in this Tattoo.

Band of the Netherlands Mounted Arms Regiment

The Band of the Netherlands Mounted Regiment is one of the two professional orchestras within the Royal Netherlands Army and the only full-time professional military fanfare orchestra in the world. The band continues the traditions of the Bicycle Music Corps, sporting uniforms issued in 1914, playing on the period-correct bent instruments and even performing while riding bicycles.

Top Secret Drum Corps

Formed in 1990 by a group of enthusiastic, talented young drummers from the Swiss city of Basel, Top Secret’s energetic and unpredictable drumming performances incorporate the traditions of Basel, Scottish and American styles. Top Secret’s members are highly dedicated drummers with diverse backgrounds.

Inveraray and District Pipe Band

Stuart Liddell, one of the world’s top solo players, began coaching 5 younger pipers in 2003, calling itself the Inveraray Piping Project. The Inveraray and District Pipe Band were officially formed in 2005. Their first performance took 13th of 17 spots in the Novice Juvenile Division at Cowal Games with borrowed drums and its young members in uniforms of various colors. Fast forward to 2015 and the Inveraray and District Pipe Band has become a leading competitor in Grade 1 Division competitions.

Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band

The Police Scotland Fife Pipe Band is a Grade 1 pipe band from Fife, Scotland, and was established in September 2007. The band’s first competition at the Dunbar Highland Games in May 2008 saw them awarded first prize in Grade 1. In August of the same year the band made their first appearance at the World Pipe Band Championships and gained entry into the Grade 1 final, having achieved second place among fourteen bands in the morning qualifying round. Consistently a top 12 competitor, Police Scotland Fife is a band to watch in the 2016 competition season!

Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums

The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums are musical ambassadors for Colonial Williamsburg and perform there nearly 500 times a year. The Fifes and Drums are composed of boys and girls from the local community aged 14–18. They represent the Virginia State Garrison Regiment of 1778, whose field musicians were vital to commanders for marching the regiment in proper cadence and for beating daily ceremonies—Reveille, the Assembly, the Retreat, and the Tattoo.

Granby High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps

Established in 1972, Granby High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is one of the largest NJROTC units in the Hampton Roads Area. They were recognized with The Navy League’s 2011-2012 Most Outstanding NJROTC unit in Area 5 and the #2 NJROTC in the nation and awarded the Naval Service Training Command Distinguished Unit award with academic honors.

Hampton Roads Police Color Guard

With a mission to protect and serve, members of the Chesapeake and Norfolk Police Departments proudly represent their cities in a display of integrity and honor.

Quantico Marine Corps Band

Established in 1918, the Quantico Marine Corps Band is one of the oldest professional musical ensembles in the Marine Corps. With an authorized strength of one officer and 50 enlisted Marines, the band has performed at many recognized civilian events; including the Super Bowl XLI Pregame Show, the 9/11 Memorials at Carnegie Hall and the Town Arts Theatre, Times Square, the Macy’s Thanksgiving and Columbus Day Parades in New York City, numerous appearances at The Virginia International Tattoo, and the Opening Ceremony for the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The band’s mission is to provide musical support that will encourage community relations, enhance troop morale, and promote the Marine Corps recruiting program through its demanding performance schedule. As well as musical support, the members of the band also fulfill their duties as Marine Riflemen. In support of the War in Iraq, 17 members of the band were attached to Task Force National Capitol Region and deployed conducting combat operations. These Marines returned to the band in June 2008.

Rhythm Project All Stars

The Rhythm Project is a world percussion ensemble dedicated to the nurturing of self-esteem through individual and cooperative achievement. Founded in 1996 by the Virginia Arts Festival, the Rhythm Project consists of four elementary and middle school groups along with the premiere high school ensemble, the All Stars, who will be performing at this year’s Tattoo.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band

The TRADOC Marching Band supports larger reviews and parades for Headquarters TRADOC and Fort Eustis. The TRADOC Band’s mission is to provide music for Headquarters, TRADOC’s areas of interest by fostering Soldier and family morale, ‘Telling the Army Story’ to the civilian community, and supporting the strategic messages of the Commanding General, TRADOC. The Marching Band is featured at the Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk, Virginia every other year, where it performs for over 30,000 in the largest military tattoo in North America. The Marching Band can also be seen at many area Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day Parades.

U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team

Members of the Drill Team have double duties in the Honor Guard where their duties include Firing Party, Body Bearing Team and Colors. When not involved with their Honor Guard duties, the Drill Team is on the road, representing the Coast Guard in a wide variety of parades, competitions and celebrations.

Coast Guardsman who apply for a position on the Drill Team work closely with members of the present Drill Team to prepare for their first performance. Once a prospect has advanced in his or her initial training they are placed in an actual Drill Team performance. If the member successfully completes the performance with no flaws they are then accepted on the Drill Team where they continue to hone their skills.

In order for the team to become one cohesive unit they practice five days a week for a minimum of two hours each day.

U.S. Fleet Forces Band

Known as “The Finest of the Fleet”, the band is the musical representative for Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, VA. The band provides musical support for ships, military bases, foreign dignitaries and community events throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio River Valley areas of the U.S. and also regularly deploys to Central and South America.

U.S. Marine Corps FAST Co.

These highly trained Marines provide limited duration expeditionary antiterrorism and security forces in support of designated component and geographic combatant commanders in order to protect vital naval and national assets. Conduct other limited duration contingency operations as directed by the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command. Their Mission Essential Tasks are to provide forward deployed, expeditionary antiterrorism and security forces to support designated commanders, protect vital national assets, establish or augment security and to maintain permanent forces to provide security for strategic weapons at designated facilities. At the Tattoo, FAST Co. will provide a military skills demonstration that illustrates the fitness of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Virginia International Tattoo All-American Chorus

800 singers will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Virginia International Tattoo. The Virginia International Tattoo All-American Chorus is the largest gathering of voices ever to be in the Tattoo! Dr. Craig D. Jessop, Professor of Music and founding Dean for the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University and former music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will conduct the chorus in performing a premiere piece created just for this event. Participating choruses include: Booker T. Washington High School Chorus, Churchland High School Chorus, Granby High School Chorus, Kempsville High School Chorus, Lake Taylor High School Chorus, Landstown High School Chorus, Maury High School Chorale, Norview High School Chorus, Old Dominion University Concert Choir, Visual & Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School, Virginia Children’s Chorus, Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Wake & District Pipe Band

Based in the City of Raleigh, North Carolina, the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums (Wake & District) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to improve piping and drumming quality, culture and tradition in the region. Established in 2006, the program honors those who sacrifice their lives while serving others, standing for the motto “FOR OUR FALLEN”

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