Thursday, 28 November 2013

Kirkton Stores Closed

We should all have noticed by now, that Kirkton no longer has a shop. This is a sad reflection of our modern times when little village stores face such competition from the big supermarkets that it is no longer viable to remain open.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


On the 21st of every month, a different place in Kirkmahoe will be featured and you are invited to contact the blog on to tell us:-1. What the place is called
2. Where is it located
3. Any interesting information about it.......

This month we are presenting something 

a little bit different. 

We ask :-

What is this?

Where was it found?

What was it used for?

There are no prizes, other than satisfaction of being right!
Your replies will help us to build up an interesting and useful resource of information about the featured places.

Everyone who accurately identifies the location will have their name published, unless they request otherwise.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Answers to BT1310


"These pictures were taken from the footpath beside the Nith.  It can be accessed from The Booglie near Carzield, from Carnsalloch and from a path at Wellington Bridge.  The path goes along the flood defences which were built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is also probable that the first track from Dumfries into Nithsdale followed this route.

The footpath is a core path.  It is not, unfortunately, suitable for wheelchairs or people with severe mobility difficulties, but well worth strolling along.  Let us know if you see any interesting birds, butterflies or plants as you walk."

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

War Memorial Has Been Refurbished

Thanks to the efforts of Gordon Bissett, our War Memorial has undergone a face lift. Rusty railings have been replaced and painted, gravel has been placed around it, there is a new sign post showing the way to the Memorial, and no less than 10,000 daffodil bulbs have been planted. Many volunteers helped with this mighty task. We are all looking forward to the Spring when we will see a great show of colour around the War Memorial as befits those who gave so much in order that Future Generations might live in Freedom.

Many Thanks to Alice Howdle for supplying the beautiful photographs.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Turnips, lanterns, names and the Kirkmahoe Connection

Did anyone make a Turnip Lantern for Halloween? Nowadays Pumpkin Lanterns are more fashionable, but children used to make turnip lanterns. Turnips are notoriously hard to work with. Cutting the top off the turnip would usually be done by father or mother, and many a blister was gained whilst trying to scoop out the flesh of the turnip with an old spoon and a knife. Care had to be take when cutting the eyes nose and mouth in case fingers were cut instead. Next attaching the top to the bottom with string would test your knowledge of knots.

Lastly, was the task of finding a candle, of just the right size, to put in the bottom to give the light. Then the joy of having your lantern glow in the darkness of a Halloween night, with the evil looking face you had carved, peering at you like some terrible ghoul. Off you would go out guising, dressed in a sheet, or something equally fearsome, to pester the locals for treats in exchange for a song, dance, poem or joke, accompanied by  the unforgettable odour of burning turnip.
Turnips are known by a number of names.. here in Scotland....neeps, tumshies and more widely, swedes, rutabagas, brassica.
They are extremely hardy root vegetables able to withstand snow and ice, and were used to feed animals. They were also somewhat derided as a poor person's food, but they are full of nourishment none the less.
The turnip's root is high in vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top ("turnip greens") are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are high in lutein (8.5 mg / 100 g).
One medium raw turnip (122 g) contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:[2]
  • Calories : 34
  • Fat: 0.12
  • Carbohydrates: 7.84
  • Fibers: 2.2
  • Protein: 1.10
  • Cholesterol: 0
Turnips are part of our National dish of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties.
They are also used in soups, stews, casseroles and can be mashed with potatoes or on their own. If anyone has a good turnip recipe we would love to put it on our Blog!
How many of you are aware that there is a major connection between the turnip and Kirkmahoe?
Patrick Miller

Botanists on a visit to Sweden discovered turnips growing wild there. Patrick Miller of Dalswinton got to know about this and in 1781 requested turnip seed be sent to him here. Having previously designed a cannon, and given designs for a steam boat to the King of Sweden, the King was happy to oblige, and sent seeds to Miller in a casket. These seeds were duly planted at Dalswinton and from the resulting crop seeds were subsequently distributed throughout Scotland and England. The majority of turnips in UK nowadays are as a result of this crop!

This also explains the name Swede being used for turnips.

KCC Chairman's Report & Agenda Nov 2013

Chairman's Report

Agenda Nov13

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Castles & Towers of Scotland Friday 15th Nov Kirkton Hall

Kirkmahoe Heritage Group Presents
               A Talk by Graham Roberts                

     Castles & Towers of Scotland
     Friday 15th November at 7.30
     Kirkton Hall

    Teas & Coffees

    Donation box