March 2018 (Vol. 41, Number 09)
The Banner Says…
Where is Scotland?
If you are reading this then no doubt you know where Scotland is. Some may even be quite specific and tell you Scotland’s coordinates are 56.4907° N, 4.2026° W, but then again most of you would know that as well…
A reader in the USA recently posted on our social media that they were surprised to hear that there was a Paisley in Scotland. They clearly were familiar with the American town of Paisley (you can find a Paisley in both Oregon and Florida) but surprised to hear of the market town outside of Glasgow with a history that dates back to the 1100’s.
This month one of our features delves into how the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, Dùn Èideann, has become Dunedin for two places on opposite sides of the world thanks to their shared Scottish links. Which got me thinking just how much of the world has a Scottish footprint, whether the residents are aware or not. There are simply hundreds of cities, towns and villages across the world with a Scottish name, this does not include the many lakes, rivers and virtually anything else that can have a name, having a connected name. In fact
Scotland is all around us regardless of where you live.
Around the world this month all eyes will be on our Celtic cousins, the Irish, for St Patricks Day with green beer flowing and Irish music getting toes tapping. Many wonder why the impact of Scotland cannot be as widely recognised through events such as St Andrews Day, Burns Night or Tartan Day. However many pipe bands will be kilted up at not only St Patricks Day parades this month but at a variety of public events throughout the year, across the world. At any one time our website has hundreds of Scottish events listed from around the world. I am pretty sure a week does not go by where someone somewhere is not celebrating Scotland through events such as at Highland games, Scottish dance events, with music and Clan functions. It goes without saying that many places named after a Scot or somewhere in Scotland itself, still today carry out Scottish events as a nod to those founding Scots who persevered in new lands.
Everyday millions of people go to bed each night in a place that has been touched by a Scot, who has helped not to only give it a name but shape the place they call home today. Of course billions more enjoy inventions that were created by a Scot, from telephones to televisions we would be lost without them today. So in many ways Scotland is around in what we do and where we live, still today.
In this issue
This month we speak to the Munro Bagpiper Grant MacLeod who is playing the pipes at the very top of Scotland. Grant is looking to become the first person to play his bagpipes at the top of all 282 of Scotland’s Munros (mountains with a height of over 3000 feet). Mountains, bagpipes & kilts what could be more Scottish?
Scottish world record setting endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont recently placed himself again in the record books by cycling 18,000 miles across the globe in 79 days. Now the Perthshire native has set himself a new challenge for 2018 by riding his Penny Farthing bicycle farther than anyone else in one hour. The determination of this Scot is incredible and with every pedal he makes us all proud.
Cruising has never been more popular, with ships plying the world’s oceans taking passengers to some amazing locations. Scotland too, has never been more popular, with 2018 set to be the best year yet. Orkney has evolved from Viking boats to cruise mega ships and been declared
the cruising capital of the UK. I was surprised to hear this and with well over 100,000 people coming by ship this year Orkney has a fantastic opportunity to show off its unique scenery and culture to the world. However the influx of so many people on tiny island community of less than 25,000 has to be carefully managed and made to be a positive impact for local residents.
The legend of Merlin dates back to the 6th century and some may be surprised to learn of the Scottish links of the mythical wizard. In fact a Merlin Trail is being launched this month so visitors can follow in not only the legend we know from books and film, but the original figure who roamed the hills and forests of southern Scotland long ago.
Footsteps of our history
Most of us yearn to get back to Scotland to discover the land of our ancestors and step in the footsteps of our history. However we can also find some those same amazing footsteps in our own backyards which have seen Scots walk before us. Perhaps next time you are out for a drive and see a name that says Scotland to you, there just may be a great story behind it, with Scottish history. Our ancestors left us with a rich Scottish history across the planet and how fun might it be to find out where that Scotland is for you.
Do you know a special place outside of Scotland with a distinct Scottish name or link? Share your story with us by email, post or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us