Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Writers' Weekend in Perthshire.

Guildtown and Wolfhill are near Perth in Scotland. They are aiming to become Carbon neutral,

and this was my base this weekend, as I attended a conference to find out more about global warming for a forthcoming anthology, organised by Gregory Norminton, a fellow author (on the right below),

and Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (on the left, below).

Our first evening was spent in Perth in the Society's buildings, which have recently been modernised using sustainable materials (cork and rubber on the floor for instance) and lit with an eminently appropriate lamp,

and also incorporating the twelfth century wall of a house made famous by Sir Walter Scott.

The village hall in Guildstown (where we went the next day)

has an impressive combination of renewable energy supplies: from solar photovoltaic cells on the south-facing roof

to a system which extracts the energy from under the ground of the adjacent playing field

and conveys it to the roof space of the hall for conversion into hot water and heating.

Jack and authors Tom Bullough and Maria McCann (in red jacket) investigating the plumbing in the roof space.
A local resident, Jack, who also happens to be an engineer

explained how the choice of system is crucial. Although the system of photovoltaics and underground heat has proved to be economic, an expensive wind generator on the hard courts

has not.

From outside the village hall

Wayne, Kenny, authors James Miller and Tom Bullough in sunglasses, Gregory, Maria, Jack, Gail and Davie.
we went to the garden of the local primary school, where a local artist, Wayne,

is in the process of engaging the children in various recycling schemes including building a greenhouse from interlocking recycled plastic bottles

and producing yard games.

Meanwhile, artist and writer, Nick Hayes, joined Mike in a cartooning session with local children at the hall.

Nick Hayes (in green T-shirt) supervising cartooning session.

The hall was also the venue for a ceilidh

complete with band (and young listener) - which I think we all enjoyed very much, and I think certainly matched aerobics for aerobic activity.

The next day there were more briefings, this time in the Wolfhill Village Hall, with Richard, the CEO of the Scottish WWF and Rachel who heads a community carbon neutral group in Sterling on their ideas for the future

followed by a stroll

back through the lush countryside to the village.

It was a fascinating weekend, thanks to the great food and the warm welcome from the inhabitants of Guildtown - especially Ken and Eleanor (pictured below) who were kind enough to put me up in their very pretty cottage. We had some great conversations. Thank you both so much!

Ken, Rachel, Gail and Eleanor.


Blogger Sue Guiney said...

ooh, what a great weekend. Love this sort of research time. And you had such great weather!

Wed May 04, 10:30:00 am  
Blogger dhamel said...

They don't let you people sit down much, do they. Particularly in pictures 2 and 3: chairs are not an option.

Thu May 05, 12:16:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Sue: yes, it was well worth going. I learnt a lot, and the people there were so kind. The scenery was unexpectedly glorious too.

Debra: Heh, heh. Good point. Yes, I hadn't quite realised how much time we spent standing. I do have some sitting down footage too :-)

Thu May 05, 04:28:00 am  

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