As we reflect on the year that we are in, James Kennedy has taken a look back at what was happening in Strathard 100 years ago.
The main source of information is from local newspapers, especially the Stirling Observer and the Callander Advertiser. These newspapers can be seen in the Stirling Council Archives. The British Newspaper Archive is also a very good website for looking up newspaper coverage and you can choose from several levels of subscriptions.
Throughout 1923 Aberfoyle featured in a large number of advertisements for the 1922 film ‘Rob Roy’ much of which had been filmed in the village. The extensive publicity meant that there was a large increase in the tourist trade using trains and charabancs. Charabancs had very much taken over from the traditional four in hand coaches.
Meanwhile in Kinlochard at the end of January the death was announced of Mrs. Frances Fanshawe. Known as ‘ Fanny’ , Mrs. Fanshawe had lived in the area since the early part of the century and was a regular benefactor to the local schools and St. Mary’s Church. She and her husband had built Dalveagh on the shores of Loch Ard. Dalveagh was inherited by her nephew Captain Guy Fanshawe. He retained ownership until 1937 when he sold the property which then became Forest Hills.
The following postcard in the earliest image of Dalveagh.
Aberfoyle was again used as a location for making films including ‘Young Lochinvar’ which meant that the Baile Nicol Jarvie hotel enjoyed a very busy season. Organisations such as the Royal Scottish Automobile Club organised special tours of the Trossachs and typically the BNJ was a favoured venue for lunch.
The tourist season really started with the spring bank holiday in early April. Cycling in the area was very popular and Aberfoyle was mentioned in an advertisement for Humber Cycles in the Clarion which was a weekly UK newspaper.
Advertisement for Humber Cycles Clarion Newspaper 3 August 1923 © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive
As the year progressed activities such as shooting and fishing were regularly mentioned in the newspapers. The joint Aberfoyle and Gartmore Highland Games on 30 June was popular with locals and tourists. Loch Lomond seemed to be the best place to catch loch and sea trout. For example, in early August a Dundee angler caught a 7 lbs. loch trout and several sea trout.
An important development came in early September when public telephone exchanges were opened in Buchlyvie and Aberfoyle—this completed linking of all villages in West Perthshire and West Stirlingshire. In late October the railway station was one of a number of prize winners for the best kept station for the Southern Scottish section on the London and North-eastern Railway.
As the year came to a close two other items of good news. Firstly, was the appointment of a District Nurse and Health Visitor—Mary Fletcher. This required local fundraising which involved many people and events. The year ended with shareholders in the Aberfolye Slate Quarry Company receiving a 5 shilling per share dividend.