It will not have escaped your notice that most of the mainstream media are marking the end of the year with Reviews of 2018. ‘Well, why not?’, thought the Fearnan Blog, so here is a selection of our highlights from the last year:
In January, the Fearnan Poppy Project was launched with a simple knitting pattern and the thought that we might perhaps get 100, or possibly even 200.
In February, the annual Pudding Night nearly didn’t take place on account of a power cut two hours before the start of the event i.e. just about the time a lot of puddings were being popped into the oven to cook! Happily, the power came back in time for us to welcome our guests with an excellent selection of (fully cooked) puddings.
By March, we were all a bit fed up with the miserable weather and disruption caused by the snow. There may have been bare supermarket shelves at one point, but there was plenty on offer at the first coffee morning of the year. And we had a total of 200 poppies.
In April, we featured the story of an old Fearnan family, the Brydones, who lived in Fearnan in the first half of the 20th century, James Brydone being one of the WW1 servicemen who survived the war.
Snow made one final appearance in time for the April (Easter) Coffee morning; the lambs arrived at Ewetopia; there was a well-attended Fearnan Quiz Night; and the Bowls Club met for one last match of the season and to present the Cup to the winner of the Singles Final (Alastair).
Meanwhile, Peter (a.k.a. Spiderman McKenzie) was abseiling down the front of the Birks Cinema to help raise funds for the refurbishment of the auditorium and cafe bar.
The weather took a definite turn for the better in May, and the Art Club were out and about sketching. In June they held an Art Club Open Day, and a Coffee Morning rounded off the month.
It was Friends Reunited in July, when the Blog gave a name-check to one of our poppy knitters in British Columbia and, through the wonders of the Internet, her name was spotted by a long lost friend (also in BC) who asked to be put in touch.
Back in the village, we bade a fond farewell to local lads Archie and Crannog, but we hear through Facebook that they are both well-settled and thriving in their new homes.
In the same month, there was a splendid Strawberry Tea on offer from the FVA….
…. and Keith photographed two young ospreys that he had been monitoring, shortly before they fledged from their lochside nest.
By the beginning of September, we had some 500 poppies, and there were archaeologists at Boreland investigating possible links between land-based and crannog-based communities during the Iron Age. This is part of a larger project that is looking at whether or not the crannogs around Loch Tay were occupied simultaneously (which would suggest quite a busy landscape) or sporadically over a 400-year period (which would suggest small groups living in isolation).
Thanks to Aberfeldy museum there was a rare chance to see some early film footage of Fearnan in the 1930s (http://movingimage.nls.uk/film/9416). And by the end of the month, our fantastic team of knitters had produced 650 poppies.
In October, work started on transforming the (by now) +800 poppies into panels for the war memorial.
The McMillan Coffee Morning raised a very respectable £250 and there was another, rather spooky, coffee morning at Halloween.
The November highlight was the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, and of the 8 war casualties from Fearnan, at our Remembrance Day Service. The war memorial looked amazing on the day, thanks to the Poppy Project. The final total was 935 poppies – knitted by local people as well as many from the Fearnan diaspora in Canada, America, France and various locations throughout the UK.
The stories of the 8 Fearnan men who died in the war were further researched and updated in time for the anniversary, and can be read here.
December saw the last FVA event of the year – Mulled Wine and Mince Pies – which gave the attendees a chance to parade their Christmaswear.
And the final visitors of the year were flocks of Waxwings arriving in Fearnan, photographed by Keith.
The Book Club has met once a month over the last year, reading and discussing some 12 books. There was no unanimous winner of the Book of the Year award this year, but The Other Hoffmann Sister by Ben Fergusson received the most votes.
Those who voted for it felt that it was a well-paced story set within the historical background of colonial Africa and life between the wars in Berlin, when socialism was on the rise.
And as one year comes to an end, there is a chance to celebrate the start of 2019 in the Hall on New Year’s Eve:
Happy New Year to everyone!
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