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The Sunday Class
Taught/practised on: 2016 July 31 st August 7 th
BLACKFORD JIG  (J8x40) Evelyn Ramwell  Kirkbrae Collection 1  1- 6 1s lead down middle & back  7- 8 1s cast to 2 nd  place on own sides  9-12 1s   dance   ½   Figs   of   8   (Lady   round   2s   &   Man   down   round   3s)   to   face 1 st  corner 13-16 1s   turn   1 st    corner   LH    (4   bar   turn),   finishing   in   2 nd    place   opposite sides 17-24 1s   dance   reels   of   3   on   opposite   sides   giving   RSh   to   2 nd    corner   to   start (end facing 2 nd  corners) 25-28 1s turn 2 nd  corners RH (4 bar turn) 29-32 1s dance ½ Figs of 8 (Man up round 2s & Lady down round 3s) 33-40 1s dance reels of 3 across giving LSh to 1 st  corners
This   dance   was   devised   in   October   1995   for   Donald   Ridley   in   appreciation   of   the   tunes   which   he   so   generously composed, and played, for Evelyn’s dances. Blackford   is   about   5   miles   from   Auchterarder,   just   off   the   A9,   and   is   the   home   of   Highland   Spring   water   and   the Tullibardine distillery. Recent    excavations    just    outside    the    village    of    Blackford    have    revealed    a    considerable    Bronze    /    Iron   Age settlement.   Traditionally,   the   area   between   Kinbuck   Bridge   near   Dunblane   and   the   foot   of   Gleneagles   through which   the   Allan   River   flows   was   thought   to   be   one   large   expanse   of   water   varying   from   1   to   3   miles   in   breadth and   this   loch   was   supposedly   a   favourite   resort   of   the   ancient   Caledonian   monarchs.   A   fording   place   was established   at   the   east   end   and,   according   to   local   legend,   "The   Fair   Queen   Helen",   wife   of   King   Magnus,   was accidentally   drowned   here.   This   "black   ford",   as   it   was   dubbed   then   perpetuated   in   the   name   of   the   village. Blackford   is   situated   less   than   5   miles   from   the   major   Roman   camp   at   Ardoch   and   there   were   three   outposts   for the   camp   in   the   vicinity   of   the   village   of   Blackford.   Between   the   Roman   and   Medieval   periods   there   is   limited information   about   Blackford   although   it   is   said   that   William   Wallace   defeated   a   small   English   force   as   they crossed   the   ford   on   the   Allan   Water   around   1296   and   it   is   known   that   Sir   David   Murray   founded   a   Collegiate Church at nearby Tullibardine in 1445.   The   abundance   of   water   in   and   around   Blackford   has   had   a   strong   influence   on   the   development   of   the   area   with one   of   the   earliest   breweries   in   Scotland   established   in   Blackford   in   the   15 th    century.   The   official   chronicles   of the   period   state   that   James   IV,   on   his   return   from   his   coronation   in   Scone   in   1488,   paid   12   Scots   shillings   for   a barrel of ale from Blackford.   A   sizeable   community   had   been   established   by   the   turn   of   the   18 th    century   but   was   destroyed   by   Jacobite   forces in   1716   when   3   months   after   the   Battle   of   Sherrifmuir,   the   communities   of   Blackford,   Auchterarder,   Dunning, Muthill   and   Crieff   were   all   burnt   to   the   ground   under   the   orders   of   the   Earl   of   Mar   to   deny   food   and   shelter   to   the troops   of   the   Duke   of   Argyll.   Maps   of   the   late   18 th    century   only   show   farms   and   mills   in   the   area   and   little evidence   for   a   village   at   Blackford   and   the   “First”   or   “Old”      Statistical   Account   of   Scotland,   published   in   1799, provides   a   snapshot   of   Blackford   Parish. The   population   of   the   parish   at   the   time   was   1360,   “all   of   whom   reside   in the   country   as   there   are   no   towns   or   villages   in   the   parish”.   The   people   “have   nothing   remarkable   in   their   size, strength   or   features;   they   are   of   the   middle   size,   of   a   dusky   complexion,   have   a   serious   turn   and   are   very   zealous in   religious   matters.”   The   soil   and   climate   in   the   parish   are   described   as   not   good.   “A   great   part   is   soaked   in water   which   issues   from   numberless   springs….”,   “we   are   exposed   to   continual   rain   and   to   heavy   and   deep   falls   of snow…which   render   the   country   impassable”   and   “….the   effects   of   the   cold   are   sensibly   felt   in   retarding   and marring   the   growth   of   vegetables.”   The   Reverend   Mr   John   Stevenson   who   compiled   the   account   goes   on   to   say that   “While   the   country   is   so   noxious   to   plants,   it   cannot   be   favourable   to   the   bodies   of   animals”   and   lists   the many   diseases   suffered   by   the   people   including   scurvy,   pulmonary   complaints   and   rheums.   The   main   crops   grown include   barley   and   “gray   oats”   along   with   good   quality   potatoes   and   turnips   and   very   good   quality   flax   being   in abundance. So, not so noxious to plants? The   second   or   “New”   Statistical   Account   of   Scotland   records   for   the   parish   of   Blackford   that   in   1831,   the population   was   1892   and   of   these   “674   inhabitants   reside   in   the   village   where   they   are   employed   as   weavers, day-labourers   and   mechanics”. Those   who   do   not   reside   in   the   village   are   chiefly   employed   in   agriculture   pursuits and   it   is   noted   that   “Within   the   last   fifteen   years,   the   industry   and   skill   of   the   people,   especially   in   agriculture, have rapidly improved.” The   Scottish   Central   Railway   built   a   line   between   Perth   and   Stirling   with   a   station   at   Blackford   in   1848.      The Gleneagles Hotel was opened nearby in 1924. “Gleneagles   House,   replacing   the   ruined   13 th    century   castle,   was the   principal   home   of   the   Haldane   family.      The   oldest   part   is   17 th   century   and   still   has   the   simplicity   of   design   of   a   house   rooted   in the    land    which    generations    have    served.       After    the    war,    the Caledonian   Railway   usurped   the   name   of   Gleneagles   for   their   new hotel   which   actually   stood   in   Strathearn   although   with   a   view   up the   Glen.      The   use   of   the   name   caused   grave   offence   to   the   Laird of   Gleneagles,   but   behind   the   project   lay   powerful   commercial interests   which   spotted   the   “majestic   and   romantic   ring”   of   the name   and   would   not   be   gainsaid.      In   those   days   of   competitive railways   the   rolling   slopes   of   Strathearn   offered   an   opportunity   for the   railway   company   to   lure   away   from   east   coast   rivals   some   of the profitable golf traffic previously directed to St Andrews.” Carsebreck,   near   Blackford,   hosted   25   Grand   Matches   in   curling,   between   1853-1935.   "A   piece   of   ground   which could   be   flooded   for   the   purpose   of   affording   a   safe   sheet   of   ice"   was   leased   from   Mrs   Home   Drummond   Stirling Moray   of   Abercairney,   at   a   rental   of   £15   for   63   acres   from   November   to   February   each   season.   The   final   match, on 24 December 1935, attracted 2576 competitors.
Gleneagles House and Avenue