scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

O Gold Panning, you organised this well! (Anag.) 4,8

It was with some trepidation that 8 hardy souls set off for the north to meet up with fellow member Keith Tyler and his neighbours Brian and Christine Creedy who were to demonstrate the art of panning for gold. This was the first excursion planned by the Friends and questions readily springing to mind were, 'Would the weather be good", 'what would the midges be like", 'would the trains run to time", but we needn't have worried everything turned out very well. A strong cool wind took care of the midges and it didn't bring any showers into the area, unlike the days before and after our trip! Fortunately reserved seats on the train ensured that we could sit together, given the popularity of the service and it was felt that the line improves as an attraction each time you travel on it, but then we are biased.

A short walk from Kildonan station brought us to the site for panning and after a short interval whilst most of the group had a short sample of the technique the walkers in the group headed off for a breath of very fresh and invigorating air. No one made their fortune but most were successful at seeing the glitter of gold in the bottom of the pan.

A most enjoyable day and worthy of being repeated so please let us know your thoughts on locations, days of the week etc.

Roger Piercy

Our Chairman's name is Richard
And for this day he's worked quite hard
Whilst sieving the rice
He thought it would be nice
To go for gold in Kildonan.

The Editor's name is Roger
But he's not really a dodger
When asked what he would do
He said 'I've not much of a clue"
But I'd rather walk in Kildonan.

There's bound to be midges,
So you could take to the ridges
But if you go for the panning
Please don't be complaining,
In Kildonan.

Look right and left and right again,
You mind your Green Cross Code?
But now you're the driver of our train
So avoid the traffic on the road,
At Kildonan Station.

'There's gold in them there hills"
or so they say,
But come rain or shine
Let's hope all is fine,
And this is your successful day,
In Kildonan.

Was that the flap of the prospector's tent
You heard as you panned with deep intent?
Or perhaps you imagined a closing door
As the last tenant left from around Baile an Or.
And can you be sure that was the lapwing's cry,
Or was it an ancient family weeping 'Goodbye"?
To Kildonan.

If you've enjoyed this innovative day
Then now's the time to have your say
But don't be envious if you haven't been here
There is, of course, another year
North and south and east and west
Let us know what you think is best.
But, not to Kildonan.

Gerry O'Price