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Irene's Adventures

Scotland - Tarland Ag Fair

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 9 August 2014 | Views [200]

Tarland Agricultural Fair


Even though Glo had printed off a map and even though Pearl gave us verbal directions to get to Tarland, we got terribly lost. It was supposed to be easy. Turn right at the edge of town, go toward Huntley, turn right again, then follow your nose to Tarland. We ended up in some small town and finally stopped to ask directions. They had not even heard of Tarland. Irene asked where she could buy a SIM card for her phone to access Google Maps. We headed back to Huntley and bought a SIM card at ASDA and a map at the tourist information. Then we took the second right (not the first right, as last time) and relied on the GPS to guide us. Ed tried to follow along with the map. It was hopeless. Some of the towns we passed were not even on the map. Most of the roads were not on the map. It was not a case of following our noses. The GPS would tell us to turn onto roads that we were not sure were roads, but merely trails through a farmer's field. They were the most winding, narrow and hilly roads I have ever seen in my life. It reminded me of the trails we had on our pasture land back on the farm, only these were paved. Hair raising driving, but beautiful scenery. In some places the trees were cut to create a tunnel effect for cars to go through.

 tree tunnel

We finally got to what we thought was going to be highland games only to discover it was an agricultural fair. Oh well, being farm kids, we knew we could enjoy and appreciate the day. This was the largest agricultural fair we had ever seen, there were thousands of people. We saw all kinds of sheep, some with orange wool and others with very curly horns.


There were horses, large and small.

horses  horses

There were many breeds of cattle.

highland bull  Pipe band & cattle

There were pipe bands and highland dancers.

Highland dancers  Pipe Band

There was a wide range of antique tractors, as well.


In amongst the vendors selling handcrafted items and snacks were two information booths handing out information on the separation issue of Scotland from England. The “YES” booth promising lower taxes, more schools and hospitals, better senior care and day care; however, they failed to say where the money will come from. The “NO” booth had pamphlets laying out where the revenue now comes from (North Sea oil, which runs out in 50 years), how much goes to England in the form of taxes, how much a new government will cost the tax payers, and other costs that will be incurred by separating. Being naive about the issue, Irene read all the literature and came to the conclusion that on a strictly financial and logical basis, a NO would be the way to vote. The YES side seemed to glorify and romanticize William Wallis with no basis for separation other than a long dead sense of Scottish patriotism. The vote was held on September 18, with the NO side winning by a small margin. I am sure there will be some animosity between neighbors regarding this issue for years to come. This reminds me of the Quebec separation issue, here in Canada. They are losing much of their steam as the Bloc Québécois continually loses ground with their leaders abandoning ship. It took many years and much heart ache to get to this point. However, after 700 years one would think that the Scots would be losing steam also!

YES booth in back


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