Ardentinny’s centenarian remembered

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Matthew and Jenna plant the tree with family and friends.

Born just three months before the start of the First World War and living to 100 years old, last weekend Angus Sutherland’s family and friends celebrated the long and accomplished life of our sadly departed centenarian at a memorial service in Ardentinny Church.

The Reverend Joe Stewart offered a warm and touching service and Angus’ grandchildren, Matthew and Jenna, gave moving recollections of their time with their grandfather. Angus’ forethoughtfulness and generosity during his lifetime continues, as he charitably donated his body to medical science.

The service was followed by a tree-planting ceremony in his memory at Coronation Wood.

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Matthew and Jenna Sutherland with the Holly tree.

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Angus Sutherland: Enjoying life at 100

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Angus with his 97 year-old little cat porridge bowl.

Ardentinny Resident of 31 years, Angus Sutherland, celebrates his 100th birthday this Saturday. Born at the onset of World War 1, his earliest childhood memory is receiving the gift of a little cat porridge bowl (pictured above) from his Dad at the age of three. Other childhood recollections in Angus’ still razor-sharp mind, are the dimming of the gas lights as zeppelins flew overhead and the declaration of the Armistice in 1918. Hailing from Barnhill, he and his family had gone shopping to Dundee when the announcement was made. He vividly recalls everyone celebrating in the streets, not quite understanding why, and the fact that the trams stopped running. One driver agreed to take them as far as Broughty Ferry, after which they made the three-mile walk home.

Angus admits to having hated school, preferring, instead, the great outdoors. However it certainly didn’t hamper his many professional and other achievements in later life. He began working as an apprentice in his father’s joinery firm and then went on to attend Dundee Technical College for seven years, qualifying as a civil engineer. His professional career took him to Dounreay nuclear power station and then to Warrington for 10 years. Thereafter he joined the Electricity Board where his ‘patch’ included Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and Anglesey and as far north as Carlisle.

During the Second World War years Angus was in the fire service training many of the fire personnel and among his colleagues was Jimmy Shand who went on to become a close friend. Other notable achievements were driving (with his Dad in the country) from the age of ten; building a family home from scratch on what turned out to be a peat bog once they got through the feet-high brambles; and turning a 25-foot hull into a cabin cruiser which he sailed on Loch Long in his retirement.

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An accomplished artist, Angus continues to paint at 100 years old.

In 1947 Angus married Mary Marshall from Kilmany in Fife and they had two sons, Peter and Jack. One of Angus’ great loves was fishing, which he shared with the children, and he recalls Jack, at the age of four, ably casting his line on the river Tay. The family always had a caravan and regularly took it round Scotland on holiday which is how they eventually found the home they retired to in Ardentinny.

So, in 1983 Angus moved to the village. He recollects that, at that time, there was an active village school; the Heron Tea Room; and a very busy ‘Outward Bound Centre’, run by Dave Lilley. Over the years Angus has regularly delivered the Selkirk Grace at the village’s annual Burns Supper and he twice opened the annual flower show.

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Angus with one of his watercolours.

Until recently Angus has also been a keen traveller, cruising the Mediterranean, South Africa, the West Indies, Iceland and Norway and was always treated royally by local Saga Cruises Captain Alistair McLundie. He now maintains his more gentle hobby of painting and enjoying a regular meal out at Chatters restaurant in Dunoon.

He will celebrate his big day with a party for 100 at Kilmun Hall which is being organised by Rosie Macinnes of Chatters and with Ardentinny’s Bill Tierney providing the music.

Regarding the future, he will be voting a resounding YES and is looking forward to seeing an independent Scotland.

We wish him Many Happy Returns!

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David P.J. Morrison, BA (Hons.) 1958 – 2011

Cartoon by David Morrison which relates to his time working with Walter Muir at the Ardentinny Outdoor Centre. Courtesy: Walter Muir.

David Morrison moved to Ardentinny from his native Falkirk in 1974.  He studied fine art at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and graduated with a BA (hons.) degree in 1989. Inspired by the Scottish landscape and Argyll in particular, some of his most popular works featured the brightly painted fishing boats literally on his doorstep. David’s artworks have been exhibited nationally as well as closer to home in the local Blairmore and Juno galleries. His friend and fellow artist Liz Bruce describes him fondly:

David was simply the best painter by miles and for miles around. Whether landscape, ships and boats or figures, or even the odd abstract, there is no other artist to match him. Nevertheless he remained unassuming, a wee bit shy and always generous to lesser mortals, i.e., fellow painters.

He took the time and care to offer truly constructive criticism and went out of his way to help anyone who took art as seriously as he did. Where others might have condescended, he was honest and supporting.

David specialised in capturing the west of Scotland landscape in all its glory, in all weathers, and was masterly in conveying unusual effects of light. He was able to hold an image in his mind, until he had the chance to record it. The Ardentinny road in dappled sun was a favourite subject, familiar to any who have driven this way on a sunny morning. Low sun reflecting off a wet slate roof or turning the bark of a pine tree pink, while challenging to most painters, were no bother to David. He possessed the perception to see such fleeting effects and the extraordinary skill to capture them, and consequently allow the rest of us to see them too.

We keep loved ones alive in our hearts and minds and, though David’s life has been cut short, his memory will outlive all of ours, because his enormous talent will ensure that his work will be around for a very long time indeed.

Liz Bruce. 4 October, 2011.

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More of David’s work..

Cowal Open Studios
Juno Gallery
Blairmore Gallery
Bay Attic
Scottish Art

We would welcome additional anecdotes on the life of David Morrison or possibly you have a favourite artwork of David’s which you would like to share. You can contact us here.

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Talent within our midst

It never fails to surprise us how much talent exists in Ardentinny. We have more than our fair share of good artists and crafts people and Teresa Forsyth is no exception.

Teresa runs ‘Teresa Forsyth Upholstery & Soft Furnishings’ from her base in Ardentinny. The word ‘upholsterer’ might conjure up burly, leather-apron-clad males with a posse of apprentices. However, don’t let this diminutive, artistic lady fool you. She is as, if not more, capable and professional as the next man, or woman.

Teresa began her professional life as an actress and toured South Africa with Terry Scott and June Whitfield in a ‘Bedfull of Foreigners‘ which eventually brought her to work in the UK. On realising that her height, voice and accent were against her, she decided to move into stage management and later the Wardrobe Dept. where her sewing skills came to the fore and where she worked her way up to Wardrobe Mistress, touring the world with the likes of Anthony Quale’s Theatre Company. After five years working with Phantom of the Opera in London, she decided to launch her upholstery business. A previous sabbatical had allowed her to study and become qualified in the craft and in 2003 she felt the time was right to put her plans into action.

As you will see from her website, www.teresaforsyth.co.uk the scope of Teresa’s work is vast. While a traditionalist at heart, she tackles modern pieces; contract work; boats; caravans; and even Harley Davidsons with equal skill and panache. She also makes made to measure loose covers and curtains with Dunoon Hospital and Ardentinny Centre forming part of her portfolio and she will happily tackle alterations, such as replacement zips, hem adjustments and rips and tears.

Teresa’s precision and attention to detail are her trademarks, as is her very personal service. She will advise on the coverings within the context of the home setting. She also installs the finished piece or hangs the curtains personally to ensure everything looks as it should, resulting in lots of return custom which is the best recommendation one could wish for.

If you would like more information on ‘Teresa Forsyth Upholstery & Soft Furnishings’, visit her website or contact her by phone on 01369 810115.

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