For me, one of the benefits of our current extended UK holiday is the opportunity to re-visit some of my old childhood memories. Back in the 1960’s we lived in Perth, Scotland for about 8 years.
A couple of weeks ago, we drove up to Perth, driving past both of our old homes and checked out the numerous changes throughout the city. This brought back memories of picnics we had at Little Glenshee, a remote area, which I recall is fairly close to Perth, I just couldn’t remember exactly where it was. My feeble excuse being the mere 50 years since my last visit.
About once a year, we made a picnic, and as a family, we headed out to Little Glenshee for the day. My memories included a fairly short drive to the area, shallow burn for wading, a ford across the burn, narrow single track roads and general wilderness.
1967 – My mum, little brother and I at Little Glenshee
On return to Strathkinness, I checked out Google Maps, using the search term, “Little Glenshee”, which returned a farmhouse, backing onto a small burn, about 12 miles from Perth. Expanding the area, I found a ford over the burn and a small car park. This must be the place, but since my last visit was about 50 years ago, the memory was a tad hazy. I showed the Google Street View images to my dad, with the route to get there and he agreed, this was where we used to go picnic.
The next nice day, we rustled together a picnic and set off from Strathkinness. While only 12 miles from Perth, it is a little more from Strathkinness – about 45 miles, each way. Oh well! for rekindling old childhood memories, it is worth the effort.
1967 – My mum and I at Little Glenshee
So, with picnic basket stuffed with sandwiches, treats and drinks, we set off for Perth and ultimately Little Glenshee. With me driving, it gave my dad the opportunity to enjoy the scenery. Turning off the main road onto the local roads, his memory came flooding back, yes!, I recall this route, he exclaimed. Progressing from local roads onto the single track lane, we eventually found the ford across the burn and the new parking area.
Parked at Little Glenshee
Some changes, in the 50 years since our last visit, are readily apparent – the ford over the burn now has a concrete base, they have a small parking lot and a bridge over the burn.
Judi and my dad on the bridge
Shochie Burn from the bridge
As a child, as soon as we arrived, the socks and shoes were off and we were straight into the water with the dog. However, time and the freezing cold water has dampened the old exploring spirit, so the socks and shoes remained firmly on the feet.
Ford across the burn with concrete base
These days the ford is easily passable, with a water depth of only a few inches. During previous meetings we have seen many cars stuck, so everyone used to chip in giving a push through the burn.
After some reminiscing, we opened the boot and enjoyed some sandwiches and refreshments.
Barren countryside only a few miles from the city
1967 – My mum, little brother and I
Before setting out, one of my objectives was to try and take a photograph that replicated one of the family photos from previous visits. While I didn’t take my laptop and external drive with me, I tried to memorise some of the backgrounds. The above 2 photos, with the hill in the background, is the closest I got.
A most enjoyable day that brought back some great memories. For me, this area has childhood memories, but it is also popular with walkers, who can follow the trail along the burn for about 8 or 9 miles.