The season got of to an excellent start with the first ramble to St Andrews. The Kate Kennedy Club at St Andrews University donated £300 to the scooter fund in November and invited us to take part in the annual procession in April through the streets of St Andrews.
Prior to the pageant most people opted for a stroll along the West Sands on a blustery April day. The procession is a very colourful occasion and attracted hundreds of people who lined the route to watch the two-hour parade. More than 130 characters from both Town and Gown dressed up in period costumes to represent characters from the towns history. As a result of our participation the students have donated a further £300 to our funds, bringing the total raised to £14,425.
"Rambling along beside the River Earn on Lady Mary's Walk, Crieff"
The May ramble was the first outing for the new fleet of scooters- six Invacare Meteors and two Rascal 329LE. Daniele Muir and Jeanie Skoyles of the Perth & Kinross Ranger Service led this walk, which follows the River Earn for over a mile along a magnificent avenue of mature beech and oak trees. There are beautifully crafted wooden benches, carved with poetry written by local school children. The walk then turns away from the river and follows Laggan Road back to the car park at Taylor Park.
The June ramble took place on a cold, wet and miserable day in Falkland. Ninian Crichton-Stuart led the ramble and gave members a talk on the history of the estate. The village fete took place in the afternoon.
"Watching seals on the SNH Reserve, Tentsmuir Forest"
The July ramble took us along the Fife Coastal Path from Tayport to Tentsmuir. Around forty-five people took part including twenty-seven members, numerous friends and family and eight volunteers, making it the most popular outing yet. Members were able to enter the SNH reserve and get down to the waters edge to watch around 40 seals bask in the water. The reserve is normally off-limits to scooter users, as the gate is kept locked to protect the area.
"Having a blether at the Hermitage, Dunkeld"
Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers travelled to Birnam on Saturday 28th August. Over thirty members, family, friends and volunteers had the option of rambling to The Hermitage or visiting the Highland Games.
For some it was their first trip to a traditional highland games. The recent heavy rains meant that the paths at the Hermitage were deeply rutted in places. At the waterfall the group was able to watch salmon attempting to leap- without success in most cases due to the raging torrent.
"Ramblers at Loch Muick"
"Glen Tanar, Royal Deeside"
Twenty-one members, volunteers and carers spent a week on Royal Deeside, exploring the magnificent countryside. Seventeen of the group stayed at Crathie Opportunity Holiday Cottages, where they were delighted with the very high standard of accommodation and the friendly, helpful staff.
The first days ramble was in and around Ballater, taking in the path around the golf course. A most enjoyable second day was spent at Loch Muick, where the group reached Glas-allt-Shiel for a picnic lunch. Mid-week, members explored paths around Crathie and visited Lochnagar Distillery, whilst the hard-working volunteers had a well-deserved day off. Bertha Walker, Access Officer for the National Trust for Scotland joined the group for the next ramble from Linn ODee car park to Derry Lodge. This trip was a particular favourite with members. The final day took the group to Glen Tanar where the sun finally decided to shine. Sunday morning at Crathie Kirk, with the Royal Family in attendance, finished off a superb week.
"Looking from Brig o' Dee towards Derry Lodge"
Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers held their final meeting of the 2004 season at Lochore Meadows on Sunday. For the first time in their three-year history rain stopped play. However, this did not deter a large turnout of members from enjoying a chance to catch up on the news over a bowl of soup. The bad weather turned the planned outdoor event into a most productive indoor one, as members had the opportunity to look at potential venues for next season.