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With the Tay Rail Bridge being closed twice over the past week due to an off-the-Beaufort-Scale storm that has battered Scotland, it seems an opportune time to look at some of the records that ScotlandsPeople has for the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879. Interestingly, when locals are asked when the Tay Bridge last closed, they usually give the chilling answer: ‘I think McGonagall wrote an ode about the previous closure…’

The ScotlandsPeople website, features a copy of the terribly sad and poignant telegram, shown below, that was sent by the Station Master at Dundee to the North British Railway Company's Engineer at Portobello, near Edinburgh. 

Tay Bridge Telegram

The web MoneySaving Expert, Martin Lewis has published his 10 top tips for knowing your shopping rights this Christmas. You can read and print them in full here.


1. You've NO rights if you change your mind. If you buy IN-STORE and it's the wrong colour or size, or little Johnny turns his nose up, you have NO legal right to a refund, exchange or credit note. 
2. Buy online or by phone and you've more rights. Here the Distance Selling Regulations mean you can change your mind, as you've a right to return goods within seven days for a refund even if not faulty (not personalised goods, see allowed returns list). 
3. If it's faulty you always have a right to return. If you buy faulty goods or services, whether in-store, online or even if in a sale or with a voucher, take them back quickly and you've full refund rights.
4. Learn your SAD FART rights. To add weight to complaints learn the definition of 'faulty'. To help you remember, all goods must be ...
Satisfactory quality, As Described, Fit for purpose And last a Reasonable length of Time
If not, they're faulty. It's also worth knowing and quoting the Sale of Goods Act 1979, or for services, the Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982.
5. Your rights are with the store, not manufacturer. Don't be fobbed off. With faulty goods, if the shop says "send it to the manufacturer", that's nonsense. Legally, your relationship is with it and it must sort it out, so stick to your guns.
6. If it's not faulty, then what it says goes. You often hear: "It wouldn't let me change the colour without a receipt, but I had my bank statement as proof. What are my rights?" Sadly, you've none. Stores are going beyond the law just giving no-fault exchanges, so if they say a receipt's needed, it is. That's unless its published returns policy says different, in which case, as that's part of your contract, it's enforceable. 
7. Write 'it's a gift' on the receipt (if it is). Legally, only the person who bought the gift has rights, so the recipient can't exchange. Many shops ignore this, but for safety, use a gift certificate or get the shop to write on its copy of the receipt and yours that it's a gift and who for. Rights are then transferred.
8. Receipts aren't necessary if goods are faulty. To return faulty goods, any legitimate proof of purchase, eg, bank statement, should be fine. Yet receipts are easiest (and usually required for no-fault returns) so try to keep them.
9. Buying on a credit card gives more protection. Pay on a credit card (not debit, cash or cheque) and if the goods cost over £100 the card company's jointly liable if anything goes wrong — valuable extra protection. 
10. Return faulty goods at speed. These are the key timelines: 
  •  Under about four weeks for a full refund. You're entitled to a full refund if you've not 'accepted' goods within a month. After, expect exchange or repair. 
  •  Under six months & law favours you. Until then, the shop must prove goods weren't faulty when it sold 'em. After, you must prove they were faulty. 
  • Goods must last a reasonable time. A key 'fault' is not lasting long enough. As for what's reasonable: I'd say it's reasonable to expect a £1,000 TV to last 18 months, but not a 50p torch. 
Those are your rights, but of course if a shop refuses, the problem's enforcing them. 



FREE Community event for local people aged 60 +

Electric Blanket Testing and specialist advice / information on keeping you safe

Refreshments available

Peter Arbuckle Court Sheltered Housing Lounge, Invergowrie

11am - 4pm

Thursday 20th October

FREE ELECTRIC BLANKET TESTING – Book your appointment 01738 473718 


'The Carse of Gowrie Sustainability Group inaugural AGM.  Inchture Hotel, 6.30pm, 1st November 2011.

GUEST SPEAKER: Elaine Morrison, Chair of Scottish Solar Energy Group, Researcher at Dundee University, and involved in the EU’s Sustainable Energy Planning project.


To follow, signing of our constitution and election of committee members and office bearers. 


All Carse of Gowrie residents are warmly welcome.

Phone number: 447788740709

Read more about the Carse of Gowrie Sustainability Group and their work here.



Heritage Trust is to repair historical defence against body snatchers.
Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust is delighted to announce the start of repair work to the B-Listed Mort House at Kirkton of Collace.
The Mort House, which sits in Collace Churchyard, is believed to have been built at the beginning of the nineteenth century when the scourge of body snatchers was at its height. This was related to the growth of anatomy schools which demanded more corpses than were available legally.
The building protected the dead from grave robbers, storing the corpses until they were beyond use for dissection. Bodies would only be taken from the Mort House and buried after decomposition had set in. Otherwise, ‘resurrection men’ like the infamous Burke and Hare could dig them up and sell them to the anatomy schools in Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Collace Mort House is one of only eight such structures with listed building status in the whole of Scotland.
Significant work will be carried out to restore the stone and timber roof structure, using as many of the existing roof slates as possible, and repair the external walls. This will allow the Mort House to be viewed by the public again after fifteen years under cover because of its poor condition. The repairs are expected to be completed in July 2012.
Educational and promotional material will be prepared to develop a ‘body snatcher’ theme thanks to additional support for the Mort House from the European Rural Development Programme LEADER Fund. It is hoped that this rather off-beat subject may attract new and younger visitors to historic churchyards.
Fiona Fisher, Historic Churchyards Project Officer at the Trust said:
“This is a great day and marks the start of major conservation works in the Historic Churchyards in East Perthshire project, which has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Gannochy Trust and Perth & Kinross Council.”


News and information related to Abernyte Church. The church website can be seen here.