The rest of the UK was under torrential rain but we were lucky. Our last day in Scotland was sunny and we explored the old churchyard again, better equipped than the evening before. Mike had his specs with him for deciphering old writing on gravestones. He had also requisitioned his nice white face flannel for cleaning the mud and moss off the stone so we could read the inscription clearly…
CENTRE The gravestone of Rev Robert and Helen Boyle Story.
The remains of the flowers that Jen and I had left at Helen Dunlop’s grave, “from Georgiana’ a year earlier were still there under the brambles. White spring blossom was abundant in the churchyard and midges danced in the sunlight over the clachan stream. A chaffinch sang loudly, a dog barked in the distance and children laughed as they played nearby. In some places, time can stand still…
It was time to leave the manse. Richard and Helena helped us so much with the research and spent a whole evening telling us about the history of ‘Easter Garth’.
When we left, Richard gave me a very special gift. He’s discovered the old rubbish dump for the manse, probably the same one that the family used in 1829. His wonderful collection of glass and earthenware items tells the story of his discoveries so far. The old glass medicine bottle he gave me was clearly designed to have a cork stopper, not a screw cap. Thrown away by some past resident of the house, many years ago. Thank you so much, Richard. Let us know if you’ve made any new finds!
There were still several hours before the flight back to London and every moment was precious so we headed for the other side of the Gareloch.