Making a wormery

Try out and see what your worms like and don’t like, but be ready to rescue them if you put something in they don’t like. There are several lists of things to use and don’t use and it isn’t consistent. So beware. If in doubt leave it out if it is for a veg patch. If it is going on a flower bed I’d say try it and see!

If there is a smell to the wormery it is not functioning properly and you’ll need to look at why. Check it isn’t waterlogged and undergoing anaerobic respiration, just get your marigolds in there and ix it up. Is it slimy? Make sure it doesn’t dry out as the worms need to be moist. Getting the water levels right in a big bin is harder than in a small bin.

Worm Farming

Three years after getting back into the idea of being a worm farmer I am going to include information on wormeries in this blog. I hope I can persuade you all to get worm farming, reduce waste and produce an excellent and quick compost for your garden.

Licenced by Mark Ridsdill Smith / Vertical Veg 2012 under a Creative Common
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets you copy and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit Vertical Veg and license your creations under identical terms.

Here are the original posts

Well, Wednesday 4th September one group in the Climate Catastrophe Group built their wormery. We are going to look into recycling of food and break down of fruit and vegetables. Worms do create greenhouse gases, but play an important part in maintaining the soil, which has taken a hammering over the last 60 years.

Unfortunately the worms arrived late on Thursday 5th September and had to be in the wormery before the weekend. The students hadn’t quite finished the wormery, so many came up during their lunch break and helped get the worms a temporary start. Our biggest concern is the amount of moisture that we need. The wormery isn’t a draining one, so getting the air and moisture levels is important. We also had to put all the worms in the one box as the second box wasn’t ready.

Let’s hope the worms make it through the weekend. The suspense is terrible and the temperature this weekend was pretty warm, the first dry weekend in four weeks- drat.


October 20th 2019 and after a week of worry I decided it was finally time to investigate the wormeries and see if the kilogram of worms were still with us. I am finding the stress and responsibility of these hard to take.

My plan, empty each wormery on an old piece of vinyl, investigate what is there and remake each one as they’ll be alone for a week. This was made more difficult as a very cute and friendly robin has been following me around the garden for the last fortnight and passes behind you after you’ve moved any piece of garden soil.

It was really heartwarming to see oodles of big fat juicy worms fall onto the vinyl. They weren’t moving much but were certainly a good size and huddled together in some big piles. The bottom of the blue wormery was quite wet, this was the one with no drainage. The paper had gone slimy and the potato skins were still undigested. Katrina, your McDonald’s straw is still there, but I think the bacteria might be thinking about working on it. So a new cardboard base, screwed up paper, the worms and then some partially digested compost. Lid back on and ready for off. The robin was flapping around so I posted a guard at the door.

Even the pink wormery had worms but the bottom was slimy with sand and paper- whoops I forgot to take a photo of this. So I’ve made up the box, with fresh cardboard and moved some of the worms from the blue box to the pink one and added more partially digested leaf mould / compost. Lid back on.

I was in two minds as to whether I ought to hold out one for the robin as a treat, but then Miss Crozier came to mind and I couldn’t bear to sacrifice one of the little cuties. Everything back in order, I stepped inside to get cleaned up and then remembered I ought to take a photo of the robin. It was then I noticed the escapees. I’ve no idea where they came from but at least 10 were making their way to freedom down the cracks in the paving and across the slabs. I couldn’t pull one up (see photos). If the robin gets you it isn’t my fault as I did give you a little tug to put you back.

So to the Sophie and Hollie- I’ve not killed them and they ought to be ready for you to get them through the winter next week!

Sorry the photos are in the wrong order with the escapees first.

Kiwi the Parrotlet

Image drawn by filibusterfrog @filibusterfrog

These are in chronological order so scroll down for the latest videos!

Kiwi’s first Grape

“Football” Training

Turn down the volume there are lots of loads screams!

I hadn’t quite appreciated how her “football” skills are coming on. Her new training involves taking out her screwdriver and passing it to me. We’ve got as far as lifting it up, but then it gets thrown on the floor. Maybe we should stick to beakball!

Kiwi’s Football Training is really coming on

“Football” Transfer Window.

During lockdown I spent a proportion of my time training Kiwi the parotlet. For a 1/3 of a sunflower seed I think she plays quite well. Ill try to find an original one where she was less predictable.


Including Kiwi’s first Christmas, she shows how much mischief she can cause when she eats through Christmas presents, eats Mr Physics’ shirt collars and starts eating the pieces of the Christmas game “Photosynthesis”. Finally she gets into real trouble when she eats through the homework!

March 2021

Teaching Kiwi to skateboard. She received a skateboard for Christmas but wouldn’t go near it, but with lots of tiny pieces of sunflower seed and patience we’re getting there! Keep an eye out for improvements

I’d like to train Kiwi to enjoy the skateboard Santa got her for Christmas. Initially she wouldn’t go anywhere near it. I then got her close to it by covering it in a yellow postit note and finally with lots of coaxing she will sit on it, although still not confident. She hates the ruler more so I must borrow one of the ramps from work!

April 2021

Kiwi has a bit of a thing about trying to get in my cup of tea. I decided to let her in, so cleaned the cup and watched!

17th April 2021 Kiwi exercising for treats first thing in the morning.

I still need a good video of Kiwi demanding the radio be switched on/off or the channel changed. You don’t believe me do you? Well I’ll get on eventually.

October 2020

Benchmark and Boating

A perfect combination…..

Mr Physics and I are sitting on the boat the day the exam results came out. It is a weird experience and also pouring with rain. Although the results were as “predicted” it is purely based on historical data, so who are we to say on the day who would have done well and who would have done a little worse than predicted. All I can hope is that the students, particularly those who sat National 5’s this year, get to sit their exams next year. At least I am sure they will take end of section tests a lot more seriously this session!

Now that is strange- I wasn’t going to post about that. I was going to write about how Mr Physics and I have combined boating and benchmarking. The boat has been visited just once this year – so sad- she looked initially in a fairly decent state for a year’s neglect, but on further inspection we discovered last Wednesday that the 16A cable had worn through again and tripped the RCD and the main trip switch at wherever Scottish Canals keep their main switch box. This could have been terminal for the batteries -1 bow thruster, 2 leisure and 1 main, which don’t come cheap! Luckily Mr Physics found the 16A spare cable and managed to make up a new one. Scottish Canals responded quickly to my pleas to come and get us power. The problem is that the pontoon has a small gap, the cable can fall partly down the gap and then rubs against a large bolt, wearing away the cable and exposing the wire.

We then noticed that the bathroom remained damp and the wet patch at the bedhead had expanded. This was caused by worn window frame sealant around the bathroom window and kitchen window. Water had got into the bathroom and kitchen. So back yesterday to do some repairs.

Mr Physics replaced the sealant and got some paint on the window. It ought to have been left for longer before the paint went on but the forecast for today was abysmal.

I was allowed to play with the new toy, the pressure washer. Despite a leak caused by a missing O ring, this is the best thing ever for removing the annual build up of algae. What excitement seeing it blasted off with very little effort. Last year it had taken an hour of scrubbing, cleaning, rubbing, buffing and drying. I did have to clear the channels around the deck boards where moss had built up and blocked the channels and collected a few stones. But I took these off and gave them a blast and used a spoon, finger and some floor wipes to clean the channel.

aft deck algae
What 8 months of neglect looks like
8 months of algal growth

Before (above and right) After (below and bottom right)

Look what the pressure washer can do
aft deck after pressure

I will certainly use this technique this year and part of our wintering regime must include sealing the windows.

So what do you do between sealing the windows and waiting for it to set and adding the paint- go benchmarking

Mr Physics had lined up a barrowload of benchmarks but we started with a disappointment.

The wall was at least there, but we couldn’t see any mark
more success by the towpath though, although ivy was trying to cover it.
We struggled with this one but finally noticed the rivet. No cut mark there though
A clear one at Number 63
Just marked as a hall!
and finally Nona’s Kitchen
…and finally Mr Physics didn’t have the patience to wait as I dug through the undergrowth so this one, may or maynot be there! Poor thing

No luck with the benchmark on the belfry which we both thought was a dead cert!

PS The weather today really was terrible, even a trip to the loo felt like Captain Oate’s trip out of the tent in the antarctic!

Benchmark Quiz Answers

Moffat’s O.S. Benchmarks

(Flush Bracket)ANSWERS

  1. The railway is long gone but this isn’t that “hidden”. BM 0478
  2. From one park to the other the river takes you along the straightest route. You will find this plate on the bridge whose “new” name isn’t very appropriate. BM 0475
  3. You used to learn so much here, but now it’s just a bit flat, although luxurious. BM 0476
  4. You can still post a letter near here, but give your eyes a chance to find this one. BM 0477
  5. Off to the city by an old road or straight on for Selkirk, the decision is yours if you look behind the sign. BM 0387
Flush Bracket Answers
Clue 5. Holmend. On the junction with Old Carlisle Road and the A708, behind the mini roundabout sign ground level NT 0914 0502Clue 4 .
Old Moffat Post Office Now outside the opticians, right Hand side low down to the right of the post box. NT 0847 0534
Clue 2.
Moffat New Bridge South parapet, south face, where the footpath meets the parapet. Across the road from Hope Johnstone Park NT 0794 0573
Clue 1.
On the A701 Beattock Road, on the old railway bridge near the house Hidden Corner NT 0836 0402
Clue 3 .
Old Moffat Academy on the South west corner of the building on the south facing wall. NT 0837 0563
Below are the photos to put this in context.
CLUE 1: On the A701 near the house called Hidden Corner
Clue 1: Close up of the flush bracket. The wall has since been painted white
Clue 2: Moffat New Bridge
Clue 2: Moffat “New” Bridge. Close up
CLUE 3: The Old Moffat Academy.
CLUE 4: The Old Post Office
CLUE 5: Holmend.

Post your results in the comments box to see how many of you have found them! Let’s start a campaign to protect them.

And this is where the fundamental benchmark is. I’ve used someone else’s photo as it was all overgrown when we visited.

It didn’t look like that when we went to visit.

Moffat Cut Mark Quiz Answers

Clue 1: Moffat Can, previously a council depot, and once a free church.
Clue 1: This is an unusually large cut mark on the old Moffat Can building, currently being renovated.
Clue 2: St Andrew’s Chuch
Clue 2: on the south east end of the Church
Clue 3: On the parapet of the bridge over Birnock Water on the A708
Clue 3: Was this cut mark abused? That is a non standard second horizontal line
Clue 4: The two cottages at Holmeld proudly display this cut mark
Clue 5: It took us two attempts to find this one, but it helps if the light is on it.
Clue 6: We originally thought this was at the Hydro Garages. When you know where to look it really stands out.
Clue 6: We also learnt that this gatepost was once the edge of a set of stairs that took visitors on a short cut back to the Hydro Hotel, there is little evidence of that now and renovations are being done at the house on the right.

There are plenty more benchmarks on the old maps in Moffat. I wonder now you’ve found these how many others you can find.

Please be considerate to homeowners, who don’t want people walking all over their homes or looking in at their windows looking for benchmarks

July 2020

Benchmark Bagging Quizzes

Moffat O.S. Benchmarks Flush Bracket Quiz

Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) are survey marks made by Ordnance Survey to record height above sea level. There are approximately 500,000 BMs still remaining; but this number is reducing as they have not been maintained for 30 years.

Moffat has 5 flush bracket benchmarks.
Can you use the clues to find them around town ?

Start with any clue but if you do them in the order marked it is the shortest distance to walk. If you start with the middle clues complete clue 1 after clue 5.

  1. The railway is long gone but this isn’t that “hidden”.
  2. From one park to the other the river takes you along the straightest route. You will find this plate on the bridge whose “new” name isn’t very appropriate.
  3. You used to learn so much here, but now it’s just a bit flat, although luxurious.
  4. You can still post a letter near here, but give your eyes a chance to find this one.
  5. Off to the city by an old road or straight on for Selkirk, the decision is yours if you look behind the sign.
Which flush plate photo goes with each clue and describe where each is to be found.

Care must be taken when looking for OS Benchmarks. Some are near water and others are on major roads. Remain on the pavement and paths, find safe places to cross. Follow the Green Cross Code and the Water Safety Code.

OSBM top of a fundamental

There are approximately 190 Fundamental benchmarks, FBMs, are  high-accuracy BMs and still maintained and are used by Ordnance Survey.   NT 06390866 This is on the A701 near the bridge over Holehouse Linn Visiting the fundamental benchmark is not suitable for young children due to the busy road, narrow entrance to the bridge and tight turn off the bridge There is a layby nearby, just before the bridge for parking.  

OSBM Fundamental Benchmark OS plate
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark OS plate on the A701

Moffat’s O.S. Benchmarks Cut Marks 1 Quiz

Sorry I thought I’d posted this quiz already and it looks like I haven’t. I’ll have another one soon!

Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) are survey marks made by Ordnance Survey to record height above sea level. There are approximately 500,000 BMs still remaining; but this number is reducing as they have not been maintained for 30 years.

This quiz takes you to some of Moffat’s cut mark benchmarks.

This quiz takes you to the ones closest to the town centre.

If you continue up Well Road  (clue 5) there are several other cut marks to find. You can continue beyond the 30 mph limit for (clue 6) and bag a few more.

Cut marks are labelled on Golf Hill Drive but we’ve not found them yet. Maybe you can make up the next quiz.

Care must be taken when looking for OS Benchmarks. Some are near water and others are on major roads. Remain on the pavement and paths, find safe places to cross. Follow the Green Cross Code and the Water Safety Code.

Answers: Find at

July 2020

Benchmark Bagging

Mr and Mrs Physics have a new hobby in lockdown, and a way to make those daily walks a little more interesting. It was Mr Physics who started this obsession but he can’t remember why he clicked on the OS Benchmark Website, I suspect it was because the alternative was talking to Mrs Physics!

Anyone on one of our walks he produced a piece of scrap paper with a few grid references marked on it and we were off!.

Benchmark locator

Ordnance Survey Bench marks (BMs) are survey marks made by Ordnance Survey to record height above Ordnance Datum. If the exact height of one BM is known, the exact height of the next can be found by measuring the difference in heights, through a process of spirit levelling.

Most commonly, the BMs are found on buildings or other semi-permanent features. Although the main network is no longer being updated, the record is still in existence and the markers will remain until they are eventually destroyed by redevelopment or erosion.

So instead of just going for a walk you arm yourself with a map, put a grid reference on your smartphone and off you set with a description of the position of the benchmark.

The first one we found was at the old local post office building, now a smart opticians. We’ve lived in this town for 25 years and walked past this particular spot at least two times in a week and often more than that in one day, but I can honestly say I’d never seen the small plaque in the bottom of the right hand sandstone wall. So that was us hooked.

OS BM Moffat PO
OS BM Moffat PO

The first day we collected the post office, church two at Holm Street, although we didn’t initially take photos of those and one at the old school and the parapet of Burnside bridge.

OS BM Moffat St Andrews Church
OS BM Moffat St Andrews Church
OS BM Flush Brackets Moffat Holm End
OS BM Flush Brackets Moffat Holm End
OS BM Cutmark Moffat Holm End
OS BM Cut Marks Holm End
OS BM Cut Marks Holm End
OS BM Cut Marks Holm End
OS BM Moffat Millburn Bridge
OS BM Moffat Millburn Bridge also called Birnock Bridge
OS BM Moffat Bridge over Burnock Water
OS BM Moffat Bridge over Burnock Water

We managed to drag Piglet across the park to find the two on the old bridge across the old A701. (This old bridge pre 1857 is actually named the new bridge, so I don’t know what the current bridge is called) Piglet got as far as walking up and down the old road before he thought that his parents had gone completely cuckoo and made his way back home. It was worth the wait, although we only found one mark and not the second. We think the second plate was placed over the first cut mark. Now in the time we’ve been here we’ve walked this route countless times but I don’t think it had ever registered. We’re on the look out now.

OS BM Moffat Bridge over Annan
OS BM Moffat Bridge over Annan

So at the end of hunt 2 we’d picked up 7 OS Benchmarks and had a couple of false starts. One at the Hope and one at the post office. We can’t find the one at Piglet’s friends house, but didn’t feel it was quite right to wander around their house to look.

Not one at the Hope Moffat
Not one at the Hope Moffat
One from the Armit collection
Discounted as not a benchmark!

By the end of the first trip we’d found some kindred spirits in the Armit’s and got into competition. They bagged 6 in their first outing, although added a GPO benchmark. This was too much for Mr Physics who thought we’d end up logging every water hydrant and stop tap covers.

The GPO Benchmark was quite cute though, it has a look of a shocked old man

Within what seemed about 20 mins of telling my best pal Wol about them she’d bagged several. Most of hers where in brick and much harder to identify.

Cutmark Wall in Aylesbury
See how they have to dig so deeply into the brick in Aylesbury. One of Wols first bagged benchmarks
Aylesbury cutmark
Look how hard they are to find in the brickwork of Aylesbury.
This one is much clearer to see.
Another of Wols and much easier to spot.


Today Mr Physics started a coup he’s found a list of fundamental benchmarks. These are still in operation today so weren’t publicised on the OS Benchmarks, but someone wasn’t as private and had listed them……..

So we’re off to find one that is just a few miles away. The Armits have agreed to a 100 point bonus for a fundamental one, let’s hope we can bag it first.

We’d got a grid reference but that doesn’t indicate the vegetation that you’ll be wading through. That willowherb was higher than chest height and it wasn’t even where I’d been looking. Is this getting a bit stupid?
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark on the A701
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark on the A701
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark plaque
Not sure it is a usual monument, but in this climate I can’t see anyone complaining and wanting it removed.
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark OS plate
OSBM Fundamental Benchmark OS plate on the A701
Well worth a dig through wet willowherb chest high
Well worth a dig through wet willowherb chest high
OSBM top of a fundamental
It wasnt as tall as I thought it would be from the photo on the internet. But it is worth 100 points!

Are you hooked yet? Check your area and get looking.
Benchmark Bagger 2020

Five in 2 days and a flush plate!

Well it’s the holidays, the pressure is off, so let’s go and bag some benchmarks. Not bad we bagged 5 in two days, although I’ve not got photos of them all.

I’m not sure how we missed this one. It was obvious from many metres away, although I think the light shining on it helped. This hasn’t appeared on any OS Benchmark list, so I think the windowsill might have been pilfered from another building in one of its many updates.
It certainly stands out!
A very nice man allowed me into his garden to take this one. It was visible from the road, but the light wasn’t on it. Part of the many along Old Edinburgh Road. I wonder if he’ll be bagging them on his post round.
We spent ages looking for this at Well Road the first time but gave up after 5-10 mins. This time Mr Physics found it in under a minuts. You can see how it is so much easier to see when the light it on it.
Spot this one at the junction between Haywood Road and Well Road, but look when it is light.
This one is in someone’s garden, so again not easy to see. Why would you put your plants up against it so it isn’t visible? Another one for a winter visit.

This one was clearly described close to Archbank on the bridge over Hind Gill and according to the description it should be located where that piece of concrete is set. I wonder if it had been removed and replaced!

Was this once a cut mark?
In Archbanks Garden Wall, on the road side so no need to go rummaging!
And here is a flush plate at Hidden Corner.

Soon we hope to be delivering AH Project Equipment to the Advanced Higher students so that they’ve something to do during lockdown holidays so we’re checking the maps. Gretna, Annan, Lockerbie and Eaglesfield here we come!


Just doing a dry run of the Moffat Flush Bracket Quiz with Miss Physics, who worked out all the clues before setting off to find the benchmarks. Mr Physics was armed with the 1858 Map, so we took a detour to the Old Moffat Can building. How did we miss this big beauty, newly painted and standing out from the street?

28th July 2020

I’ve just finished typing up the answers for the Moffat Museum Quiz on flush plates and cut marks and I’ve realised I am well behind in filling you in on the bagging of the benchmarks.

It appears that some serious competition has moved into the area and is a fanatic bagger of benchmarks. He completed a route just south of here and bagged 30 in one journey. This is upping the ante, but I think we should just quit! I hope he gives us a little more time to collect the ones in Moffat before he finds all the ones that we haven’t yet unearthed.

So what have we been up to? Well not in any particular order but last night I finally bagged our nearest benchmark, not 100 m away. We’ve been looking on the wrong wall. Thinking back I thought I might have seen it a month back but it was described as being on a corner wall which has been plastered over, when actually it was on the window frame. Talking to Piglet’s friend;s dad, and owner of the house, he knew exactly where it was and what it was. It has been painted black but it was quite easy to see. Sometimes you miss what is right before your eyes!

Mr Physics and I combined a bit of school work and benchamark bagging. Due to lockdown some of the new AH, some of whom I’ve yet to meet, decided they’d like to try some of their AH Physics project over the summer. I have great expectations of this group- I’ve named them the great eight. So Mr Physics and I did the full risk assessments, collected the resources at the end of term and provided some starters for 10 on possible practicals. We had to deliver as far south as Gretna, Annan, Hoddom and Lockerbie. So Mr Physics armed himself with a few to look for as close to the “way points” as possible.

If you live in Lockerbie a quick walk from Townhead along to Tescos with a brief detour up Bridge Street will bag you 6 benchmarks, including the top of a flush bracket, now mostly buried under the pavement.

We actually Bagged this on our second Lockerbie visit
How many times have I walked past this one on the way to Dryfesdale Church with a register class at the end of term- too many to count.
This one has had a chunk taken out of it too. It too is just before the Dryfesdale Church.
I suppose this one is quite vulnerable.
At the old Clydesdale Bank building, before they moved to a more modern place.
This one has rather a lot of damage to it.
Right outside the opticians- it could be part of the annual eye test, did you notice the benchmark on your way in?
This poor flush bracket has been buried alive. This was done when the works were done to make it safer for pedestrians.
This one you’ll find on the parapet of the Bridge over the Railway, Bridge Street.
This one is near the dentist on the “ginnel” to Home Bargains. I hope the dentists learn to love their benchmark as much as they love their teeth. Maybe a cleaning routine for this benchmark is required, such as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly to avoid the build up of nasties!

Now on our second trip we went looking for the one on Livingston Place but we couldn’t find it, although Mr Competitor had spotted it in April. In our defence, the bush was another 5 feet taller.

This little beauty was a reward for travelling to Gretna, and much healthier than a trip to the Thornton’s shop
Although this is now someones lovely house, it still has a touch of the old station about it, especially in the name of the cottage.

Walking on the Wild Side.

As Miss Physics was home and we hadn’t seen her since New Year due to lockdown we decided to drag her around to see our new hobby. We thought she’d appreciate it as she used to be dragged around various Historic Scotland buildings, castles, museums and other places of historical and geographical importance. He friends commented that we were Nerdy! No idea where they got that idea from.

So two lovely walks around the town yielded a few we hadn’t yet encountered, although most were undetected. Status Not known is how they are logged. They might be hidden in the undergrowth or painted over on buildings. One was covered in garden plants.

The first was a walk up Chapel knowe.

Bagged this one quite quickly, although the lounge was full of people. I trust we didn’t disturb you but such a fine specimen.

Couldn’t find this one, but it is probably still there, waiting to be exposed under the render.

So many no finds but the views were worth it

July 2020

Glynne Rachelle Dawson

13th June 2020

Glynne Rachelle Dawson Edinburgh Castle

I got a parcel left on the doorstep this morning. I was surprised to find it was a belated Christmas present I’d sent to a school friend being returned with a note saying “not collected”. I don’t know about you but I’ve never had a parcel returned. I thought this very odd so decided to check. Imagine my absolute shock to discover that my bubbly, funny, intelligent school friend died on 17th April 2020 on her own in her flat.

The returned parcel.

Glynne had so many friends across the country and remained friends with countless people across the years. As she worked as an air traffic controller, before 9-11 she often used to hitch a ride in the jump seat on planes. Cheap travel allowed her to travel the world and I got postcards from loads of wonderful destinations, but she especially loved the skiing in Austria and other European countries. I think there was loads of skiing and lots of partying after.

Glynne Rachelle Dawson Linlithgow Palace 2009

I’m sad she never got the parcel and knew that she wasn’t forgotten Christmas 2019 and throughout the rest of the year as she was on my mind so much over this 2020. We’d been sorting Gran’s house and didn’t really do Christmas! She was a popular woman and we had lots of laughs, especially for the 24 hour sponsored fence we did. I was always jealous she got the Wilkinson engraved sword as a memento. I hope she is at peace. Thinking of her family. RIP

Glynne Dawson Linlithgow Palace 2009
Glynne Rachelle Dawson August 2009
Glynne Rachelle Dawson Aug 2009
Glynne Rachelle Dawson Aug 2009

The pictures above are from a wonderful few days we had together in August 2009 visiting loads of places in the central belt. I think she’d just got her wonderful new camera.

What I notice about all these photos and all my memories of Glynne is how she always had the most amazing smile.

We didn’t see each other often but she was there in the back of my life since we started the same school and she will be missed by so many. RIP Glynne Rachelle Dawson who we always thought of as the girl in the school with the most exotic name!

Below is her obituary

Glynne Rachelle Dawson

Miss Glynne Dawson Southampton Miss Glynne Rachelle Dawson of Southampton has passed away at Southhampton, aged 53.
Born in Chesterfield Glynne was a local resident for 20 years.
Loving daughter of Aileen, sister to Carol and Angela, sister-in-law to Peter, dear aunt of Karl, Andrew, Craig, Claire and their children Jake, Leah, Thomas, Sophie and Amelia.
Glynne formerly attended St Helens school, and Manchester University, graduating with a physics degree. She trained as an Air Traffic Controller in 1987 in Bournemouth and was posted to West Drayton as a Radar Controller and subsequently moved to Southampton and gained her current post Airspace Development ATCO.
Glynne enjoyed cruises to Norway, following Southampton FC and socialising with family, friends and colleagues.
A private funeral service Took place on May 5, 2020 at Brimington Crematorium.
Funeral Directors: Co-op Funeralcare, 276 Newbold Road, Newbold, Chesterfield. (01246 211041)

Published in Derbyshire Times on May 7, 2020


The Best MIL

Joan Hargreaves

(no middle name- she regretted that)

18/08/35- 22/04/20

“Hello, this is Jim and I’m Joan, come in”. They were the first words my future mother-in-law spoke to me. They were an easy going, accepting, intelligent, thoughtful and very caring couple and sealed the deal that I’d found the right family I wanted to join. I mean the OH was pretty amazing so to get the bonus of amazing in-laws just convinced me to sign the contract before anyone else usurped me. In my attempts to appear worthy of joining this respected family I broke 2 items washing up and did something else so badly wrong. But very soon these two lovely people would become such a special part of my life and as important as my parents. I was brought up to respect the older generation and never refer to them by their first names so soon I had MIL and DIL (mum and dad in law) and everyone I knew generally referred to them by this term. We soon found out that we had similar tastes and it turns out OH and I decorated our bedrooms in exactly the same wallpaper at the same time without knowing it and it was quite strange describing this over the phone (no mobiles then) and realising that it was the same paper. I was only complimented on what I wore when it was clothes MIL had chosen for me and sometimes we ended up wearing the same skirts, etc; although despite a 30 year age gap she always looked better in them than me. Over the years and many wonderful meals, we grew to sharing some of our deepest secrets and I was never judged.

The most incredible moment I remember was at DIL’s funeral on 31st December 1998, he was 62. I said to MIL that Ken can walk you up the aisle and I will walk behind you. She grabbed me by the arm and said “You’re as much my daughter as he is my son.” And that isn’t underestimating the love she had for her only son.

Eventually MIL became Gran, but she’d offered mothering and counsel to so many people at various difficult points of their lives and always with such wisdom and nonjudgmentalism. With the kids she would wrap them in a warm towel if they were having a bit of a strop and gently massage their heads and hands with a hypnotic calming effect. She loved gardening, travel, food and wine and always had time for others. She cared for DIL during his illness with selfless compassion and would have continued as long as necessary. They were a rock for each other.

Her special friends at family, well most of them, Grandson took the photo, on her 80th birthday

Then we began to notice some forgetfulness, missing things, especially her purse when on holiday in Paris with the children. It got serious one Christmas when we noticed a routine each morning when she would head for a Christmas card from her brother who had deceased, which she’d obviously saved. Each morning she was drawn to the card and picked it up, and read it and then looked pained and shocked. In hindsight we ought to have moved the card, but we were younger and not as wise then. Then there were the phone calls to the police about taking her address book, which would be on her shelf or in a cupboard. She put the marmalade in with the cups, as she likes her tea and marmalade on toast. Each moment we were on edge whether she was safe, she’d call at 10 minute intervals having a slight inkling she’d spoken to us. OH often had to jump in the car and drive the 4 hour round trip to sort a problem. So it was with a feeling of failure but reassurance we had to persuade her into a care home.

The amazing and very caring staff at Westfield Care home in Lockerbie have come to love her in just the same way as others who knew her all her life have come to love her. From her phase of eating chocolate oranges, through to chocolate buttons much of her day was spent with food: no change there! Her memory was poor but her mind had so much still of the intelligent woman, who hated the idea that people might be saying things without consulting her. (So I apologise to you Gran for including this insight, but it was part of who you became and I know you’d want to give comfort to others) MIL could still tell a joke and laugh at herself, but never making others feel bad, only better about themselves.

All I can hope is some of her character, wisdom, intelligence and values rubbed off on me and become part of my personality- the cooking certainly hasn’t, but she passed that on to the OH so that is OK.

Hearing that this horrible covid-19 virus had caught up with her was devastating, but as a woman, born just before the war in Blackburn she was a fighter and she fought as long as she could. Then came the devasting news that we couldn’t attend her funeral, not even her son and daughter in law. I felt gutted. Not to be there when she slipped away and leaving that job to her Westfield Care family was tough, but not to be at her funeral was going to burn for a long time. So I decided to make my own tribute, which you can see in the video.

I know there is washing on the line and the garden isn’t tidy but that is just how Gran would have done it. Enjoy the birds rather than miss them for tidying up.

If I’ve illegally done something with the music I apologise, but hopefully they will get a few more sales, it is Jesus Remember Me Taizé Songs, the bird song is just in my back garden and cannot be bought from Amazon. I did the video twice as the first one had the volume down and I didn’t know if it would record, but during that one a gust of wind sent all this snow like stuff from the lime /linden/ tilia tree. It was like angels crying.

Then just before we went for a walk we found a beautiful potted sunflower on our coal bunker, in an M&S bag, so I knew this was from Graham Mundell the undertaker. He had rung last night and asked if we wanted flowers for Gran, and I explained she loved sunflowers. He asked where I could get sunflowers at this time of year and I explained that he better not get it from flying flowers as I’d sent some into Westfield and they were so shrivelled up. Not sure if they were actually dead, but it wasn’t the type of flower you want to send in as a thank you, more of a floral “dear John”. So he said he’d send his wife into Markys and find something, so he’d obviously had some great luck and the garden flowers with the sunflower were full of perfume. Gran would really have approved. I’d asked for a photo of the funeral, not because I wanted to be macabre but I wanted a link to Gran, the sunflower did that much better than any photo.

Thanks Graham Mundell Annandale Funeral Director

We had a meal today to remind us of Gran, on a Friday night after a week at work, we’d often make the trip to Ulverson to catch up and chill for the weekend. The meal was usually braised steak and a baked potato as it was forgiving of traffic jams.

So we didn’t get to the funeral, but all the messages and flowers sent over social media showed plenty of people were huddled up with their memories of one of the most amazing women I know, and she was my MIL.

Miss you Gran xx


Well Now I am a little alarmed and wish that I had been able to have further discussions with the funeral director. I had assumed Gran was cremated at Rouchan Loch Crematorium on the outskirts of Dumfries. When I contacted them as our Rector said he was conducting a funeral of one of the other residents of Westfield who had died of covid19, so I investigated.

P.S. I’ve just heard back from the crematorium and we could have attended the funeral.

Here is the information you are looking for.
In these unprecedented times immediate family members may attend a private funeral service.
We recommend up to 4 to 6 people but an absolute maximum of 10. Immediate family means: Spouse or partner; parents or carers; brother/sister; children.

In addition, the government states:

•  Mourners must remain 2 metres apart.
•  Mourners should observe social distancing rules when travelling.
•  Mourners must follow the strict guidance on hand hygiene.
•  Mourners who are unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), or are part of a household with possible coronavirus infection, should not attend.
• In addition, mourners experiencing any symptoms of any potentially contagious illness should not attend, e.g. flu, colds, sickness and diarrhoea etc.

I hope this clarifies things for you.
Kind regards,

Rouchan Loch Crematorium.

So why were we told we couldn’t attend? Now I feel we’ve let Gran down.

Further info from 5th May

I thought the following information below might be helpful. It was sent from Roucan Loch to all Funeral Directors in Dumfries and Galloway on the 31st March 2020.

Dear Colleague,

Following last night’s announcement that the first coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Dumfries and Galloway, the Inspector of Cremation supports that Roucan Loch has implemented the following:

  1. The cremation may take place but strictly with no attendance.


  1. The funeral arrangements are delayed for a period of 14 days from the date of death, to accommodate the quarantine period for relatives. Only after 14 days can the Funeral Director contact Roucan Loch to arrange a time for the service, which may be attended by immediate family only.
Further Information 6th May

New update: I had assumed Gran was cremated at Rouchan Loch, our local crematorium but it wasn’t there or Edinburgh. I’ll now need to chase that one up. Sorry Gran.