Don't tip the Bell Ringer.

We had a very vibrant session this afternoon, with every seat in the tea room occupied, and a pleasant hub-bub of chattering activitiy! Unfortunately, for you, this means I don't have any sound clips to share; because the background blethering was too overpowering to single out any one voice. And unfortunately for me, it means there was no leftover cake for me to scoff! Actually, I'm fibbing on both counts; there was one spare slice of cake to take home, and I've managed to pull one funny story from the recordings, see below.

The talk ranged from memories of the 10th Duke's funeral, via 'slipper purses' (which were meant for the menfolk), to taking steamer boats into Glasgow (there were three different coloured steam funnels, so you knew which boat went where: the yellow and black was the local one, the red and black went out to Cove and Gourock, and the white and black went to Glasgow... at least I think that's right!). We also heard about the wee ferry boats that used to run people from Kilmun into Sandbank and Dunoon, and how it wasn't unusual to see a pile of bicylces on the bow when it was ferrying kids from the Dunselma Castle Youth Club over to Gourock.

Speaking of bikes, apparently it was a custom along the shore to have a dance every week; it would shift between Ardentinny, Strone and Kilmun, and revellers would cycle there and back. Imagine cycling from Kilmun to Ardentinny, dancing all night, and then having to cycle back again! That'd keep you fit! We were also told how the key for the mausoleum used to be kept out at Inveraray Castle, I wonder if you had to cycle there to request permission to use it.... Anyway, this led to a funny story about one of the Ian's, either the 11th or 12th Duke, and whilst it's about the bell tower at Inveraray church, rather than Kilmun, it is entertaining, and it's one of the few samples where you can hear the whole thing! Click play to listen:

Thanks once again to Dunoon Burgh Hall for the use of their recording devicies, and to Jennifer Connolly and Jane Campbell for donating the delicious chocolate cake and shortbread. Next week we'll be taking some of our participants to Dunoon Grammar  School, where some of the 3rd year History pupils will be helping us to make a start recoring all the stories we've been hearing.