FORMER RESIDENCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
SEPT. 2002 - No. 20
40th ANNIVERSARY OF KINNESSBURN OPENING
Well there it is - the second Kinnessburn Reunion all done and dusted down. A success? Yes, indeed - the twentyfive present were determined to enjoy the occasion, and enjoy it they did. It was a particular pleasure to welcome JOHN and DEE SELWOOD who had flown in from Dubai and Dr RICHARD YOUNG making a special visit from Canada for the occasion.
Much of the happiness of the day was undoubtedly due to Dr DAVID WISHART's dexterity with the whisky jar and to his sponsors, the distilleries of An Cnoc, Ardbeg, Bunnahabhain, Glendronach, Glenfarclas and Isle of Jura, whom we thank for their generosity. We are grateful also to the management and staff of no.28 Charlotte Square who went out of their way to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves.
The Alumnus Office sent out over thirty letters about the reunion to those whose addresses they have and we don't (pace Data Protection Acts). Apart from COLIN MILLER's letter being returned marked "Gone Away", four replies were received. We are delighted to welcome back from the "Lost" list GUY JOHNSON (Maidenhead), MARTIN SCANTLEBURY (Guildford), WILLIAM THOMAS and DOUGLAS YOUNG (both Edinburgh).
Our website, ably administered by JOHN STEPNEY, has proved its worth. The web-page booking form was used by RENNIE FRAZER to stake his claim to a Reunion lunch. With the need to pay it wasn't possible to do the lot electronically and the cheque had to come by GPO!
Some of you have expressed concern that I might be out of pocket running reunions and writing newsletters. No chance of that! The experienced organiser always adds 10% to the budget to cover incidentals and I have been running your parties for forty years now. (You did realise that Kinnessburn opened to men that long ago?) So thanks for your concern (and thanks also to those who thoughtfully send a cheque now and again) but be assured that "G.J.Robertson Reunion Account" at the Natwest Bank is healthily in the black.
The antique photograph of the 1968 Kinnessburn Ball gracing the cover of the printed edition was kindly provided by 'ARCH' ANDREWS. (Electronic Men requiring a copy will be sent one on request to the Editor.)
I've had a couple of requests for ties - those nice bottle green ones with a moose's head on. Although PHIL WHEELER and I made the first order (and a couple of bob profit), I simply cannot recall the name of the firm who produced the ties. Anyone have any idea?
THE KINNESSBURN LIT. CRIT. SUPPLEMENT
CHOOSING SINGLE MALTS BY FLAVOUR
by DAVID WISHART
published by PAVILION BOOKS, LONDON
"Not another book about malt whiskies," I hear you groan. True there is a multiplicity of such on the shelves of any local bookshop: your reviewer actually has one entitled 'Il Libretto dei Whisky di Malto' which he wheels out on suitable posing occasions. But this is not another writer giving his considered opinion that, for example, Inch-na-Haph Single Malt has vague notes of tram-driver's gloves and cigar-butts.
David has written a thorough background to whisky and whisky-making, its history and traditional regions. He then gives a 'flavour profile', listing the dozen criteria against which each malt is to be judged. This ensures a standard range of references in place of the hundreds which are used elsewhere. On this basis he divides the various distillations into 'clusters' which he uses for his whisky-tastings. Each of the malts listed at the start of this letter belongs to a different cluster and illustrates the simplicity of the system.
After guidance on how to taste malt (no, you don't just slurp it - that's for ice-cold lager), David gives a run-down of each distillery, including a brief history, the source of its water, its present equipment and attractions. Each feature of the profile is given in tabular form and the malt is categorised by age, strength, nose, taste and cluster. Finally comes what for many readers will be the reason for buying the book, three or four single malts which are similar to that being profiled.
This is a book which readers will return to time and again, and those who failed to buy a copy at the Reunion should suggest it as a suitable stocking-filler for the festive season. If you want to see what you've missed, it's on the web at www.whiskyclassified.com.
Has anyone any news of the whereabouts of the "Missing Men"?
HARRY BARKER, STEVE BELL, JOHN BENNETT, MALCOLM BINNS, EDDIE BIRKBY, IAN BOOTH, DAVE BREWIN, IAN BUTCHART, FRANK BURNET, JOHN CAMERON, IAIN CAMPBELL, JIM CAMPBELL, AJ CHISHOLM, RICHARD CLARK, JCN CONNELL, TOM CONROY, JOHN COOK, JS CORDINGLEY, AT COULL, BRIAN CROWE, JOHN CUNNINGHAM, RJ CUNNINGHAM, PAUL DAVIES, STUART DONALDSON, HENRY DUNBAR, FRANK DUNCAN, DAVE EGGELING, COLIN FERGUSON, KM FERGUSON, MIKE FOSTER, ANDY GREEN, ALLAN HALLIDAY (removed from Nottingham), TONY HANCOCK (last heard of in Australia), DOUG HARRISON, SAM HARVEY, LENNY HELLING, TED HILL, PAUL HOLLOWAY, COLIN HUGHSON, IAN JACK, CR JOHNSTONE, TREVOR JONES (marriage reported in Alumnus Chronicle years ago but no trace since then), CHRIS KORYCINSKI, PJ LAWRIE, CHRIS LEWIS, DAVE LINDSAY, DEREK LODGE (lost somewhere in London), JR LOWE, FRASER MACDONALD, IAN MALLARD, JIM MARSHALL, PDR MARSHALL, SANDY McALPIN, COLIN MILLER (maybe still in Galashiels), ALAN MORE, AR O'BRIEN, SD OLLIVANT, JOCK PATON, DAVE PATTULLO, ROB PERRY, MIKE PETERSON, DAVE RATTRAY, JCW RICHARDSON, BRIAN RICKARD, PETE ROGERS, JEV ROSE, ROBIN ROSE, JOHN SCONCE, CHARLIE SCOTT, PETE SHAW, JEREMY SHORT, ALISTAIR SIMPSON, GRAHAM SMITH, KEITH TAYLOR, JOHN THEWLIS, MERVYN THOMPSON, PETER THOROGOOD, WA WALLACE, TONY WARD, DUNCAN WATTERS, OWEN WHITE, TOM WHITESIDE, PETER WORTHAM, DAVID WRIGHT, SANDY YOUNG.
All information gratefully received. We still unearth a body from time to time - seven in this issue alone!
AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE NEWS...
The alumnus chronicle 2002 (still without its upper case lettering) brought news of Professor HUGH BEGG and Dr DAVID WISHART, the former being appointed Convener of the Standards Commission for Scotland (whose remit does not appear to cover the use of capital letters) while the latter is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University's Department of Management. For more details, please refer to page 27 in the alumnus chronicle, in which august publication the bottom right-hand corner of page 38 should repay belated inspection too.
'ARCH' ANDREWS tells me that on his way home to Bristol from the Reunion he went the extra hundred miles in the wrong direction to visit St Andrews. Now there's devotion for you! He was, of course, fit for nothing when he eventually got home.
Unable to join us at the Reunion were HUGH and JANE BEGG, who nevertheless send their regards and hope all had a jolly time. Jane has been in hospital and we wish her a speedy recovery from her troubles.
Also in an apologetic mood was ROBIN BELL who has been busy scrivening again. His latest book is in the hands of the publisher and should hit the streets shortly. 'Civil Warrior: the extraordinary life and complete poetical works of James Graham, first Marquis of Montrose, warrior and poet', is how the blurb describes it.
With a little help from our friends we have located BOB CHEKE, who is Professor of Tropical Zoology at the University of Greenwich, PAT HEWINS (Lecturer in English Language, University of Castilla La Mancha in Spain) and PETER INGLIS, currently living in the English Lake District, and await communication from them.
Dr DAVID DIXON reports with some satisfaction, "Life in retirement continues to busy with the world of work an increasingly distant memory." There aren't many who would disagree with that view!
GUY JOHNSON writes, "I was very pleased to find out that there is a Kinnessburn veterans' association, and to read the news from some of my fellow veterans. In spite of the ageing grey matter, I have clear memories of most of the inhabitants of this fine institution. I was a resident from 1968 to 1970, after which I moved to a converted school in The Scores. I can still remember the invigorating wind off the North Sea in winter - a few minutes of this and one was happy to be in a warm lecture theatre.
"I hope to be able to attend a future event. I live in rural Berkshire with my wife DEBORAH, and our two children. My visits to Scotland are becoming fewer and fewer regrettably, but I hope to rectify this in the future."
"A burn-out profession" is how SCOTT MOFFAT describes the noble art of teaching which he, along with so many of us, has booted into touch well before retiral. He is now gainfully employed in selling Scotland as a tourist venue.
GREG 'NOGGIN' NEWMAN, on his way home from his daughter's graduation in Maths at St Andrews, stopped off at the editorial stone. Good to see you again and catch up on the news, and at the reunion too.
BBC1's local news programme Reporting Scotland on the evening of 11th July featured Dr DAVID WISHART who explained his system of classifying malt whisky, as described in his book Classifying Whisky. He didn't get much of an airing - about fifteen seconds in all. A crit. of his magnum opus is attached.
PRODUCED FOR THE MEN OF KINNESSBURN
by GRAHAM ROBERTSON