IN MEMORIUM: Elizabeth Duncan (25 December 1932 – 28 April 2016)
Trees, Trees, Glorious Trees
I was delighted to discover that talking about trees interested Elizabeth, who lived with acute dementia; it was always a pleasure to find a topic that inspired her.
We were looking through her interesting selection of books, and there were lots about nature and trees, in particular. How amazing on flicking through one book on Perthshire’s trees, to stumble across the Robertson Oak, situated just half a mile from her flat in Pitlochry! So, of course, we had to get into the car and go and find it. It was like a treasure hunt, but sure enough there it was, showing its age and looking a tad neglected, hidden next to the sewage works, behind an overgrown conifer hedge beside the petrol garage, opposite the Distillery. See if you can find it next time you are in Pitlochry.
So began our ‘tree-hugging’ adventure. We managed to visit the Glen Lyon Ash and the Fortingall Yew, and next on our list was a hidden treasure on one of the private estates at Strathtay, and one of Birnam’s beauties.
Sadly Elizabeth passed away suddenly at the end of April. But it was wonderful to spend that time with her, enjoying one of her loves, which despite her condition provided so much pleasure. What a wonderful testimony to Elizabeth’s life if we could get the Pitlochry community to rediscover and look after it’s amazing link with a fascinating piece of history – let’s hear a cheer for the Robertson Oak.
Gillian-Joy Gilchrist (September 2016)