ON February 11, Newchurch members and three visitors had a fascinating voyage round the islands of Scotland, thanks to speaker Morag Burton.

Her talk ‘The Magic of the Western Isles’ began with a detour to Shetland and Orkney with emphasis on bird life (Shetland) and history (Orkney).

Photo slides, Morag's own paintings and recorded bird calls introduced us to the fulmars, puffins guillemots and bad-tempered great skuas.

We saw the old buildings of Orkney, from the Stone Age through Pictish times to the rule of the Vikings and the more recent Italian Chapel built by prisoners of war.

Morag then moved her talk south west to the Hebrides and described the building of nearly 100 lighthouses from Harris down to Islay.

She had photos and paintings of the Cuillin range in Skye, beautiful beaches, old castles and new whisky distilleries.

She was sad about the depopulation of many islands but hopeful about the whisky industry in Islay and the road bridge from Skye to the mainland.

After Nora Cooper's vote of thanks, Morag judged the month's competition – Something Tartan.

She chose Doreen Procter as winner, with Irene Bromilow and Olive Lee coming second and third.

Before Morag's talk, president Doreen announced February's ‘Birthday Girls’ and thanked Margaret Harrap for the pink roses donated to the president's table and raffle.

Secretary Jean Riley gave details of the walk round Rode Hall on February 26, the spring coffee morning on March18 and a trip to the Lowry on March 19.

On April 21 there will be a trip to Media City.

After tea served by Val Eddowes and Lesley Lloyd, the meeting ended with a quiz.

The March speaker is Josie Morris and her topic is ‘Let's Make Chocolate’.

The competition will be ‘A Chocolate Box’.