Two Precious Gifts

by Tez of Iolaire, in celebration of National Book Week

When I was asked to say something about books my thoughts initially were to those (of the vast number I have read) that figure in my head as favourites but I found that there were simply far too many. Instead I have opted to tell you about two books that I own as a result of friends giving me them as gifts – one is an original from 1776, the other is a facsimile created in 1976.

One of my older friends that had been my Chief in the Royal Air Force back in the early 80’s had said to me “You love old maps and such things. I’ve got an old atlas that I’ll give you”.  Before the chance had come he sadly died and I thought nothing more about the matter. However, a few months after his funeral his daughter turned up at Logie with a carrier bag containing the atlas. I didn’t look at it whilst she was there but simply thanked her for remembering her late father's promise.

On first look I was taken aback as it had no front cover, the back was badly damaged as were many of its pages and many would have simply thrown it away. As I opened its wide pages I realised it was a very early road atlas of Scotland and the title page revealed the date of publication – 1776. It had probably seen service by either a well-to-do family or perhaps a coaching business. Despite it’s tatty condition it was all there; Taylor and Skinner’s Survey and Maps of the Roads of North Britain or Scotland.

I decided to try and save it first contacting a friend that runs a book-binding business in North Uist. I sent it over to her and waited for her estimate thinking it might be beyond rescue. Her reply was £100.00 to fix all the damage and to rebind it. I decided that it was worth the investment and was delighted when it arrived back in the post a few weeks later. I’ve since learned that it’s of considerable value despite the neglect and repair. I love looking at its strip maps and imagining who else has handled this fascinating book over the past two hundred and forty-four years.


In my capacity as a Reservist in the Royal Air Force I serve at Lossiemouth as a graphic designer for a part of each week. My work involves helping the Heritage Centre with lots of differing things that they get given  - posters, photographs, documents, maps that often need scanning and/or reproducing.

One of the elderly volunteers has brought me no end of challenging tasks and two weeks ago as a ‘thank you’ he gave me a book (as he personally had four copies). It is a facsimile of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s wartime flying log-book that was produced as a tribute in 1976. I was delighted to be given such an item having served for twenty-five years and having known the ‘Dambusters’ story since childhood.

Once I got it home I gave it a good thumb-through - it’s not really something you really ‘read’. It’s all completed in his handwriting and has some interesting personal glimpses like where he notes when returning from a solo sortie ‘Nearly bought it’ or when travelling to Canada he writes ‘one very nice air hostess’.

Given that he was a young man in his prime I think we can imagine what he meant. He was only 26 years old when he was killed in action on 19th September 1944 when his damaged Mosquito aircraft crashed near Steenbergen in the Netherlands. The last page in his log-book is from 16th September just three days before his death.

His log-book is quite matter-of-fact about his operations as is the norm and the entry for the Dams raids reads the same as any other, likewise on the opposite page it says simply “Awarded VC”.  It’s the occasional personal comments that jump out at you, reminding you that he was flesh and blood.

Of course it’s only really in the post WWII era that he’s become elevated to hero status but when you read his flying log and count the operations he flew and the dangers he faced at such a young age that you realise what a remarkable human being he was. It’s been an honour for me to serve in the same service and to wear the same uniform as him and a great many others that placed themselves in mortal danger in order to defend our freedoms.

Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar

(12 August 1918 – 19 September 1944) - over 2000 flying hours, served three operational ‘tours’ (two was normally the limit) and flew over 170 operational missions.

On 19 December 1944 Churchill wrote to Eve Gibson:

I had great admiration for him – the glorious Dam-buster. I had hoped that he would come into Parliament and make his way there after the stress of the war was over, but he never spared himself nor would allow others to spare him. We have lost in this officer one of the most splendid of all our fighting men. His name will not be forgotten; it will for ever be enshrined in the most wonderful records of our country.



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Two Precious Gifts

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.