My life of Riley as a Tour Guide

Wed 7th November 2012

7th November 2012: Bette Hunter talked about her interesting time as a guide for the Scottish Tourist Guide Association

At the meeting of the Rotary Club of St Andrews held on Wednesday 7th of October at the Scores Hotel, President Jim Macgregor welcomed 39 members and Angela Duncan, the guest of Hamish Alldridge.

After lunch and some domestic matters President Jim introduced the lunch time speaker, the vivacious Bette Hunter, informing the assembled that Bette had originally trained as a Radiographer in Glasgow and had worked for a time in St Andrews. Latterly she had become qualified as a guide with the Scottish Tourist Guide Association. Three hundred had applied for the advertised posts but only forty were successful Bette's talk was suitably entitled "My life of Riley as a Tour Guide".

Bette began by saying that she had a number of interests in her life and that in her twenties she had been a member of the BBC Chorus and that her involvement with being a tour guide began at the time of the Glasgow Festival.  Bette went on to inform and amuse the members illustrating her talk with large colour photographs.

She talked of  trips on the "Queen of Scots" steam train from Fort William to Mallaig over the famous Glenfinnon viaduct on what is now known as the "Harry Potter" line She said that the guests, who were mainly female Americans, liked to ride on the hotplate of the train with the driver when possible, little realising that they would be chilled from the neck down due to the open sides of the cab and hot from the feet up due to the proximity of the firebox. None the less they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Past tours had involved helicopter rides from Glasgow airport to Gleneagles with overseas visitors, others took in a number of the fine stately homes and Castles of Scotland including Brodie Castle at Forres, the format was to travel by steam train then coach to the location for an overnight stay. Other tours involved prestige cruises around the West Coast of Scotland.

Bette ended by stating that tourism was immensely important to the Scottish economy. Visit Scotland had confirmed that last year this amounted to over 4.6 billion pounds, not an inconsiderable sum she said for a country with such a small population compared to it geographical size.

The vote of thanks for a most enthusiastic and well presented talk was proposed by Bob Philip. The speaker at next week's meeting will be Graham Lang who will talk about wind turbines Members and non members alike are always welcome. 

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