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Our second course of the year at Loans near Troon, attracted 14 trainees which required the skills of two of our instructors Niall Baird and Chris Machin. Aside from one very brief shower on the first day the weather favoured us with glorious sunshine and a light breeze to cool the brow. As we had a good number of bodies we stripped out and rebuilt large section of wall on the first day (once the cattle had been removed). The wall consisted of a double layer of covers on the top without throughbands. The farmer came at the end of the day to see how we were getting on and was very impressed at how much had been done. On the second day we split the trainees into two groups. Niall took 8 people to one end of the wall to start building uphill while Chris took the rest near to the cheekend - which was being fixed by Nic Coombey. Both groups did extremely well on the sections of wall chosen and enjoyed themselves over the whole weekend.
April 26/27th at Loch Arthur Community, Beeswing, Dumfries. This was a new venue for the branch. Niall Baird was instructor to 10 trainees. The weather started and ended the weekend with rain but was dry and fairly sunny inbetween. The wall chosen was partly retaining which certainly gave the trainees some exercise digging it back to clear out. Nobody seemed to mind and all of the trainees (and the instructor) took their turn. The only gripe was there wasn't enough spades. First day ended at cover height with the first section being finished the next morning. They then took sown and rebuilt another section further along which was needing repair. All the trainees attacked the tasks with enthusiasm and the banter flowed. A hearty lunch was provided on both days with the only criticism being that there wasn't any sherry in the trifle! The community made us very welcome and we hope to hold more courses there in the future.
13/14 September - Third course of the year at Rainton Farm, Gatehouse of Fleet. 8 trainees took part under the watchful eye of instructor Niall Baird. In addition, there were 3 branch members getting in some extra practice.