An Inconvenient Truth

I’ve been listening to a local debate about the “state” of our high street for many, many months now. Years in fact.

It all came to a head recently with the particularly sad closure of the town’s only independent department store. A store I remember visiting as a child, enchanted by its slightly quirky wonky stairs that sort of went down as you went up. A store I regularly shopped in as an adult, guaranteed quality and good value for money.

But the customers stopped buying enough to keep it going. So it closed its doors, to much dismay.

Now retailers across the city are calling for action. Summits have been arranged, the turnout into the hundreds – no small feat for a small city. The arguments abound for what needs to be done and in a recent editorial by the local newspaper editor, it’s clear that some of the ideas for improvement are deeply entrenched in what worked well 50 years ago.

So here’s the thing – and we’re going to need to admit this if we want to get past it, at the root of the problem, it’s all the customer’s fault.

These customers can’t park or don’t want to pay to park.

These customers don’t shop when we’re open, they use the internet.

These customers go to supermarkets and buy things there instead.

These customers want things cheap so they buy it elsewhere.

Want to know how to “fix the high street” look to the customer.

The editor of the local newspaper The Perthshire Advertiser, Alison Lowson, puts it succinctly: “Quirky opening hours don’t cut it with modern shoppers who have come to expect late-night opening on a Thursday and all-day shopping on a Sunday.”

Eight years ago we were comfortably able to blame the economy and the banks for the poor performance of the high street. Now, when we can no longer just blame the recession, there’s a prevailing myth that if we just wind back the clock and make the parking free, the customers will return in their droves.

Retail used to be the primary method of distributing goods into the hands of the consumer. It was efficient, it was effective and it has stood the test of time.

But people haven’t stopped shopping, they just shop differently now.

Got to admit, I’m a busy lady and my ideal time for shopping is at 8.30pm in the evening in front of the telly. I can order online and it will be delivered the very next day. No fuss, no inconvenience and no problem.

So, while this may be an unpopular opinion, I’m going to say it out loud: there is a distinct possibility that retailers have got it all wrong.

Retail opening times are positively last century, their foundations set in the 1950s Shop Act, when almost half the adult population were not in full time employment and there was plenty call on shopping as a daytime activity. Fine doing nine til five if you have a thriving in town office community to entertain between 12 and 2 every day, but if no such community exists, open late! Most people now work out of town, and finish at 5. Nip in to Tesco between 5 and 8 and you’ll see them loading their trolleys with books, DVDs, cookware, clothes and, oh, a loaf of bread.Whether a necessity or a leisurely luxury, shops need to open when people have the time to get to them, not when they don’t. And, I expect if you asked half the customers why they were shopping there at that time of night, they would respond with an answer along the lines of “I needed to get X for tomorrow and Tesco/Morrisons/Sainsburys was the only place open at this time of night that would sell it.” In many respects they will shop there, not because they want to, but because they can. Supermarkets are therefore not the cause of the problem, but are providing a solution to customers when independent retailers have closed their doors for the day.

A brief spell living in Italy taught me that in the afternoon it was far more convenient to have a nap (so the shops shut) and the evening shopping rush between 4pm and 9pm was, literally, heaving. People had finished worked, schools were out, and everyone was in town.

Supermarkets get this. It’s not so much about free parking, also conveniently situated, but more to do with convenient opening times. As a result they have won our loyalty and now (broadly) represent one of the very few places remaining that you can buy books, toys, DVDs, homewares as well as food, while in the last decade alone the high street has waved goodbye to Borders, HMV, Virgin Megastores and numerous independent retailers. And, as much as I hate to say it, clothes shops will be the next great “victim” to this shift in purchasing patterns.

Perth, the city in which I work and live, is determined to develop its night-time economy. Perhaps the re-shaping of the retail offering to skirt this night time economy may be the catalyst to change the city and the fortunes of its independent retailers once and for all.

But, first, we probably need to stop blaming the customer and start looking at what they want, what they really, really want.

Alarming new stats prove that when it comes to workplace pensions, employers should “be a Leicester City, not a Swindon Town”

If you want to avoid a fine for failing to set up your workplace pension, don’t make the same mistake as Swindon Town F.C. and drag your heels. That’s the message from pensions expert The Auto Enrolment Advisor in the light of alarming new statistics surrounding so-called auto enrolment.

Figures just released from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) show an alarming rise in the first quarter of 2016 for warning notices and fines, the sort issued to football club Swindon Town for repeatedly failing to comply with the new law surrounding auto enrolment. The law requires every business in the UK to enroll eligible employees in a qualifying workplace pension scheme.

The statistics show a spike in the number of warning, or compliance, notices issued over the last quarter; a startling upwards trend for warnings over the last six months; and a tripling in the amount of fines collected these last six months.

The fact that only small and medium sized businesses are now working towards auto enrolment (larger employers have already signed up) makes the figures even more worrying, says The Auto Enrolment Advisor, which warns of the possible financial impact on a smaller business.

Although the TPR figures show a 90% compliance rate for businesses creating pension plans, they also show:

  • 806 fixed penalty notices, carrying a £400 fine, were issued to small and medium-sized businesses from January to March 2016. That compares to 1,428 fixed penalty notices issued in the previous three and a half years to larger businesses, who were the first ones bound to comply with auto enrolment.
  • Fixed penalty notices have been showing a steep rise for the last six months. The amount of fixed penalty notices that went out between October 2015 and March 2016 account for 82% of all the fixed penalty notices distributed since auto enrolment began three years ago.
  • In the six months between September 2015 and March 2016, TPR sent out 5,653 compliance letters, or warning notices, to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) – the equivalent of 31 letters per day. That’s compared to 2,181 warning letters in the last three years, and an average of just two a day issued to larger employers.
  • From January to March 2016, the number of escalating penalty notices like the one issued to Swindon Town – carrying daily fines that can run into the thousands – jumped to 96. That’s a spike of 300% from the previous 42 months.
  • There were 120 escalating penalty notices issued in the last six months. Up until September 2015, only seven of these notices were served.

While Swindon Town F.C. settled its fines of more than £22,000 in February, the statistics show a worrying a trajectory for small and medium sized business owners setting up their employees’ pensions, says The Auto Enrolment Advisor. Warning that the heavy fines are going to hit smaller businesses harder, the pensions expert urged employers to “be a Leicester City, not a Swindon Town”, in a nod to Leicester City’s recent victory in the Premier League.

Graham Robinson of The Auto Enrolment Advisor said:

“With all that’s happening in the football leagues right now, there are messages that could be applied to employers when it comes to workplace pension sign-ups. Just as a football club needs a talented and satisfied team and to make its supporters happy, so an employer needs to maintain the backing of its staff, and in turn satisfy customers. In other words, they want to end up as popular as Leicester City, not in a mire of negative headlines like Swindon Town. And they certainly don’t want to drag their heels so much that they face their own form of ‘relegation’ like Dundee United!

“On a serious note, the auto enrolment compliance rate of 90% should be celebrated as it’s a far greater level of compliance than naysayers were predicting. But with a huge surge in warning letters going out, it’s clear that more needs to be done so that small and medium sized businesses don’t end up facing a fine like Swindon Town.

“To put The Pensions Regulator’s statistics in financial terms, in the 3-year period from when auto enrolment began until September 2015, The Pension Regulator collected £229,200 in fixed penalty notices. From October 2015 to March 2016 TPR collected £730,800.

“What makes these figures distressing is that in the last 6 months it was solely small and medium sized businesses that had to comply with auto enrolment. A fine of £400 means an awful lot more to a smaller firm than it does to the mega firms who pioneered auto enrolment.”

  • For more on auto enrolment and the full version of the article visit The Auto Enrolment Advisor at theautoenrolmentadvisor.co.uk
  • The Auto Enrolment Advisor will take part in Staging Fright? Everything you need to know about auto enrolment, two events held by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 31st It will also hold free surgeries in Perth on the same day. For more information and to book email hazel@theautoenrolmentadvisor.co.uk

Auto enrolment expert offers free advice surgery to small businesses

Workplace pensions expert The Auto Enrolment Advisor is running a free surgery for employers on the new rules surrounding workplace pensions.

Staff from The Auto Enrolment Advisor, which specialises in advising small businesses, will answer questions and help guide business owners through the auto enrolment staging process at a free surgery on Tuesday 31st May in Perth.

The surgery runs from 1pm to 5pm in the boardroom at King James VI Business Centre, Friarton Road, Perth.

Provision of an automatic enrolment pension scheme is now a legal duty for employees. Yet confusion is high among small businesses, and the latest figures from The Pensions Regulator show an alarming rise in the number of warning notices and fines issued.

The surgery takes place on the same day as two other auto enrolment events for small businesses, one in Perth and one in Stirling, in partnership with the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Auto Enrolment Advisor’s Graham Robinson and Steve Moy, a pensions consultant with St. James’s Place, will be speakers.

The Auto Enrolment Advisor’s Graham Robinson said:

“There’s evidence that almost half of small businesses are confused about the new auto enrolment rules. Studies show that they are also worried about how to cope financially with providing pensions for their employees, which they now have to do by law. And, given that they are small operations that don’t always have human resources support, they are in real need of advice.

“For that reason, we decided to run this free surgery to help them understand and navigate auto enrolment.”

For more information and to book, email hazel@theautoenrolmentadvisor.co.uk or visit theautoenrolmentadvisor.co.uk

The Glenturret’s new limited edition malt celebrates century old “tail” of 16 men and a dog

Glenturret Distillery will next week launch its latest limited edition malt whisky, which has been made available for pre-order today, celebrating a unique ‘tail’ in the brand’s 240 year heritage… of 16 men and a dog.

A photo, unearthed from the back of a cupboard at Scotland’s oldest working whisky distillery earlier this year, dating from 1905 and featuring 16 stillmen, along with a collie dog believed to be the distillery manager’s dog at the time, has provided the inspiration for the bottling and the iconic image will also take pride of place on Fly’s 16 Masters Edition label.

The 16 stillmen formed the backbone to Glenturret Distillery and the dog, Fly, belonged to the distillery manager who lived in a house on the distillery premises in Crieff, Perthshire. When the group was snapped all those years ago, little would those 16 stillmen have known that, more than a century later, it would inspire their fellow distillers to launch a limited edition bottling in their name.

Glenturret prides itself on its original, artisanal whisky making, and the fact that mashing is still done by hand – exactly as it would have been done in 1905. The year 1905 is also significant because it was the year that the first legal definition of whisky was declared by a magistrate’s court in London.

FLY_16YOThe distillery dog, however, is a new addition to the distillery’s heritage which has mostly been associated with cats – Towser the Cat in particular, Glenturret Distillery’s world famous mouser and holder of the Guinness World Record for the most mice caught in her working lifetime. The distillery is now home to two resident moggies, Glen and Turret, who roam freely amongst the tens of thousands of visitors to come to Glenturret Distillery every year.

The Glenturret Fly’s 16 Masters Edition, which will go on sale to the general public on World Whisky Day, May 21st, is a 16-year-old single malt that is truly a collectors’ edition and is expected to honour its namesake and “fly” off the shelves. Only 1,740 bottles will be available priced at £95 each. Pre-order will open on 16th May. Whisky lovers who have signed up to The Glenturret mailing will also have the exclusive opportunity to purchase bottles with the following special numbers for £130 each: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 5, 8, 16, 18, 21 and 240.

With a taste of fruit and mocha coffee and a sun-kissed appearance, Fly’s 16 Masters is the latest in a line of highly collectible whisky releases from the 240-year-old Glenturret brand. With interest high in the brand and Whisky Month in full swing throughout this month, the latest bottling is expected to be snapped up quickly by whisky collectors. Other recent bottlings, such as the The James Fairlie Edition, commemorating the man who re-established Glenturret Distillery as an operational producer in the 1950s, and The Brock Malloy, two stillmen who worked at the distillery in the 1980s, have sold out. In the case of The James Fairlie Edition, the Scotch sold out in a matter of hours.

Stuart Cassells, the driving force behind Glenturret Distillery’s return to the limelight which has included the establishment of the brand’s core range of three malts as well as the series of popular limited edition releases, commented:

“1905 was a momentous year. Albert Einstein first set out his theory of relativity and Arthur Conan Dolyle first published The Return of Sherlock Holmes. The same year, we saw a London magistrate’s court saying that whisky ‘should consist of spirit distilled in a pot still derived from malted barley – a momentous occasion for the industry.’

“Closer to home, our 16 stillmen were captured for prosperity in this photo, found by chance at the back of a cupboard and now hanging proudly on our walls at the distillery. We think Fly’s 16 Masters Edition encapsulates not only the spirit of whisky but the spirit of The Glenturret’s hand-made heritage. We’re looking forward to seeing the bottles ‘fly’ off the shelves accordingly!”

The Glenturret Fly’s Masters Edition Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Warm in your belly sun kissed amber hue

Nose: Lightly perfumed, citric, newly cut flowers, hints of marzipan, old leather, popcorn

Palate: Long and lingering, mature fruit notes, black cherries, mocha coffee maybe even espresso

Finish: Vibrant, well-aged, good balance, easy to drink

Click here to buy. Please enjoy our whisky responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk 12

County Fabrics open doors to public with series of free workshops

Kinross-shire based County Fabrics are encouraging people to unleash their inner interior designer at a series of free creative workshops, taking place at 10am and 1:30pm on Friday 20th May.

The recently refurbished showroom and design library is set to be showcased at a special Open Day, where guests are invited to browse through over 100 display lengths and look for inspiration in over 350 design books. Taking place during the Open Day, those interested in design can enjoy a free design workshop, creating a mood-board and getting some hints and tips for updating décor, as well as receiving a special goodie-bag and a summer discount voucher.

County Fabrics owner, Katie Evans, recently took over the family-run business from her mother, Jane Wallace, who ran the successful business for 30 years. It has grown into one of the UK’s largest independent fabric retailers, set modestly in the Central-Scotland village of Crook of Devon, specialising in selling designer fabric at heavily discounted prices. Katie commented:

“We’re often described as a hidden treasure and many people don’t know where we are so we wanted to open up our showroom for people to come and discover the fantastic things we can offer them. Having recently gone through some refurbishments we’re really looking forward to welcoming customers, both old and new, to browse and enjoy our special one-day sale and over 13,000m of the highest quality fabrics – with a cup of tea of course!

Katie continued:

“Spaces for our workshops are filling up fast so booking is advised. We’re hoping people get a little creative, have some fun and go home with some interior design inspiration.”

County Fabrics offer a vast range of designer fabrics at a heavily discounted price and offer a made to measure, bespoke soft furnishings service, located within an hour of both Glasgow and Edinburgh and half an hour from Perth and Stirling.

For more information and to find out how to book, visit http://www.countyfabrics.com/

Property that housed Red Rum is a great bet for buyers

It’s common for properties to boast famous residents. It’s not so common for them to be famous horses.

A small holding and stables up for sale in the village of Invergowrie by estate agents Miller Hendry can lay claim to having put up the famous Red Rum, winner of three Grand Nationals and arguably the best known racehorse in British history.

Red Rum, beloved by the British public right up until his death in 1995, spent the night at the property in 1982 during a public visit to Dundee. The horse, who retired from racing in 1978, used to make regular public relations appearances in his retirement. But the stipulation was he had to be boarded in a stable with a vet. Enter A.N. McCormick, who owned the 2.8-acre property in Invergowrie and also ran McCormick & McConnachie veterinary practice in nearby Dundee.

The story goes that when Mr McCormick was approached to board Red Rum, he was so thrilled to be asked that he turned down the offer of payment. George Tennant, who subsequently bought the house and land from Mr McCormick and his wife, said the vet told him he had a sleepless night knowing the famed horse was on his property.

“He said it was awesome. He said he couldn’t believe it – the honour of having Red Rum staying,” said George. He and his wife Mina have listed their luxury home with Miller Hendry for offers over £430,000.

The Tennants with the famous tenant bought the home in 1985 and George, a retired joiner, set about renovating and expanding it for his family. The spacious property now boasts three public rooms, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a games room/den, two paddocks and the famous stables, now partly converted into offices.

Added George: “I always wanted to have a plaque erected but, sadly, it never happened.”

Elaine Kerr, valuation manager with Miller Hendry in Dundee, said:

“This is a property with lots going for it. Not only did it have a famous visitor, but its current owners have turned it into an exceptional and versatile family home. And with 2.8 acres of land, stables and two paddocks, there is business potential here too.”

For further information and properties for sale from Miller Hendry, visit www.millerhendry.co.uk

An upcycled new addition to Peebles foodie scene

Peebles hotel, The Park, part of the Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels has re-opened following an unusual transformation which celebrates its historic connection with the local community and the recently closed March Street Mills.

Paying homage to the Borders’ industrial past, The Park has undergone an exciting programme of investment, resulting in a quirky upcycled facelift which weaves together Peebles’ past and present.

An array of businesses, previous Mill employees and dignitaries from the local community were welcomed by Stephen Leckie, CEO of Crieff Hydro Ltd, at a re-opening launch event on Thursday, 12 May 2016.

Guests were treated to tasty bites from The Park’s new bakery and beef inspired menus, a first look at the textiles and memorabilia saved from the Mill, and a tour of the upcycled public spaces.

Stephen Leckie, CEO of Crieff Hydro Ltd, commented:

“We’re delighted to finally open our doors and invite people in to experience the new Park. We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the March Street Mills to create an upcycled interior which we hope will surprise and inspire. Having recognised the fantastic opportunity to really celebrate The Park’s connection with the local community, and investing significantly at both the Hydro and The Park, we’re determined to keep the memories of the March Street Mills alive through our upcycled refurbishment project.”

Both The Park and the March Street Mills were purchased in the late 18th century. Henry Ballantyne bought The Park, whilst the March Street Mills was established by Henry’s brother David Ballantyne in 1884, and remained a fixture of the Borders textile industry until it unfortunately failed to find a buyer last summer. It seemed like destiny for their stories to weave together again.

Jen Thomson, Chef Patron at The Park, commented:

“It’s been a hugely exciting time for the team here at The Park, and we can’t wait to show-off our new bakery and beef inspired menus. With an emphasis on great food, sourced in-part from local suppliers, we’ve created a relaxed atmosphere with lots of places for customers to get comfy and enjoy our new upcycled look and feel. We’re looking forward to welcoming many people through our doors, both from the local area and further afield, to enjoy the new surroundings and sample our food.”

http://www.parkpeebles.co.uk/

Artist Francis Boag paints a contemporary Oor Wullie for Bucket Trail

Those looking for a sneaky peek of another Oor Wullie sculpture can catch one of Scotland’s most recognised contemporary artists, Francis Boag, as he puts the finishing golden touches to his Oor Wullie sculpture at Fraser Gallery St Andrews on Saturday 14th May.

Donning an abundance of vibrant colour and texture, the Oor Wullie sculpture is in the final stages of his transformation. On Saturday, Francis will add some extra special gold-leaf goldfish to complete his design of Scotland’s favourite son, who is one of over 50 Oor Wullie sculptures forming this summer’s Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, Tayside’s largest mass participation public art event, all to raise money for Tayside Children’s Hospital.

Born and raised in Dundee and studying at Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone, the Tayside project is especially close to home for Francis, who spent many years as an Art Teacher in Dundee and Perth before going on to be Head of Art at Aberdeen Grammar School. He became a full-time Artist in 2001 and his paintings can now be found in an increasing number of private and public collections across the world.

Francis, along with Bucket Trail organisers The ARCHIE Foundation and partners Wild in Art and DC Thomson, are encouraging visitors to pop down to Fraser Gallery St Andrews to catch a glimpse of the Oor Wullie sculpture.

Speaking about his involvement in the Bucket Trail, Francis commented:

“Like most children of my generation, I was an avid reader of comics and was a ‘well-kent’ face at my local newsagents in Lochee, spending my pocket money on all the great comic books. The Oor Wullie strip was always the first page I’d turn to in The Sunday Post and, being someone who spent hours drawing, they were a big inspiration growing up – I just didn’t expect to be on quite as intimate terms with him!”

He continued:

“We’ve been spending a lot of time in each other’s company, as coat after coat has been carefully applied to every nook and cranny. I’ve treated him with the same care and attention I give all of my paintings and I hope people enjoy the same aesthetic qualities of colour and texture as they would if they were looking at a painting hanging on a gallery wall.

“I’ve got a few final touches to do and will be adding some 18-carat gold-leaf signature goldfish – only the best for Oor Wullie of course! I’d love to see people’s reaction, so look forward to welcoming people to the Fraser Gallery on Saturday.”

Suzanne Scott, Artist Coordinator for Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail also commented:

“It’s been fantastic to have Francis on board to take us on his artistic journey with this Oor Wullie sculpture. We have an incredible range of artists and designers taking part in this amazing project and the Bucket Trail promises to be full of eclectic and exciting sculptures. We can’t wait for people to get involved!”

The unique project aims to raise crucial funds for The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside appeal to raise two million pounds to help create a brand new twin operating surgical suite for the Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells.

To find out more about Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, visit www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com

Solicitors’ firm turns wills into charity effort

Proving that where there’s a will there’s an opportunity for charity, Tayside based solicitors and estate agents Miller Hendry is celebrating a highly successful collaboration with the campaign Will Aid – one that ranks the firm among the top fundraisers in Scotland.

Miller Hendry raised £6925 through the month-long annual Will Aid drive, which asks solicitors to waive their usual fees and have clients make a donation to Will Aid instead. The donations are then divided among nine Will Aid charities, which include Save the Children, Christian Aid and British Red Cross. During the 2015 campaign, Miller Hendry’s staff in Dundee, Perth and Crieff wrote more than 50 wills.

The money raised through the latest Will Aid campaign, which is held every November, puts Miller Hendry fourth highest in Scotland in terms of donations and 23rd highest in the UK. In total, Miller Hendry has collected £74,613 and run 13 campaigns for Will Aid.

Presenting a certificate to staff at Miller Hendry’s offices in Perth, Katy Williamson, Community Legacy Manager with British Red Cross, said:

“We would like to thank Miller Hendry and all the people who made their will during Will Aid last year. The time donated by solicitors and the generous donations from everyone who made a will are already helping to save and transform lives around the world.

“It is so important to have a will to ensure your wishes and loved ones and taken care of. Will Aid also gives people the opportunity to leave legacy gifts, and we are extremely grateful to everyone who chose to include the Red Cross in their will, making a promise that help will always be there when someone needs it in future. Whether it’s responding to the recent flooding here in the UK or to the continuing humanitarian disaster in Syria, the donations and legacies from Will Aid mean we can continue to help people in crisis whoever and wherever they are in the world.”

Caroline Fraser, an associate with Miller Hendry in Dundee who specialises in the preparation of wills, said:

“We pride ourselves on giving back regularly to our local community, and in this case we have spread our charitable net even wider, donating almost £7000 to some top nationwide charities. We’re proud of our staff for not only winning a spot as one of the top four donors in Scotland, but for raising awareness about the need to write a will. The more people realise how important a will is, and that having one prevents a lot of unnecessary legal complications, the better.”

For further advice or information on employment law or other legal issues, visit www.millerhendry.co.uk

For more information about how Will Aid works, visit willaid.org.uk

6th Annual Perth Beer Festival pulls pints and record crowds

The 6th Annual Perth Beer Festival pulled in a record amount of punters last Saturday as fans of beer, rugby and a good day out poured onto Perth’s North Inch.

Around 5000 people turned up during the day to enjoy craft beer, fine wines, live music, kids’ games and rugby in an event that’s becoming one of Perth’s biggest community gatherings. A record 500 people attended the sold-out evening event.

Organisers Perthshire Rugby are already planning next year’s festival, with even more outdoors activities in the offing. The event, a fundraiser for the rugby club, is drawing more and more crowds each year and is a firm date in the diary for anyone who loves family activities, sports and food and drink.

There was also an attempt at breaking the world record for the fastest pass of a rugby ball, held by scrum half Joe Simpson of London Wasps. Although nobody broke Joe’s record of 48 miles per hour, three participants came close, each with passes that reached 40 miles per hour.

One of those three was 15-year-old Perthshire Rugby member Ben Wightman. The Perth Grammar pupil has won athletics awards for shot put, sprinting and penthalon. He said he believed his shot put skills helped with his record rugby pass attempt. “I’ve got what are called fast twitch muscles. It means I can throw out a really good shot,” said Ben.

Ben’s world record attempt was not the only success for Perthshire Rugby. The club won the Legacy 7’s tournament on Saturday, beating former Premier League winners Glasgow Hawks. At Sunday’s Perthshire Mini Festival, which attracted 600 young rugby players from clubs all over Scotland, Perthshire Rugby’s P7s were winners in their age group.

Allan Brown, chief executive of Perthshire Rugby, said:

“It was a busy and beautiful day and a great win all round, for visitors, participants and Perthshire Rugby. We’re proud that the Perth Beer Festival is standing out as a true community gathering and family-friendly event, as well as a celebration of rugby. We would especially like to thank all of our sponsors and volunteers for helping it such an enormous success. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

More information about Perth Beer Festival is at www.perthbeerfestival.co.uk