Sunday, 21 April 2013

Helen McArthur 1943 - 2013... Stacy's Magical Place.... The Grand National...

24th March... I travelled north to Perth and with the cold wind that met me I could have mistakenly thought I was at the North Pole.    But as soon as I entered the church the usual warm welcome made me forget about the cold outside.  Ivy, Michelle and the rest of the committee make everyone feel welcome.
26th... Not so far north this time, I was heading for ASK Cumbernauld, another church like Perth which has one of its main aims, a genuine and personal greeting to all that enter.

28th... Over the past few months I have had the privilege to take a development circle and though only a few attend the enthusiasm and standard of commitment is second to none.

1st & 2nd April I was at the Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church, Berkley Street, G3 7DS.  This was after an absence of a year because of booking difficulties and it was great to be back on the platform of the friendly church in the centre of the city. Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church

64 Berkeley Street

Tel: 0141 221 6201

§  Sunday
5:00 - 6:00pm
§  Sunday
Divine Service
§  Monday
Service with Mediumship
§  Tuesday
Service with Mediumship
§  Wednesday
§  Thursday
Awareness Group
§  Friday
§  Saturday


4th... ASK<Dreghorn and again a special pleasure to serve here as I started out at ASK,Stewarton which this group took over from when the latter closed its doors.

6th...  The second of my workshops at the Glasgow Association.
7th... It was over to our capital city and the Edinburgh Spiritualist Church in Albany Street. EH1 3QH.  This church is not far from the bus station at St Andrews Square and only a little further to Waverley Station. The Church is run by a small but dedicated committee and is open                                                      Sun. 6:30pm Divine Service with Clairvoyance
Mon. 7:00pm Healing
Thu. 7:30pm Clairvoyance
Fri. 7:30pm Open Awareness Circle
Sat. Specials as advertised.                                                                                

Tel: 0131-556-1749

9th... The members and committee of the Dalneigh Spiritualist Church gave me a great welcome.  I am always impressed by the enthusiasm those in Inverness and the surrounding area have for Spiritualism.

11th The Arbroath Spiritualist Centre 20-22 Commerce Street, Arbroath
Angus, DD11 1NB.  Tel: 01241 875 979.  Arbroath is still a holiday destination for many so if you are in the area why not pop along on a Thursday evening at 7.30pm.
                               Helen McArthur 1943 - 2013...
The McArthur family from Dunfermline are well known in Spiritualism in Scotland.  Jock, Helen and Liz being founder members of (DASK) Dunfermline Association of Spiritualist Knowledge.  Many special days have been arranged by DASK to further people’s thirst for knowledge about Spiritualism in the Fife area.
 Sadly Jock passed over to the Spirit world last year and a few months ago it was his sister Helen’s time to move over to the higher side of life.
I have asked Kerry McLeod .
“Helen was born on 23rd August 1943, the eldest of 7 children.
 Helen had a sociable and friendly nature and was always smiling and uplifting others, even when times got challenging for herself.  Helen was heavily involved in looking after her brothers and sister, which she did with much care and attention. Helen loved her family, everything was family orientated, she loved the get togethers, family always came first.
 Helen has a daughter, son in law and granddaughter.
 In June 2011, Helen's sister Liz and her husband Alex opened their home to Helen when she became ill, with Helen moving from her own home, across the road to live with Liz and Alex.
 Helen was a spiritualist from a very young age and was indeed the person that took her brother Jock to his first meeting at Dunfermline Spiritualist Church, her beliefs were firm and her trust in the spirit world was absolute.
 Helen was known and loved for being a beautiful person and was amongst others was described as: - “A great friend and irreplaceable”
"Always smiling"
“Always family orientated”
“A wonderful sister”
“The best mother in law in the world”
“A true specimen of pure kindness.”
Thanks Kerry...


Marie mails...“Would you like to tell us about an unusual research case you have been on, one that is different from the rest and not scary”...     
Marie - there is one that stands out a mile.  As I usually do   I have asked for permission from the family to share this experience.  The names being changed to protect the family and in this case the place where it took place.  
I was asked if I would go out to see if I sensed anything of a paranormal nature at a ruined cottage.  I agreed as long as I was told nothing about what others had experienced or the history of the area.  I met up with Robert, Jean and their daughter Stacy at their home on the edge of a small village. Also tagging along was Tex the dog and Ceara the cat which was carried part of the way by Robert. A biting easterly wind was blowing and large snowflakes were beging to fall as the family escorted me along a narrow country lane to the ruins of an old cottage.  Not just the ruins of any old cottage, as it turned out, but the ruins of what is a very special old cottage. 
Robert grew up in this area and when he was young children roamed all over the fields, but never up this particular lane.  Stories of the lane and cottage being haunted not only kept the children, away but also the adults.    Over the past decade or so when a property is put up for sale in the area it is usually bought by an outsider, and usually by those of retirement age. So there are fewer children in the area and the story of the haunted lane and a cottage is seldom mentioned these days.
As I got closer to the cottage I did feel a difference in the atmosphere.  It did not seem as cold and yet the cottage was not sheltered from the bitterly cold easterly wind.   It is difficult to put into words there was something friendly, comfortable and relaxing about the place. I certainly had no negative feelings which I thought I would have been experiencing by now, especially as the family had requested I visit the area. No matter how one tries not to second guess what is going on, the thought of a negative situation it is always at the back of one’s mind when called out to a property etc.
I then saw something strange. Stacey was running at the back of the property and something black was running behind her. It turned out to be a crow and at first I thought it was attacking her.  But it was running along with her as if playing. I then noticed that there was quite a bit of the local wildlife all closer than one would have expected when there were humans, a dog and a cat about.
Stacey then took a plastic bag from her mother and started feeding the birds.  To my surprise three landed on her arm with several more sitting on the ruins of a wall and taking small morsels from her hand.   I looked around and saw two deer around fifty yards from us.  Jean told me that in spring, summer and autumn there would be lots more animals close to us at this spot.   Jean asked me to take a look at Ceara and Tex, who were both sitting down like they would on a hot sunny day but the wind was still blowing and a few snowflakes still falling.
I wrote in my notebook at that stage there is something strange, then scored that out and replaced it with something magical about this place. It was certainly different from any place I had been asked to investigate before or since.
When we got back to the family home and sitting over a cup of tea, Robert told me why I was invited to the ruins of this cottage.
Stacey was born with learning difficulties and when she could walk she was seldom out on her own. She was happy to play in her own backyard with  Tex and Ceara. But one day she did decide to roam and after a full-scale search by half the village she was found sitting quietly in the ruins of this cottage. Over the next few months Stacey would constantly try to get out of the back gate and make her way towards this ruined cottage. The little one’s parents decided that several times a week they would take her to the cottage with Tex and even Ceara tagging along at times. This became a regular walk two or three times a week and Stacey seemed  content with this arrangement as she did not try to go out on her own.
On their visit to the cottage Robert and Jean started to find it so relaxing and they looked forward to going there as much  as Stacey.  Then they started noticing something else. The wildlife around the ruins did not seem to be as suspicious of them even with Tex and Ceara being with them.   Stacy could get closer to the wildlife than her parents but even they could get closer to the likes of deer, badger, herons, squirrels etc than they normally could elsewhere. Stacy never touched any animal or bird even though some did come as close as an arm’s length from her.   Robert had never got so close to deer as he did at the ruins, even after spending his whole life in the country.   It was not as if the little one had food to entice these large animals close.  The family spent some considerable time telling me of the different incidents and different species of bird and animal that had shown less fear of them around the cottage than they did elsewhere in the countryside.
 I asked if the wildlife around the back garden got as close to Stacey as they did around the ruins. The answer was ‘no’, there was a robin a blackbird and two thrushes which were more trusting towards Stacey than the other birds in the back garden but they did not come as close as birds at the ruined cottage.  So it was looking more like I should be concentrating my thoughts around the area of the old cottage than Stacy. 
I asked the parents if they had got anyone else out to look around the ruins.  Robert said that I was the first person he had mentioned this too.   His first thought was to contact an old school chum who was now a clergyman and stayed at the other end of the country.  But after doing a little research on the Internet he decided it was more of a situation for a medium.   I suggested he asked his friend to  look and see what he experienced. The friend did come out and he was amazed as I had been when visiting the cottage.   He said “Even though I have spent most my life in the country, at the cottage he got closer to the local wildlife than he ever had done.
So what have we here?
A ley-line causing this effect?  We could find no connection with this or any ancient tales about this area.
Bob – the clergyman - put forward the suggestion that someone had stayed in that cottage at one time and most of their time taking care on injured and unwanted animals – a modern-day St Francis.  That had also been on my mind.   We looked into the history of the area and as far as we could find out the cottage had been uninhabited since 1932.  We have names of owners and tenants of the building going back a few centuries but we were unable to find any information about them.  A local historian did give us a few bits and pieces but nothing appeared to connect to what we had experienced. Both Bob   and I had met people who have had an amazing rapport with animals but not an area where animals acted as they did at the site of the ruined cottage.
The four of us decided that we could go no further forward with this and to ask others to come in to do some research was not on - as this was Stacy’s special place and it should remain this way.
This was a few years ago and neither Bob or myself has visited the cottage since but I have kept in touch with Robert and Jean.  Little has changed, Stacy visits the cottage two or three times a week always accompanied with one or both of her parents.  Tex has passed on but Ceara still goes to the cottage with the family.
One concern I had was that what if a hunter stumbles across that cottage with the animals being so placid and not frightened of humans, According to Robert this has either not happened or if such a person did come across this area the animals would be aware of their intentions and not have been so trusting.
It is shocking that the National Hunt fraternity were overjoyed that there were no deaths in this year’s Grand National.  Yes, so notorious is this race for fatalities that a ‘death free race’ gets as much publicity as the winner.  I have the feeling that as well as relief of no deaths among the runners, the hype was made that little bit greater to mask the fact that two horse came under starters orders at the meeting and yet their lives ended on the race course.  On Thursday Battlefront got no further than the 11th fence in the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase for amateur riders. The horse collapsed and died soon afterwards.  And then on Friday another death, this time of Little Josh who fractured a shoulder and had to be put down.
This year there were changes to the course and we will have to wait to see if such alterations will reduce the number of deaths or the changes were just cosmetic surgery to pacify the general public in the short term.  What the National Hunt fraternity could, if they really love their horses so much, is to ban the use of the whip in all National Hunt races.  Unless it is used by a rider to correct a horse which has veered off a straight line and is likely to cause an accident.  Any jockey using a whip to improve the position of his mount should be given a lengthy ban and the horse losing any prize money it may have earned during that race.   Plans could be put in place for this new ruling to start at the 2014 Grand National meeting
Some of the most horrific scenes on TV screens over the years  is riders in the Grand National using their whips like carpet beaters on horses at the end of this gruelling  4 ½ mile race over  very large fences?
I was shocked on a TV programme the morning after the Grand National to hear three people connected to this industry – yes industry – not a sport – come out with the following.  We are not here to defend the Grand National – we are here to promote it”. And several comments similar too “Horses jump obstacle in the wild”.  Yes – but not so many and not at such a speed in so short a time.
“Horses like to jump – look at them in races where they may have fallen, and got  rid of their rider.   They continue to run with the field and jump the fences”.  Yes – let us look at that situation.  After a fall a horse may be in panic mode, see nowhere to get off the course and follow its herd instinct. 
Let us look at the situation a little more in-depth...  It is easy for a racing commentator to say “A particular horse has fallen but it is  unscathed”.  If the same commentator fell while out walking I am sure he would feel some degree of pain, so what about a ½ ton horse falling while jumping at racing pace must also feel pain.
What can Spiritualism or Spiritualists do in this situation?
Spiritualism is not a religion that issues decrees on its members to do this or not to do this or that.  So I would not expect any of our Spiritual organizations to come out publicly in this debate.  To all Spiritualists I say – look again at our 5th Principle “Personal Responsibility “and then make up your mind.  Remember... a percentage of every bet on horse racing goes to the upkeep of the horse racing industry.
I have decided to leave out the comments I received on my “2013 a crucial year for Spiritualism” but will include some in my next blog.