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news and culture from scotland, autumn 2010

"Turra Coo" Immortalized In Bronze

Scottish villages have a long tradition of honoring the great and the good in their town squares --William Wallace, Sir Walter Scott and countless others. But the Aberdeenshire town of Turriff has taken a somewhat different turn recently by immortalizing a cow. In 1913, local farmers, complaining that the new National Insurance Act set premiums too high for farmhands, who rarely became sick, refused to pay. Sheriff's officers responded by seizing Robert Paterson's cow to cover his delinquent obligations. Although the cow was ultimately purchased and returned to Mr. Paterson, the seizure set off a series of unusual anti-government riots that ultimately led to the formation of the Scottish Farm Servants' Union, with better pay and working conditions soon following. Ever since, the legendary cow has been celebrated locally in everything from commemorative plates to tankards. And last summer, the "Turra Coo" became the town's first piece of civic art, as an £84,000 (about $126,000) lifesize bronze statue was unveiled. "Turriff has no public art at all and it's a fitting choice for our first project," said a delighted Kate Ferguson, chairman of the Turriff Tourism Action Group, who funded the commission.

Cutting-Edge Glasgow Hotel Offers $75-A-Night Luxury

The citizenM hotel chain has chosen Glasgow for its newest hotel opening, promising to give guests a luxury double room with oversized bed for less than £50 a night (about $75). All 198 bedrooms of the new hotel, located next to the Theatre Royal at the corner of Hope & Renfrew Streets, were prefabricated in Holland before being shipped to Glasgow and dropped into the hotel's superstructure. Among the hotel's many hi-tech touches is a reception area with electronic touch pads for self-service check in and check out (but no reception desk); touchless room access with the waive of a keycard; and a "moonpad" in each room that controls temperature, television, window blinds, alarm clock and even the color of the room lighting. Rooms are also equipped with a flat screen LCD television, a unique power "rain shower," plus free on-demand movies and WiFi. "citizenM redefines both the budget and the luxury hotel standard," said a hotel spokesman. "Guests are treated to affordable, cutting-edge hotel rooms." For more information, visit and The hotel is slated to open this fall and reservations can only be made online.

A complete roundup of news from Scotland is available in the Autumn 2010 issue of Scottish Life.

Click here to preview our feature article on The Angus Glens by Keith Aitken.

Click here to preview our feature article on The Bell Rock Lighthouse by Jim Gilchrist.

Click here to preview Scotland in Music by Edward Scott Pearlman.