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Giant haggis or iconic artefact? Nairn Games convenor shares stone fun moments

By Federica Stefani

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Nairn Games convener Hugh Allison weighing the stone.
Nairn Games convener Hugh Allison weighing the stone.

An iconic piece of Nairn Highland Games memorabilia has sparked some hilarious moments while out for a “health-check”.

Gillian Milne (Swansons) and Hugh Allison weighing the stone.
Gillian Milne (Swansons) and Hugh Allison weighing the stone.

He took it into what was the main supermarket in town at the time – Prestos, where the King Street Co-op is now to be found – and asked permission to weigh the artefact.
Loading it on the scales in the fruit section, he was accosted by a lady intent on finding out what kind of fruit it was, and where could she get one.
“She was due to be disappointed, of course,” Mr Allison explained.
“But I wasn’t, as I discovered that the Nairn Stone was really 16.5lbs, and not the 18lbs that the simple scales of 118 years earlier had shown.
“That was in 1865, when William Fraser of Clunas managed to throw it 31ft and 1in.”
This year, Mr Allison thought it might be interesting to reweigh the stone to check whether it had lost anything in the interveining decades.
This time he took it to Swansons Fruit and Veg, in Leopold Street.
“Gillian Milne of Swansons helped me to weigh it – and while we were busy with that, a Nairn local passing by exclaimed: ‘isn’t that the Nairn Stone?’”
Hugh confirming it was, along with the news that “It has neither gained nor lost an ounce since that time.”
The passer by responded: “Well, imagine that, I’m sure that’s more than you can say for the members of the committee!”
Then, on leaving the shop, Mr Allison was stopped by a man who asked whether the stone was in fact a bumper sized haggis and if he could get one in Clarks the Butchers.
“No, would be the answer,” said Mr Allison.
“It’s the Nairn Stone. It weighs 16.5lbs, and while it’s fun to throw, I would imagine that it’s no fun to try to eat!”

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