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MOO-VING DILEMMA: Cheeky Highlander Marcus Slater puts mistaken 'double order' to great use for Inverness-based Highland Hospice


By Alasdair Fraser

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Marcus Salter, of Cheeky Highlander antiques, Bunchrew, raised over £2800 for Highland Hospice with the help of a chainsaw artist...Katie Gibb and Marcus Salter outside the Highland Hospice shop, Falcon Square.3+...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Marcus Salter, of Cheeky Highlander antiques, Bunchrew, raised over £2800 for Highland Hospice with the help of a chainsaw artist...Katie Gibb and Marcus Salter outside the Highland Hospice shop, Falcon Square.3+...Picture: Callum Mackay..

AFTER mistakenly double-ordering Heilan’ Coo-themed signs for his antiques shop, Marcus Salter found himself in the horns of a dilemma.

The Bunchrew businessman had to decide what to do with a local chainsaw artist’s fine carving work on a bovine-themed bench.

After opting to gift the unneeded creation to charity, a touch of serendipity set in play.

Conversations with customers led to Mr Salter raffling the bench for Highland Hospice, completely unaware that the famous Scottish beast had only recently become the icon for the charity’s 2021 fundraising campaign.

The owner of the Cheeky Highlander antiques store at The Stables, a few miles west of Inverness on the A862 has since been moo-ved by the reaction.

By donating the cost of the bench and adding cash prizes, Mr Salter sold 639 tickets and raised more than £2800 for the hospice.

“I’ve known Garry Shand, the Moray chainsaw artist, for a long time and his son was in my Cub Scouts group in Speyside years ago,” Mr Salter explained.

“I’ve always followed his stuff and in May I opened our antiques shop, where our logo is a cheeky heilan’ coo. I ordered the coo bench as a sign for outside the premises, but Garry has so much work on his plate there is a three-month waiting list. I completely forgot about the order and bought another sign!

“When Garry very kindly delivered his work, we were chewing the fat and he mentioned he had raffled one to help a friend.

“I thought it was a brilliant idea to raffle it for a local cause. One of our customers who came in was a former director of Highland Hospice and we decided to go with that.

“Knowing the work they do, I could hardly think of a more deserving cause. It was a complete fluke that the hospice has The Great Heilan Coo Trail.”

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