If you want to know about local culture then stay with Lucy and discover the places that only the locals know. Discover the secret. See inside the grey and unprepossessing collection of buildings that used to be old mills. You will find the beating heart of a world leader in restoration and repairs of vintage and classic cars. Nineteen employees, ten of them highly trained craftsmen are painstakingly restoring much loved vehicles from all over the world.
To enter the large warehouse and see dozens of old Beauties parked shiny bumper to bumper is to step back in time, to be lost in another era. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to see the Rover which tootles around the Scottish countryside in the series Outlander. Or perhaps you’ll spy a car like something straight out of a 1920s Gangster Movie. “step on the gas and get us outta here!!” Maybe even see a James Bond’s 1976 Lotus Esprit lookalike. On my last visit I imagined myself sitting gloved and hatted in the back of my chauffeur driven Bentley, en route to some pressing engagement.
I have been fortunate enough to do several tours of the workshops with our students, all keen car enthusiasts. What is striking is the pride and dedication which goes into the restoration of these beautiful vehicles.
Charles Palmer, who founded Classic Restorations, proudly told me how the walnut veneer for a certain interior was handcrafted from a tree from his own garden. One of the upholsterers in the trim shop showed me how he had imprinted a client’s initials in the beautiful calf skin upholstery of his Rolls Royce. Phew!!!!! What attention to detail! Other mechanics delighted in telling us how an Aston Martin had been reduced to a mere chassis before being piece by piece restored to its former glory.
Many of our students have “had the tour” The Swedish children who came to do the “Learn English for Kids Course” were set the challenge of finding and photographing their favourite car. Giambatista from Switzerland, an engineer and car enthusiast came away with a whole new lexicon from “exhaust pipe to windscreen” while Philippe from France would have sold his granny for a spin in the Rolls-Royce Phantom II
And me, I’m simply delighted that people send their beloved cars to a gem of a business in this little town of Eastern Perthshire
If you want to discover the local culture then do a Homestay English course with Active EnglishHighly trained craftsmen at work.