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40PEOPLE?SPRING 2012WWW.NTS.ORG.UK? A BEAUTIFULLY CARVED stone owl gazes out of themasonry of the Trust's ornate fountain in Dunkeld.The voice of property manager Ben Notley echoesaround the corniced cupola of Ossian's Hall at TheHermitage. Close-ups of lichen-encrusted bark andfrothing water tumbling over scattered boulders are soevocative you can almost smell the Perthshire air.These are moments from The Property Manager's Tale,one of 20 or so short films that make up Scotland'sStories, soon to be launched on the Trust's website. The stories range from the start of the Trust in the1940s and the historic donation by the Dalyellfamily of the House of the Binns under the CountryHouse Scheme to that of Georgia Conolly, theenthusiastic young marine ranger at St Abbs wholoves diving in the North Sea. The stories arepersonal, anecdotal and full of engaging detail. TamDalyell tells of the day when, as a schoolboy, hesigned the House of the Binns into Trust care, whileGeorgia Conolly balances ecological, geological andornithological insights about the reserve with thestory of her own delight at getting this "dream job"and snatches of what her job entails. It's the behind-the-scenes aspect of Scotland's Storiesthat makes this a really fascinating series of films.Historic properties, magnificent landscapes and cuttingedge interpretation centres all feature, as one wouldexpect, but it's the people's stories that come across sovividly and memorably in these tales. The people arethe small army of experts, artisans, managers andvolunteers that keep the Trust going, the antique clocksticking, the banisters and bureaux spotless and the oldcrafts of weaving and milling thriving.The series is modelled on The Canterbury Tales. Andthough there is no knight's tale and no Wife of Bath'stale there is an unforgettable Miller's Tale(the seriesdirector couldn't have cast a more archetypal lookingmiller, yet this one, Peter Ellis, is for real). Anyomissions from Chaucer's original are amply made upfor by The Weaver's Tale, The Archaeologist's Tale, TheClockmaker's Tale, The Housekeeper's Tale, The Printer'sTale, The Stonemason's Tale. The titles convey abreadth of skills and each is a little window into away of life preserved (as at Robert Smail's Printing"During my 12 years with the Trust I've met so many fantastic people who bring so much knowledge and passion to their work"Stars of the show,clockwise from topleft: Georgia Conolly inThe Marine Ranger'sTale; Christine Macleodin The Weaver's Taleand Peter Ellis in TheMiller's Tale

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