Holylee 11th December 1999 - The Y Wood

The Y-Wood on the Holylee Estate pictured behind Graham

Graham shares his own stories from the challenges encountered at the famous Y-Wood at Holylee Estate.

A heart felt poem recalling a day out on the hill by the Y-Wood at Holylee

I tell of a tale in poor rhyming prose, Of Moore, Aird, Mitra and Rose,
The Doc, Schwert, the captain McQueen The finest guns, the Y wood has seen.

The magnificent seven set off in good heart, They drove to the kale, where they were to start
Where towering birds, a woodcock to cheer, aw the team in fine form, the Y held no fear

So what of the Y, with its 1 in 3 slope, Where even the best sometimes lose hope!
The thrill of this wood stays with us still, the joy of the birds, DRIVEN UP THE HILL!

We had Moore on the road, Mitra out wide, Doc and Aird to the left, Rose by their side,
Out in the middle stood Schwert and McQueen, Who shot everything twice that flew in between!

The beaters go in, and start the long climb, a flurry of snow marks the passage of time,
The first pheasants break from out of the trees, Curling and dipping, chasing the breeze.

They come off the top, at a hell of a speed, Add a few yards, double your lead!
Some curl to the left, others go straight, One thing is sure, you can’t hesitate!

Then the great flushes that darken the sky, Out over the valley, see those birds fly!
Poor Doc’s gun jams, he curses and yells Others are shouting, they’ve run out of shells!

Down to the cars for some gin and a beer, Spirits are high, the team in good cheer,
Billy then asks, how many were shot? Most of us shuffled, then said “not a lot”

So Billy asked round, for everyone’s score, A six, a seven, someone claimed four,
Schwert and McQueen, were confused it is true, For they had to divide their claims by two!

Ten pounds the stake, for the honesty count, Would anyone guess on the right amount?
The score was a record, on that we agree, Rose scooped the pot, we shot forty three!

Coronation wood rose above the weather, Sun streamed through on snow covered heather,
Better than ever, the pheasants flew high, so that Aird only shot more holes in the sky!

Down to the farm for the pies and the cakes, Recall the good shots, forget the mistakes
Adrenalin pumping the team on a high, Charging their glasses to the birds at the Y

On middle left, first drive after the pies, Holylee’s tallest birds took to the skies,
Once more the guns volleyed and thundered, How do we hit those, everyone wondered.

Billy said we’ll do it different this year, I’ve thought of a new way to shoot at the Skeer
So down in the valley, we lined up again, Peered through the gloom and gathering rain

Taken up the hill, it’s a hell of a drive, From a great height, the pheasants did dive,
Then all too soon, the birds were away, The final flushes of a memorable day.

An end to this tale is now drawing near, The team packed up, gone off for a beer,
We’re off to the city, but however we try, We’ll never forget Holylee and the Y.

This beautiful poem hangs on the wall at the Bothy on the Holylee Estate and gives you a feeling of the excitement and difficulties encountered in such a challenging environment in the harsh weather often experienced in the Scottish Borders.

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