An Invitation from The Queen!

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At Small City we absolutely love celebrating the successes of our local Perthshire residents and we were delighted to see not one but FIVE Perthshire locals receiving an invitation to Buckingham Palace!

All residents have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and important work in their local community.

We caught up with former chairman of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) and Small City Contributor, David Smythe who is receiving an MBE for services to the tourism industry!

David has been running Cloag Farm Cottages alongside his wife Moyra for the last 30 years where they have been welcoming visitors from around the world to their farm in Perthshire. Cloag Farm Cottages combined both their loves for tourism and farming and making them work successfully together.

David was both surprised and delighted to be nominated for this Award.

David Smythe MBE

“I joined the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) as I felt that the self-catering sector was an unsung hero in the Scottish Tourism world.  I was elected Chairman in 1999, exciting times as the Internet was just starting to make a small impact on tourism, and also just as the first Scottish Parliament was elected and getting down to business. The disasters of 2001 – first Foot and Mouth which closed the countryside, then the 9/11 horrors which hit air travel, instantly crystallised the value of tourism to Scotland making it essential that the industry engaged with Government to rebuild tourism success.

Not one but FIVE Perthshire locals have received an invitation to Buckingham Palace!

“In my 18 years of Chairmanship, the Association has moved from being run by a part-time secretary and volunteer Committee of Management to employing a full-time Chief Executive and two staff, now overseen and guided by a Board.   With a healthy membership and an active Association in good health, I stood down as Chair in November 2018. I was always delighted to represent the ASSC at many levels, and I pay tribute to the excellent Scottish Tourism Alliance, now a powerful advocate for Scottish Tourism for ensuring ASSC’s inclusion.

David’s MBE is in recognition for his Services to Tourism however he would like to pay tribute to the team of committed volunteers and staff at ASSC for their considerable help and guidance over the years in making the Association what it is today.

The full list of Perthshire residents receiving honours include:

  • Ian Findlay who has been awarded a CBE for services to healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities.  Ian Findlay from Crieff is chief executive of Paths for All, a charity that aims to significantly increase the number of people out walking in Scotland.
  • Christine Sloan originally from Perth will be receiving an MBE for services to people with disabilities and tourism for her work making holidays more accessible.
  • Susan Peters, a customer adviser at Aviva in Perth received a MBE for services to the economy and customer service.
  • Mary Conacher from Blairgowrie received the British Empire Medal for services to kayaking and canoeing

We wish everyone a massive congratulations from everyone at Small City and hope they have a fabulous time at Buckingham Palace. Oh how we would love to be a fly on the wall at that garden party!


Want to find out more on Cloag Farm Cottages? Click here to find out how you can stay in these comfortable self-catering properties with gorgeous views over Strathearn.

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