Members' Night: A Visitor to Scotland: Thursday 21st February 2019

The theme of this year's Members' Night is "A Visitor to Scotland", interpreted in whichever way the participants wish. In other words, the visitors could be human, animal or inanimate, and from any era in history. The format of the evening will be as in previous years - each contributor has the opportunity of speaking on his or her topic for about five minutes with or without illustrations. If you are thinking of contributing, please let Ivan Ruddock know of your intention, and if you intend to have some images included in the composite PowerPoint presentation, please give them to him at the 7th February meeting or send them using the Society's email address that can be found under "Contact Us".
Visitors from Achill Island at the dedication of the commemorative plaque to
the 1937 Bothy Fire in Kirkintilloch's Eastside, September 2007. © I.S. Ruddock)

David McVey: Neil Munro and "The New Road": Thursday 7th February 2019

Neil Munro is chiefly remembered for his Para Handy stories, later immortalised on BBC TV. These 'stories' were really journalistic pieces that appeared under one of his many aliases. Munro's real literary speciality was historical novels such as "The New Road" and his treatment of Scottish history in these offers an interesting contrast to the historical perspective of Walter Scott and John Buchan (also covered in previous visits to the Society by David McVey) and many others writers of Scottish fiction. The talk will look at Munro, his background, his use of history in fiction and also look at a remarkable incident in which Munro was involved.

1903 pastel sketch of Neil Munro
by William Strang RA

David McVey was educated at Hillhead Primary School and Kirkintilloch High School amongst other places. He is currently a part-time lecturer at New College Lanarkshire and a part-time writer. He has published over 120 short stories and hundreds of non-fiction pieces that focus on history and the outdoors.

Evening meetings of the Society are at 7.30 pm in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF. The annual membership subscription is £10; visitors are welcome at all of the Society's activities with a donation of £3.

John Jackson: Arran in books, from the 18th century to the present: Thursday 10th January 2019

John Jackson has had a long connection with Arran beginning with family holidays as a boy and continuing now as member of the board of the Sannox Christian Centre. His visits to Arran developed an interest in books about the island which in turn led to the creation of one of the largest private collections on this subject. 

At the meeting, John will describe his collection and use some of the books to illustrate the historical development of geology, the clearances, and tourism and holidaymaking.

John Jackson with some of his book collection at the Society's
Members' Night, 15 February 2018. (© I.S. Ruddock)

Evening meetings of the Society are at 7.30 pm in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF. The annual membership subscription is £10; visitors are welcome at all of the Society's activities with a donation of £3.

Training on the use of The Park Centre's defibrillator

On Friday 16th November, together with 7 other users of The Park Centre, Kirkintilloch, I took part as a representative of the Society in a 3 hour Basic Life Support and safe use of an Automated External Defibrillator course organised by St Andrew's First Aid.

After registration we were introduced to the topics by a combination of teaching slides and illustrations but principally by practical demonstrations using dummy torsos and a teaching model of the type of defibrillator recently installed in The Park Centre. At the end of the session we had all been given the opportunity to take part in 3 basic procedures viz cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use of the defibrillator and how to achieve the Recovery Position.

While it was apparent that these techniques required some basic knowledge and a degree of dexterity in their performance, we all felt more confident and less inhibited about our individual abilities at the end of the training course due in part to the facilities provided by The Park Centre - including a cup of tea and biscuits, and the skills of the trainer and equipment supplied by St Andrew's First Aid. Hopefully we will all have learned and achieved a Certificate. 

Thanks all round.
David Graham

Edward Z. Smith: Scotland from the air: Thursday 6th December 2018

Kirkintilloch resident Edward Z. Smith will give a presentation of photographs showing the wide diversity of historical and natural locations that exist in Scotland. 

(© E.Z. Smith)
These images were taken by him while running his aerial survey business – Hawkeye Aerial Photography, established after his previous career with John McGavigan & Co. Ltd. Travelling to photograph projects all over the UK created the opportunity to build a large archive that Edward calls ‘Capturing images on my way to and from my place of work”.

(© E.Z. Smith)
Evening meetings of the Society are at 7.30 pm in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF. The annual membership subscription is £10; visitors are welcome at all of the Society's activities with a donation of £3.

"Elsie Inglis - the woman who would not sit still!"

This topical drama based on the life of Dr Elsie Inglis might be of interest to members of the Society. The Dumfries House performance is sold out but there is still availability for Glasgow and Edinburgh.