Report on the visit to the Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch, Thursday 20th June 2024

The Society was delighted to have had the opportunity of a guided tour of the Auld Kirk Museum, a category A listed building and one of the oldest in Kirkintilloch, on 20th June 2024; the visit coincided with the Museums' 380th anniversary exhibition. By way of introduction the 16 members of the group were reminded by the guide that the Romans built the Antonine Wall which runs through Kirkintilloch, the Comyn family built a castle at Peel Brae, and that in 1644 the Museum building and its grounds had been the town's first parish church - St Mary's and its graveyard.

The guide from the Museum describes artwork created to publicise the Auld Kirk
by local school children and the late Willie Rodger, Kirkintilloch's noted artist. 
(© I.S.Ruddock)

Particular exhibits were highlighted and reflected the 13,000 held in the Museum's archive. The 380th Anniversary's timeline around the walls of the main gallery space provided a journey from a carved neolithic stone ball found in the garden of a local resident to sections detailing the industrial era of the Forth and Clyde Canal, ship building, the railways and cast iron manufacturing by the Lion Foundry that included the famous red telephone boxes. Other displays featured the whisky link between Kirkintilloch and Japan, and the 150th anniversary of St Ninian's High School including its WW2 fundraising link with the Royal Navy's HMS King George V battleship. Of particular interest were photographs of organisations including Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries which were instrumental in establishing the Museum, as it was possible to identify some of those visiting today in some of the pictures on display.

A brass model of one of HMS King George V's quadruple 14" gun turrets presented
to St Ninian's High School in 1942 in connection with its fund raising activities for
the Royal Navy. The trophy was awarded annually to the Dux of the school and in
1984 was donated to the Museum by a former teacher. 
(© I.S.Ruddock)
After the tour, about half the group walked along to Majella's for a cup of tea and a sticky bun and for a chat. The consensus was that the visit had been a success, and that the offer of additional tours by the Museum staff should be explored and that all in all it had been a good 'summer' outing.

David Graham

Visit to the Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch: 2pm Thursday 20th June 2024

Arrangements have been made for a guided tour of the Auld Kirk Museum as part of the programme of afternoon outings for members of the Society. It will take place on Thursday 20th June 2024 at 2pm and the tour might also include the Barony building where certain items will be displayed. The event is expected to last about one and a half hours. 

Tables have been reserved for 3.30pm at the nearby Majella's Coffee Shop (48 Cowgate, Kirkintilloch between Timpsons and Cowgate Pharmacy) for the group to enjoy tea/coffee and a slice of cake, albeit at your own expense on this occasion.

The Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Numbers are limited to 20 and on a first come first served basis. Please reserve a place by email at no later than Tuesday 18th June. This is hoped to be an interesting outing to a local visitor attraction in Kirkintilloch followed by some socialising.

David Graham

Annual General Meeting and 'The Forme of Cury - King Richard II's Cookbook': Thursday 25th April 2024

This session's Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 25th April 2024 at 7.30 pm in The Park Centre, and is an opportunity for all members to have their say in the running of the Society. The various activities since the last AGM will be reviewed, the accounts will be presented for approval, and the office bearers and committee membership - for which nominations are sought - will be confirmed.

After the business part of the meeting, David Garbutt will give a talk entitled 'The Forme of Cury - King Richard II's Cookbook'. The presentation will explore the 14th century Forme of Cury and explain the use of language and style of writing in the book. Recipes will be translated and described and the vast range of herbs, spices and other ingredients available in the Middle Ages will be revealed. It will be shown how many recipes relate to modern day equivalents.

Contents page of the Forme of Cury.
(Public domain)

David graduated with a BSc Honours degree in Computer Science from Manchester University. After two years working in data communications design, he worked in Saudi Arabia for five years on systems design and build for the petrochemical industry. In the UK, he has worked for several organisations as a consultant systems analyst and project manager specialising in large databases. Outside of work, David has been a member of a speakers club, indulges in gardening, woodworking - including set build for Giffnock Theatre Players, abstract art, stand-up comedy and hill walking. He enjoys all forms of cookery and is known for making preserves, especially marmalade!

Visitors are welcome at all of the Society's evening meetings.

Visit to the Glasgow Police Museum, Tuesday 12th March 2024

On Tuesday 12th March, 12 members of the Society enjoyed a visit to the Glasgow Police Museum in Bell Street, Glasgow. They were welcomed by the curator, Alastair Dinsmor MBE, a retired Strathclyde police officer, who provided background information to the displays and related anecdotes as the members progressed through the museum. 

Society members being told about the first police dogs in the City of Glasgow Police.
(© I.S.Ruddock)

The Glasgow Police Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the City of Glasgow Police - the oldest police force in the United Kingdom - up to when it amalgamated in 1975 with other local forces to create Strathclyde Police. The museum was created by the Glasgow Police Heritage Society and first opened to the public in 2002 in the Central Police Office in St Andrews Square, before relocating to its present location in June 2009 following the closure of the former premises.

Local History Month: 'The Old Aisle Cemetery - some people of note': The Park Centre, 2 pm Wednesday 20th March 2024

Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries will be holding a special open meeting for the annual Local History Month 2024 at 2pm on Wednesday 20th March in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch G66 1LF. 

The presentation will be based on the exhibition and guided walk on the same theme held by the Antiquaries for Doors Open Day in September 2023. After an introduction to the Old Aisle cemetery and its history, sketches will be presented of eight or nine individuals who are buried there. Some of these will be people who were very well-known in their day and who made a mark on the fabric and development of the burgh and, in some cases the nation. Others will be less well-known but who illustrate aspects of the life and times of Kirkintilloch. 

The participants in 2003's Doors Open Day guided walk in the
Old Aisle Cemetery 
hearing about the history of the site
and the belfry. (© I.S.Ruddock)

The guided walk group at the monument to Father James Bonnyman,
the first Roman Catholic priest appointed to Kirkintilloch for an
extended period and who was responsible for the building of
St Ninian's. (© I.S.Ruddock)

The speakers will be Don Martin MBE, well-known local historian and former Secretary of the Antiquaries, Dr Ivan Ruddock, President of the Antiquaries, and Dr Murray Reid, the current Secretary. We hope that this sample of the personalities buried in the Old Aisle will encourage others to enquire into the history of other 'residents' and learn more about their history and that of the community.

All welcome, with no booking required. 

James Mearns: ''What the Romans did for Glasgow Archaeological Society': Thursday 7th March 2004

Jim Mearn's presentation will relate the history of Glasgow Archaeological Society (GAS) from its foundation in December 1856 to the present day. It will mention some of the interesting people who have been members of the Society, such as Miss Cranston of tea room fame; William Blackie the publisher; Lord Kelvin, several Lord Provosts of Glasgow, a Confederate General and a Kirkintilloch native, James Dalrymple Gray Dalrymple. Particular attention will be paid to the legacy of Dalrymple and his impact on the Society. His family plot is in Old Aisle Cemetery but his work in archaeology is not well known locally. Some further links between GAS and the Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries will be explored.

The Society's activities, including lectures, excursions, campaigns and publications, will be described along with its leading role in the excavation of sites along the Antonine Wall such as forts in the neighbourhood of Kirkintilloch, especially Bar Hill Fort at Twechar. GAS has played a leading role in excavating, researching and publishing material on the Romans in Scotland, and its various reports on the Antonine Wall and the creation of its handbook to the monument will be covered.

Bar Hill Fort: headquarters building excavation.
(Image supplied by J Mearns)

Jim was born in Glasgow and graduated with a BSc honours degree in archaeology from the University of Glasgow. His subsequent career was mainly in public administration as a civil servant in the Department of Transport in London, followed by various senior roles within Glasgow City Council. Outside of his career, he has been active in Glasgow's trade guilds, been Chair of Glasgow Humane Society, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Within the Archaeological Society of Glasgow, he was President in 2006, its Sesquicentennial year, and for the last 10 years has been its archivist and editor of its publication, Scottish Archaeological Journal.

Some publications of Glasgow Archaeological Society on the Antonine Wall. 
(Image supplied by J Mearns)

The meeting will be held in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF at 7.30 pm. The annual membership subscription is £10 and visitors are welcome at all of the Society's evening events without charge as a 'taster'.