Iain Whyte’s talk will deal with a problem that occurred after the Disruption of 1843 when nearly 500 ministers left the Church of Scotland, taking many members of their congregations with them, to form the Free Church. In order to build churches for the new Free congregations funding was sought from a range of sympathetic sources. The problem arose when it was accepted from Presbyterian churches in slave-holding communities in America. Needless to say, this was extremely controversial. The Reverend Dr Iain Whyte is a retired Church of Scotland minister who has published three books on attitudes to black slavery in Scotland.
In October 2014 problems with our previous meeting venue forced the Antiquaries to look for a new home. We discovered that the Park Centre in Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, was available on Friday evenings and decided to move there. Two meetings were held in November, including one to make up for the forced cancellation of our October meeting, and a further meeting was held in the Park Centre on 5th December. All three were well attended and many comments appreciative of the ambience of the Park Centre have been received by the Committee. Warm thanks are due to the Society Vice President, Rosalind McMeekin, and the caretaker of the Park Centre, John McLaren, for their part in achieving this smooth transition. However, nothing is ever ‘writ in tablets of stone’ and the Antiquaries Committee is always keen to receive members’ views on options regarding date and place of meeting. Meanwhile we are grateful to have achieved a speedy and apparently painless transition to new surroundings.
Our member Bill Black will describe a tragic event of 1889, when during high winds, a wall under construction at Glasgow’s famous Templeton Carpet Factory collapsed into an adjoining weaving shed. He will attempt to correct some of the mythology surrounding this event in which twenty-nine young women lost their lives. The Society is lucky to have Bill as a member and regular speaker, with his seemingly unlimited supply of talks, on a wide variety of interesting subjects, from all over the West of Scotland.
During the early 1960s the Society’s present secretary took a very large number of photographs of the Kirkintilloch/Lenzie area. His main purpose was to record local transport services, especially the declining railway network, the replacement of steam on the railways by diesel haulage, the disappearance of the Lawson branding on local buses, and the last years of the Forth & Clyde Canal before its 1962 closure. However, he also photographed many other local subjects, including street scenes. This year he has been re-visiting many of the sites to take 50-year equivalent views. Both old and new will be presented in this talk, postponed from Friday 10th October 2014.
The Thomas Muir Festival of local history, art and culture takes place in various locations in East Dunbartonshire during 13th - 24th November. The festival's programme may be accessed by clicking here.
During this anniversary year there has been a great deal of interest in the Battle of Bannockburn, especially by way of attempts to reconstruct the different phases of the battle and establish the exact nature of the military activity that took place. However, the War of Independence was about much more than just military matters. Tom Dowds has researched constitutional aspects of the Scottish nation at the time, and especially the way that the Scottish clergy made out a strong case for Scottish independent nationhood, beginning with ‘The Pleading’ of 1301 to the Pope in Rome, involving three canon lawyers, and extending through to the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.
The venue for the Society's meetings for this session will be the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF. They will continue to be held on Fridays and there will be an extra meeting on Friday 21st November to replace the one that had to be cancelled. Unfortunately there is unlikely to be any parking in Kerr Street due to this being a residential area, and as it is a cul-de-sac, turning may be difficult.
As many members already know from experience, the first meeting of the Society's programme for this winter had to be cancelled because Riverside Church was not opened for us despite the date being properly booked. Please accept the apologies of the Committee for this disappointment and wasted evening. A couple of alternative venues are being investigated for the November meeting and, when confirmed, further information will be posted here and members will be informed.
As always, six lectures will be organized by the Society during the coming winter session, as well as a Members’ Night in February 2015. The first meeting of Session 2014-15 will take place at 7.30pm on Friday 10th October 2014 at Riverside Church, Lammermoor Road, Kirkintilloch. The topic of the lecture will be “Kirkintilloch and Lenzie Fifty Years Ago”.
The warmest of welcomes is extended to all persons wishing to join for the first time. You can just turn up on the night and join there and then, but as the membership team is likely to be busy, you might like to consider one of our various options for joining in advance. These are available by clicking here or going to the Membership page. The Society subscription for Session 2014-15 will be £10, which we believe represents good value for money. Arrangements for existing members are unchanged and they will be reminded by letter or email.
During the early 1960s the Society’s present secretary took a very large number of photographs of the Kirkintilloch/Lenzie area. His main purpose was to record local transport services, especially the declining railway network, the replacement of steam on the railways by diesel haulage, the disappearance of the Lawson branding on local buses, and the last years of the Forth & Clyde Canal before its 1962 closure. However, he also photographed many other local subjects, including street scenes. This year he has been re-visiting many of the sites to take 50-year equivalent views. Both old and new will be presented in this talk.
There will be a special ‘Trails & Tales’ workshop at Twechar Healthy Living Centre on Thursday 21 August (7.30pm). Key members of EDLC's well-funded ‘Trails & Tales’ project will attend to explain some of their current plans and present ideas and discussion on how members of the local history groups in East Dunbartonshire can become involved. The event is being arranged jointly by East Dunbartonshire Heritage & History Forum and EDLC, with the kind cooperation of Sandra Sutton of the Healthy Living Centre. The Antiquaries’ representatives on the EDH&H Forum are already committed to attend, but the event is open to the full membership of all local history groups in East Dunbartonshire, and interested members of the Antiquaries are warmly invited to attend. An absorbing evening is anticipated.
Kirkintilloch Canal Festival Story Week from Monday 18 - Friday 22 August 2014 includes Forth & Clyde canal cruises complemented with local historical presentations. On three of the evenings, the talks will be supplemented by light refreshments from local restaurateurs. The trips run from 7.00 - 9.00 pm, departing from Southbank Marina Kirkintilloch G66 1XQ. The talks should be of interest to members of Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries and tickets can be booked online at www.kirkintillochcanalfestival.org or via the Contact Centre, tel. no. 0300 123 4510.
Monday 18 August - Don Martin - Memories of the Sixties
Tuesday 19 August - Colin Castle - Puffers, an Illustrated History
Wednesday 20 August - James Walker - The Antonine Wall in Proximity to the Canal
Thursday 21 August - Bill Black - Guns, Gazoons and other Clamjamfry
Friday 22 August - Whisky Tasting
The Society's annual Summer Outing will be to Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott's house near Melrose. As always, the outing will be on the first Saturday in June, which in 2014 is 1st June. The coach will leave Sainsbury's car park at 9.30 am and head for Selkirk with a short break at Dobbies, Dalkeith which is also the home to Butterfly World. There will be sufficient time in Selkirk for having lunch (bring your own or buy locally) and looking around before reaching Abbotsford at 2.00 pm for a guided tour of the house. Afterwards, the party will eat at The Green Tree Hotel, Peebles at 5.15 pm.
The Annual General Meeting is the opportunity for all members to have their say in the running of the Society. The agenda may be downloaded by clicking here, but other items can be raised under AOCB .
2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley, a novel that transformed the way history could be analysed in fiction. Scott was fascinated by history and has also made his mark on posterity in a variety of surprising ways.
David Forsyth of the National Museums of Scotland will give a talk entitled 'Common Cause: Commonwealth Scots in the Era of the Great War' as the Society's contribution to Local History Week (1-8 March 2014). The meeting will be held in the Barony Chambers, Kirkintilloch beside the Auld Kirk Museum on Tuesday 4th March, 2.30pm-4pm.
To celebrate the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this year's Members' Night topic is 'My favourite sporting memory'. Contributors do not need to have any sporting prowess and the memory can be of any form - participation, spectating, winning, losing etc. Anyone who wishes to take part, please contact the Society via the Contact Us page.
The speaker will be David Graham who will be deputising for David Hamilton, a retired surgeon, with whom he shared laboratory-based training in the mid-1960s at the Western Infirmary Glasgow. Since retirement, David Hamilton has become a renowned authority on aspects of the History of Medicine in Scotland, one of which is the story of Scotland's Poisoned Island.
The speaker at our January 2014 meeting will be John Gordon, a highly respected authority on the history of Kilsyth. John has spoken to the Society on a number of previous occasions, most notably on the Battle of Kilsyth, when he illustrated his talk with a range of appropriate weaponry!