Janice Miller: The Lion Foundry Archives: Thursday 9th January 2020

Kirkintilloch's Lion Foundry manufactured an enormous range of cast iron products for both the home and overseas markets. Janice Miller, East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture's Archivist, will tell the story of this internationally renowned iron foundry using its remarkable collection of drawings, photographs, and documents.

A Lion Foundry advertisement © EDLC

The Lion Foundry bandstand in Kirkintilloch's Peel Park
(© 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 evening events but a donation of £3 is requested.

William B Black: Maryhill Revisited: Thursday 5th December 2019

Step back in time! In this talk, local historian Bill Black and native of Maryhill will present an illustrated history of the old burgh of Maryhill, highlighting the people, events and locations that give it the unique flavour it has enjoyed for many years. 

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 evening events but a donation of £3 is requested.

Paul Bishop: The Wriggly Kelvin and Rivers as Borders: Thursday 7th November 2019

We are being told by some commentators during the Brexit debate that international borders are easy to manage. It is now clear that this is not true, and this is especially the case when the border is marked by a river. Locally, the River Kelvin marks the boundary between Kirkintilloch and Campsie Parishes and yet the boundary does not always follow the river channel. Why not? 

Prof Paul Bishop is a geographer and retired academic from the University of Glasgow. In this talk he will explore the issues associated with rivers as borders, including taking a look at the Scotland-England border which, who knows, might one day be an international border!

The River Sark at Gretna as the border between Scotland and England.

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 evening events but a donation of £3 is requested.

Thomas Muir Symposium: "Past, Present and Future": 22nd October 2019

This year's Thomas Muir Symposium - "Commemorating Thomas Muir: Past, Present and Future" - will be held in St Ninians High School, Kirkintilloch on Wednesday 22nd October, 12.45 - 4.30pm. Further information including booking arrangements along with details of other events in 2019's Thomas Muir Festival may be found here.

The Society's September 2019 Newsletter

The September 2019 edition of the Society's newsletter has recently been created and edited by committee member Valerie McClure and gives information on the activities of the Antiquaries since the AGM. It can be viewed or downloaded by clicking on the image below.

The newsletter has been circulated to those members of the Society who provided their email addresses following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. The list of active email addresses will be updated using the information supplied on the renewal slips for the 2019-20 session.

Society visit to the Trades Hall of Glasgow: 2.00 pm, Thursday 10th October 2019

This year's afternoon outing is to the Trades Hall of Glasgow, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UH on Thursday 10th October at 2.00 pm. The Robert Adams designed Trades Hall completed in 1794 is the home of the Trades House established in 1605 and its 14 Incorporated Crafts such as Hammermen, Maltmen, Tailors etc. With funds in excess of £18 million, the Trades House nowadays focuses on making charitable and educational donations to deserving causes and individuals across the West of Scotland linked to the original trades represented.

The Trades Hall in Glassford Street. (© I.S.Ruddock)
As with previous afternoon outings, transport will NOT be provided by KDSA and interested members will therefore have to make their own arrangements to reach the Trades Hall by 2.00 pm. Since it is near George Square, it is easy to reach from Queen Street Station or Buchanan Bus Station. Car parking is limited in the immediate environs of the Trades Hall and is not recommended. If you do decide to attend, please assemble at the door or reception area of the Trades Hall by 2.00 pm where we will be met by a member of staff for a guided tour of about one hour. 

It is hoped that a good number of members will take part in this first outing of the new 2019-20 season. Final numbers need to be known in advance of the visit by Tuesday 8th October; please contact the Society via email - kdsantiquaries"at"gmail.com – or by telephone at 0141-775-1716 (Ivan).

Don Martin: The Railways of Kirkintilloch - Part 2: Thursday 3rd October 2019

KDSA Secretary Don Martin this year re-visits one of his favourite subjects and will present Part 2 of his overview of "The Railways of Kirkintilloch". Kirkintilloch’s railway history is certainly distinctive. It began with one of Scotland’s earliest public railways, the Monkland & Kirkintilloch, in 1826, and ended with a comprehensive blow of the Beeching axe in 1966, surely one of the most illogical closures of that era. Over these years Kirkintilloch served first as a connecting link between the railway system and the Scottish canal network (including ‘train ferries’ for mineral wagons), and later as a significant railway centre in its own right, with a range of junctions connecting different lines. Passenger traffic ended in 1964, since when Kirkintilloch has arguably been the largest town in Scotland without this facility.

In his talk, Don will concentrate on the vanished railway scene around Kirkintilloch illustrating his presentation with some of his own photographs taken in the 1960s.

A train passing under the Luggie Water Aqueduct, Kirkintilloch, 1961. (© D.Martin)

Back o'Loch Halt, Kirkintilloch, 1960. (© D.Martin)
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 but visitors are welcome at all of the Society's evening meetings.

Update on Doors Open 2019: Saturday 7th September

The Society contributed to this year's Doors Open programme in East Dunbartonshire on Saturday 7th September by its presence in the Town Hall and by hosting a guided historical walk in the Auld Aisle Cemetery.

In the refurbished Town Hall, the Society provided an overview of its activities and photographs of 'old' Kirkintilloch using a display of photographs assembled by Don Martin and two projected PowerPoint presentations. Various committee members and office bearers - Rita Bennie, Liz Coroon, David Graham, Valerie McClure, Louise Nixon, Murray Reid and Ivan Ruddock - were in attendance during the day to provide information and answer visitors' questions.

The Society's stand in the Town Hall. (© I.S.Ruddock)

The display of photographs in the Town Hall(© I.S.Ruddock)

The afternoon tour of the Auld Aisle Cemetery started with an introductory talk by Don Martin about the history of the Cemetery dating back to the 12th Century, the different spellings of Lenzie and their pronunciation together with stories about the activity of Resurrectionists who robbed graves for medical research. This was followed by visits to nine headstones of particular historical and cultural interest - a worker engaged on the construction of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, a carrier, a poet, a canal boat owner and entrepreneur, a scientist, a philanthropist, a priest and an engineer now recognised as the 'Father of Television' by the award of an Emmy - where Ros McMeekin, Don Martin and Ivan Ruddock outlined their lives and careers. At the end of the afternoon the twenty strong group was reminded of the history of the Spider Bridge, a right of way that linked Waterside with Kirkintilloch Station in Lenzie, by local businessman and photographer Edward Z Smith.
(David Graham and Ivan Ruddock)

Ros McMeekin at Beatrice Clugston's
vandalised grave. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Don Martin speaking to the group in the old part of
the Cemetery. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Ivan Ruddock summarising the life and career 
of Alexander Bain. (© R.Ruddock)
Edward Z Smith (right) describing the Spider Bridge with 
the assistance of Matt Wilson. (© I.S.Ruddock) 

Doors Open: Saturday 7th September 2019

Doors Open Day for 2019 in East Dunbartonshire is Saturday 7th September and Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries will again be participating. The Society will have a display in Kirkintilloch Town Hall (10am - 4pm) of historic photographs and information on its activities, while at 2pm there will be a guided walk around Kirkintilloch's Auld Aisle Cemetery. During the walk, the significance of the belfry will be explained, the backgrounds of some of the personalities buried there will be given and the Spider Bridge, which used to span part of the cemetery, will be described. Intending participants on the walk should assemble at 2pm at the cemetery's main entrance at the top of Auld Aisle Road off Waterside Road.

The full programme for this year's Doors Open Day in East Dunbartonshire may be found by clicking here.

The belfry at the entrance to the Auld Aisle Cemetery. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Report on the Summer Outing: Saturday 1st June 2019

On Saturday 1st June at noon, 30 members and guests set off on the Society's annual Summer Outing – this year to Dundee to visit Discovery Point and the V&A. Arrival at the museums at 1.45pm gave us three hours to explore both locations in the good weather which lasted all day.

The V&A and RSS Discovery in Dundee. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Discovery Point features both an extensive exhibition on Polar exploration and the RSS Discovery. The latter, launched in 1901 in Dundee, was the last three masted wooden ship to be built in the United Kingdom and carried Scott and Shackleton on 1901-04 British National Antarctic Expedition. After further scientific voyages and a period as a merchant ship, it ended its days as a training base on the Thames before being brought back to Dundee in 1986 for preservation and restoration. The two elements of Discovery Point combine to tell a fascinating story that one can only get a flavour of in the couple of hours available during an afternoon visit.

Participants on the Outing in front of the
RSS Discovery. (© I.S.Ruddock)
Members of the Society outside the
V&A, Dundee. (© I.S.Ruddock)

Members were advised to make their way across to the adjacent V&A at about 3.30pm to see the building and to view the permanent Scottish Design Gallery. This gallery provides a representative cross-section of Scottish arts and crafts including silverware, furniture, fashion, engineering and the media and was of such a scale that it could be comfortably browsed in the time available on the Outing. 

The atrium of the V&A Dundee: can you spot any members of the Society?
(© I.S.Ruddock)

An enjoyable afternoon was completed with dinner at the King Robert Hotel, Bannockburn, following which the group returned to Kirkintilloch soon after the scheduled time of 8.15pm.

Some of the Society members and guests who went on the 2019 Outing.
(© I.S.Ruddock)

The Society's Data Protection Policy

At the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 11th April 2019, committee member Louise Nixon gave a short presentation on the Society's new Privacy Policy. She had recently written the document in her role as Data Protection Officer to ensure that the Society complies with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) which relates to the handling and security of personal data.

The Privacy Policy describes members' rights under GDPR, the type of data collected by the Society, and how it is stored and used. It also discusses the Society's website, the issue of photographs taken during Society events and how a member may complain to the United Kingdom's Information Commissioner. 

All members should be aware of the Policy's content and can obtain a copy by clicking here.

Annual General Meeting: Thursday 11th April 2019

This session's Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 11th April 2019 at 7.30 pm and it 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 membership of the committee - for which nominations are sought for the current vacancies - will be confirmed. As this is the last meeting in the 2018-19 programme, it is also a convenient time to make any outstanding payments for this year's Summer Outing to Dundee.

Victoria and Albert Museum and the adjacent RSS Discovery, Dundee. (© I.S. Ruddock)
All evening meetings of the Society are at 7.30 pm in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF.

Niall Logan: Duping the Luftwaffe - bomber decoys of World War II: Thursday 7th March 2019

Some cities of the United Kingdom were defended by decoy sites in which glowing lights or flames were used to give enemy aircraft the impression they were over the cities under attack when in reality they many miles away. In the case of Glasgow, these were located both north and south of the River Clyde.

Prof. Niall Logan is a member of the Society and has previously spoken to it on the boundary stones of Baldernock Parish. In this presentation he will describe the use of decoy sites and identify those nearby in the foothills of the Campsies.

On Sunday 3rd March, Niall will also lead a walk to the remains of a decoy site on Blairskaith Muir as part of the programme for EDLC's 2019 Local History Week. Full details are given in the Local History Week brochure which can be downloaded here from EDLC's website.

Niall Logan describing bomber decoys in the
Campsie Fells during a guided walk for members
of the Antiquaries in 2017. (© 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 but visitors are welcome at all of the Society's evening meetings with a donation of £3.

Edward Z. Smith: A Waterside Miscellany: Auld Kirk Museum, Barony Chambers, 2.00 pm Wednesday 6th March 2019

Each year the Society hosts an event in the programme of East Dunbartonshire's Local History Week. In 2019, local man and photographer Edward Z. Smith will present "A Waterside Miscellany". The meeting will be held in The Barony Chambers at Kirkintilloch's Auld Kirk Museum on Wednesday 6th March at 2.00 pm and members and non-members are all welcome.

Stepping stones near Waterside. (© E.Z. Smith)

Summer Outing: Saturday 1st June 2019

This year the Society's annual Summer Outing will be on Saturday 1st June 2019 to Dundee's new Victoria and Albert Museum and the nearby Discovery Point and RSS Discovery. It is anticipated that members will be able to spend approximately one and a half hours in each venue which is sufficient time to do justice to both. Please note that although a full tour of RSS Discovery involves going below deck via narrow stairs, Discovery Point and the upper deck of the ship are accessible for all.

Victoria and Albert Museum and the adjacent RSS Discovery, Dundee. (© I.S. Ruddock)

The coach will leave Sainsbury's car park, Kirkintilloch at 12.00 noon, returning in the evening at about 8.15 pm after an early dinner in the King Robert Hotel, Bannockburn. Notwithstanding the earlier start at midday, which is to make the most of the afternoon, there will not be a lunch break as both museums have cafes where refreshments can be purchased if necessary. The ticket price is £30. Please contact the Society through its email address if you are interested in taking part or have any queries.

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)
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.

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.