Past Meetings

As examples of the interesting talks which have been held in previous sessions at the Society, the list shown opposite are ones which the Society has heard in the past.

PROGRAMME FOR 2013-2014

2013
Beauty and the Banknote.
The Images of women appearing on banknotes over the past two centuries. Virginia Hewitt, former curator at the British Museum

The Mystery of HMS Dasher
This vessel exploded off Arran in March, 1943 killing 379 people, but only 23 bodies are in marked graves. John Steele, a writer from Ardrossan, believes this was a cover up by the British Admiralty.

The History of the Glasgow Undergrounds. The well known broadcaster Colin MacKay has made a study of these, one of which predates the London system. A new light on our well loved Clockwork Orange.

2014
Kidnapped and the Appin Murder
Did Alan Breck really kill the Red Fox and then flee across half of Scotland together with David Balfour? Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "Kidnapped" around this incident and there is a Stevenson Way tracing their flight, which finishes up in Corstorphine where the two bronze figures can be seen. Our speaker Ian Logan has made a study of this.

The Poor Law Archive.
Dr. Irene O'Brien
is chief archivist at the Mitchell Library and a specialist in family history.

On the Trail of Queen Victoria in the Highlands and Mountaineering Ascents in the Cairngorms.
Mr. Ian Mitchell
, a historian, traveller and author, has published a book on the subject which won the Outdoor Writers' Guild for Excellence.

Members' Night - short talks...
Benbecula, the Dark Island.
Keystone Mill, Milngavie.

PROGRAMME FOR 2014-2015

2014
Mary, Queen of Scots.
Margaret Lumsdaine
, President of the Marie Stuart Society cast a new light on the life and times of the tragic queen.

Charles Dickens and the Art of Medical Observation
Professor Ian Bone
, a Neurologist, gave an insight into Dickens’ amazing knowledge of medical conditions as shown in his novels.

The Selden Map of China
Vanessa Collingridge
, the well known broadcaster and author, made a welcome return visit, this time opening up a fascinating find of a 400 year old map throwing new light on Chinese trading.

2015
I Went to Tristan
Jimmy Crawford
recounted his visits to the island of Tristan da Cunha, a tiny speck in the South Atlantic. A volcanic eruption in 1961 caused the islanders to evacuate but returned in 1963.

The Jewels of Maryhill
Dr. Gordon Barr
is the Heritage Development Officer for Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust and told of the newly renovated halls, particularly the stunning stained glass windows from 1878 which showcase twenty of the historic trades of the area.

Gecas The War Criminal who lived in Edinburgh
Mr. Len Murray
, retired solicitor, was professionally involved with this person who unfortunately was never brought to justice.

Members' Night - short talks...
The Great Tapestry of Scotland
The Ha-has of Dougalston
The Great Railway Races.


PROGRAMME FOR 2015-2016

2015
Christian Cadell - The Witch Pricker of Nairn
Susan Morrison the well known historian and comedienne told the bewitching story of this extraordinary character living in the 1660s. Not for the faint hearted.

John Rae and the North-West Passage
Dr. David Lawson with his affection for Orkney where John Rae was born related the courageous journey taken by him through the Arctic and beyond to find this elusive seaway. His pioneering work is at last being appreciated albeit a century after his death.

The First and Last British Armoured Battleship Afloat
Hamish MacDougall, our last chairman, talked about HMS Warrior, from 1860 to today (and forever)

2016


The Art of Forgery
Professor Roy Burdon gave an insight into whether it is Fake or Fortune. The historical problems which confront potential art buyers and art forgers will be explored along with forgers’ preferences and reasons for pursuing the trade.

Working Class Courtship and Marriage, 1855-1939
Our speaker focussed on the diverse nature of the working class family and illustrated how premarital sex, cohabitation and marriage breakdown are by no means new phenomena.

The history of the Glasgow Veterinary School
Professor Oswald Jarrett told of the modest beginnings in a small shoeing forge in Sauchiehall Lane in 1862 to the present large complex at Garscube Estate. The School has been at the forefront of innovation in animal welfare, public health, basic research and veterinary education. Recent research has been done on the feline leukaemia virus.

AGM and Members' Night
Short talks on:
The Tay rail bridge disaster
Palmyra in Syria

PROGRAMME FOR 2016-2017

2016
Making Archaeology and its Sciences do Something Useful
Dr. Brian Moffat made a welcome return to give an update of the investigations at the mediaeval hospital at Soutra; exotic plants brought in for medical purposes still in use today and other strangely prophetic skills.

The Key to the Punjab - the Great Sikh Fortress of Govindgarh, Amritsar
Tom Addyman is an archaeology expert and involved in a major project to preserve a “Unique Indian Fortress” adjacent to the major city of Amritsar – famed for its golden temple.

The Archaeology of the Islands of Loch Lomond
Fiona Baker is a consultant archaeologist. She was responsible for The Loch Lomond Survey carried out between 1995-98 which was commissioned by the Friends of Loch Lomond. She works all over Scotland at present dealing with river hydro schemes.

2017


Old Glasgow Through the Lens
Mr. Douglas Annan gave a wonderful tour of Glasgow from his collection of old photos from the Annan collection dating back as far as 1855.

The Comet, the Clyde and the Commerce
Mr. Burns Shearar's talk presented a picture of the problems facing travellers on Clydeside in the early 1800s, the successes and disaster which befell The Comet, the perils of early steam navigation and the quite amazing development of the shipyards on the Clyde.

The Final Years of British Rule in Africa
Mr. Callum Christie was one of the last generation of British district officers and one of a few still able to recount this closing period of British Imperial history through his contemporary letters.

Isabella Elder, the greatest Benefactor Glasgow ever had.
Dr. Joan McAlpine talked on Isabella Elder who inherited her husband’s shipyard on his early death. She died herself in 1905 having left large sums of money to deserving causes e.g. the Fund for Indigent Widows among others. Her portrait hangs in Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

AGM and Members' Night
Short talks on:
The Scottish Bicycle
My Family at War
The island where nothing makes sense.