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Discover The Story of Angus
The rich story of Angus, past and present, steps into the spotlight next month, when Angus Heritage Week 2014 is celebrated across the county from 5-12 September.
“Angus Heritage Week highlights the history, heritage, culture and traditions of Angus with 38 events in castles, museums, mansions, libraries, colleges and visitor attractions across the county,” said Cllr Alex King, Depute Provost of Angus. “Several events will take place outside, including expert-led guided tours of Monifieth Graveyard, the Victorian reservoir at Crombie Country Park and Arbroath Harbour.
“Angus Heritage Week is an excellent way to find out more about Angus in days gone by and also, as it incorporates Doors Open Days, to explore some of the most interesting buildings in our county.”
Doors Open Days is co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and, in Angus, takes place over the first weekend of Angus Heritage Week 2014 – September 6 and 7. Doors Open Days provide free access to historic, contemporary and unusual buildings and, this year, feature 26 Angus premises and, through the Open Gates programme, two beautiful gardens.
The Inglis Memorial Library in Edzell is taking part in Doors Open Days for the first time. This stunning 19th century building was built by Lieutenant Colonel RW Inglis in memory of his parents. Considered one of the finest examples of a Victorian public library in the UK, the Inglis Memorial Library has recently been restored and features the 6,000 books which were available for lending when the library opened in 1898.
Another new addition to the Doors Open Days programme is Forfar Indoor Sports. As well as being able to tour the sports complex, which features a curling rink, six-rink bowling arena, skating and roller skating facilities, Doors Open Days’ visitors will be able to try roller skating and bowling.
Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is also making its Doors Open Days debut. Entry to the award-winning Scottish Wildlife Trust visitor centre will be free on Saturday, 6 September, when visitors will be able watch the birds and seals at Montrose Basin Nature Reserve using the centre’s high-powered binoculars and telescopes.
Other events happening during the first weekend of Angus Heritage Week include a Tayroots Family History Day at Dundee & Angus College, Arbroath on September 5; Kirriemuir Festival of Music & Song from Friday, 5 September until Sunday, 7 September; and pirates holding the Caledonian Railway to ransom during a fun family day at Brechin Railway Station on Sunday, 7 September.
Angus Heritage Week events continue throughout the next week – full details can be found at www.angusheritage.com/heritageweek or pick up a copy of the Angus Heritage Week Event Guide at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries, museums and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife.
Sally’s Tay Roots Stretch From Tasmania to Inverkeilor
Following the recent discovery that her great-great-great grandparents were from the Angus village of Inverkeilor, Sally Cornish, who is a drummer in the Tasmania Police Pipe Band, decided to squeeze in a visit to this part of Scotland between appearances at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
“My maternal great-great-great grandparents, John Hay and Margaret Jolly, married in Inverkeilor Church in 1829,” said Sally, who is from Hobart, Tasmania. “It was completely overwhelming to be in the village where my ancestors lived over 200 years ago.”
As Sally explored the kirkyard at Inverkeilor Church, she revealed that the church was the scene of a pivotal moment in her family’s history. “Research carried out by one of my Australian cousins discovered that, according to the Parish records of 1809, John Hay’s mother, Janet Doig, appeared in front of Inverkeilor’s Kirk Session after she confessed she was ‘with child’,” explained Sally.
“The records also note the father of Janet’s baby – also called John Hay – had run away to England and that, after she ‘confessed her repentance’, Janet was fined the considerable sum of £1.
“It’s strange to be standing in the church where Janet was publicly shamed for being pregnant, abandoned and alone.”
En-route to Inverkeilor, Sally stopped off at the Angus Archives, where 800 years of historical documents relating to the county are stored. “Thanks to the invaluable help of the team at the Angus Archives, including one of the volunteers, Grant, I also visited three farms between Arbroath and Montrose which feature in my family tree,” continued Sally.
“To look across fields where my ancestors once toiled, see the remains of the cottages where they may have lived and visit the village where they went to church was a surreal experience – and something I shall never forget. This visit – and the background information I received at the Angus Archives – has given such an insight into my ancestors’ lives.”
Sally explained that her great-great-great grandparents sailed to Australia with their four children in 1839. “The Hays settled in New South Wales but, two years later, moved to Tasmania,” said Sally, who has always been very aware of her family’s Scottish connection.
“I’ve always been so proud of my Scottish roots – and now I’ve seen where my forebears lived, I feel even more connected to my ancestral homeland and to my Hay ancestors.”
People from near and far who are keen to find out more about their family’s roots will be able to obtain advice, information and access to a wide range of resources at the Tayroots Family History Day at Angus & Dundee College in Arbroath on Friday, September 5. The Tayroots Family History Day, which is the opening event in this year’s Angus Heritage Week, will feature a highly-informative programme of workshops and talks, including how to use Kirk Session Records, the historical documents which provided vital information about Sally’s great-great-great-great grandmother, Janet Doig.
There will also be a talk about Montrose in the First World War by historian Dr Dan Paton and a talk by Caroline Brown, archivist at the University of Dundee, which will focus on the wealth of information available in historical hospital records.
Entrance to the Family History Day is free but, as previous Tayroots events have proved extremely popular, booking is advisable for the talks and workshops. To book, or to find out more about the Tayroots Family History Day on September 5, visit www.angusheritage.com/tayroots or call 01307 473226. To find out more about the many other events happening during Angus Heritage Week 2014, visit www.angusheritage.com/heritageweek or pick up a copy of the Angus Heritage Week Event Guide at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries, museums and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife.
Harley Davidson in the City
Motorcycles filled the streets of Brechin for the third Harley Davidson ride out in the city. Bikes of all shapes, sizes and makes took part in the ride out today which left Brechin at 12 noon for the third ride out to the home of the Davidson name in Angus Alexander and Mary Davidson’s cottage in Aberlemno. Alexander Davidson left for America in 1857 and it was his three grandchildren who helped start the company which would become such a famous brand. Local retailers helped by displaying black and orange balloons outside their premises and the closed streets allowed a carnival atmosphere in the city.
The Davidson Legacy http://www.thedavidsonlegacy.com/
Giant walk in Honda engine at Glamis Extravaganza
As part of this weekends Glamis Extravaganza West End Motors in Dundee have taken a giant walk in Honda engine to the show. As well as letting you walk through an engine there is are also displays of Hondas engine amongst the vintage cars and new Honda and Suzuki models on display.
The Glamis Extravaganza continues tomorrow when the event begins its competitions and judging.
Fiddlers on the stage
Proving that you don’t have to be a spring chicken or thrashing an electric guitar to be featured on The Dundee Channel, tonight we joined the Fiddlers Rally as part of the filming for Broughty Ferry Gala Week, for some traditional Scottish music, singing, humour and Dundee songs. Just like earlier in the week there will be video to follow.
First in France for Montrose Air Station
NATIONAL EVENT TO REMEMBER MONTROSE AIR STATION’S WORLD WAR 1 PILOTS
On August 2 and 3, Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre will host First In France, one of the first national events commemorating the 100thanniversary of the outbreak of World War 1.
The picture shows Montrose Air Station in 1917.
Montrose Air Station, which is on the outskirts of the Angus town of Montrose, was established by the Royal Flying Corps’ II (AC) Squadron in 1913. Eighteen months later, the Squadron’s pilots had taken to the skies in their biplanes, en-route to France and the First World War’s deadly, and ultimately decisive, Battle in the Air.
“II (AC) Squadron left Montrose Air Station on August 3, 1914 – the day before Britain declared war on Germany,” said Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre Curator and aviation historian, Dr Dan Paton. “Their biplanes had no armament and no parachutes as their intended role was reconnaissance, providing the army with vital information about the German Army’s movements.”
II (AC) Squadron met up with the other three RFC Squadrons at Dover and, as dawn broke on August 13, 1914, the Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Major Charles Burke, led his men into the air and they flew to Amiens. ‘As I was gliding down, I saw another machine – Harvey Kelly,’ wrote Major Burke -II (AC) Squadron’s Lieutenant Harvey Kelly had become the first British pilot to land on French soil following the outbreak of war.
The RFC’s reconnaissance role soon expanded to include fighting over the French battlefields and, two weeks after his historic landing, Lt Harvey Kelly became the first British pilot to down an enemy aircraft. However, the Battle In the Air took a heavy toll on the men who had been based at Montrose and Lt Harvey Kelly, and many of his II (AC) Squadron comrades, failed to fly home.
“Our First In France event is our way of remembering Montrose Air Station’s pioneering pilots and all the brave men and women of the RFC and RAF who were based at Montrose from 1914 – 1918,” said Dan.
First In France is being organised by Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre in partnership with the RAF and the Western Front Association and will begin with a day of special events. “It’s so important to remember the First World War and how it shaped the world we’re in today,” continued Dan.
“To encourage as many people as possible to come along to our weekend of commemoration, on Saturday, August 2, entry to Montrose Air Station will be free. As well as all our usual exhibits relating to the story of Montrose Air Station and those who were based there, there will be lots of other things to see and do. The full programme can be viewed at www.rafmontrose.org.uk and includes children’s activities highlighting the lasting legacy of World War 1, a vintage aircraft display and a thrilling re-enactment of a dogfight by replica biplanes similar to those flown by II (AC) Squadron 1914 pilots.”
On Sunday, August 3, the Heritage Centre’s First In France Project will be launched at a private reception by the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne. The Lord Lieutenant will formally open the new building which will display the Heritage Centre’s World War 1 Collection, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This high-profile event, made possible by grants from Angus Council and Museums Galleries Scotland, will be attended by specially-invited guests, including local dignitaries, senior RAF officers, representatives of II (AC) Squadron and members, supporters and sponsors of the Heritage Centre.
Wing Commander Blythe Crawford of RAF Leuchars is one of several RAF representatives who will be attending the event. “We are humbled to be invited and thank the team for all their efforts in putting together the First In France event,” said Wing Commander Crawford.
“Montrose Air Station was vital to the air effort in WWI. Firstly, as the home of II(AC) Squadron, which was the first to deploy to France and, secondly, as a training base for RFC and, subsequently, RAF pilots throughout the war,” continued Wing Commander Blythe. “The RAF is immensely proud to be associated with Montrose Air Station, which will remain a perpetual memorial to all those who served not just at Montrose but across the RFC and RAF.”
There will also be some very important guests at the launch – relatives of the men and women who served at RFC/RAF Montrose during World War 1, including John Simson, the nephew of one of the Air Station’s World War 1 flying instructors. “I am delighted to have been invited to this event,” said Mr Simson. “I am sure my uncle Eric would have felt honoured to be remembered for his service at Montrose and would have wanted this recognition to be shared in full with his comrades, both men and women and of all ranks.”
For more information about Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre’s First In France event on August 2 and 3, visit www.rafmontrose.org.uk.
Dundee Channel to film this years YeAABA Monifieth Championship
Dundee Channel is to record this years Monifieth Championship swim held by Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association. The association which is over 130 years old retains a passion for open-water swimming which has been the main part of its identity since those far off days of swimmers that would go for their regular daily ‘Dook’ (before the regular use of indoor swimming pools) from Broughty Pier into the River Tay. *As ‘immortalised’ in the poems of William Topaz McGonagall.
This filming follows on from the successful filming of The New Year Dook and if you need reminded how that went the video is below.
The Monifieth Championship is a sea swim in the River Tay approx 3.25 miles. Its takes places on Saturday 28th June 2014 at 14:45. It starts at Monifieth and ends at Broughty Ferry Harbour. More details can be found here http://www.yeaaba.org.uk/monifieth-championship
Provost welcomes Prestonpans Tapestry to Perth
Perth and Kinross Provost Liz Grant hosted a civic reception to welcome the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry to Perth. The tapestry will be on display within St John’s Kirk, Perth until 31 July. The Prestonpans Tapestry, hailed as the longest in the world at 104 metres long, is a breathtaking tribute to the Jacobite rising of 1745, led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was painstakingly created by over 200 volunteers from across Scotland and around the world and contains over 10 million stitches. Completed in 2010, each of the 104 metre-wide panels depicts a scene from the Prince’s early campaign – from his landing on Eriskay to his victory at the Battle of Prestonpans. Provost Grant said: “It is a privilege to welcome the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry to Perth. This was such an exciting project to record the Jacobite rising in a unique way, and it’s absolutely awe inspiring to see the end result up close. “Displaying this tapestry is a challenge in itself because of its sheer size, but the historic surroundings of St John’s Kirk do it justice. I have to pay tribute to all of the people involved in making this exhibition possible. I would encourage everyone who can to visit the Kirk while the tapestry is here and see it for themselves. The Prestonpans Tapestry is an initiative of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust. Set up to campaign for the recognition of this defining period in Scotland’s history, the Trust has worked tirelessly to secure its place in the nation’s consciousness.
Green summer ahead for Tayside conservation group
Click the photo below to play video
Brash-tidying at The Hermitage, tree-cutting at Branklyn Garden and removing invasive species at the House of the Binns are all on the agenda this summer for the National Trust for Scotland’s Tayside Conservation Volunteer Group.
The group has dozens of members who regularly donate their time and talent to the conservation charity, going out on conservation projects at National Trust for Scotland properties across Perthshire, Angus and beyond.
They are always looking for new members.
Conservation Volunteer Co-ordinator Julie Bond said:
“There is a packed programme for this summer, with projects planned in some of Scotland’s most stunning countryside and gardens. Volunteering with the Trust is a great opportunity to get out, explore your outdoors and play a key part in caring for our countryside too. We also know that volunteering makes you happy – what better reason to get involved?”
Travel, accommodation and meals are all organised for volunteers signing up for these projects. For more information on becoming a conservation volunteer and the full programme, visit http://www.nts.org.uk/Volunteering/Outdoor/.
Drum Castle Banchory hosts a display of fashion design
Drum starts new season in style
The National Trust for Scotland’s historic Drum Castle near Banchory takes a trendy turn this springtime, as it hosts a display of fashion design.
The small exhibition commences on 3 April when the castle re-opens to the public for the visitor season. It features the artwork for a bespoke series of t-shirts designed for Trust properties in the North East, Angus and Moray by students from Gray’s School of Art.
The pieces have been selected following a competition with the 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates studying the BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design.
Drum Castle’s beautiful library will be the setting for the simple exhibition of the 13 pieces. The library is currently under wraps while a repair and restoration project concludes on the castle’s medieval tower, providing a neutral backdrop to the unusual, bold and beautiful designs.
Drum Property Manager and project manager, Alison Burke said:
“We’ve tapped into the creativity of some of Scotland’s most promising fashion and textile students to provide a completely fresh take on Drum Castle and the Trust’s other gems in the North East and beyond.
“We asked students to come up with stunning designs that are inspired by those beautiful places, but which also come at these historic sites with a contemporary attitude.
“The winning designs are striking, individual and will look fantastic on t-shirts to be snapped up and sported by visitors to our properties, supporting new design talent and raising vital funds for the Trust’s conservation work at the same time.”
Thirteen of the exhibited designs, inspired by Brodie Castle, Castle Fraser, Craigievar Castle, Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Fyvie Castle, Haddo House, House of Dun, Leith Hall, Mar Lodge Estate and Pitmedden Garden will be printed up on t-shirts which will be available for sale at selected Trust sites from 1 June 2014.
Drum Castle re-opens for the 2014 visitor season on 29 March. It offers a unique architectural combination in Scotland – a square tower, and a Jacobean mansion house with exuberant Victorian additions. Inside there’s a superb collection of furniture and fine paintings dating back to the days of the Irvine family who lived here from 1323 to 1975.
The medieval tower at Drum is currently under scaffold as major repairs are underway. The £700,000 project is funded by a grant from the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA which was made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor and Historic Scotland.
For more information on Drum’s huge range of activities, follow them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/
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