Scranalogue

Culture Heritage Learning

Women’s Voices from the Scottish Borders

November 16, 2015 by User deactivated | 0 comments

Remembering domestic servants, shorthand typists, cinema pianists and suffragettes: new soundbites from the Ian Landles Oral History Archive

We’re releasing some more soundbites from the Ian Landles Oral History Archive this week. This time we’re showcasing the stories of women from the Scottish Borders.

You’ll hear from Mrs Oliver (b.1901) about her experiences as a pianist working in cinemas in Hawick – ‘The Piv’ and ‘The Wee Thee’ – providing the soundtrack for silent movies. Mrs Oliver also worked as a shorthand typist and she talks about this in a second soundbite. We learn how she perfected her shorthand by sitting in the back of church during services and noting down the sermons.

Other women talk about their memories of the suffrage movement in the years leading up to the First World War. Mrs Stewart (b.1881) remembers suffragettes coming to Hawick and Mrs Thomson tells us how the activists gained a reputation amongst the locals: ‘they come to burn hooses doon’.

A number of women in the Borders worked in service in the early 20th century at the many country houses and estates across the region. Catherine McLeish (b.1902) and Meg Wilson (b.1893) share their experiences.

Follow us on Twitter and watch our Twitterfeed from tomorrow to catch these soundbites.

The Ian Landles Archive is a series of interviews and sound recordings collected by local historian Ian Landles between the 1960s and 2010. The collection, originally started in order to preserve the memories of local men who had fought in World War One, also contains testimonies from local women and material on The Hawick Common Riding, poetry, music, the railways, farming life and mill life. The original full interviews are held on audio cassette tape by Scottish Borders Council Archive Services at the Heritage Hub in Hawick. To listen to all interviews from the Ian Landles Archive currently held on Scran click here.

Images © Aberdeen City Council, Hulton Getty, Dalmellington & District Conservation Trust | Licensor Scran

On Show at the Colony of Artists

September 14, 2015 by User deactivated | 0 comments

Archive images from Scran were exhibited this weekend as part of the 10th annual Colony of Artists event at Abbeyhill in Edinburgh

Colony of Artists takes place every September when residents of Abbeyhill Colonies, a series of streets in the east of the city, open their doors to the public to show a varied collection of artworks that they have produced. More than 30 artists in 20 venues open their homes, to show painting, drawing, photography, mixed media and much more. In recent years this mix has grown to include music, storytelling, baking and street performance.

coloneyofartistsScran’s images were first used in last year’s event when Neil Gregory of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), joined forces with Abbeyhill resident Hilary Burwell to produce a pop-up exhibition about the history of buildings in the area. This showcased some of the area’s now defunct industries, churches and former school buildings. Many of the photographs in this exhibition came from the archives of RCAHMS and were taken as part of the organisation’s remit to survey and record Scotland’s built environment, particularly sites under threat from demolition or radical alteration. Scran was able to offer a social historical perspective to the show, as Neil Gregory pointed out: ‘The images on Scran, especially pictures from the Scotsman archive, were perfect for adding social context to the pictures of local buildings that we were showing, and it triggered so many memories for residents.’

abbeyhillThis year saw Hilary scale-up the exhibition, moving venue from her own home in the Colonies to the nearby Artisan Bar. Moving images, oral histories and portraits of local residents also formed part of the show and residents were encouraged to contribute their own archive material to the event.

A favourite Scran image on show featured a lorry crashing into the Artisan pub building on London Road. ‘This really got the stories going,’ commented Neil Gregory, ‘A lot of people remembered this event from 1969 and the near catastrophe that could have happened if the driver hadn’t had his wits about him as his vehicle careered down Montrose Terrace!’

Images © N Gregory, The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Morningside Memories at The Open Door

September 4, 2015 by User deactivated | 0 comments

Scran shares its images with the Good Neighbour Club at The Open Door in Edinburgh

The Open Door, is a vibrant social centre in the capital’s Morningside. It runs a successful cafe and offers day services and art and creative writing groups for older people, people with mental health issues and other vulnerable people. The Good Neighbours Club meets here every Tuesday.

Morningside Road Station

Scran was invited to join the group to present a slideshow showcasing local content from the Scran website. Eighteenth-century maps and early photographs from our RCAHMS collections took us back to a time when Morningside was simply described as ‘a row of thatched cottages, a line of trees and a blacksmith’s forge’. Photographs from our Scotsman collections led us through 20th-century Morningside where we encountered steam trains and trams and the sad demise of Morningside Road Station. Shops on Morningside Road, schools, cinemas and public houses all featured. The session stirred some interesting chat about school days, wartime evacuation and local dance halls.

It was exciting to discover that The Open Door’s premises are situated adjacent to the former site of the railway station and exiting the building via a side door brought us bang up to date as we were privy to views of the deserted old station platform and the former ticket office, now the home of a chartered accountants and a newsagents.

Scran is a rich source of material for reminiscence practice. Our 20th century social history collections include The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Hulton Getty and the Scottish Life Archive. There’s also audio and video material available. Reminiscence Kits on Scran offer curated collections of images on themes such as Tenement Life, Stars of the Movies and Man on the Moon.

For more images of Morningside through history have a look at our Pathfinder: Looking Back at Morningside, Edinburgh.

Image © The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Station Master and Head Driver tend flower beds at Morningside Road Station, Edinburgh. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

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