William B Black: The Argyll gunpowder industry: Thursday 7th December 2017

For almost a century the glens of Argyll were the scene of an industry that appeared to bely their peaceful atmosphere, the manufacture of gunpowder. Produced primarily to meet the needs of a burgeoning construction industry as 19th century industry expanded, its products were sent not only throughout the United Kingdom but far across the globe. Today silence has returned to these glens but remnants remain of a forgotten industry.

In the Society's December meeting, local historian and long term Antiquaries member, William (Bill) Black, will describe this relatively unknown part of Scotland's industrial history and highlight the artefacts and evidence that can be still be found in that locale.

The monument to the Millhouse Powder Works, Cowal Peninsula 
which was in operation between 1839 and 1921; it comprises 
a test mortar, the timekeeping bell and a plaque commemorating 
employees who died in accidents. (© W.B.Black)

Elizabeth Davidson OBE: Canvas, casts and charcoal: the restoration of the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art: Thursday 2nd November 2017

Three years ago the fire in the Macintosh Building of Glasgow School of Art was watched with horror in Scotland and around the world but a full restoration quickly commenced with completion scheduled for 2018. This project is being coordinated by Ms Elizabeth Davidson who will describe the work at the Society’s November meeting

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with specialisation in Architectural Conservation, Elizabeth has been involved in most aspects of Scotland’s built heritage. As head of Heritage and Design at Glasgow City Council, she was responsible for maintaining the highest standards of historic building repair and maintenance whilst also encouraging the best and most inspirational designs in new development. Previous to this she led the Heritage Lottery funded Townscape Heritage programme to regenerate the Merchant City.

Earlier posts included that of director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charitable property developer rescuing and bringing back to life numerous historic buildings including St Andrew’s Square Church, the Tobacco Merchants House, Wellpark Enterprise Centre and the iconic blue ‘Tardis’ police boxes. Whilst at the Trust, she also pioneered Doors Open Day which introduced the UK’s first free mass architectural participation event, providing access to significant modern and historic buildings and to interiors which had rarely before been glimpsed.

In 2010 Elizabeth was rewarded an OBE for services to conservation and the built heritage in Scotland.

David Forsyth: Hidden histories - the material culture of Jacobitism: Thursday 5th October 2017

The Society begins its 2017-18 programme with a talk by David Forsyth of National Museums Scotland based on "Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites" - an exhibition currently running at the National Museum of Scotland. This is the largest exhibition on the Jacobite Stuarts for over 70 years. It tells the story of the Stuarts’ attempts to regain their lost thrones from the exile of King James VII & II in 1688, until the death in 1807 of Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal York, younger brother of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. 
 
A resident of Kirkintilloch, David Forsyth is Principal Curator of Renaissance to Early Modern Collections in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland. He has curated a number of major exhibitions over his nearly twenty-one years with National Museums and has written widely on the juxtaposition of history and material culture, including contributing to and editing the book to accompany the Bonnie Prince Charlie exhibition and articles in History Scotland, as well as contributing to a number of broadcasts on related topics.

Charles Edward Stuart: "Bonnie Prince Charlie"
 

Doors Open: Saturday 9th September 2017

The Society contributed to this year's Doors Open programme in East Dunbartonshire on Saturday 9th September by its presence in the Park Centre in the morning and by organising a guided historical walk around what was Kirkintilloch Basin, now the Marina, in the afternoon.
In the Park Centre, two PowerPoint presentations showing historic photographs of the town and canal, and the Society's activities and programme were continuously projected; in addition, committee members - Rita Bennie, Ros McMeekin, David Graham and Ivan Ruddock - were present to provide information and answer questions.


Committee members 'manning' the Society's stand.
The presentations showing Society activities and historic photos.
 

In the afternoon, Don Martin, the Society's secretary, led a well supported walk from the Park Centre to the Marina where he described Kirkintilloch's industrial heritage including shipbuilding, iron founding and the role it played in the early days of railways as one terminus of the pioneering Monkland and Kirkintilloch system. 

The Society's secretary explaining the significance of  the Basin
Foundry, formerly located in what is now Kirkintilloch Marina.

Report on "From Stone to Stone" - Baldernock Boundary Walk: Tuesday 22nd August 2017

On Tuesday 22nd August 2017, a rather cool and murky day, ten members of the Society met Professor Niall Logan at 2.00 pm in the car park of Newlands Forest for a guided tour of the boundary stones between the Parishes of Baldernock and Campsie. Suitably clothed and with stout footwear we were reminded of the history of the boundary stones and provided with a map on which the stones of the boundary were numbered and displayed.

 The NE corner of Baldernock Parish showing
a line of boundary stones. (© Niall Logan) 

Briefly, the land was owned by the Duke of Montrose who sold parts of it to adjoining estates. As a result, the boundary between the various parishes changed and in order to better define it a series of stones were positioned in what was originally muir or moorland. Initially easy to identify, over time they had become less prominent and slowly but surely been incorporated into the wetland of the muir. However, some were still sufficiently prominent to be recorded on the 19th Century OS and on estate maps. From being 'arable', much of the land had become forested under the management of the Forestry Commission(FC). With the support of the FC and after the land had been clear felled, Niall explained how with the help of the old maps, the use of modern GPS and a trowel he had been able to identify some fourteen of the original stones embedded in a 'hump' or longitudinally arranged mound of soil and stones that defined the boundary between the two parishes.
 
It was very impressive to see that some of the stones had been carved with the letter 'B' for Baldernock on one side and the letter 'C' for Campsie on the reverse. Although a little difficult to read, one of the stones was also surmounted by “1817”, presumably the year in which the stones were laid.




Niall Logan describing the location. 


The best preserved stone with "B" for Baldernock visible.
The ribbon is to mark the stone during tree felling.
 
All in all a very interesting afternoon much enjoyed by those present with a big 'thank you' to Niall for such an informative and successful visit to the South Brae of Campsie.
 
Members of the group at the conclusion of the walk.
 Report by David Graham

"From Stone to Stone" - Baldernock Boundary Walk: 2.00 pm Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Demarcating stones were formerly a feature of parish boundaries in Scotland but nowadays they seldom survive. However, in our area an interesting sequence can still be seen on the Baldernock/Campsie boundary.

Professor Niall Logan has agreed to provide a guided tour of these stones, as a follow-up to his talk on the subject to the Society last October. This will be held at 2.00 pm on Tuesday 22nd August 2017.

Members should make their way by means of their own transport to Newlands forest car park. Please travel by way of Station Road, Lennoxtown (turning left off Main Street just beyond the Post Office) onto the South Brae of Campsie and continue for almost two miles. The car park is adjacent to a green barrier and as parking is limited, members should share cars wherever possible. Due to the terrain being quite rough, stout footwear is essential.

If the weather is very bad, it might be necessary to cancel the walk. In case of doubt, please phone Don Martin on 0141-578-1127.
 
A boundary stone. (© Niall Logan)
Baldernock Parish. (©  Estate of Ewen Bain)