8th October 2013 HIMALAYAN ADVENTURES – Graham Little
Graham’s talk will major on an expedition he made to the Indian Himalayas in 2007, with Chris Bonington and two other friends, whilst reflecting back upon a number of other Himalayan trips. Graham will consider the nature of risk, success, failure and friendship whilst revelling in the diversity of local culture and scenery. Graham is a geographer by profession but has devoted much of his free time to mountaineering. He was President of The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (1986-89) and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 2000 for his ‘distinguished services to geography and exploration’.
12th November 2013 DIGGING FOR A VICTORY: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF BANNOCKBURN Derek Alexander (Joint Meeting with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society)
Mr. Alexander is Head of Archaeological Services in the National Trust for Scotland. He will review the archaeology of the Wars of Independence and in particular the work that has been done as part of the project to build a new visitor centre to mark the 700th anniversary of the battle.
10th December 2013 BEYOND THE BRIDGES OF THE TWEED – Dr Jim Lyon
A journey along the Tweed from source to sea. The river has been a major obstacle to passage north and south and was first bridged by the Romans. The early crossings were wooden structures and have disappeared without trace. Today the Tweed Valley supports bridges which date from the 16th to the 21st centuries, and several were national, European and world firsts with many still in daily use. The need to build came from military, commercial and social sources. Every crossing has a tale to tell. Jim Lyon is a retired civil engineer and has been involved with projects in many countries, including the design of several major bridges in the UK, Africa and Australia. He is Honorary Professor of Civil Engineering at Glasgow University.
11th February 2014 ENJOYING THE WILD HARVEST OF TWEEDDALE – Fiona Martynoga
Foraging had always been a small but significant part of Fiona’s way of life but it was in 2005, when she spent a year living as if she were in the eighteenth century, that she began to realise its importance for sustaining life, even in the recent past. Discovering some different food plants then, she has gone to find many more. In 2012 she worked with members of the Scottish Wild Harvests Association to produce A Handbook of Scotland’s Wild Harvests. It charts what is readily available around us, not just for eating and drinking but for craft materials, dyestuffs, simple home remedies, firewood and much more. Her illustrated talk will take you on a journey through hedgerows, woodlands, and through time. Fi Martynoga is a writer and museum researcher who lives in Tweeddale.
4th March 2014 BURNS’ TOUR OF THE BORDERS (Part 1) – Ian W. Landles
After the successful publication of a 2nd edition of his poetry in Edinburgh at the end of 1786, Robert Burns was hailed as a sensation. Although flush with money he soon tired of Edinburgh society and decided to see something of his native land. In May 1787 he set out on a tour of the Borders. A Hawick man to the core, Ian’s interests, however, stretch well beyond his native town. He is a minor author and broadcaster, singer-songwriter, poet, charity fund-raiser, First World War Battlefields Tours organiser and is in much demand as a speaker at Burns Suppers.