Programme 2014 – 2015 14th October 2014 “Robert Mathison and the Innerleithen Alpine Club” – Alastair Learmont
The Innerleithen Alpine Club, founded in 1889, was, in many respects, the forerunner of the Tweeddale Society. Its founding President, the charismatic Robert Mathison, an Innerleithen builder, was well known for his knowledge of the natural history and folklore of Tweeddale. Drawing on archive newspaper accounts and contemporary photography, Alastair Learmont traces the club’s development from 1889- 1913, in its cultural and historical setting.
11th November 2014 “The Scottish Colourists” – Dr. Elizabeth Cumming
S. J. Peploe, J. D. Fergusson, G. Leslie Hunter, F. C. B. Cadell were each inspired by both recent Scottish painting and the avant-garde in contemporary French culture, and in particular the modernist works of Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne. They developed an international reputation individually and collectively, and exhibited in Paris, London and America as well as their native Scotland. In this talk Dr Cumming will consider the modernity and traditional values of their work and examine their reception in these countries. She is a freelance art historian and curator, and a research fellow at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
9th December 2014 “If Hitler Comes: Preparing for Invasion: Scotland 1940” – Dr Gordon Barclay
Formerly a Principal Inspector and Head of Policy at Historic Scotland, Dr Barclay will be speaking about his detailed study of the plans to fight off an invading army north of the Border. His book, with the same title as above, is an important contribution to military history. Gordon confesses that “As an archaeologist I have a distrust of secondary sources” and has based his account on diligent research in the war diaries of the units and formations that planned, built and manned the defences, and on his own fieldwork.
10th February 2015 “The Battle of Loos a Century On – a reprise of John Buchan’s talk to the Tweeddale Society on 15th December 1915.” – Alasdair Hutton and Deborah Stewartby
Alasdair will talk about the Battle of Loos, so important to Scotland because of the number of Scots soldiers there, and Deborah will talk about what it was like for those left behind, particularly in Peeblesshire. Alasdair has been a member of the John Buchan Society for most of its thirty five year existence. He was Chairman from 2000 to 2006 and then an Honorary Vice President for seven years. Deborah, granddaughter of John Buchan is also great niece to the Buchans who lived in Bank House, Peebles, including Walter Buchan the first Secretary of the Tweeddale Society. A trustee of the John Buchan Museum, she has been very involved in bringing it to its new home in the Chambers Institution, Peebles.
3rd March 2015 “Robert Burns’s Tour of the Borders (Part 2)” – Ian W. Landles
Robert Burns, after the publication of a 2nd edition of his poetry in Edinburgh at the end of 1786, 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. Ian 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.