13th October 2015 “The Royal Palace of Stirling – A Grand Design” – John Donaldson
As a self-taught carver and sculptor, John reproduced, over a period of five years, the Stirling Heads – a series of large carved oak roundels. These are integral to the theme of The Noble Prince, manifested in the sculptural embellishment of James V’s Renaissance Palace of Stirling.
10th November 2015 “Hatless but Happy” – Olive Geddes
Olive is a Curator in the Manuscripts and Archives Collections Division of the National Library of Scotland. By 1820, Scotland was a popular destination for tourists. This talk will discuss the impressions of Scotland left by four very different lady travellers – bohemian, famous and obscure, and how their views of the country changed over the next hundred years.
8th December 2015 “The Peebles Silver Arrow Shoot” – Alan Simpson
Alan is a civil engineer, a retired partner of Consulting Engineers, Fairhurst; ex-Chairman of the Scottish National Youth Orchestra, and of the Trustees of Stirling University. As a member of the Royal Company of Archers, he will outline their history and association with the Silver Arrow Shoot in Peebles, due to take place in summer 2016.
12th January 2016 “The 1884 Reform Agitation in Peeblesshire & the Borders” – Dr. Mark Nixon
Dr. Nixon is an independent researcher and curator working with Universities and Museums throughout Scotland. This talk focuses on the unrest created by the movement to extend the vote to workers in small towns and rural areas of Scotland. The men and women of the Border counties played their part, marching and demonstrating in towns and villages across the district, including Peebles.
9th February 2016 “One Small Step for Amphibians, but a Giant Leap for Life on Earth” – Dr. Nick Fraser
The evolution of vertebrates from water to land some 350 million years ago is a major step in the history of life on earth. Until recently, there was a worldwide gap in the fossil record but discoveries in the Borders have filled this gap. Dr. Fraser, Keeper of Natural Sciences at the National Museum of Scotland, will explain the significance of these finds and how they provide a fascinating insight into the development of land-living vertebrates.