Convenor’s Report Season 2021-22

21st April 2022

Membership numbers                                            89

Average attendance and number of guests        33 + 3

Our programme for 2021/22 started in September with a zoom presentation by Graeme Cavers of AOC Archaeology describing the technique of surveying the Lammermuirs using lasers from a plane to pinpoint objects in the landscape.

The committee made the difficult decision to move back to face-to-face meetings from October. Some members were very keen to return to meetings and others felt that Covid was still too prevalent to risk attending. At the same we moved our meetings to The West Church. Covid protocols were followed, and masks worn. Hanita Ritchie, local Library Assistant’s talk on the history of cinema in East Lothian, and Haddington in particular, was a popular topic with many questions and reminiscences.

At our November meeting Andrew Kerr, a Naval Historian described the Royal Navy Fleet’s use of the Forth during WW1 and illustrated his talk with many paintings depicting individual ships and events.

Our members’ night in December gave members a chance to chat during the interval albeit socially distanced and masked. We served soft drinks and mince pies. The evening started with an update from Jon Cooper about our Siege of Haddington Research Group with input from Tom Addyman. David Haire then spoke about the history of the postcard and his collection of wartime postcards. Eric Glendinning gave an update on the Abbey information board and the evening rounded off with Bill Rarity showing slides of the beautiful paintings by Dorothea Nimmo-Smith illustrating the Book of Ruth.

The January and February talks were popular local topics with David Connolly describing the archaeology and history of Garleton Castle and John Hamilton telling us about the work that has gone (and still goes) into his remarkable collection of photographs of Haddington which can been viewed and researched on the Facebook page “Lost Haddington”

In March Ruth Boreham of the Scottish Book Trust gave us an insight into the life of Mary Somerville with her talk about the Mary’s wide range of scientific interests and achievements.

Our final talk will be about the Peebles Hoard

The West Church Sanctuary has been an excellent venue as it is warm and the seating comfortable. I would like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to David Elder for his help with the excellent sound system. We hope to return to the West Church for next season.

Vivian Hastie

Convenor