20th April 2023
Membership numbers 88 Average attendance and
guests 34 + 6
Membership numbers remain steady, and the average attendance and guest numbers are up slightly from last year. We have continued to use the West Church Sanctuary for our speaker meetings. There have been
some issues with sound reaching those seated at the back which we have endeavoured to resolve by better use of the microphones and repeating member’s questions. Thanks must go to David Elder for his help with the sound system and his advice on the use of the microphones. We plan to return to the West Church for
Our programme for the 2022-2023 season started in September with an interesting talk by Adrian Maldonaldo of the National Museums of Scotland. He gave us an analysis of the historical and archaeological evidence concerning what is known as the Viking Age – a period between late 8 th to 12 th centuries when the influence of Norse invaders was strongly represented in Britain and parts of Europe.
John Kincaid of Tranent was the subject of Mary Craig’s talk in October. John was a famous “witch brodder”. Mary explained the historical and religious reasons that caused people to fear witches in the 17 th
C and how John Kincaid was involved in their identification and punishment.
Dr Alison Rosie of the National Records of Scotland spoke about Mary Queen of Scots’ jewellery at our November meeting. She dealt comprehensively with the inventories and their contents, outlining the
principal jewels and textiles, their composition origins ad significance, and potential beneficiaries.
At our members’ night in December David Raw talked to us about his research into the early 20 th C elections in East Lothian and the politicians involved. Jean McKinnon gave us an insight into her research about the people and buildings in Haddington at the time of the siege in 1548/49. This was followed by refreshments and a quiz compiled by Bill Rarity on the sculptures to be found around East Lothian.
In January Steven Kerr, librarian of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, gave us an enthusiastic and lively talk on the history of the Royal College, and many of the important and interesting personalities
associated with it.
Continuing the theme of interesting personalities, at our February meeting, Dr Hanita Ritchie of the John Gray Centre, Haddington, paid tribute to and highlighted some of the remarkable women of East Lothian.
In March, Victoria Robb, Education Manager at the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange, described the history of the mining industry and its practices. During the questions afterwards several members contributed personal anecdotes about their experiences in the local mines.
The season concludes with tonight’s talk by Amy Blakeway on Mary Queen of Scots and how she managed to rule from an English prison
Summaries of all the talks can be found on our website Haddingtonshistory.org.uk as well as articles, programmes, projects, education material and much much more. We hope you will explore the website.