Scottish Local History Newsletter

Issue 27 of Clish Clash can now be downloaded from

Members, remember, back copies of The Scottish Local History magazines can be found on the back table at each meeting. These can be borrowed by recording the date, issue and your name in the file.

The Scottish Local History Directory

Good progress has been made with the first steps to create a Scottish Local History Directory, which will be hosted on the SLHF website, and represents collaboration by several bodies. In the past SLHF has published two editions of Exploring Scottish history: with a directory of resource centres for Scottish local and national history in Scotland, edited by Michael Cox. The second edition was jointly published in 1999, with the Scottish Library Association and Scottish Records Association.

Suffragette research

A book, being published by Pen and Sword, on Suffragettes in Scotland is at present being researched, with a chapter being focussed on various areas, of which Dumfries and Galloway is one. The time scale is from about mid 1800’s onwards.

There will be sub headings of brief history, working life, education, health & welfare and women, politics, suffrage and notable men. Covering these areas, specifically looking at women’s lives, would give an insight into how they were treated through history and was any of this a prelude to suffrage and equality?

Contributions by any of members of the society of information or photos on suffragettes, or any of the sub heading chapter material, would be appreciated. These would of course be credited by the author.

Contact details 01786 609440(there is an answerphone) or

In 1908 the co-editor of Votes for Women, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, designed the suffragettes’ colour scheme of purple for loyalty and dignity, white for purity, and green for hope.

“Excavations at Torrs hill-fort, Castle Douglas in 2016”

The final meeting of the Society, on March 14th, will be the AGM followed by a presentation by Fraser Hunter, National Museums Scotland, on excavations at Torrs, Castle Douglas. Where the main discovery previously had been a fine example of a Celtic pony cap.

Pony cap. © National Museums Scotland

The Torrs pony cap is a masterpiece of Celtic art. It was found near Castle Douglas in the early 19th century, but recent work on the object, in the archives and in the field has revealed fascinating new stories about it. The talk will explore the background to this internationally important find, its varied history (including a spell in the hands of Sir Walter Scott), and the results of excavations in 2016 around the find spot.

At the AGM, any member of the Society is welcome to stand for the committee. There are vacancies so please consider joining. Also, members have the opportunity to suggest topics for next year’s programme. There will be clip boards going round for these topics. If you have a suggested speaker, even better.


Film Archives of the Glenkens in the 1950s

The February meeting of Kirkcudbright History Society was a digitalised series of mostly black and white films from Paul Goodwin. The original films had been donated to the Moniaive community by Bill Richardson, a noted photographer of his day.

Dating between 1949 and 1953, the films give an insight into the work and recreation of the people living in the Glenkens at that time.

New Galloway on a wet day

After a short introduction by Paul, the Society enjoyed 50 minutes of film which consisted of a number of activities including sheepdog trials, bicycle races and a school trip to Edinburgh complete with streamers from the windows of the buses.



Many comments were made by the audience regarding the short trousers boys wore at that time, Moniaive Flower Show and the lack of cars on the roads.

The evening closed with a reminder that the next meeting was the AGM on March 14th at 7.30pm followed by a talk by Fraser Hunter, National Museum Scotland, on “Excavations at Torrs hill-fort, Castle Douglas, in 2016”.


Convict Transportation to Australia from Dumfries and Galloway (1787-1869) and my Convict Ancestors.

The January meeting of the Kirkcudbright History Society was opened by Chair Mike Duguid with reference to the fact that the Society has lost three founder members who have died recently. Ian Devlin, Adam Gray and Billy McKeand all contributed in their own individual styles to the recording of local history. They will all be missed and he sent the Society’s condolences to their families.

Professor Donald Cowell was then introduced as that night’s speaker. A member of the society he is always a popular speaker which was reflected in the record breaking audience numbers.

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At the December meeting of Kirkcudbright History Society, Dr. Lizanne Henderson of the University of Glasgow spoke about “Hunting Witches in Galloway”. In an authoritative, carefully researched and clear presentation Lizanne spoke about a period of Scottish history when Witchcraft was a national problem and specifically between 1563 and 1736, Witchcraft was illegal. It was regarded as a serious crime and Scotland had severe punishments for those found to be a Witches

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Preserving rock art at the touch of a button

Some of the world’s most ancient art could be protected with a new app designed by Newcastle University heritage and software experts.

Potential threats

What’s nice about the app is that as well as flagging up any immediate concerns, it also gives us a baseline. This means we’ll be able to monitor how the rock art is doing over a period of years. Dr Myra Giesen

Rock art – also known as cups and rings – is under threat. Made by our Neolithic and Early Bronze Age ancestors between 6,000 and 3,800 years ago, it is mostly found in the countryside. There are more than 6,000 panels in the UK and Ireland – but increasing population densities and agriculture, along with climate change, pose a danger to it

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