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Speakers’ Coffee Mornings 2019-2020


Everyone welcome & free to attend


Join us on the first Saturday of every month for tea, coffee and biscuits from 10.30am followed by an interesting speaker.

Members and non-members welcome. Free to attend but please book in advance for each talk below.





Saturday 7th December 2019 | 10.30am

How we got to the moon….

Only 24 humans have ever been to the Moon and back. One of them brought some tartan along for the ride. Journey with a space-race geek who never got to see a Saturn V fly and still won’t forgive himself for missing a Space Shuttle launch. Alastair Bruce completed his PhD in astronomy in 2018 and currently works at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. He splits his time between researching active galaxies and working for the James Webb Space Telescope UK Public Engagement Campaign. We’re going to the Moon. Alastair will bring the Lego…

Saturday 4th January 2020 | 10.30am

The First New Town of James Craig

In the space of a generation, Edinburgh experience a profound physical – and social – change. This talk will examine the background to the construction of Edinburgh’s famous New Town and learn something about the buildings and the early residents. Eric Melvin is a retired history teacher and headmaster and has published many books on Scottish history, this is sure to be a fascinating morning that anyone who has spent time in Edinburghs New Town is sure to enjoy.

Saturday 1st February 2020 | 10.30am

The Scientific History of Musical Instruments

Murray Campbell will be joining us to explain how Western musical instruments work, how they developed historically, how they are manufactured, and how they are used to make music. An incredibly fascinating talk which will delighted anyone with an interest in music.

Saturday 7th March 2020 | 10.30am

Scottish Tapestries

Andrew Crummy is a Scottish artist, who has designed several major works such as the Great Tapestry of ScotlandBorn in Craigmillar, Edinburgh which is often seen as a poor area. His introduction to art was through the Craigmillar Festival Society, so his childhood memories are full of Community Arts events that involved festivals, drama, music, clowns, colour and laughter. Andrew was the mural Convenor for The Prestonpans Murals Programme which now has over 50 public arts. More recently he has been the designer for The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland and The Scottish Diaspora tapestry.

Saturday 4th April 2020 | 10.30am

Edinburgh’s Three Cathedrals

In early 1878 there were no cathedrals in Edinburgh.  Within just five years there were three: St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and St Giles’ Cathedral.  What prompted this upsurge of religiosity in the city or was it something else?  David Todd, Lay Reader at Old Saint Paul’s Scottish Episcopal Church and Theatre Chaplain to Edinburgh’s four major theatres explains in an illustrated talk.

Saturday 2nd May 2020 | 10.30am

Scotland’s Hidden Treasure

The story of what happened to the oldest Royal Regalia in Britain.

Hidden not once, but twice in two of Scotland’s great Castles.

When? Who hid them? and Why?

Kathy Crawford Hay worked within the publishing industry for more than 40 years, before becoming a Consultant. She has been a guest speaker at colleges, universities, clubs and societies sharing her collection of fascinating historical stories. Not one to miss!

Saturday 6th June 2020 | 10.30am

Glass & Light

Alison Kinnaird MBE has an international reputation as an outstanding artist in glass. Using the ancient technique of wheel engraving, she combines this with modern lighting technology such as LEDs, to create artworks which can be seen in many public and private collections. In 1997 she was awarded an MBE for Services to Art and Music. Alison will talk about her life as an artist working with glass, an unusual and beautiful medium that offers wonderful potential for artistic expression.