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Evening Lectures 2020


Everyone welcome & free to attend!


Join us for our fantastic Autumn & Spring evening lectures covering a whole host of interesting topics.

Members and non-members welcome. Free to attend but please book in advance for each talk below or by calling Lauren on 0131 525 6157.





Monday 7th September 2020 | 7pm

How Scotland Won the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces. Join Committee Member Sqn Ldr Graeme Lyall for an enlightened talk on ‘How Scotland Won the Battle of Britain’ from Alexander Graham Bell’s Telephone to Dowding’s Command and Control System.

Monday 12th October 2020 | 7pm

Craftwork Beyond ‘the House’, Family and Household in the…

The Edinburgh ‘Incorporation of Mary’s Chapel’ was a composite body which sought to control the town’s building trades from its foundation in 1475 until the abolition of ‘exclusive privileges of work’ in 1846. Intriguingly, this Incorporation chose to refer to themselves in their minute books as ‘the House’, laying claim to their place as one of the building blocks of a godly society, and emphasising their desire for unity amongst their brethren. While this tells us much about the master craftsmen, it does not give a full picture of the wider building industry. Building sites relied on more than just the ‘brethren’ of the Incorporation, so therefore we must look beyond ‘the House’ to the households to get a clearer picture of the craft economy. By using the concepts of ‘family’ and ‘household’ to explore the building trades we can learn a great deal about the wider organization of work in an early modern European capital. While the masters were indeed important, there were many other men – and women – who contributed both skill and labour to the building of what would become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dr Aaron Allen is a historian and an academic developer at the Institute for Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on craft guilds and corporatism, and he has recently published a monograph with EUP, Building Early Modern Edinburgh: A Social History of Craftwork and Incorporation (2018).

Monday 2nd November 2020 | 7pm

Salt- Scotland’s Forgotten Industry

The manufacture of salt from sea water is one of Scotland’s oldest industries. At one time the smoke and steam from clusters of saltpans were a common sight on the Scottish coast. This talk will trace the history of this largely forgotten industry and its slave-like workers.

Professor Christopher A Whatley OBE, was the author of the first book on the Scottish salt industry (1987), and has written many more, including The Scots and the Union (2006), Immortal Memory: Burns and the Scottish People (2016) and Pabay: An Island Odyssey (2019).