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Speakers’ Lunches 2019-2020


Everyone welcome & great value!


Join us for our fantastic Autumn & Spring lunches with a speaker covering a whole host of interesting topics. Fantastic value and a great afternoon out. 

Members and non-members welcome. Advance booking required, please book for each event below or call us on 0131 525 5157.





Monday 23rd September 2019 | 12 noon | £20pp

Speakers lunch with Ian Scott on: ‘James Watt, the man who changed the world’

James Watt FRS FRSE was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who is best known for improvements made to the Newcomen steam engine invited by Thomas Newcomen in 1712. The Watt steam engine was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world. Ian Scott was, before he retired, Assistant Principal at Falkirk College where he taught history for a number of years. At national level he was Director of the Saltire Society for six years and chairman for three. In 1981 he helped establish Falkirk Local History Society and has been closely involved with its activities ever since, most recently editor of the Journal, Calatria, now approaching its 35th issue. He has written weekly articles on history for the Falkirk Herald since 2011.

Monday 14th October 2019 | 12 noon | £20pp

Speakers lunch with Wilson Poon on: ‘James Clerk Maxwell, more than meets the eye’

James Clerk Maxwell FRS FRSE was a Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. There is much more to James Clerk Maxwell’s scientific legacy than his work on light and electromagnetism. Professor Wilson Poon is internationally known for his work using very well characterised ‘model’ colloids to study phenomena that are ubiquitous across condensed matter and statistical physics, particularly the structure and dynamics of arrested states such as glasses and gels. Understanding such states is a grand challenge facing 21st century physics; at the same time, they occur widely in a very large range of industrial processes and products. To exploit the latter connections, Wilson set up the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP) a few years ago to coordinate industrial consultancy. Wilson Poon is a University of Edinburgh Physics Professoer who will give a fascinating perspective on Maxwell

Monday 18th November 2019 | 12 noon | £20pp

Speakers lunch with John Roulston on: ‘Robert Watson-Watt, technology needs personality to bring it into application’

Sir Robert Watson Watt, who is often described as, “the father of Radar”.

Born in Brechin, Angus, Scotland, on 13 April 1892, Watson-Watt was a descendant of James Watt, the famous engineer and inventor of the practical steam engine who we will be learning about at our September lunch. Professor John Roulston, OBE, past Technical Director at Crewe Toll, the site of Ferranti Scotland Ltd and now Leonardo, is our guest speaker who will recount the achievements of Sir Robert and place his efforts in the context of exploiting science in a practical way.

Monday 24th February 2020 | 12 noon | £22pp

Speakers lunch with John Roulston on: ’66 Queen Street – The House that viewed the World’

John Fulton is a retired lawyer with a lifetime’s interest in social history. His new book ’66 Queen Street – The House that viewed the World’ is highly anticipated.The book covers a broad swathe of Scottish History from the Enlightenment in the 1700’s to the Meltdown of the world economies in 2007. It does so by telling 14 self contained stories all connected with 66 Queen Street, a Townhouse in Georgian Edinburgh built in 1792. Join us to hear all about it from John himself after a delicious lunch. Dress: Smart Casual.

Monday 9th March 2020 | 12 noon | £22pp

Speakers lunch with Jane Neil-MacLachlan on: ‘Disappeared Department Stores of Edinburgh’

The great old department stores are disappearing, swallowed up by modern retail demands. In this talk Jane Tulloch will look at some of Edinburgh’s best known stores and will discuss the history of one in more detail but with reference to several others as well as the overall picture. Personal stories and anecdotes of these grand establishments will be shared. After Dr Jane Neil-MacLachlan retired from the NHS, she forged another career as writer and novelist under the pen name of Jane Tulloch. A keen forager into local social history, her interest has led her into many interesting nooks and crannies of Scottish life which she enjoys presenting to others. Dress: Smart Casual.