Scranalogue

Culture Heritage Learning

Forthview of the Great War

20th June 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Recently we gathered at Forthview Primary School in Edinburgh with Miss Watson’s P7 class, their friends & families for the premiere of the animation Forthview of the Great War.  As the credits rolled we were able to reflect on the project which had brought us to this point, a project which brought together Forthview Primary School, Edinburgh Castle’s Learning Officer & the Scran Education Team.

Film Premiere at Forthview PS

Beginning in January 2017, this project took the form of a journey through the First World War, exploring the experiences of those involved in the war, from propaganda and recruitment to remembrance.  During the First World War many new recruits passed through Edinburgh Castle’s gates, experienced their first taste of military life during initial training and stood on the Castle Esplanade ready to begin their journey to the Front; sadly many never returned. The project followed the journey of these soldiers and others caught up in the First World War, reflecting on their experience.

Military Hospital, Edinburgh Castle 1914

With Scran, Historic Environment Scotland’s Learning Team provided a range of interactive and cross-curricular workshops at school and at Edinburgh Castle. Pupils learned about propaganda and the methods used to encourage people to sign up or do their bit for the war and created their own propaganda posters with artist Hannah Ayre. They followed in the footsteps of the men who came to Edinburgh Castle to sign up and experienced a taste of what initial training would have been like in an immersive workshop run by Artemis Scotland. In this workshop they also took on the role of VAD nurses, learning how to put an arm in a sling and the tiresome task of rolling bandages!  They learned about the realities of trench warfare through object handling at the National War Museum and reflected on those who had lost their lives during the war; visiting the Scottish National War Memorial and exploring real objects from WWI as inspiration to write their own remembrance poetry with poet Ken Cockburn and arts educator Lorna Irvine.

Using the Scottish National War Memorial to tell the story

As a culmination of the pupils’ learning journeys and to bring together and reflect on what they had learned from the workshops at Edinburgh Castle and at school, HES commissioned animator, Henry Cruickshank, to work with the pupils to create their animation. It was this animation that we gathered together to view for the first time on the 8th June.

Led by Henry Cruickshank, the pupils created their own characters and story. Suitable Scran imagery was carefully selected to support the pupils’ creative writing ideas and then integrated into the storytelling. The archive imagery was used as the backdrop for their characters and pupils decided which to use scene by scene. Using stop-go animation they then brought their characters to life! Heleen Schoolmeesters, an intern working with the HES learning team, also documented the whole process in the following film.

The final animation follows one character on his journey, from recruitment to training, to his experience on the battlefield. Powerful lines from the pupils’ own poetry and carefully selected words provide the soundtrack and the final scene reminds us of the families left behind and the importance of continuing to remember and reflect on those who gave their lives during the Great War.

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It is hoped this summary of our partnership project will inspire other groups to engage with their local heritage and learn about the experiences of people during World War One. If you are interested in developing such creative learning opportunities, please contact us – either the Scran Education Team or Historic Environment Scotland‘s Learning Team.

 

© Imagery used in the animation comes from the following archives & collections – British Red Cross, Bruce/Leslie Collection, Glasgow City Council, Herald Scotland,  Historic Environment Scotland,  Lothian Health Services Archive, National Library of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, St Andrews University Library – Licensor  www.scran.ac.uk.

Insider Information from a Scran Volunteer

31st May 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Nellie MacDougall 1912

Here at Scran we have a longstanding volunteer who has been toiling away for almost ten years. This trusted member of the Scran team, Alison McKay, deals with a steady stream of information, liaises with Scran fans & then enhances the records. In the past decade she has encountered many a curious tale and become expert on a variety of topics. Here is her account of a recent discovery about this picture.

“As a volunteer based at Scran, I receive the messages which are generated by the ‘Comment’ & ‘Correct or Add Info‘ functions available on every Scran record. The messages come from individuals who may have come across a record by chance (as I first did back in 1999 and discovered Scran in its early days) or by focused research and who realise they have something to share from their familiarity with the subject matter of the record. Providing additional information or suggesting corrections to captions attached to Scran records is a wonderful opportunity for people to share their passions, interests and knowledge about subjects as diverse as types of buses, footballer players of yesteryear, speedway riders and scenes from their childhood.

As I join in the detective work of verifying the new information they suggest and making it useful to the ever growing resource which is Scran, I too learn more about their chosen subject. I may find other links in related Scran records to which I can alert them. By sharing information and ideas, the users ‘out there’ provide a voluntary service to complement my in-house voluntary efforts. This collaboration of real and virtual volunteers can continue over an extended period of months or years.

Nellie MacDougall 1903, seated on the far right of the middle row.

Earlier this year, a Scran user supplied a detailed final background paragraph on the teacher, Nellie MacDougall, featured in the above picture in 1912. By scrutinising the image, I was able to identify that the words on the blackboard were French and so this was added to the caption. Next I wondered if the teacher appeared in any other record and I found her in 1903, pictured in the group photograph to the right.

It is satisfying to make links between Scran records, particularly where the photographs have come from different collections and archives. In this case the records relating to Nellie MacDougall came from Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust and the National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Life Archive.

The task of enhancing the caption for these two records may continue. Perhaps a Scran user will be able to give me birth or death dates for Nellie MacDougall (or any other people mentioned) – or even confirm if her teaching subject was French? And was Hamish MacDougall in one of the photographs a relative?”

If you can help Alison discover more about Nellie MacDougall, send an email to scran@scran.ac.ukFinally, we would like to thank Alison for everything she does for Scran, her years of dedication are fully appreciated.

Image: © Grantown Museum and Heritage Trust & National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Life Archive Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Miners’ Strike 1984-85

23rd May 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

2017 is the Scottish year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, and May is the month in which we highlight Scotland’s industrial heritage. For International Museums Day on May 18th this year, archives and museums including Scran were asked to contribute materials on the theme of “contested histories”. We had a think about an appropriate subject, and decided to draw on our extensive archives (and those of Canmore at www.canmore.org.uk) to tell the story of the 1984-85 miners’ strike in Scotland, a story that definitely has two sides, and remains controversial to this day.

Drawing on documentary photos, leaflets, flyers, posters, badges, interviews and video recordings from archives and museum collections including the National Museums of Scotland and the Scottish Mining Museum, the story takes the form of a long essay and is an attempt to look at the human side of the dispute as much as the industrial one. For technical reasons, the essay is hosted at www.canmore.org.uk/discovery/strike rather than on Scran.

 

Image: © Mr David Hamilton. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

 

ScotJam on Scran

19th May 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Sugar bowl c. 1800-1830

Sugar bowl c. 1800-1830

The Scran Education Officers have been spending a lot of time in Scottish schools of late. This is nothing new, you might think- Scran has always spent a lot of time in Scottish schools, usually training teachers at twilight CPD sessions in how to use our website, so that this knowledge can be cascaded down the school.

Recently, though, we’ve  been doing more and more interaction within school hours, directly with learners in the classroom, getting them hands-on with Scran and engaging with our archives as part of the Curriculum for Excellence. Last week our travels took us to Falkirk, where we met up with students from three different classes at two schools, Antonine Primary and Denny Primary. Both schools are currently studying ScotJam- we were none the wiser until the teachers told us the abbreviation stands for Scotland/Jamaica- and exploring the many links between their home country and the Caribbean island.

We spent a fascinating morning and afternoon with the children as they pored over the Jamaica-related materials on Scran. We found images of the Jamaican flag, and noted its similarity to the Scottish Saltire. This is apparently not a coincidence. The flag was designed in part by Rev William R.F. McGhie, a Scottish Presbyterian minister located in Jamaica at the time of its independence from the UK. We stumbled upon numerous Scran images of Jamaica Street in Glasgow, and noted the presence of similarly-named streets in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Conversely, we discovered that there is an Edinburgh Castle in Jamaica.

Much of the students’ research centred on slavery, one aspect of the ScotJam topic that seemed to particularly resonate with the classes, and which touched on Curriculum areas such as history and citizenship. There are many Scottish connections with the slave trade, and we explore some of these on Scran, as well as looking at the lives of people who were connected with, or opposed to, slavery such as David Livingstone, Josiah Wedgwood and George Moncrieff.

Many thanks to Mr. Farrington and Ms. King at the two schools for arranging the Scran visit, and we look forward to working with you as you continue to explore Scotland’s links with Jamaica.

Image: © The Trustees of the British Museum. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Scran and Healthy Living

1st May 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Here at Scran we always love it when we see our content being used in creative and entertaining ways. Recently the work of Alasdair Burns caught our eye. Alasdair works in the Publications section of Historic Environment Scotland, laying out and typesetting our books, leaflets, brochures and publicity. He’s also part of the Wellbeing Group here at HES, which promotes a healthy lifestyle within the workplace. Alasdair is fantastic at finding bizarre, quirky and memorable imagery to support the health advice of the group. Here are some of our favourites.

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

HES Wellbeing Poster

Original Images © Hulton Getty © The Scotsman Publications Ltd. © Lady Sutherland via Bridgeman Art Library/Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation © James Gardiner © Victoria and Albert Museum © Trustees of the British MuseumLicensor Scran 

Spring Fling at the Eric Liddell Centre Saturday May 6th

27th April 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Scran will be exhibiting at the Spring Fling in Edinburgh’s Morningside on 6th May this year. Organised by the South Edinburgh Arts Fair, this annual event showcases local arts organisations and how they can support the local senior community. We’ll be offering advice on how to log on to Scran with a local library card, how to use Scran for research, family history and reminiscence work, and generally highlighting our fab local content along with relevant content from other HES databases such as Scotland’s Places and Canmore. We’ll be joining loads of other great organisations including Edinburgh City Singers, Edinburgh’s Got Soul, Living It Up Edinburgh and the Scottish Genealogy Society as well as dozens of others. Entry is FREE. See you there!

 

The Scottish Life Archive on Scran

25th April 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

The Scottish Life Archive, based at the National Museum of Scotland, offers a unique insight into many aspects of Scottish history and heritage. It aims to collect, record and preserve documentary and illustrative evidence of Scotland’s material culture & social history.

8,685 records from this fascinating collection are also available via scran.ac.uk – for example, here you see Adam Cramond & Son’s cab office at Charles Street, Edinburgh, 1912.

This cab office just off George Square was quite a large business at around that time. Broughams were often hired by doctors. They were small closed carriages drawn by one horse. Miss I. M Cramond, who was a child at the beginning of the 20th century and a member of Adam Cramond’s family, remembered that in 1904 doctors used them when they went on their rounds. At the beginning of the 20th century each firm of cab owners had a ‘stance’ where their cabs stood. Cramond’s was at Waterloo Place. The four-in-hand coaches also waited at Waterloo Place, and they would go as far afield as Roslin and the Forth Bridge.

The archive collection dates from the 1880s to the present day, but there is some material dating from 1700. You can discover old manuscripts, letters, trace your family history – the archive offers a unique insight into all aspects of Scottish life. If this interests you, archivist and curator Dorothy Kidd at the National Museum of Scotland is giving a talk all about the Scottish Life Archive and how it can be used for personal research. The event is part of Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and further details can be found here. Of course, if you are unable to make it along to the live talk, you can continue your browsing or research online with Scran.

Images © National Museum of Scotland Licensor Scran 

Vera Lynn, The Forces’ Sweetheart

20th March 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Dame Vera Lynn shot to fame as a singer during the years of the Second World War. Her performances, overseas and on the Home Front, kept up morale. She became a firm favourite among British troops and this popularity earned her the title ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1975.

Early Years

Vera Lynn was born Vera Margaret Welch on 20th March 1917 in East Ham in London. She began performing in public at the age of seven taking on regular singing spots at working men’s clubs. She was also a dancer for a time, performing with a troupe until the age of 15. After leaving school at 14, Vera left a short-lived factory job to focus full-time on her singing career and adopted her grandmother’s unmarried name, Lynn, as her stage name. Vera Lynn made her first radio broadcast in 1935, singing with the Joe Loss Orchestra. She released her first solo record, ‘Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire’, the following year. In 1937 she began playing with the Bert Ambrose dance band where she met and married Harry Lewis, another Ambrose singer. Harry later became her manager.

The War Years

When war broke out in 1939, Vera joined ENSA (the Entertainments National Service Association) and toured Egypt, India and Burma. She took part in outdoor concerts for British troops, along with other well-known entertainers of the day, including Max Miller, Gracie Fields and Tommy Trinder. Years later, she received the Burma Star for her tireless work entertaining forces in Japanese-occupied Burma. It was during the war years that Vera recorded her most popular songs, including ‘We’ll Meet Again’, written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, and ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ by Nat Burton and Walter Kent. From 1941, she also began to present her own radio show, ‘Sincerely Yours’. The programme featured songs and interviews with the wives of British servicemen. Vera also made appearances in three wartime films: ‘We’ll Meet Again’ (1942), ‘Rhythm Serenade’ (1943) and ‘One Exciting Night’ (1944).

  • ENSA or the Entertainments National Service Association was set up in 1939 by Basil Dean and Leslie Henson to provided entertainment for British armed forces personnel during the Second World War
  • The first overseas ENSA show was performed in November 1939 in France with Gracie Fields as the headline act
  • ENSA went on to provide a platform for many well-known stars of stage and screen, including George Formby, Will Fyffe, Joyce Grenfell and Evelyn Laye and performed to troops from Iceland to Rangoon
  • ENSA came to an end in July 1946 and was succeeded by Combined Services Entertainment (CSE). It continues to provide entertainment for British troops today as part of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC)

The Post-War Years

After the War, Vera returned to the variety circuit and continued her recording career. During the 1950s and 1960s she became a regular on both radio and television and achieved the accolade of becoming the first British artist to reach number one in the American charts with the song ‘Aufwiedersehen Sweetheart’. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she hosted her own BBC1 variety series and was a frequent guest on other variety shows, most notably the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show in 1972. She made four Royal Variety Performance appearances between 1960 and 1990. In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to chart at number one in the British album chart.

Still Singing After All These Years

Dame Vera Lynn retired in 1995. Her final public performance took place outside Buckingham Palace as part of a ceremony to mark the fiftieth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. As well as receiving her damehood, she was awarded an OBE in 1969. She continues to be actively involved in charity work, supporting charities which campaign on behalf of cerebral palsy and breast cancer research, Burmese refugees and animal welfare issues.

On 97th birthday in 2014 she released a new album ‘Vera Lynn: National Treasure – The Ultimate Collection’, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. For her 100th birthday in March 2017, she will release another album to mark her centenary which will include some of her best known songs.

Images © The Scotsman Publications Ltd., Gordon Collection, per East Lothian Library Service, Glasgow University Library, Orkney Islands Council &  Aberdeen City Council Licensor Scran