“My Grandfather Dreams Twice of Flanders“, is a poem based on an experience Ron Butlin had when he was around six years old. That was when he first noticed people wearing poppies, and he asked his mother why. She explained about war, and about death, neither of which made much sense.
Then she told him about his grandfather who had ironically died on the day peace was declared, after lying in hospitals for years with injuries sustained earlier in the war. As a child he had nightmares, and the poem is a sort of exorcism.
Ron Butlin was born in Edinburgh in 1949, but grew up in the countryside in the village of Hightae near Dumfries. He has been a computer operator, security guard, footman and model, as well as Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University. He writes in English and Scots.
Images: © Poppy Scotland (Eamonn McGoldrick), National Library of Scotland (Moving Image Archive) & Newsquest (Herald & Times).
Scran is a great complementary resource for people researching their family history. Our collections are chock full of stills, movies and sounds illustrating Scotland’s places and people. From births, deaths and marriages to schooldays, holidays and working lives.
Scran will be exhibiting at Fife Family History Fair on Saturday 8th October at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.
Find out more about how to Get Into Scran.
Image © Aberdeen City Council, Almond Valley Heritage Trust, Douglas MacKenzie, East Lothian Museums Service, National Museums Scotland, Newsquest (Herald & Times) | Licensor Scran
Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January, is the day for everyone to remember the millions of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed Nazi Persecution throughout World War Two.
In recent years, the Gathering the Voices Association has been collecting and recording survivor’s stories – some came on the Kindertransport, meanwhile others survived concentration camps and many made remarkable journeys to get to safety in Scotland.
One such person was Marion Camrass; her story begins in Poland 1932. She was born into a wealthy family in Krakow. As a child during World War Two she fled the fighting by travelling into Soviet Russia and eventually to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In 1946 she joined her aunt in Glasgow, where she completed her school education, went to university and finally settled.
Now you can listen to the interviews on Scran, not only the story of Marion Camrass but also that of Gretl Shapiro – hear all about their lives in Scotland after World War Two. Each interview has a full transcript available for reference and fascinating, accompanying images.
Images © Gathering the Voices
Our final montage of all things from the Scran archives to celebrate the theme of light is now live.
The Light Fantastic explores the light found in the magical worlds of fairgrounds, theatre, dance and film using archive material from the Scran collections of movies, music, poetry readings and still images.
All the films in this Archives for Inspiration series are available to view here.
Scran celebrates National Poetry Day 2015 with a series of movie montages celebrating this year’s theme of light – tying in with the UNESCO Year of Light – and offering inspiration from the archives.
It’s National Poetry Day on Wednesday 8th October. This annual event celebrates poetry in all its forms across the country. This year the theme is light, marking the United Nations International Year of Light 2015.
To celebrate and provide inspiration for your own creative works, Scran has delved deep into its digital collections and found a range of material which explores light in interesting ways. Three two-minute movie montages have been created so far, using still images, moving images and sounds from www.scran.ac.uk. These are now available to view on the site.
Light and Dark layers rural landscapes, urban landscapes and seascapes with imagery of Scottish skies showing the changing light at different times of day. Human experiences are evoked through film and oral testimony and include torchlit processions and memories of wartime blackouts. Poetry and song add atmosphere to the piece.
Man Made Light explores ways in which light is generated through a range of human activities, including domestic lighting, lighting for safety at sea and on the roads and light and heat generated through industrial processes. There are Oral testimonies from former factory workers and archive footage is juxtaposed with contemporary colour film.
In Light and Shadows, grainy black and white stills of early 20th century cityscapes are set against the wide open spaces of the Highlands. Human figures and forms in nature cast interesting shadows in their surroundings. Poetry readings echo themes of darkness and light.
There’s a fourth and final movie to come – watch this space for more information.
Image taken from Sun being obscured by black clouds © Edinburgh Film Workshop Trust / Comataidh Craolaidh Gaidhlig (sync rights CoG): Copyright owner: Computerised Time-lapse Library. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk