Scranalogue

Culture Heritage Learning

Scotland through Italian eyes

10th February 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

In January and February this year, Scran hosted 6 young students from Italy’s Istituto Pavoniano Artigianelli per le Arti grafiche in Trento. They were part of a large contingent from the college that were in Scotland to improve their English skills at the Edinburgh School of English on the city’s Royal Mile. As part of their two week stay, all the visiting students undertook short work placements in local creative industries and businesses.  The six students that were placed with Scran (Giorgia, Nicole, Tania, Chiara, Martina and Alessandro) were charged with capturing Scotland in photographic form during their stay, selecting their favourite shots and then captioning them, thereby enhancing their photographic skills and also their English vocabulary.

Students from Italy

Students from Italy on assignment to capture images for Scran

The captioning of the images was actually the most time-consuming aspect of the enterprise, as the students were all instructed to think of the end-users of Scran’s images (i.e. our subscribers), and try and second guess the search terms that they might use to come across the student’s images. This is harder than you may think, and the best captions on Scran employ synonyms, alternative spellings, plurals and more to try and maximise discoverability.

As budding designers, all of our students had a keen eye, and this was reflected in the photos, many of which are as good as any on Scran. They particularly enjoyed the soft winter light in Edinburgh, and the opportunities it provided for shadows, silhouettes and chiaroscuro images. You can see all their efforts here.

 

Images © Andrew James

 

Then and Now imagery

20th January 2017 by Scran | 0 comments

Mains Castle montage

A montage of Mains Castle, then and now, by Iain Robertson of South Lanarkshire

Last week, Scran met with Iain Robertson, the Development Officer of South Lanarkshire Libraries, in part to discuss the part Scran might play in the forthcoming East Kilbride 70th anniversary Celebrations. We’re greatly looking forward to this event, and will share more details as it approaches. In the meantime see some of our Scran East Kilbride content here.

While we were talking, Iain mentioned that he’d been playing around with some old Scran imagery of the local area around East Kilbride, and that he’d been inserting it into present-day pictures to create a sort of “Then and Now” montage. We think the results are stunning. The photo of St Bride’s in particular is terrific, as it restores an original feature (the tall tower) that has since been lost.

St Bride's montage

A photo montage featuring St Bride’s Kirk, East Kilbride, then and now

The montaged image of Torrance House in East Kilbride, meanwhile, shows a building (in black and white with the cars parked outside it) that no longer exists, and a pond that has since been filled in! The original Scran Torrance House image is here. The original image from Scran of St Bride’s is here, while the original of Mains Castle is here. 

If you want to do something similar, at school, college, or just for fun, you can. Your Scran subscription gives you the right to download ANY Scran image (or sound or video) and to reuse it, edit it etc. If you do find an old pic and can insert it into a present-day image, as Iain has done, we’d be delighted to feature your montage here.

 

 

Torrance House photomontage

A montage of old and new images of Torrance House 

Images © The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Newsquest (Herald & Times), Newsquest (Herald & Times) | Licensor Scran

Audacious Women 2017

30th December 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

A gran on a skateboardScran is delighted to be taking part in the second Audacious Women Festival in February 2017, and we’d like your help. The festival was established in 2016 and this year takes place over the week of 18th to 26th February 2017. Comprising theatre, spoken word, poetry, workshops and more, the Festival aims to inspire women of all ages to “break down personal, political or institutional barriers, and to celebrate audacious women everywhere…women who have flaunted convention, taken risks and done audacious acts”.

As part of the Festival, Scran has been invited to curate an exhibition of Audacious Women at Edinburgh’s Central Library on George IV Bridge throughout the whole of February, and we plan to include sections on female pioneers such as Marie Stopes, Chrystal Macmillan and Elsie Inglis. But we want to include some public suggestions in our list of Audacious Women, and tell some stories about lesser-known female pioneers, or simply women who stepped outside their own comfort zone, in however small a way . And this is where we need your help. We’d like you to nominate your own Audacious Women for inclusion- perhaps your grandmother who was a pioneering campaigner, or your sister who conquered her fear of heights, or your mum, the first person in your family to go into further education. We’d love to hear their stories, and if you have any images, so much the better.  We can include the best ones in the exhibition, and, with your permission, all of the submitted materials can appear on Scran for others to see and read about.

To nominate someone you know, simply get in contact with us by e-mail here. Simply tell us who you’d like to nominate and why, and we’ll get back to you by e-mail to find out more and perhaps obtain a picture or two.

The exhibition runs from February 1st to February 28th 2017.

Image © Newsquest (Herald & Times) | Licensor Scran

 

 

Dunbar Bricks & Heritage Angels

5th December 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

fullsizerender-2

Mark Cranston – Heritage Angel Award Winner

Some of you may have heard about the recent Scottish Heritage Angel Awards? Here at Scran we caught wind of the fascinating work of Mark Cranston, who proceeded to win Category A for Investigating & Recording his extensive collection of bricks.

Scran has a pile of brick related content, which Mark was already familiar with, and through a series of fortunate events, we were able to contribute to his ever growing collection. East Lothian resident, Gina Williams, donated the brick which Scran then delivered to Jedburgh.

fullsizerender-1-1

The brick was from a Dunbar manufacturer and although he already had an example of a M.B. Sherriff brick, he had not seen this particular variation. One face on each has a shallow rectangular ‘frog’ or depression with text MB SHERRIFF/ DUNBAR and impressions of screw-heads.

02601382

Invoice, Seafield Brick and Tile Works, 1868

Seafield Brick & Tile Works at West barns, near Dunbar, supplied the local market as well as special commissions in Scotland and abroad.  These bricks were made using deposits of surface clay; originally dark grey, the clay becomes red when fired, a change caused by the oxidation of iron contained in the clay. The Seafield brickworks operated from the early eighteen hundreds on land reclaimed from the sea between West Barns and Belhaven. Once in the hands of David France, it passed to William Brodie and then his relatives, the Sherriffs of West Barns. William Brodie, invested in new equipment and expanded the works, exporting many of the products on his own fleet of steam vessels from Dunbar Harbour.

Unusually for a Victorian industrialist, M.Brodie Sherriff  was a woman. In 1884 she purchased & re-opened the brickworks at Westbank, in Portobello, so expanding the business further.

02601212

Seafield Brickworks, West Barns – surface clay pits

Nineteenth century East Lothian had a number of industrial scale plants producing bricks, tiles, pipes and other large scale ceramics. Seafield relied upon surface deposits of clay. Later, the abandoned clay pits were used to dump municipal waste and landfill until around 1970. Then the land was landscaped and planted; part was reserved for amenity, being integrated into the John Muir Country Park in 1976.

fullsizerender-4

You can see the full extent of Mark Cranston’s collection of bricks  http://www.scottishbrickhistory.co.uk/

download

 

 

 

Images ©  Mark Cranston, Scran & East Lothian Museums Service| Licensor Scran

SPAN – Forth Bridges Exhibition in Kirkcaldy, Fife

16th November 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

00900020

Invitation to Forth Rail Bridge opening of 1890

Whenever Scran engages with the public, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What is the ‘Buy’ button under Scran records for?” For the most part our users can ignore it; all Scran subscribers are entitled to save, download and reuse any of our records for non-commercial purposes (and our institutional subscribers can share our records within and between institutions too). But what happens when you want to use Scran records in a commercial or public situation, one which isn’t covered by the above? When you’re publishing a magazine or a book, for example? Or creating an exhibition for the general public? That’s where the ‘Buy’ button comes in.

img_25151
Clicking the button initiates a ‘licensing’ process, where the user tells us what they want to use the record (image, audio clip or video clip) for. Scran then gives the user a quote for usage, and the price for usage depends on how many times the record will be used, and where, and at what size; the price for using a large Scran image on the cover of a book that will be printed 100,000 times will be greater, for example, than that for a thumbnail image that will be reprinted on page 8 of a small circulation newsletter. The money raised by licensing materials in this way is split 50/50 between Scran and the owners of the materials.

One organisation that recently licensed a nimg_25141umber of Scran records in this way is Fife Cultural Trust, and Scran recently paid a visit to Kirkcaldy Galleries to see the resulting exhibition ‘SPAN- a Tale of Three Bridges + Kate Downie‘. It’s a great look at the history of the Forth Rail Bridge, the first Forth Road Bridge and the new road bridge that is due to open next year, and, in a separate gallery, there is a series of artistic responses by Kate Downie to the bridges themselves. In the first gallery, the history of the bridges, Scran images make up over 50% of the exhibition, and you can see some of the pictures that were used, in context, below. We especially like the large scale invitation for the opening of the Forth Rail Bridge, from National Museums Scotland- we think it looks great at such a scale. The exhibition continues until February 2017.

© Image: Forth Rail Bridge opening of 1890 from National Museums Scotland. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

img_25131img_25121

We Are Family (History)

5th October 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

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

140th Anniversary of Slamannan Primary School

14th September 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

06451121Slamannan Primary in Falkirk yesterday celebrated its 140th anniversary, having opened in September 1876. It is the oldest school in Falkirk, with nearby Limerigg Primary, which also celebrates its anniversary this year, a close second.

 

 

IMG_2398Scran attended the school’s celebrations, which included a morning of Victorian-style lessons, a Victorian school lunch of mince and tatties, and an afternoon assembly in which various classes recited Victorian nursery rhymes and songs and updated us on the work that they had been doing in preparation for the school’s anniversary year. The contrast between 1876, when children were to be seen and not heard, and 2016, where pupils were an active part of the learning process, and their feedback and participation welcomed and valued, was striking.

 

 

IMG_2399

Guest speakers remembered Slamannan’s history, and spoke of a typical day at a Victorian school, much of which seemed to involve punishment! Tea and cake were served afterwards, and visitors, who included many former pupils, perused old school photos as they tried to identify former classmates. The children’s hard work was evident, from the Victorian plate decorations to the images of famous Victorians on the walls, and the fact that every pupil and teacher dressed up in Victorian costume really added to the atmosphere of the day.

IMG_2397Scran is planning to work closely with Slamannan this year as they investigate the past and look to the future, so watch this space. And if you’d like us to come to your school and work directly with your classes on any topic at all (not just Victorians), drop us a line.

 

Images © Falkirk Museums, Historic Environment Scotland – photographer Andrew James| Licensor Scran

 

Willaim Leiper 1839-1916

7th July 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

The work of the Glasgow architect William Leiper is often overshadowed by that of his near-contemporaries Alexander “The Greek” Thomson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. However, he was nearly as prolific and eye-catching as his more well-known colleagues, and his most well-regarded building, the Templeton Carpet factory in Glasgow, is as stunning today as when it was completed over 100 years ago.

In the centenary year of his death, his life and work is being celebrated in a small exhibition at the appropriately-named Leiper Fine Art gallery in Glasgow. Housed in the William Leiper-designed Sun Life Building, the gallery hosts regular exhibitions by fine artists, but for the next two months as part of the Festival of Architecture, it is also hosting a small but informative exhibition on the life and works of the building’s designer. As well as photos of his many buildings, including Auchenbothie House in Kilmacolm and Kinlochmoidart House in the Highlands, the exhibition includes two terrific scale models of one of his buildings but also a large luxury yacht he designed for a Russian tsar! The exhibition features contributions from Scran’s esteemed colleague, Mr Simon Green of Historic Environment Scotland.

Definitely worth a look if you are in Glasgow city centre, the exhibition runs until mid-September.

Templeton's Carpet Factory

Leiper exhibition poster

Images © Charles McKean, Andrew James Licensor Scran

From Demob Suits to Chelsea Boots

20th June 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

Post-War Fashions 1940s to 1960s: a community curated exhibition

Fifties Fashion © Scottish Borders Council by kind permission of Woolmark. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk.

Fabulous Fifties Fashion

One Tuesday in September last year Scran went along to The Open Door in Morningside, Edinburgh to deliver a slideshow to showcase our digital archives.  There is nothing unusual in this.  Scran delivers a wide and varied remit of outreach activities.  However, this session was the start of something quite exciting.

Good Neighbours

We had been invited to meet the Good Neighbours Club, a group of older people who meet regularly at The Open Door.  The Open Door initiative has been supporting older people in Edinburgh for over 30 years, offering day services and a range of activities, from art and poetry to gentle exercise.  The Club, a group made up largely of ladies aged 70 plus, meets every Tuesdays for a day of ‘friendship, fun and laughter’.

The slideshow of images of old Morningside, from the 19th century, through the early years of the 20thcentury, to more recent years provoked a lot of chat and debate.  Of particular interest, old photographs of Morningside Railway Station which was closed in the 1960s; the Open Door is based in a building adjacent to the old station platform.

Scran was able to draw on a wealth of material from a range of contributors, including The Scotsman Publications Ltd and the National Collection of Aerial Photography.  As well as the old station, we covered themes of schooldays, shopping and buses and trams.

Exhibition

Following our visit, Kirsteen Powell, Day Care Service Manager at the Open Door, got back in touch.  She wanted to do more work with us and so we met and an idea formed.  With such striking images causing such a lot of interest and reminiscence activity at the centre, why not put on an exhibition?

The Good Neighbours Club chose a theme with social history at its heart – fashions of the post-war era.  And selected images will be displayed in the centre’s coffee shop, a great space fronting onto Morningside High Street.

The exhibition project kicked off in May of this year, with Scran delivering two more reminiscence workshops: we’ve explored the utility fashions and clothes rationing of the forties, the bouffants, brylcreme and big skirts of the fifties and the miniskirts and the sharp suits of the sixties.  With the group’s permission, each workshop was recorded and a selection of their own personal anecdotes and memories in text form will be used to interpret the photographs selected for the final exhibition.

Reminiscence Tool

The project demonstrates the fantastic range of living memory material held within the digital archives of Scran and its potential as a tool for reminiscence work.

The exhibition opens in mid-July.

Images © Scottish Borders Council by kind permission of Woolmark | Licensor Scran

366 Days of Architecture

4th April 2016 by Scran | 0 comments

06260122

1938 Crazy House by Thomas Tait the Architect-in-Chief of the Empire Exhibition

What do Elvis Presley, Toad of Toad Hall, Dennis the Menace, the residents of Ramsay Street, World Maths Day, coming-of-age film ‘The Breakfast Club’, and Scottish architects William Playfair, Basil Spence and Archibald Simpson have in common?

They all feature in the entries of ‘366 Days of Architecture’, a project that every day comes up with an image in the national record, Canmore, that relates to a fact specific to that day.  It’s one of Historic Environment Scotland’s contributions to the 2016 Festival of Architecture, for the Scottish Government’s Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design.  And it’s happening every day this year.

The image of the day can tie in with any associated event and demonstrates that diversity of digitised images in Canmore.  The whole year has already been pretty much mapped out and related events include anniversaries, birthdays, sporting competitions, the signs of the zodiac and saints’ days. The big names in Scottish architecture all feature in the project, along with links to their entries in the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.  Similarly, images connected to non-architectural historic events, current sporting championships and popular culture also crop up throughout the calendar. Social media is very much at the heart of ‘366 Days of Architecture’ and staff from the Communications team and Architecture and Industry section of the HES Survey and Recording group have been working together to deliver the project.  The daily image is tweeted on the twitter feed @rcahms, with a link to Canmore.

canmore_1255317

Proposed designed of Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Neil Gregory, Operational Manager for Architecture and Industry, and curator of January and March’s entries to date said: ‘The great thing about Canmore is that it features buildings that connect with anybody and everybody. Architecture has a place in everyone’s lives and buildings form a backdrop to every tangible cultural event. We hope that 366 Days of Architecture will bring new audiences to Canmore, entertain our current users and the wider public who enjoy using Twitter

08938930

Usher Hall set up for Eurovision 1972

He added: ‘The great thing about the project is that there are always bags of images, film clips and sound snippets in Scran so we’ve had great fun finding complementary material on the Scran website. An event like the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest that took place at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh gives us a chance to showcase 1910 designs for the building that were never realised on Canmore and pictures of the contest happening that are held within Scran

Clare Sorensen, Architecture and Industry Projects Manager, and curator of February and April’s entries to date added: ‘The project is a real showcase for the historic collections that we care for here at HES as well as the sheer variety of buildings that we have recorded as part of our survey projects. We’ve so far featured buildings recorded in the early 20th century in RCAHMS’ infancy as well as sites that we’ve investigated in the last few months as part of the new organisation

‘366 Days of Architecture’ can be accessed via the daily tweet from @rcahms or directly from the front page of Canmore. To find out more about what’s happening in the Festival of Architecture, including other HES contributions, check out https://www.foa2016.com/

Images © Scottish Exhibitions Study Group, Crown Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland, The Scotsman | Licensor Scran