Culture Heritage Learning

#clickhear Celebrating the Borders Railway

8th September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

Scran is marking two important events this month with a new audio Twitter campaign #clickhear.

Working with our partners, Scottish Borders Council Archive Service, we are currently uploading highlights from a newly hosted oral history collection – The Ian Landles Archive – onto our website. And to celebrate this and the historic reopening of the Borders Railway we are Tweeting out free soundbites with a railway flavour this month, offering a taster of some of the fascinating testimonies from Borders folk now available as Scran records.

Memories of working as drivers and firemen on the old Waverley Route, the sadness of seeing old engines go off for scrap, remembering the steam from the trains dirtying washing drying on the line.  These are just a few titbits from our soundbites which began on 6th September and will be Tweeted daily until 15th September.

Armistice Memories

1st September 2015 by Scran | 0 comments

‘London was fair heaving, perfectly heaving’

We’ve got a new interview from the Ian Landles Archive (© Scottish Borders Council Archive Service) uploaded and live on Scran with a full summary. And it’s an exciting one! Former railwayman, George Cairns, born in the Scottish Borders in 1899 and interviewed by Ian Landles in 1981, shares his memories of working as a porter and then a signalman on the Borders Railways. He also relates his vivid memories of the eleventh of November 1918.

soldier World War One

Before joining the railways, Mr Cairns signed up for the army. This was in the last year of the First World War and Mr Cairns was sent to train in Surrey. He never saw active service because he was struck down with ‘flu during the epidemic of 1918. As he recuperated in hospital in Lewisham in London, the Armistice was signed. To celebrate, Mr Cairns was allowed to leave hospital with his pal and travel up into London. He witnessed the crowds, got plenty of attention in his military uniform and made his way through the ‘heaving’ throng of The Strand and right up to the gates of Buckingham Palace where he read the historic proclamation declaring the Armistice which had been pinned there. He also saw King George V and Princess Mary as they paraded through the streets in their carriage.

It’s a fascinating story and well worth a listen. You can access the full interview with George Cairns here and find out more about the Ian Landles  Archive on Scran here.

And railway fans, watch out for our upcoming @scranlife Twitter campaign for The Ian Landles Archive launched to coincide with the reopening of the Borders Railway on 6th September. It’s coming soon #IanLandlesArchive #clickhear.

Image © National Library of Scotland, Cheering Soldiers, Western Front, 11 November 1918. Licensor