Friends’ Seminars 2007/08

Our first seminar of the 2007/8 seaon, “Rattray and Strathbeg – a History”, given by Derek Jennings, Chairman of the Buchan Tourism Group,was well attended by an appreciative audience.he made good use of his extensive knowledge of the area and surprised even those from the area with his findings. For example the wreckage of Royal Navy Beaufort torpedo bombers which can still be seen in the loch after over-shooting the landing strips at Crimond
Derek takes a moment to think through a searching question!

Our second, given by Dr. Jane Geddes, Senior Lecturer in History at Aberdeen University entitled “New Discoveries at St. Vigeans and the Pictish Stones Collection.” Dr. Jane gave a fresh interpretation on this site and its connection to the Coptic Church in Egypt. This proved both interesting and intriguing and really captured the imagination of the audience.

After the business at the A.G.M. of the Book of Deer Project on the 31st May, Fred Crawford of Ellon gave a talk “The Harrying of Buchan”.Fred has made a study of this little known episode in our history and he gave a comprehensive account of the families involved and the events leading up to the harrying. In short, it was Robert the Bruce’s revenge on the Comyn family who had supported John Balliol’s ( Toom Tabard) claim to the Scottish crown.This year marks its 700th anniversary.

The fourth and last talk of our season “DOWSING THE STONE CIRCLES” was given by the Revd. Angus Haddow formerly Minister of Methlick Parish Church and a teacher of Science. He gave an account of his experiences and findings, particularly in Aberdeenshire. There may be many doubters of the value of “dowsing”, but Angus gave a robust defence of the practice, using his knowledge of Science and the results of his findings. These findings resonated with many in the audience who had taken an interest in Stone circles.
There were several “Dowsers” attending, and they, along with Angus gave us practical demonstrations of their skills.



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