RECORD OF SEMINARS AND EVENTS TO DATE INCLUDING A.G.M.S
We have had several winter term seminars in King’s College University Chaplaincy followed by spring and summer activities at Aden Country Park Theatre, more recently seminars have been held in Old Deer (Kemp Hall) and Stuartfield Hall.
67. 20th August 2020. The A.G.M. of The Book of Deer Project took place on-line. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic the A.G.M. was held for the first time virtually and it was a great success having supporters logging on from as far afield as New York. After the business was conducted, Dr. Mark Hall from Perth Museum and Art Gallery gave a very interesting talk on “Things to Make and Do: Games, Knots, Graffiti and Magic at Deer Abbey and in a Pan Euro-Mediterranean context” followed by a spirited Q&A session.
66. 29th August 2019. George Smart’s bus trip to Kinneff. An excellent day was had by members of the party visiting Kinneff Church to see the Honours of Scotland (replicas of the Crown Jewels of Scotland), Arbothnott Church and the Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre. A short walk was organised from Inverbervie to Gourdon and the day was finished off with supper at The Brewer’s Fayre Portlethen.
65. 22nd June 2019. The AGM of the Book of Deer Project took place at Kemp Hall. Following the AGM, Dr Lisa Collinson gave a wonderful talk on Church and Law in the 13th Century, some European Aspects. Comparisons were made of the laws then and now and interestingly some have not changed much. A fascinating afternoon.
64. 12th May 2019. Richard Ingham and his Ensemble performed the suite of music based on the different aspects of the Book of Deer. This was composed by Richard a few years back and commissioned by the Book of Deer Project. There was a great atmosphere in the Old Deer Parish Church for this varied and fabulous suite of music.
63. 4th May 2019. Stuart Donald, the Episcopal Archivist in Aberdeen, gave an illuminating and very interesting talk on Dean Arthur Ranken who was an episcopal minister and writer in the 19th century and who was Rector of St Drostan’s, and Dean of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney from 1880 until 1886.
62. 2019 19th March. Visit to Cambridge University Library to see the actual Book of Deer. We had a splendid day at Cambridge University, organised by Dr Suzanne Paul. In the morning we started with a very interesting talk from Dr Ali Bonner on her views on the Book of Deer. She started with the historical context, made comparisons with other illustrated gospel books and then spoke about the Gaelic Notes in the margins. It led to a stimulating discussion which everyone enjoyed. This was followed by different tours in the library – a tour of the library itself, a glimpse into the digitisation section and also the conservation area – seeing some fascinating objects belonging to such famous people as Stephen Hawking.
In the afternoon we were treated to guided tours of The Parker Library at Corpus Christi College and The Wren Library at Trinity by Dr Alexander Devine and Mr Sandy Paul respectively. Everyone involved helped to make our day a very special one for us all.
61. 2018 24th November. Seminar – Let There be Light. Lynda McGuigan Manager of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh gave a very interesting and fascinating talk on the activities at the museum and whetted out appetite with an invitation to see parts of the museum not normally seen by visitors.
60. 2018 June 9th. AGM in Kemp Hall, Old Deer. Following the business side of the AGM, Steve Callaghan from Portmahomack Tarbat Discovery Centre gave a very interesting talk on ‘Portmahomack – what next’, describing the origins of the centre when the pictish discoveries were made, bringing it up to date and discussing the future direction of the project and the hopeful collaboration between Portmahomack, us at the Book of Deer Project and other like centres in Scotland.
59. 2018 April 21. – Stone Circle and Heritage Bus Trip around Aberdeenshire. George Smart, ably assisted by Sandy Ritchie and Sandy Cowie organised an excellent day’s outing around stone circles and heritage in the local area. We started at Ythsie Stone Circle just under the Prop of Ythsie, moved on the Bass at Inverurie, the Garioch Heritage Centre for talk and tour of the centre and a fine ‘fly’. We then took in Brandsbutt Pictish Symbol Stone at Inverurie, the monument to the Battle of Harlaw before taking in the stone circle at Loanhead of Daviot. It was a beautiful day and we had spectacular views over to Bennachie. We enjoyed a splendid repast at Morris’s Hotel Oldmeldrum to round off the day.
58. 2018 April 12. Alison Cameron of Cameron Archaeology Ltd gave a very interesting talk on ‘The Search for the Monastery of Deer’ at 2.00 p.m. in the Chaplaincy, Aberdeen University, 25 High Street, Aberdeen AB24 3EE. There was a big attendance to hear a fascinating talk covering the difficulties encountered in trying to locate the Monastery.
57. 2017 November 24th. Following her very successful talk given at our AGM Helen Chevez of the Aberdeenshire Council Museum Service invited us to view the archives at the Museum in Station Road Mintlaw. There are so many fascinating objects there and they were all brought to life by Helen.
56. 2017 June 17th. Our A.G.M. was held in the Kemp Hall, Old Deer at 2.00p.m. This was the first A.G.M. for the Book of Deer Project as a S.C.I.O. and trustees were duly appointed. After the business Helen Chevez of the Aberdeenshire Council Museum Service gave a very interesting talk on Seeking the Past – archive research within the museum.
55. 2017 May 1st. BBC ALBA – Gàidhlig Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen, Gaelic & the Gaels). Some weeks ago Midas Media contacted us asking if we would participate in a Gaelic programme for BBC Alba and part of it would be on the subject Gaelic and the Book of Deer. Our former Chairperson Mr Alan Cameron, who is a Gaelic speaker, agreed to take part and asked one of our members and former committee member Derek Jennings to help. The programme was aired on Thursday 11th May and repeated a week Monday the 15th May.
53. 2017 March 27th. One of our members Mary Melville gave a very interesting talk on the Abbey of Deer – a Hidden Gem outlining the history of the Abbey, the abbots who lived and worked there and an outline of the life of the Abbey. The seminar was held in the University Chaplaincy Centre, University of Aberdeen, High Street, Aberdeen.
52. 2016 NOVMBER 26TH. Our archaeologist Alison Cameron of Cameron Archaeology Ltd gave a very interesting talk on the digs at Aden Park in 2016 at the Old Meeting Place and Old Deer Church. The first dig was in the grounds of Aden Park and it is thought the ruin might be the old lost Tower House of the Keiths. The second dig was in the Old Deer Church grounds and other places in Old Deer. It was a fabulous talk but unfortunately still no sign of the monastery. The talk was at The Kemp Hall, Old Deer at 2.00 p.m.
51. 2016 APRIL 23rd. We had a most enjoyable Bus Trip to Arbroath area and St Vigeans. We started at Brechin Castle Centre for morning coffee, then went on to St Vigeans Church and St Vigeans Museum. We had a very warm welcome from members of St Vigeans Church who kindly laid on tea, coffee and biscuits for our lunch time snack and we had very interesting tours of the church itself. Historic Scotland opened up the museum of standing stones for us and was very informative on the various exhibits. Despite a cold wind we worked up an appetite by walking round the lake at Crombie Country Park before enjoying a lovely fish tea at Inverbervie Chipper. A most enjoyable day thanks to George Smart and Sandy Ritchie.
50. 2015 NOVEMBER 21st. “OLD DEER MEDIEVAL CHURCH – AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL EVIDENCE” BY ARCHITECTRUAL HISTORIAN PROFESSOR RICHARD FAWCETT. Our Project commissioned Richard to write the above report and he was invited back to give a Talk, Walk and Talk seminar on the results. In Kemp Hall and around the Medieval Church at Old Deer.
49. 2015 JUNE 27th. THE AGMs OF THE BOOK OF DEER PROJECT AND FRIENDS OF THE BOOK OF DEER were held in the Kemp Hall, Old Deer. Following the business our Chairman MR ALAN CAMERON gave a very interesting talk on “FURTHER THOUGHTS ABOUT DEER” and shared his deliberations on the peoples, their language and travels of the time of the Book of Deer.
48. 2015 APRIL 25th. “THE CULT OF THE BULL AND PICTISH SYMBOL STONES” – a talk by Linda McGuigan. Pictish Symbol stones have been the focus of many scholarly studies since the nineteenth century, yet our understanding of the Pictish Symbols is still limited. New research was carried out at the University of Liverpool by PhD student Lynda McGuigan. Part of Lynda’s research focused on the way in which early Iron Age cult was appropriated in order to legitimise political power in the north east of Scotland during the early mediaeval period. Lynda’s work offered new insights into the use of the symbols particularly those found in Aberdeenshire. Lynda had already given this paper at the University of Liverpool and also at the University of Aberdeen and now we have had the benefit of it locally at the Kemp Hall, Old Deer. A fascinating talk with a lively discussion afterwards. Kemp Hall, Old Deer
47. 2014 NOVEMBER 13th. ALISON CAMERON OF CAMERON ARCHAEOLOGY GAVE A VERY INTERESTING TALK ON “SCOTLAND IN THE TIME OF THE BOOK OF DEER”. Alison was the archaeologist who assisted the project on this year’s dig. Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
46. 2014 November 7th . GRAND SCOTTISH CONCERT WITH GEORDIE SMITH AND FRIENDS. Organised by Sandy Ritchie and held in Mintlaw Public Hall. This is a very special night because Geordie Smith has kindly gathered together all the artistes that took part in the Concert Party’s Final show in this Hall three years ago. Our Committee want to thank Geordie for all the music, laughter and sangs that he has brought to many communities over many years.
45. 2014 OCTOBER 30th. RICHARD INGHAM (PROFESSOR OF MUSIC AT ST ANDREWS UNIVERSITY) AND HIS FELLOW MUSICIANS CALLED STRANGENESS AND CHARM PERFORMED THE JAZZ SUITE OF MUSIC HE COMPOSED, COMMISSIONED BY THE BOOK OF DEER PROJECT. THE BLUE LAMP, GALLOWGATE, ABERDEEN.
44a. 2014 AUGUST 18th and 19th. MUSIC SUITE FOR THE BOOK OF DEER WAS PERFORMED AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL BY RICHARD INGHAM AND HIS ENSEMBLE STRANGENESS AND CHARM in the Scottish Storytelling Centre as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase.
44. 2014 JUNE 21st. AGMs. After a short business meeting DR DOUGLAS NICOL GAVE A FASCINATING TALK ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF “MEDIEVAL COINAGE IN SCOTLAND SINCE 1136”. Kemp Hall.
43. 2014 May 17th. WE HAD AN EXCELLENT BUS RUN ON THE DEESIDE PICTISH TRAIL ORGANISED BY GEORGE SMART TO LOCH KINNORD, BURN O’ VAT AND MIGVIE CHURCH . A grand day was had by all.
42. 2014 APRIL 26th. THE PREMIERE OF THE JAZZ SUITE OF MUSIC FOR THE BOOK OF DEER, COMPOSED BY PROFESSOR RICHARD INGHAM. Performed in the Great Hall, Crimonmogate by Richard and his ensemble Strangeness and Charm. Richard is a Music Professor at St Andrews
41. 2014 MARCH 27th. DR GORDON NOBLE OF ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY GAVE A VERY INORMATIVE TALK ON “UNCOVERING THE NORTHERN PICTS” FOLLOWING EXCAVATIONS AT THE RHYNIE SITE, ABERDEENSHIRE. Aberdeen University Chaplaincy.
40. 2013 NOVEMBER 1st. GRAND SCOTTISH CONCERT WITH THE GARIOCH FIDDLERS AND GUEST STAR GEORDIE SMITH. Organised by Sandy Ritchie and held in Mintlaw Public Hall. A great nicht of Scottish music, stories, poetry and sang.
39. 2013 JUNE 29th. AGMs – “THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY HOUSE IN BANFF, BUCHAN AND FORMARTINE FROM THE MID 17TH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY. A talk given by Dr. David Walker of Aberdeen University
38. 2013 FEBRUARY 7th. SIOBHAN CONVERY, HEAD OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AT THE SIR DUNCAN RICE LIBRARY AT ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY gave a illuminating insight into the rich and diverse printed rare books and manuscripts held in the Special Collections.
37. 2012 NOVEMBER 2nd. FAREWELL CONCERT OF THE GEORDIE SMITH CONCERT PARTY. Held in Mintlaw Public Hall and organised by Sandy Ritchie
36. 2012 JUNE 23rd. AGMs “HOW A LAWYER LOOKS AT THE BOOK OF DEER” A TALK BY REVD. SHEILA KIRK B.A., LL.B., B.D. Held in Stuartfield Hall.
35a. 2012 MAY / JUNE THE BOOK OF DEER FEATURED IN THE SERIES THE GREAT BRITISH STORY ON BBC2 – Presented by Michael Wood and the series started on Friday 25th May.
35. 2012 APRIL 28th RESULTS OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG “THE SEARCH FOR THE MONASTERY – EXCAVATIONS IN OLD DEER SEPTEMBER 2011” BY HILARY AND CHARLIE MURRAY OF MURRAY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD. An open meeting to discuss the dig, show the findings and collect anecdotes and artefacts from local people and from the local area of Old Deer. Kemp Hall Old Deer.
34. 2012 FEBRUARY 16TH “THE SEARCH FOR THE MONASTERY – EXCAVATIONS IN OLD DEER SEPTEMBER 2011” BY HILARY AND CHARLIE MURRAY OF MURRAY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SERVICES LTD. Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
33. 2011 NOVEMBER “SCOTTISH CONCERT WITH JACK WEBSTER AND ROBERT LOVIE AND MANY MORE TALENTS” ORGANISED BY SANDY RITCHIE Mintlaw Hall
32. 2011 SEPTEMBER 24TH “STUARTFIELD AND CRICHIE – AN HISTORICAL RELATIONSHIP” BY LAURA DORANTT Kemp Hall
31. 2011 JUNE 24TH A.G.M. “TRANSLATING THE NEW TESTAMENT INTO DORIC” BY GORDON HAY Kemp Hall
30. 2011 FEBRUARY 24th. MEDIEVAL CHURCH MUSIC” BY FATHER BENEDICT HARDY, A MONK FROM PLUSCARDEN ABBEY. Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
29. 2010 SEPTEMBER 25th. “THE POEMS AND LIFE OF JOHN SKINNER OF LONGSIDE” BY DR DAVID BERTIE Kemp Hall
28. 2010 JUNE 26TH A.G.M. “THE BOOK OF DEER” A THOUGHT PROVOKING TALK BY OUR CHAIRMAN ALAN CAMERON Kemp Hall
27. 2010 FEBRUARY 5TH. “18TH CENTURY PERCEPTIONS OF THE VIKINGS IN NORTH EAST SCOTLAND” BY DR CLARE DOWNHAM Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
26A 2009 OCTOBER 30th. CONCERT OF SCOTTISH MUSIC ORGANISED BY SANDY RITCHIE. Mintlaw Public Hall
26. 2009 22–23 JULY CONFERENCE AT ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY AT KINGS “CULTURAL ICONS OF MEDIEVAL SCOTLAND” Kings College Aberdeen
25. 2009 JUNE 6TH A.G.M. “BYGONE DAYS AND BYGONE WAYS” BY BILL JOHNSTON Kemp Hall
24. 2009 MARCH “PITFOUR-THE BLENHEIM OF THE NORTH” BY ALEC R. BUCHAN Kemp Hall
23. COLOURING CONTEST FOR SCHOOLS+ MAGIC TOUR OF BUCHAN WITH DEREK JENNINGS
22. 2008 AUGUST 16TH “DOWSING STONE CIRCLES” BY THE REVEREND ANGUS HADDOW (RETIRED FROM METHLICK PARISH)
21. 2008 SATURDAY MAY 31ST A.G.M “THE HARRYING OF BUCHAN” BY FRED CRAWFORD OF ELLON. 2008 IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF BATTLE (1308) WHEN ROBERT THE BRUCE DEFEATED HIS ENEMIES:THE EARL OF BUCHAN (COMYN) AND HIS SUPPORTERS! Aden Country Park Theatre
20. 2008 MARCH 6TH “NEW DISCOVERIES AT ST VIGEANS AND THE PICTISH STONES COLLECTION” BY DR JANE GEDDES Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
19. 2008 FEBRUARY 14TH “RATTRAY AND STRATHBEG: A HISTORY” BY DEREK JENNINGS Aberdeen University Chaplaincy
18. 2007 SEPTEMBER. “BIRDS FLIGHT AND MAN” BY BILL JOHNSTON – AN AUTHORITY ON BIRDS WHO ALSO SPOKE ON QUILLS FOR THE MONKS, HOW THEY WERE CHOSEN, TREATMENT ETC. Prizes for Colouring Contest
17. 2007 JUNE 6th A.G.M. “J.B.PRATT OF PRATT’S BUCHAN” BY THE VERY REVEREND GERALD STRANRAER- MULL (OF ST MARY ON THE ROCK, ELLON). Aden Country Park Theatre (beside The Book of Deer Project Centre)
16. 2007 MARCH 8TH “GAELIC IN BANFFSHIRE” BY SEUMAS GRANND
15. 2007 FEBRUARY 8TH “THE WHITE MONKS” BY ALISTAIR MASON
14. “PRACTICAL WORK SHOP ON CALLIGRAPHY FOR YOUNG ARTISTS FROM SURROUNDING SCHOOLS IN AREA” RETURN VISIT OF DONALD MURRAY. Prize giving for Book of Deer Colouring Contest
13. “MY BUCHAN” BY JACK WEBSTER
12. “SAINT COLUMBA” BY ALAN CAMERON
11. “THE ANCIENT PROVINCES OF SCOTLAND” BY ROY PEDERSON
10. “CALLIGRAPHY” BY DONALD MURRAY. Presentation of Prizes by Dr. Norman Allan for Colouring Contest for young folk.
9. “CELTIC CHRISTIANITY” BY THE REV. DAVID OGSTON
8. “THE ABBEY OF DEER” BY MARY MELVILLE (BOOKLET PUBLISHED).
7. “PLACE NAMES IN THE BOOK OF DEER” BY SIMON TAYLOR
6. “REFLECTIONS ON THE LITURGY AND SPIRITUALITY OF THE BOOK OF DEER” BY REV. TIM CURTIS.
5. “AERIAL ARCHAEOLOGY” BY MOIRA GREIG
4. “COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE BOOK OF KELLS, THE BOOKS OF LICHFIELD, THE LINDISFARNE GOSPELS AND THE BOOK OF DURROW” WITH DR. JANET HUNTER
3. “THE PICTS AND THE SCOTS” WITH LYNDA MCGUIGAN
2. “PLACE NAMES IN THE BOOK OF DEER” WITH RICHARD COX
1. 2002 “THE BOOK OF DEER” WITH COLM O’BOYLE. AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE FRIENDS OF THE BOOK OF DEER.