RESP Outreach Intern – End of Internship

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

With the launch event completed, my internship was coming toward its end. After six months, I was surprised at how quickly it had gone by. But for now, I turned my attention to catching up on my remaining responsibilities.

My first week after the event was spent completing the writeups of the blog posts that have already been published on our site, as well as having a go at creating an updated banner for the page. Additionally, I put together and sent out a follow-up email to our event launch, notifying guests that Rebekah’s online exhibition had now been published. Alongside this, with a form put together by Rebekah, I also gave a link asking guests where possible for feedback on the event itself.

After this, I directed my focus to writing out a report reflecting on my experiences with the RESP. In doing so, I was able to also prepare a short presentation for an ‘Allstaff’ meeting where I described my achievements with heritage collections staff at the University of Edinburgh. I was so glad that I had put together a journal entry of my weekly tasks with the RESP, as that made putting together a script for this meeting, as well as the report and these blogs, so much easier!

With these responsibilities out of the way, and my final tutorial video iteration edited and completed, my time with the RESP as an intern was completed.

My internship with the RESP at the CRC over the last six months has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Applying for this role with the intention to gain practical experience working with a collection and learning more about the day-to-day operations within the Heritage Sector, I can confidently say that I achieved these goals. Additionally, I am proud of what I was able to accomplish over this period and how much I developed professionally while balancing my time with my postgraduate education.

Building on my experience already from various voluntary roles across London and Edinburgh, I have no doubt that this internship has made me a valuable candidate for roles in the future once I complete my masters. This role has given me the chance to build my competence across outreach, event management, and working closely with an archive to develop promotional materials to support the launch of an online exhibition.

While I initially felt overwhelmed with the possible routes that I could potentially take with my internship, pitching my ideas to an experienced team in January allowed me to solidify the objectives that I hoped to achieve through my work.

Throughout, I felt welcomed and supported by staff. In particular, I felt confident to ask questions to my supervisors Lesley Bryson and Caroline Milligan at the RESP, and engagement officer Bianca Packham whenever needed; with their feedback and guidance always being appreciated and contributed to a strong sense of learning and personal growth in the field.

Overall, this internship has been a significant step in my professional journey. It has reinforced my passion for working in the heritage sector and given me a clearer vision for the career path I wish to pursue going forward. I feel confident that I have been equipped with the necessary skills to succeed and thrive in this field.

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity with the RESP. The lessons I can take away from this experience will undoubtedly benefit me as I move forward. I want to thank Lesley, Caroline, and the CRC for this opportunity, and my fellow intern Rebekah for our work together!

RESP Outreach Intern – 1st May, Launch Event

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

With the arrival of May, my internship was close to an end, but, not before the in-person launch event for Rebekah’s online exhibition; representing the culmination of both her and most of my work so far!

Coming in on the 1st May, there were many last second arrangements for the event that afternoon. First, liaising with the team, I organised where each of my colleagues would stand to welcome and direct our guests to the CRC on the 6th floor about 20 minutes before the event itself at 4pm; each taking either an A3 or A4 stand displaying the signage for the event. In doing so, I prepared a guest checklist for the building’s security just in case any of our guests were missed by a colleague and found themselves being ID’d by staff.

After which, I ensured that the monitor in the Research Suite where the event would be hosted was functioning as intended, while the Ipads we hoped to provide guests where fully charged with the exhibition’s website accessible. While I did check on these factors the day prior, I thought it would be best practice just to confirm once again ahead of the event in case of any issues.

While the monitor worked fine, and I was able to stream my laptops screen and audio to the display, I found on the day that the provided Ipads did not work as intended. While everything else with these devices were functional without any issue, I had yet to test Rebekah’s exhibition on them until it finally launched that day. Upon testing this, I found that the Ipads (which had not been updated in several years) struggled to display the on-line exhibition as intended; instead presenting metadata and incorrect formats across several of the webpages on the site. Despite this, the RESP team came together and decided to allow guests to use our laptops to access the page instead.

Photo taken of myself reading out at the live launch event for Rebekah Day’s ‘Animal Encounters in the RESP’.

With this crisis averted, my last responsibility on the day was to ensure that our catering order was still set to be delivered between 3pm and 3:30pm ahead of the event. For whatever reason, the order confirmation was no longer displayed on the teams account history. But I was able to run downstairs and check with the catering team and confirmed that we were all set to go as the time came.

Photo of our exhibit display.

After this, the event ran without a hitch. We were grateful for the speech by our guest, David Paterson, who spoke of his brother Logan who was interviewed as part of the Dumfries & Galloway RESP in 2013. Likewise, we were treated to a wonderful performance by Dr Jo Miller, who is a singer, fiddler, ethnomusicologist, and community musician based in Stirling. Overall, despite the issues that arose this was once again a  brilliant experience. The problems that did arise were evident that in reality, there is no perfect setup to an event. Hiccups occur and you can’t predict the unforeseen. But, the key here was not to panic, be open with those around you, and focus on finding a solution ahead of time to minimise problems.




RESP Outreach Intern – April

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

April was the last month before the launch of the online exhibition curated by Rebekah Day. As such, my main priority was ensuring that everything related to the event was set and ready.

However, as a student balancing my role with my studies and volunteering, this month was filled with deadlines that I had to prioritise. As such, I learnt very quickly what to prioritise during this time.

For starters, I ensured that the final text for both Eventbrite and our invites were completed and sent out to our guests made up of staff, volunteers, and interviewees alike. Additionally, I ensured that signage and the designs of our postcards were likewise completed after Rebekah shared her new updated design for the RESP website. Finally, liaising with the team, we updated our food order to include a variety of drinks and sent it off.

In the following weeks, I completed another draft video tutorial that I shared with the team, wrote up summaries in preparation for these blogs and briefed our planned speakers for the event.

Finally, in the leadup to the 1st of May, I began scheduling relevant posts from the RESP archive for our X (Twitter) account, before sending out a follow up email for attendance. On the 1st itself when the online exhibition launched, a specific post was shared celebrating the event and encouraging the public to view Rebekah’s work.

Evidently, this month primarily focused on the final elements of the launch event. I was overall pleased with the progress made here, and as the event seemed ever closer, I was increasingly excited to see how our work would pay off.

Launch Event Tweet (X) promoting the ‘Animal Encounters in the RESP Archive’, 1st May 2024.

RESP Outreach Intern – February

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

With my pitch given and what I hoped to achieve with my internship outlined, I could begin planning how to carry out my responsibilities.

In the first week of February, I dedicated a lot of my time to exploring our online archive for a few reasons. First and foremost, having decided to produce a number of activity sheets, I wanted to determine what themes I would focus upon, as well as what entries I could potentially use for their recordings. Eventually, after meeting with the team, we decided that themes relating to ‘Sport and Games’, toys, transport, the changing environment, and food to name a few, were ideal for worksheets aimed at kids. We also thought that an Oral History worksheet that described the significance of oral histories and the ability to record spoken stories was perfect here, as it would bring more attention to the reason why the RESP archive is so special. By the end of the month, I had begun to draft some of these sheets for this purpose.

‘Oral Histories with the RESP’ worksheet, page 1, created by James Rice

Second to this, in regard to producing promotional materials such as postcards, having a variety of images from the entries within the project itself on-hand was important. While we did consider using images from Scottish archives with permission for some of our postcards, we concluded that it would be more appropriate to use our own images to invite the public to see what our archive could offer them. In this light, I decided with my colleague, Rebekah, that I would use ‘Canva’ as a free editing software to produce these materials.

Third and finally, having also decided to eventually produce a video tutorial for the website, being hands on with the archive was the best way to familiarise myself in preparation for the video itself. Fortunately, the process of editing and finalising this video wasn’t too much of a challenge, as I already had some experience with recording software and using ‘Adobe Premiere Pro’ for short videos I made with friends. Yet, as we hoped that this video would be relatively short, I admittedly struggled to be as informative as possible while keeping this limited. Nevertheless, I was prepared to start recording raw footage and audio for several drafts to be discussed with the team.

Alongside these responsibilities, I had also begun planning the launch event on the 1st of May for our online exhibition led by curator Rebekah Day. This involved organising and booking the physical space for the event in the CRC, as well as liaising with Daryl Green, Head of Heritage Collections at the University, to organise an opening speech on the day. I also started putting together an ‘Eventbrite’ page for the launch itself, giving guests a platform to accept their invites and a relatively easy way for myself to keep track of those attending.

While this period involved a lot of planning ahead for my role, there was still a lot for me to do over the next coming months ahead of the launch. Nevertheless, I was particularly proud of what I had been able to accomplish thus far, and felt far more confident in my role in light of the previous month, when I was still finding my footing for what I wanted to achieve.

RESP Outreach Intern – January

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

Going into the new year, January was a particularly important period of my internship that saw me shaping what I hoped to achieve through my work with the RESP. By the end of the month, I hoped to pitch my ideas to the team at St Cecilia’s Hall to determine what was feasible within the time frame of my internship.

Concert Room, St Cecilia’s Hall

However, this was not as straight forward as it initially seemed. When it comes to outreach and bringing attention to a project such as this, there are so many avenues that could be taken. For example, I first contacted the Scottish Society for Northern Studies to determine if they would be willing to publish an article that I would write on the RESP. Then, I emailed the Student Newspaper for the University of Edinburgh, with the intention of bringing awareness among students to the archive.

Unfortunately, I found little success in either of these two options. Nevertheless, I decided that I would continue with listing contacts and colleagues I work with at the CRC to determine what opportunities may be available for me going forward.

As I still hoped to engage students at the University with the project, I began looking into student societies relating to poetry and drama after seeing an outreach event at the National Archives. While volunteering in London, with a local university the archive put together a performance based off of archival material with students. With this, I considered contacting poet and writer in residence, Michael Pedersen, to see if he would be interested in writing something for the project. Yet, when pitching this idea, we decided that this would be difficult to achieve in the short time that I had to organise an event for this.

In another case, I met with Laura, the Engagement Officer for the Heritage Collections at the University. Through Laura, we discussed engagement opportunities through the creation of an ‘Activity Pack’ aimed at local primary and secondary schools. While we decided later that interacting with schools was not a route we hoped to look into, my team agreed that creating a few worksheet resources and a dedicated ‘Kids Page’ on the RESP website would be a great idea for the project.

At the pitch, myself and my team felt that alongside these sheets, producing promotional material and a video tutorial for the online archive itself was best for what we hoped to achieve. Promotional items like themed postcards and pencils were a simple way to get people curious about the RESP, while a video tutorial improved accessibility among users unfamiliar to our website or online archives in general.

Overall, while at times I felt discouraged as I found myself scrapping ideas or running into dead ends when thinking about how to engage in outreach, January was an important personnel step for me; allowing me to realise that some ideas falling through is just a natural part of the process. Without that, I wouldn’t have decided upon how to promote the RESP going forward.

RESP Outreach Intern – Late November & December

Written by: James Rice, RESP Outreach Intern

Hi there, I’m James, a part-time MSc student in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Edinburgh, and the Outreach Intern for the Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project. I have had an amazing time working with the team, while building experience and a sense of responsibility working in the Heritage Sector. As such, I thought it would be a great idea to keep note of my thoughts, goals, and some of the challenges I have experienced along the way and share them with you through this blog. I intend to look back upon this blog to recall my experiences and reflect on the work that I have accomplished, while sharing my journey with others who may also be looking to begin a career in the sector.

For this reason, I thought I would begin by summarising my experiences month by month from the start of my internship up until now and the end of my contract.

After having gone through the interview process for two positions for the RESP, I was successful in being selected as the new RESP Archive Project Outreach Intern in November. As I work once a week while balancing my studies, you can imagine that my first two weeks were largely induction based, involving setting up my new work email, login details, work laptop and so on. Aside from this and the important (but often mundane) online training modules, this involved meeting the RESP team and becoming familiar with the Centre for Research Collections at the University.

The team is made up of Archivist Lesley Bryson and Assistant Archivist Caroline Milligan, who previously interviewed me for my role. I also caught up with fellow intern Rebekah Day. I first met Rebekah through the CRC’s Summer Heritage School organised by Student Engagement Officer, Serena Fredrick; who later advertised these positions for the RESP. As I found out on my first day, Rebekah had coincidentally applied for these roles, and was selected for the position of RESP Archive Project Curatorial Intern.

After these first two weeks and being informed of my responsibilities and what I could expect in my role, I tasked myself with gathering materials from the RESP archive for the project’s ‘Advent Calendar’ X (Twitter) feed; which involved writing and scheduling posts for the month of December, presenting users with an archival entry relevant to a Christmas themed hashtag. For this, I was provided with the login details to manage the RESP’s twitter feed hence forth. This was a great way for me to familiarise myself with the online archive itself and navigating the material available.

Soon after this period, I decided to start scheduling weekly posts under the hashtag ‘ThrowbackThursday’ that presented an interesting archival entry from our collection. During this, I thought I would try posting these ‘X’s at different times in the day to test engagement with the public:

The following week in the middle of December, Lesley, Caroline, and myself travelled to see a showing of the film ‘A film about life and work in the Musselburgh Mills’ in Tranent put together by The European Ethnological Research Centre (EERC). The film told the story of the mills through the words of those who worked and lived in the town and beyond. This was a great opportunity to see in person the significance of oral history and the impact of these stories upon local communities:

This first month gave me a lot to consider when it came to my responsibilities going forward and what was expected from me. While I have previously volunteered for the National Archives in London and the Heritage Collection for the CRC, this internship already gave me a new insight into the inner workings of the Heritage Sector!

Curating and illustrating the ‘Animal Encounters’ online exhibition

Written by: Rebekah Day, RESP Curatorial Intern

From December 2023 to May 2024, I have had the pleasure of working on curating an online exhibition for the Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project (RESP).

View the exhibition:

After successfully interviewing for the Regional Ethnology of Scotland (RESP) curatorial internship, I was given information from the Project team on a whole range of topics and themes that could be used as a basis for the exhibition but was assured that I had the choice to pitch my own idea. After some back and forth discussions about what kind of content and topics I was likely to find in the RESP interviews, I started to listen to some of the recordings available on the website and found myself drawn to the stories people shared that included interactions with animals.

I pitched the idea of my theme being ‘Animal Encounters’ giving the following rationale:

It can be said that the RESP archive, and ethnology more widely, is concerned with studying and recording the everyday stories of people – but ostensibly they also capture the nuances of the universally shared, yet deeply individual, human experience.

A surprising theme that reoccurs throughout the interviews is the significance of animals, which appear in a huge variety of the memories and stories individuals have shared with the RESP archive.

The rural locations where many interviews have been carried out naturally mean that individuals have shared connections to agricultural activity such as farming, so it is no surprise that stories of animals framed by this industry occur – what is interesting though, is just how many spheres of influence animals crop up in throughout a person’s life.

Some of these stories recount the chores involved raising farm animals, the joy of playing with a beloved family pet, the intensive labour involved in abattoir work, the impact of poaching and cattle theft on communities, or lamenting the loss of fields used for grazing now given over to modern housing estates.

By selecting the specific subject of ‘animals’, this exhibition will provide a window into the RESP archives – encouraging audiences to delve more deeply into the RESP website and other CRC collections for their own research.

This exhibition will also provide a timely and entertaining resource for students and those interested in local history, encouraging discussion about the changing relationship between Scotland’s people and the natural environment.

Given the go ahead, I was then trained in how to use the exhibitions website so I could see what kind of content could be displayed and what layout was possible. I was also guided on what external organisations and volunteers associated with RESP I could approach to ask for visual content such as photographs and videos.

Caroline Milligan also provided me with an extensive list of interviews

that she knew mentioned animals – you can see the whole list here. When first listening to these, I wanted to stop and write down the time stamp for every little anecdote I thought was interesting, but this would have taken forever!

Instead I listened to a couple of them the whole-way through the first time around with my digital drawing tablet set up. I soon found that just doodling away while listening to the interviews clarified that the topics and themes I was clearly drawn to involved animals and nature.


Going back to make notes of relevant stories from some of these interviews and thinking about the kind of illustrations I was producing, and the other visual content RESP had access to, I was able to suggest three ‘categories’ that the content could be placed in, to provide a framework for the exhibition.
The three categories ‘for us,’ ‘with us’, ‘around us,’ are not intended as concrete descriptions, but as loose themes that can frame or challenge your interpretation of the kind of interactions between people and animals that can be found in the exhibition.

I found reference images on the internet to ensure I was getting things like the colours, details and proportions somewhat right for these illustrations. Some interviews discussed populations of pheasants, kites and lapwings which I guessed were birds, but only thanks to a Google search could I confidently replicate what they looked like!
This exercise in itself was eye opening – searching out further details from the fleeting comments made within an interview gave me such a greater appreciation for the topics people were discussing.
For example, discovering that lapwings, also known as ‘peewits’, had adorable pointy head-feathers and nested on the ground, helped me imagine how these creatures would have stood out to a person gazing across the landscape.
I could imagine the parent birds watching over their cute fluffy chicks, but also worrying as farm machinery and road traffic milled by dangerously close to their nests.

I was really inspired by how a previous intern for the Friends Exhibition used their own illustrations throughout the exhibition; her scrapbook-style collages neatly frame the pages and provide a visual connection between collection items that might have otherwise felt disparate. The illustrations in the Friends Exhibition enhance the viewers experience while navigating the website, but do not draw any focus away from the key material on display. This was a method I hoped to replicate by including my own drawings in the Animal Encounters exhibition.
To give the idea that my illustrations were visual components of a larger, multi-media, exhibition, I placed the individual illustrations in a variety of mismatching frames. This created a kind of jigsaw or collage to use on the homepage and in marketing material.

For each sub-page, I then took a smaller group of framed illustrations that felt relevant to the interviews and used these as header images.

Where I included audio clips from the interviews I tried to accompany these with images of the individual speaking or photographs from the location the interviewee came from. Where I could not find a relevant image, I instead took a quote from the interview transcription and placed it in a frame alongside some relevant illustrations.
I felt this helped keep the content engaging and created continuity between different sections.

In the Friends Exhibition, the intern included a short recording of the Curator speaking about an item in the collection which inspired me to include a piece of my own connection to the themes explored in the Animal Encounters exhibition through a short interview with the RESP Project Archivist Lesley Bryson.
I had been eager to include mention of a connection we had discovered over the months since I started this internship. Through chatting about family history we realised that the area of Morningside where Lesley lives today is right by the location of the historic dairy my husband’s great-great-grandparents had lived and worked in the early 1900s.
I was recently sent some of these family photos and showed Lesley, who enjoyed seeing how different the street had looked in the past. She also told me that recent building works at her house had uncovered cow bones, possibly evidence of the historic dairy.

This interaction is the last story included in the exhibition as I feel that it surmises for me just how pervasive the connections between humans and animals remain across the decades.

View the exhibition:

Collecting in East Lothian

We are always encouraging people to get involved with our Project, whether as a volunteer fieldworker or transcriber, or as a willing interviewee.  As well as valuing the oral history interview for its own sake we are also keen to encourage and facilitate opportunities for people to get together and learn from each other about the community they live in.  In this month’s blog post we hear from one of our East Lothian volunteer fieldworkers, Janis Macdonald, about her interest in social history, how she came to be involved with the RESP and what she has learned from her participation.  To date, Janis has carried out 17 interviews with 18 interviewees and, as the following report demonstrates, she doesn’t seem to be thinking of hanging up her microphone anytime soon!  We’re very glad to hear this!

fieldworker, Janis Macdonald

For as long as I can remember I have had an interest in family history. I was very close to my maternal grandparents and I used to love encouraging them to share stories of when they were younger. Both were local and came from large families. However, it wasn’t until more recently that I realised how little I actually knew about their early years. My nana used to deliver Sunday papers for her father, regularly cycling miles out into the country from Haddington. My papa went to school in Prestonpans. I also knew that, as the oldest child he took on responsibilities for the well-being of his siblings.

my grandparents, William and Helen Cunningham

On reflection now, I realise that most of the memories shared with me were from their married years, and the childhood years of my mother and her four brothers. My grandfather worked for the local Council and my grandmother for a local baker. I know they both had bikes and that my grandfather, having driven a Council lorry for many years, found the size of his first car challenging and it was regularly to be found parked quite far from the kerb! It’s often too late when we realise how little we know about our families.

Tracing family trees can give us names, dates and places but it is the social history that catches my interest. The Ethnology research project is helping us ensure that we can build our knowledge. People share their stories and this contributes to the pictures we have of when our relatives were younger.

I became involved in the Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project after attending a Haddington Remembered session with my uncle. At that event Ruth, one of the John Gray Centre archivists, asked if I would be interested in helping with fieldwork and later Mark, one of the project researchers, contacted me. He arranged a short training meeting for myself and two other interested volunteers.  The session covered how to use the recording equipment, guidance on conducting interviews and there was also time to make some practice interviews.  Now that I’m a fully-fledged fieldworker, I find I prefer to refer to the interviews as conversations.  The term interview can seem a bit intimidating! Mostly I have engaged in guided conversations though, as I like to have a little knowledge of the person I am talking with!

My first conversation was with my mother-in-law and her twin sister. I felt a bit anxious beforehand but as they started talking I relaxed and it was good fun. One lesson I learned was that when the recorder was switched off the stories kept on coming!  Mark gave me feedback on this first interview and commented on the electrical noise throughout the recording. It was my mother-in-law’s air mattress – a noise that we had become so used to that we didn’t give it a thought! Mark’s feedback was supportive and reassuring and he uses his experience to comment on recording levels, types of question and where there might be opportunities to elicit more information.

Everyone has a story to tell. I have had the privilege of talking with a number of local people who have grown up in East Lothian. Some may have similar experiences but each story has personal reminiscences which bring our County to life. East Lothian used to be called Haddingtonshire. The name Haddingtonshire conjures up a different way of life from East Lothian and, to my mind, lends itself to a more rural description. Rural links come across quite strongly in many of the conversations I have had.

It is also a real privilege to talk with people about East Lothian. It can be humbling to hear of their early years and make comparisons with those of today’s children. Despite what may appear to us now as hardships, their memories are usually positive and the importance of family and community comes through very strongly.  I have been fortunate to know mostly all the people I have talked with, and my family has known their families. This connection has made these conversations all the more interesting to me. I can put faces to some of the personalities they mention, or even add to the reminiscences. Older people who knew my mother, and even those who knew my grandparents have told stories that I can make links to. Having lived in Haddington all my life, I too can remember the High Street shops as they were in the past: visiting several stores to acquire everything on the list – no credit cards, no scouring shelves for specific brands, no home deliveries and everyone had their own shopping bag!

As a volunteer fieldworker with the RESP I have been encouraged to follow my own connections and ideas while allowing each person the opportunity to speak about what matters to them. The people I have recorded have come from a wide range of backgrounds and our conversations have been varied – ranging from the drummer of a popular local band to a retained fireman working in Haddington. Stories I have heard cover a wide range of subjects too and have included changes in local businesses, school experiences, memories of World War 2, fashion, fishing life and Haddington Pipe Band. Although I have chatted with many older people, including a gentleman who is 101, I am also keen to record some school pupils in order to have contrasting experiences.  And so there’s plenty to get on with and lots of people willing to share stories. Today’s events are tomorrow’s memories!

Janis Macdonald

You can find out more about the recordings made by janis on our RESP Archive website:

Royal Reflections from the RESP Archive

10 - Peers of the realm look on during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey

This weekend sees the culmination of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, and marks her 70th anniversary as monarch. This event provides us with an opportunity to explore some of the Royal Family related material that can be found in RESP archive recordings.

The RESP archive includes a number of recordings which contain memories of monarchs and royal celebrations.  The earliest relates to a recording made in 1975 with 100 year old Granny Blacklock.  Recorded by her grandson, Ian Blacklock, and subsequently donated to the RESP, this interview takes us back to Granny’s childhood, in the late 1870s and provides us with some of the earliest recollections we have in the archive. Although not yet available to listen to on the website, there is a published summary on the site and the recording and transcription will be uploaded soon.  As a young woman, Granny worked for a family who were based in Manchester for a while and she was taken along to the opening of the Manchester ship canal, in 1894.  Queen Victoria was there, and Granny could recall the monarch in her ‘wida’s weeds’ as she passed quite close by and waved to the crowd.  When asked by Ian if she’d waved back, she recalled, ‘Aye, Ah waived back, aye’.

We then jump to the green at West Barns, East Lothian, 1935.  Peter Aitchison, who was a small child in 1935, recalled a cedar being planted to celebrate the silver jubilee of Queen Mary and King George V.  In a moving, informative and often funny interview, Peter mentions this occasion and then adds quickly that he’s always keen to tell people that the tree ‘wisnae his fault’, a reference, perhaps, to the impressive, or possibly intrusive, size of the tree today!

Other interviewees recall the coronation celebrations in different parts of Dumfries and Galloway.  These include Tom Allan, who remembers the celebrations, including pipe bands and bonfires, in Lochmaben and Sheila Austin, who remembers the celebrations in the more remote farming parts of the region

My favourite recollection comes to us from Davie Graham, of Sanquhar, who recalls that only a few people in the town had a television in 1953 and so many, himself included, watched the coronation through a shop window!