25 May Tour of Kings College Chapel

Kings College ChapelFollowing a Tour of Trinity Hall for the University Chaplaincy and the University Kirking at Kings College earlier in the year, an offer was made to the members of the Incorporated Trades to visit Kings College Chapel and learn of its history from Dr Louise Page. Due to the response from members and their partners, this was split into two groups and on Thursday 21st May, Dr Page conducted a tour round the Chapel.

Dr Paige was an extremely interesting and knowledgeable guide. Knowing of the particular interest of the group she paid particularly interest in relation to the wood finishes and stained glass windows which was of interest to the members attending.


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15 May 2015 York Cordwainers Dinner

York Cordwainers Dinner Group PhotographThe second weekend in May, so it is the York Cordwainers Dinner.

For a number of years the Deacon Convener of the Seven Incorporated Trades has been invited as a guest to the Election of the Master Cordwainer of York Celebration Dinner. This is, however, a long way to go for only one evening so it’s normally a weekend away. As the Cordwainers include Shoemakers, a further invitation has recently been extended to the Deacon of the Aberdeen Shoemakers Incorporation.

After travelling down on the Friday, an invitation was extended to the Late Deacon Convener (who was representing the Deacon Convener) and the Deacon of the Shoemakers to attend an evening meal at the Grange Hotel with the reprehensive Master and Clerks of the London Guilds associated with the leather industry. (more…)

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15 May Weavers welcome new Burgess of Trade

Neil Armour With Late Deacon Convener David Parkinson accepting his Burgesses CertificateThe newest member to the Aberdeen Weavers Incorporation was admitted as a Burgess of Trade on the morning of the 13th May 2015 at a ceremony in the City Council Chambers in the Towns House.

The Late Deacon Convener, standing in for Deacon Convener Sandy McKinnon, presented the applicant to the Depute Provost:

“Depute Provost, may I present as an applicant for admission as a Free Burgess of the Burgh of Aberdeen of his own Craft only:

Neil Anthony Armour, Weaver, Aberdeen

The applicant meets the requirements for admission and has undertaken to pay the relevant dues to the Common Good of the Burgh and to the Guild Box, together with the customary token of five shillings Scots in a white purse to the Lord Provost.” (more…)

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11 May VE Day commemorated by Aberdeen

VE_imageA Service of Thanksgiving to mark the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day was held in The Kirk of St Nicholas on Sunday 10 May 2015. Members of the Convener Court, along with partners, joined together with Lord Provost George Adam, Lord Dean of the Guild Colin Taylor, Councillor Jennifer Laing, our Patron Rev Iain Thomson, members of our Armed Forces and Civic leaders as Rev Stephen Taylor lead the Aberdeen City Councillors’ Service, accompanied by Rev James Stewart and Rev Dr Henry Sefton.

Councillor Jennifer Laing gave the first reading of Scripture, followed by Lessons, read by Lord Dean Colin Taylor and Lord Provost George Adam. The sermon which followed, given by Rev James Stewart, gave the congregation an insight into the celebrations of VE day through the eyes of a child and were the personal memories of his childhood growing up in a suburb of Glasgow.

During the service, Ms Yvonne Morton, accompanied by Ms Eileen Pike on piano, provided a musical reflection by performing wartime songs such as “We’ll meet again” and “A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square”.

The full VE Day Thanksgiving Service can be viewed here

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07 May RGU Architecture students map changing face of City Street

Bon Accord 1954Architecture students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen have brought the historical development of one of the city’s streets to life.

The Stage 3 students have been working with the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen to track the development of Bon Accord Crescent, using documents dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.

The students have built up 3D images and models of the changing face of the street over the past 150 years, with the help of documents provided by the Seven Incorporated Trades.

Using urban design appraisal techniques to sift through the information showing various planning decisions on issues such as form, density, façade and skyline, the students then linked these elements to the historical background of how the neighbourhood transformed through decades.

They also used laser scanning to capture very detailed information about the current architecture in the street, technology that the university also employed during the recent Look Again Festival in Aberdeen.


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29 Apr Turriff & District Ladies enjoy Trinity tour

Turriff & District Ladies CircleOn 23rd April 2015 a tour round Trinity Hall was directed by Late Deacon Convener David N Parkinson for Turriff & District Ladies Circle.  The photograph was taken at the end of the evening  and Moira commented on the e-mail sending the photo ‘Please find attached our photo from our fantastic evening with you, We can’t thank you enough for giving up your time to show us round your amazing building and all its contents, we were all in awe of the passion and honour behind your organisation.  It was a night we will all remember.  Thank you so much’

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18 Apr New members for Shoemakers Incorporation

Shoemakers new members, Mark McCue and Alistair WalkerOn Tuesday 14th April 2015, Mark McCue, a private banker and stockbroker and Alistair Walker, a chartered surveyor, were admitted into the Shoemakers Incorporation.
Through an Act of Parliament in 1424, craftsmen including Shoemakers were permitted for the first time, to elect a Deacon to represent the Trade. In 1520, a Seal of Cause was granted, permitting the trade to form as an Incorporation.
Potential members had to prove their worth as shoemakers by making and presenting to the Trade, a pair of shoes or boots made “by their own hands”. This is called an Essay Piece (Initially known as a Sey or Masterstick) and overseen by Essay Masters.
However, Aberdonians probably do not realise that Shoemaking as a trade has been lost to the city. The last Shoemaker, Lewis Stuart, closed his premises in Rosemount Place in 2007 after three generations. (more…)

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27 Mar Kilometres or miles? Which is longer?

I have now completed two UK “End to End” 14 day cycles rides. My first, in May 2013, was Lands End to John O’Groats, which for me, was a very daunting prospect as I had never tackled such a cycling challenge and this combined with the fact that I was beyond retirement age, it was a physical challenge that somewhat concerned my family. I had carefully selected Peak Tours, a cycle tour specialist from web research of the range of organisers of cycling holidays, believing that they would provide the most supportive arrangements and so enable me to achieve my objective of safely completing the trip. Such was my enjoyment of the experience that I put my name down for a place on Peak Tours’ Dover to Cape Wrath challenge, again over 14 days. This I completed in August 2014.

It is said that “there is no fool like an old fool”, and my actions after completing Dover to Cape Wrath, adds considerable credence to that saying because, I have once again put my name down for another 14 day cycle ride, again organised by Peak Tours – this time it will be from the English Channel to the Mediterranean or more precisely, Caen to Nice. This will be done in May 2015.

On any long distance outdoor challenge such as this, there are a number of factors which are going to test you: – (more…)

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25 Mar Tour of the Aberdeen City Archives

On the evening of the 24th March 2015 a number of the Hammermen and Tailors Incorporation met for a Tour of the Aberdeen City Archives. Welcomed by Mr Hall, of the Archives Department, the members were firstly given a short tour of the Towns House specifically the St Nicholas Room, the newly refurbished, Town and County Hall and the Bon Accord Room.

Matthew, in his talk presented the history of the City and the significance of various parts of the building.

We then were taken to the Charter Room and shown a number of the archives including details of the construction of Union Street, City Seals and original regalia, and records relation to apprenticeships and indentures.

After the visit we had a meal in a nearby restaurant before making our way home. Overall a very interesting and informative evening.

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17 Feb Rev Dr Patrick Sibbald’s portrait displayed

Left Ex Deacon Tom Ironside, Chairman of the Artefacts Committee Right Neil Curtis MA MLitt AMA FSA Scot, Head of Museums, University of Aberdeen

Left to right: Ex Deacon Tom Ironside and Neil Curtis

Following a review of the portraits, after the hanging last year of the portrait of our current Patron Rev Iain Thomson, it was noted that we were missing a number of portraits of our earlier Patrons. During investigation by a member researching the Patrons of the Incorporated Trades, one of the four missing portraits, Dr Patrick Sibbald, was discovered in the collection of the University of Aberdeen.

This led to discussions with Neil Curtis, Head of Museums at the University, who arranged to have the portrait photographed, in order that the Artefacts Committee could consider having a high quality photographic reproduction of the portrait displayed in Trinity Hall.

At the Convener Court Dinner held last year in Trinity Hall, Ex Deacon Convener Parkinson was discussing the subject with Prof Sir Ian Diamond, Principal of the University of Aberdeen. An offer was made to possibly loan the original to the Incorporated Trades for display within Trinity Hall providing it was not already on display at the University. To formalise this we were asked to write to the University requesting a long term loan of the portrait from their collection, which was agreed. (more…)

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