10 Feb New exhibition to open at the Tolbooth Museum

Tolbooth MuseumOn Saturday 7th February a new exhibition opened in Aberdeen’s Tolbooth Museum celebrating the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen. The seven trades are Hammermen, Bakers, Wrights and Coopers, Tailors, Shoemakers, Weavers and Fleshers.

The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen is one of the most important institutions in the city of Aberdeen and it houses a collection of artefacts of international importance. The history of the individual Trades dates back to the medieval period when groups of craftsmen came together to protect their own interests, to create rules to regulate and manage their trade, elect a leader (Deacon), control quality of output, maintain their reputation and seek to look after the elderly and infirm of their trade.

Today the Trades are based in Trinity Hall, the third building of that name. Over the centuries they have amassed one of the most impressive collections of art, artefacts and furniture in Aberdeen. Many of these pieces were created as ‘essays’, or pieces of work, by individual craftsmen to show their eligibility to join their trade.


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23 Jan Your invitation to attend Trade Awards 2015

TradesAwards_web_logoTrinity Hall has been selected to host the official launch event for the Trades Awards 2015, sponsored by Stewart Milne Group.

The event will take place on Wednesday 4th February 2015, 6 -7.30pm and will be a chance to learn how applying for Trades Awards 2015 benefits local businesses and about the partnership between the Trades Awards and the Stewart Milne Group, whilst also offering attendees the opportunity to have a tour of Trinity Hall, and take in the incredible history of our unique venue.

Trades Awards is an annual event which rewards and recognises tradesmen and trades businesses in the North-East of Scotland and is open to any individual or business that comes under the category ‘construction’, which by definition is any individual business involved in the design (internal and external), planning, construction (internal and external), decoration, modification or restoration of a building or structure. They must also have an operating office in the North-East of Scotland.

If you would like to attend this event, please email your R.S.V.P to Lucy Alphonse at: by 28th January or feel free to call 01224 626000 for more information.

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08 Jan Annual Ladies Tea 2014

Ladies are highly important to the successful running of Trinity Hall. The thought of a Dinner Dance without ladies is unimaginable, and many other social functions would be diminished in their absence, but they also work hard in support of the members, being actively involved particularly in the annual Children’s Christmas Party and in various charity fund raising events.
In recognition of and thanks for all this help the ladies are honoured at the annual Ladies Day Tea, attended by members, their spouses and partners, and friends. Most Trades also take the opportunity to invite widows of former members, regarding it as highly important to maintain links with the widows.
The 2014 Tea was particularly well attended by 135 members and guests, who enjoyed a traditional Christmas meal of Scotch Broth, Turkey and Ham, and Trifle. The toast to “The Ladies” was proposed by Master of Trades Hospital, George Esson. In her reply on behalf of the ladies his wife, Mrs Lindsey Esson, reflected on the flowers which should be in a Trinity Hall bouquet -– the twin flower (Linnaea Borealis) to note the remarkable coincidence that the Late Deacon Convener is a twin, the Deacon Convener and his wife are both twins, and Lindsey herself is a twin; the corn marigold, represented in the arms of Dr William Guild, first Patron of the Seven Incorporated Trades, the 17th century Scots name for which was “guild”; and two flowers represented extensively in the 19th century windows which adorn the Major Hall, the daisy Bellis Perennis, and flax. (more…)

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09 Dec Santa back at Trinity Hall

Santa with assistant Master of Trades Hospital George Esson handing out presentsOn the afternoon of the 6th December, the 2014 Christmas party for children and grandchildren of members was held in Trinity Hall. The event was organised by Lindsey Esson, wife of the Master of Trades Hospital, who was ably assisted by the Deacon’s wives and partners.

Patron Rev Iain Thomson, along with his wife Christine, coordinated the party games before the children were entertained by Gary Seagraves and his magic rabbit Basil.   Some children, and Rev. Thomson, were included in the show as magician’s assistants, which was well received by both children and adults.

After a feast of sandwiches, pies, cake and ice-cream,  Santa visited the children and assisted by Master of Trades Hospital, George Esson, dispensed presents to all.

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02 Dec Winter Graduations – University of Aberdeen

Emma Paterson 2Representatives of the Incorporated Trades again attended the graduation ceremonies of the University of Aberdeen. Our links, which hark back to the 1500’s, continue and reinforce the link with our first Patron and Principal of Kings College, Rev Dr William Guild.

This year’s Ceremonies were attended by Deacon Convener Sandy McKinnon, Master of Trades Hospital George Esson, Late Deacon Convener David N Parkinson and Deacon of the Wrights & Coopers Alan Steele.

Congratulations to all the students that graduated, but especially to Emma Paterson who graduated on Thursday morning and was involved as part of her Curatorship Studies in assisting the Trades with research into our collection of historic ceremonial chairs.


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18 Nov Leopard Magazine features New Deacon Convener

The November issue of the Leopard Magazine features an interesting article about Deacon Convener, Sandy McKinnon, and his election as the 427th Deacon Convener of the Seven Incorporated Trades.

“New Deacon Convener of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen is previous master of Trades Hospital, baker Sandy McKinnon. Sandy was unanimously elected at October’s meeting in the Trinity Hall, as the 427th Deacon Convener.
Previous incumbent David N Parkinson now becomes Late Deacon Convener, having focused his time in office on further promoting links with the educational establishments in Aberdeen to build on the original ethos of the Incorporated Trades through “apprenticeships” and historical research.”

pdf_small  View full article

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11 Nov Armistice Service and Kirking 2014

Memorial PlaqueOn the 9th November 2014 the Incorporated Trades attended a small memorial service conducted by the Patron Rev Iain Thomson to mark the fallen Burges of Trade who died not only in recent conflicts but also in defence of the City of Aberdeen in the past.

The service was held at Trinity Hall prior to attending the City Armistice Service held outside the Cowdray Hall in Schoolhill.

This is also the day that the Trades have their ‘Kirking’ Service to finalise the Election of office bearers of the Seven Trades and the Election of the Deacon Convener and Master of Trades Hospital.

A separate article is posted with the Patron Service. (more…)

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07 Nov 427th Convener Court Election Dinner

On Saturday the 1st November, the 427th Convener Court Election Dinner of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen was held in Trinity Hall in celebration of the completion of the Elections of each of the Seven Trades: Hammermen, Bakers, Wrights & Coopers, Tailors, Shoemakers, Weavers and Fleshers.

Mr Alexander C McKinnon was elected as Deacon Convener while Mr George Esson was appointed as Master of Trades Hospital.

At the end of the evening the Deacon Convener thanked all those that had assisted in making the evening a success including those who spoke at the Dinner.

Toast to the Memory of Rev Dr William Guild – Patron Reverend Iain U Thomson
– Toast to the City of Aberdeen – Mr Alastair Anderson
– Reply to the toast – Lord Provost George Adam
– Toast to the Universities of Aberdeen – Mr Hugh Ouston
– Reply to the Toast – Principal & Vice Chancellor of The Universities of Aberdeen – Prof Sir Ian Diamond
– Toast to the Convener Court of the Incorporated Trades – Reverend Stephen Taylor
– Reply to the Toast – Master of Trades Hospital George Esson

The evening was then closed by the traditional ‘Bon Accord’ toast given by the Lord Provost.

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04 Nov Toast to the memory of Rev Dr William Guild 2014

The 427th Convener Court Dinner was held at Trinity Hall on Saturday 1st November.  Our Patron, Rev Iain U Thomson, proposed a Toast in Memory of Dr William Guild, a copy of which follows:

The Rev Dr William Guild- our founder and first Patron whose portrait graces this hall. William Guild grew up with first hand knowledge of the Trades, his father Matthew having been Deacon of the Hammermen on six occasions.  An able scholar, at the age of 22, William graduated from Marischal College and became Parish Minister at the Kirk of King Edward and then moved to the City Kirk here in Aberdeen in 1631, before becoming Principal to Aberdeen University in 1641.

William Guild was aware of the needs of the various Trades; they had no meeting place; they were still a loose formation.  He saw an opportunity to help – a derelict monastery once the property of the Red Friars, now belonging to the Crown.  He bought it and encouraged various tradesmen to embark on the project of renovation, and in 1633 he gifted the now restored building to the Incorporated Trades, their first meeting-place and hospital.  Now they had the means to grow together.  William Guild thus laid the foundations on which our prestigious Incorporation is built, and he continued his involvement with the Trades through to his death in 1657 as our first Patron. (more…)

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04 Nov Aberdeen holds another successful dinner

St Lazarus Aberdeen to the Order in ScotlandThe growing St Lazarus branch in Aberdeen attracted a “house full” sign for their dinner in historic Trinity Hall in the Granite City in October.

Chairman Duncan Cameron welcomed guests from as far away as Lanarkshire, Derbyshire and Kent.

The proceedings bore a stylish stamp through wide use of heraldry….at seat places, on individual menu cards, on table banners, in personal banners of St Lazarus members around the hall, and most of all, on a brand-new pipe banner commissioned by the emerging Aberdeen branch.

This banner is the gift of St Lazarus Aberdeen to the Order in Scotland, with chairman Duncan’s wish that it “be used as often and as widely as possible”. Piper Gordon Casely launched the banner when he led in the diners and top table.


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