ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES APRIL - JUNE 2018
Local History Week
As well as being the Year of the Young Person, 2018 marks the centenary of the end of WW1. To commemorate this milestone, FCT Libraries partnered with Archives and Heritage to hold a three week-long festival at the beginning of May to promote local history and to reflect on the experience of young people in Falkirk during WW1. Eight local primary schools visited their local library for an interactive presentation by GB and Naomi Kenny on communication in WW1. The children learned about codes, handled bomb fragments and discovered how children traded grenade plugs like Pokémon cards. This was followed by a practical demonstration of how messages could be transmitted by wires from the trenches.
Talks on WWI related themes for adults were presented by Jim Summers (railways) Michael White (football, Ian Scott (Falkirk), David Leask (Muiravonside) and Russel McGillivray (Larbert).
The programme boasted a range of events for all ages. Events were held in eight public libraries, one museum, thirty school classes and two Scout groups. 317 adults and 862 children attended our events; and more visited the displays in each of the libraries.
Festival of Museums
With the Friends of Kinneil an evening event was held at Kinneil Museum on Friday 18th May. This included an object handling session based upon the "Civilisations" theme by GB, a bat walk and guided tours of Kinneil House. 82 people visited the House, but 110 looked around the Museum.
On Sunday the House was again open and visitor number for both were 220. This provides a substantial boost to our annual targets.
Community dig at Higgins Neuk
During the week beginning 30th April 2018 a return was made to the site of the 16th century tidal mill and James IV's dockyard at Higgins Neuk near Airth. The excavation, sponsored by IFLI and managed by SCAPE continued to investigate the lower levels of the mill and revealed an interesting sequence of dockyard, then tidal mill, then harbour and finally ferry. Over 30 volunteers, many from Fife, participated.
Using engineering skills of their own, the volunteers moved a large amount of material.
On 12-13th May a community excavation in the annexe at Mumrills found a samian pot of form 18/31R with a graffito (post cocturam) on the underside. Roger Tomlin reads this as: IV]CVNDI meaning '(Property) of Iucundus'. The C is only slightly curved, and D is angular. It is quite a common name. Four pieces of decorated samian were also found and have been added to the Museum collection.
Now that the catalogue of tokens in the Museum collection is almost complete the team of volunteers are examining the session records of several of our local churches to see how they were used and provide a context for this. Different churches provide different snippets of information:
- Polmont Church was new in the 1730s and there is a good record of the communion tent being made at that time.
- Bo'ness was a maritime port and communion was timed to coincide with the arrival or departure of the ships.
- Dennyloanhead records concentrate on the provision of sustenance for the accompanying feast – whisky, wine, brandy, ale, cheese, beef, lamb, bread, etc.
The work on the spreadsheet of First World War soldiers from the Falkirk area continues. There are currently 25,500 sets of entries covering 13,100 individuals. Checking of the records – errors and typos – has begun, but will take a considerable amount of work, especially as it is hoped to have the information on the new website by November in time for the end of the war commemorations.