9 November 2015

    SPEAKER 19
    Very Rev John Chalmers

    The Rev John began his marvellous talk by revealing his life's travel into the ministry, followed by his son's military life, including his severe war injuries and the quite astonishing aftermath. This led to his worldwide travels as Moderator, his contact with First and Prime Ministers, African Leaders to the personal time with the Pope.
    His final subject and the most disturbing was the life style of Govanhill's Romani population. From forced prostitution to virtual slavery in our country was hard to credit.

    VOT Colin Wilson


    23 November 2015

    SPEAKER 20

    Diana Maxwell took up the interest in WW1 Admiralty Experimental Station ; scientists worked on experiments to detect German U boats. She joined the group which eventually succeeded. A magnificent war triumph.
    Her talk is about this amazing first world war research establishment's vital research- that took place here in the village of Aberdour. Work that had a major role to play in the defence of our shipping in WW1.
    Diana is also a keen historian and the author

    VOT Harry Gresham


    28 September 2105

    SPEAKER 16
    Derek Miller

    Maintenance & Safety Manager of the famous Royal Yacht Britannia.
    The number 1 Tourist Attraction in the UK with 4.8 million visitors during the past 17 years. A great deal of work was required both on the quayside and on board to make it suitable and safe for visitors. His talk took us through these impressive engineering activities. The conversion from a sea-going vessel to a tourist site was far from simple; indeed incredible work.
    Derek’s informative talk, illustrated with slides, was based on his professional shipbuilding knowledge and enhanced by lots of hilarious anecdotes.

    VOT Tom Scott


    12 October 2015

    SPEAKER 17
    Betty McGregor

    The island had 20 acres of land and 80 acres of arable land. Betty related the joys, difficulties and anecdotes of bringing up two girls this her ‘idyllic setting’. Husband Gordon, was clearly extremely resourceful and added to their income by buying a fishing and farming.
    The island was flooded twice when the protective banks were breached where the film displayed details of the disasters. The girls however were educated at home and on the ‘mainland’ and had a most enjoyable time in their unique home.
    Alloa Inch has reverted to being flooded every high tide.

    VOT Cowan Reid


    26 October 2015

    SPEAKER 18
    David Kay

    Its first mission was to Bosnia in 1999. The IFRA`s prime aim is to deliver and support UKs obsolete fire and emergency equipment; train local staff in the operation and maintenance of the equipment.
    It has sent 48 fire engines, 22 ambulances and 6 four-wheel drive rescue vehicles and other fire equipment items such as obsolete firemen`s helmets, uniforms, bandages etc., to second world countries such as Bosnia, Romania, Liberia, Argentina and Paraguay. IFRA is not government funded and relies on its supporters collecting money or running social events or washing cars.

    VOT Douglas Ferguson


    10 Aug 2015

    SPEAKER 13
    David Hogg

    Methil is a hydrogen renewable energy source for Scotland. The problem with wind tide etc is their intermittency whereas Hydrogen, which is plentiful, can be stored and use to heat housing. There is potential for Scotland to be an exporter of (hydrogen) energy and there is a proposal to set up a North Sea Grid that would entail exporting energy in the shape of hydrogen to Norway where they have the capacity using their large resources of hydro power to store the energy. The problem comes when at a time of shortage of energy, Scotland must buy back the stored energy.

    VOT Bob Hamilton


    24 Aug 2015

    SPEAKER 14
    Margaret Dean

    Margaret entertained us with her reflections of the interesting people she dealt with as the Lord Lieutenant of Fife and events attended.
    Duties included arrangements for visits by members of the Royal family, presentation of medals on behalf of the Queen, meeting Ambassadors, (the Dalai Lama), ceremonies involving the Police, Territorial Army, Boy Scouts, Boys Brigade etc., diamond wedding anniversaries and presentation of citizenship papers. Memorable events included the 50th anniversary of the coronation of HM The Queen, funerals of Black Watch soldiers.

    VOT Bryan Paterson


    14 Sep 2015

    SPEAKER 15
    Jack Pryde

    Jack provided a thorough background of Andrew Carnegie`s formative years. His grandfather and father were weavers. The family moved to the USA where Andrew became the wealthiest man in the world. However, he never forgot the Dunfermline and established the Carnegie Trust endowed with £2.5m and stressed that “The child must benefit.” He donated his cottage, Pittencrieff Park; Lauder Technical College among others.
    Dunfermline Library was donated in 1881- first of 2,811 worldwide. Each library is in-scribed, “Let There Be Light”.

    VOT Brian Rowland


    22nd June 2015

    SPEAKER 10

    Knockhill started in 1970`s when Tom Kinnaird laid out Scotland’s 1st race track. Currently it provides a multitude of motor sport experiences- 4x4 off-road; go-cartings; a skid-pan and facilities to drive your own car or one of their racing cars. They also host British Super Bikes, British Touring Cars, the Colin McRae Challenge and Scottish Charities Car & bike events.
    In addition they have first class medical facilities; corporate hospitality facilities; the “Knockhill Experience” improves drivers` skills.

    VOT George McBain


    13th July 2015

    SPEAKER 11
    Ian Fairley

    An “old friend” of the Club explained this recent tragedy with masses of facts and several visual aids many of which had been meticulously drawn as well as a lively sense of humour, we were treated to lots of expert facts on how the ship came to be where and why it went aground when it grounded and the culpable Captain's failures– as the Italian Courts declared – it was also true that had it not been for the Captain`s quick thinking once the ship had been holed, there might have been a greater loss of life.

    VOT Bill Alexander


    27th July 2015

    SPEAKER 12
    George Lawrie

    George said they are reconnecting people with the landscape of the Lomond and Benarty Hills by enhancing access to special places in the hills and conserving the heritage; celebrating and sustaining the good things that come from the hills.
    They have a Heritage Lottery grant of £1.8million IF they produce matching fund. His slides show various activities- Conservation; Group Involvement; Learning Skills and Recreation. He displayed sites at Falkland, Markinch and Lochore Castle

    VOT Garson Gillies


    11th May 2015

    John Wells
    The Scottish National Aerial Photography Society (SNAPS) a 14 members charity, dedicated to the aerial photography using kites. The first camera kite was 1880`s, in 2007 John formed the group and in 2010 linked up with West Lothian Archaeological Trust to photograph several intriguing sites in the area.
    John showed us slides of the features in the land not visible at ground level that came to life from above. Kite photography assists archaeologists by identifying areas to be explored whereas digs often destroy sites. Also kite photography is often a useful tool in showing how the land has changed over time.

    VOT Eddie Taylor


    25th May 2015

    George Robertson

    Fine artist Adam was born in 1844 family of 10 and went to the Free Abbey Academy; apprenticed to a Stain Glass Makers, then to Glasgow as an artist. Paris, Marriage, Four children and then Glasgow Art School.
    In 1879 they moved to Sandiland helped raise £900.00 for ta Rugby Club with sketches. He also did cartoons for the Dunfermline Illustrated Journal. 1883 became a founder member of the Dunfermline Art Society. Living at 8 Albany Street and when he died in and was buried in Dunfermline Cemetery.
    Many of his paintings have never been found but various sketches have been found

    VOT George Beattie


    8th June 2015

    Jack Eadie

    Jack Eadie spoke about, “Shipbreaking on the Forth ‘the oldest industry on the Forth’; from wooden ships to iron & steel vessels. The firm dealt with ships up to 2,500 tonnes His easy delivery coupled with his many stories of the characters he met, and the workplace humour had made it more enjoyable. At its peak there were 1200 employed in shipbreaking on the Forth
    The Netherlands and UK were first into shipbreaking but with stiff competition from India and China where cheap labour and almost non-existent Health and Safety regulations has led to Hartlepool as UKs sole shipbreaker

    VOT Robin Sharp


    23rd February 2015

    Andrew Caskie

    Andrew is a bridge engineer talk/video/slides of Forth Crossings.
    1130 – The first Queensferry ferry.
    1400s- A bridge spanned the river at Stirling; replaced in 1832
    1811 – Traffic-83,000 passengers, 6,000 carts, 44,000 animals
    1848 - The first Forth railway bridge.
    1853 – An Alloa bridge serving Stirling/Dunfermline/ Edinburgh.
    1890 - The great wonder of the world, the present-day rail bridge
    1936 - Kincardine Swing Bridge opened in 1936 and stopped swinging in 1988.
    1964 - The new road bridge replacing 4 car ferries.
    2004 - Clackmannanshire Bridge was opened
    2016 - Bridge under construction.

    VOT Ian Dewar


    9th March 2015

    Andy Lownsden

    Andy Lowndes and Liz, Janice and Frances, explained their efforts of using the power of music to assist those with dementia. The amazing changes the recognition that music had on dementia patients were illustrated on several videos –smiles, converse, improvement in eating and recognitions.
    The music was carefully selected to enable recognition and when successful gave an increased quality of life. There are some 800,000 suffering from dementia in the UK. Andy works closely with Sally Magnusson, learning from her family`s experience with her mother who had suffered from the disease. “Music for Memory” is based on research done in the USA.

    VOT Alan Bayliss.


    13th April 2015

    Eddie Taylor

    Eddie Taylor headed up the team from the Dunfermline Speakers Club and demonstrated the expertise and performance skills used by the club in their meetings.
    The discipline regarding material substance and relevance was total; time scales strictly monitored and their club members judgements given to the their performance - not totally complimentary - demanded a very high standard from those who took the stand. This did not result in a lack of humour in the speeches. There was a growing anxiety however as to whether the immigrant to Scotland in Eddie's talk would manage to control his language at increasing frustration. A fun talk

    VOT Sandy Stobie


    12th January 2015

    Speaker 1
    Eddie Taylor
    An excellent start to the year with an insight into his Museum illustrated with lots of photos from the museum’s inception up to the present. What was the most amazing aspect was the skills that are employed by dozens of different tradesmen in restoring the vehicles to a standard that they are hired out to wedding parties.
    The site at Commerce Park, Lathalmond has around 160 vehicles from dilapidated wrecks to magnificently, fully-restored transport vehicles. Apart from the mechanical skills employed, the wonderful paintwork on the finished articles gave a prime finish to the workmanship

    VOT Bryan Kirkwood.


    26th January 2015

    Katy Firth and team

    This talk is an extension to Leslie’s last year talk where we will drill down into some of the projects that the new Galleries team are working on in preparation for the opening in 2016.
    Kate Firth is the latest member of the L&G team and she is responsible for the Oral History project.
    She gave us some background information on her project and how it fits in to the plan for the exhibits scheduled for the galleries. She will be bringing a few members of her team along with her and hopefully some of you may “have a go at oral history making”.

    VOT Jim Dick


    9th February 2015

    John McDonald

    The aim of this project is to use the old Erskine Church as a drop-in centre called, “The Oasis”. Hope is to open it day and evening; catering for all ages,
    A Bistro, conferences, exhibitions and a craft area for people with learning difficulties.
    The group engages with the street beggars to help a more positive view of life; meals will be served by these people. It will be another 2 years before it is operational and cost around £2.5 million. A business plan has been agreed with Fife Council and the work will be supervised by Strathclyde Building Trust.

    VOT Alan Bayliss.


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