Our thoughts turn to Merseyside thanks to Duncan Sim, and more…
Early research on Scotland’s diaspora across the Border in England quickly led to Duncan Sim and his colleagues’ work at the University of West of Scotland. He had published The Merseyside Scots with the late Alasdair Munro in 2001 and penned a more recent paper in the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 31.1.2011. Duncan immediately agreed to assist us and the team made contact with the Lancashire and Cheshire Federation of Scottish Societies. And so, on Saturday September 29th as its Councillors met in Helsby Community Centre where the Caledonian Society meets locally, the ‘big’ tapestry idea was presented to them all. The response was as hoped for, with willing enthusiasm from historians and stitchers alike.
John Thornhill, the Federation Secretary, pledged not only his personal support but also to help all the contact points to blossom. And why not? He’s a confessed once-upon-a-time beachbum at Gullane, with an aunt by the Esk and a father with close links to Musselburgh.
So what are the emergent tales from Merseyside for the tapestry then? Well it is early days, but Duncan Sim has ‘volunteered’ to help us get some great perspectives. Here are some of the earliest thoughts we have taken from his research …. but more are most welcome!
Laird’s establishment of Birkenhead shipyard
Elder Dempster shipping line/ Cunard
Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem To Circumjack Cencrastus
Scots charitable associations
Scots clubs and societies
Wallace Society and SNP
Police strike breaking.