We’re really looking forward (or do we mean backward?) to the fast-approaching Previously…Scotland’s Festival of History!
We are also baffled that no one had this bright idea before, but we’re sure that it will be a great success, given the fascinating and rich history of Scotland! We might be biased, but we think there’s nowhere more appropriate for the first Festival of History than right here in historic Edinburgh.
Whether you’re interested local history, family history, the history of food and drink, Edinburgh’s offbeat history or vintage crafting; whether you prefer to learn through archival records, photography or music, Previously… is sure to have something for absolutely everyone! Below is just a selection from the bursting events page – many of them free!
A free event, featuring discussions and readings regarding Stevenson.
Thursday 17th November, City Art Centre, 7pm-8pm. Although it is free, spaces are sure to be snapped up quickly, so register now to avoid disappointment!
Dr Elsie Inglis was an unsung heroine, having fought against male oppression to pursue her career in medicine. She opened her own hospital for women, fought for votes for women and should be a well-known national treasure. Enjoy an afternoon celebrating this inspirational woman.
Friday 18th November, The Howard Hotel, 34 Great King Street, 2pm-5pm, £19.99. Bookings must be made by the 11th. Please phone 0131 557 3500 to book your place.
Discover Lauriston Castle’s mysteries, hear atmospheric wintry tales in the old tower house, and create your own coat of arms and miniature castle to take home!
Saturday 19th November, Lauriston Castle, 10:30am-12:30pm, £4. Reservation essential.
Enjoy an entertaining demonstration of vintage wind-up toys!
Saturday 19th November, Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, Royal Mile, 12pm-1pm, reservation is essential.
Come and view a rare screening of a historic film about children’s songs from the past, dubbed the best amateur documentary ever made, and see how childhood play has changed throughout the years. The scene will be set by Ewan McVicar, a collector of children’s lore.
Sunday 20th November, Filmhouse, 1pm-2:30pm. For tickets, phone 0131 228 2688 or book online at: www.filmhousecinema.com
Join Jackie Brown for an entertaining afternoon of coffee and chat.
Sunday 20th November, Captain Taylor’s Coffee House, 18 South Bridge, 2pm-3pm. Booking not necessary but please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Explore the fascinating stories of war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sasson, and their links to this Edinburgh campus!
Monday 21st November, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus, 11am-2pm. Tickets are free but please reserve your place.
Monday 21st November, Penicuik Town Hall Marriage Room, High Street, 7pm-8:45pm, £3(£2)
The second ever Disability History month celebrates the identity of disabled people in Scotland and their struggles for liberation and social justice.
Tuesday 22nd November, Moray House Campus, Edinburgh University, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Tickets are free, but please reserve your place by calling 0131 555 9329.
Historians discuss the swings of Britishness and Scottishness between the Acts of Union in 1707 and the Scottish Parliament general election on 5 May 2011.
Tuesday 22nd November, Committee Room 1, The Scottish Parliament, 6-8pm. Tickets are free but must be reserved.
Learn about Edinburgh’s less savour history and uncover tales of murder, lust, adultery and lots of things for adults’ eyes only! After the tour, enjoy a free drink and more sordid tales!
Tuesday 22nd November, Royal Mile and Megget’s Cellar, 6-7:30pm, £10. Book online or phone 0131 225 5445.
Learn about the ins and outs of servant life, followed by a themed tour of the castle.
Wednesday 23rd November, Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, 10:30am-11:30am, £8 (includes tour and cake!). Please reserve your place by calling 0131 529 3963 or click here to email.
Discover the multitude of treasures at the Scottish Geneaology society – an absolute must for hobbyist historians!
Wednesday 23rd November, Scottish Genealogy Society Library & Family History Centre, 15 Victoria Terrace, 10:30-9pm, free.
A hilarious evening of history themed comedy!
Wednesday 23rd November, The Stand, 8:30-11:30pm, £5(£4); pop in, book online or phone 0131 558 7272
Meet the author of “The Secret Mandarin” and “Secret of the Sands“.
Thursday 24th November, Central Library Mezzanine, 10:30-11:30am, free but reservation is essential; please email or phone 0131 242 8100.
A discussion about the conflicting issues of religion in Scotland; from the shame of sectarianism to the Scottish moral compass.
Thursday 24th November, Committee Room 2, The Scottish Parliament, 6pm-8pm, free but reservations are essential.
If you have a friend or relative who fought or worked in WWI, please come down with any stories, photos, letters or diaries you may have!
Friday 25th November, Leith Library, 1:30-3:30pm, free.
Guid Crack at the Waverley Bar
Senga Munro hosts this monthly sing-song and storytelling session.
Friday 25th November, Waverley Bar, 1 St. Mary’s Street, 7:30-10pm, suggested donation £3. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Scottish Storytelling Centre or on 0131 556 9579.
Fun drop-in opportunity to see some vintage piggy banks!
Saturday 26th November, Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, 10:30am-12:30pm, then 1:30-2:30pm. Free but reservation is necessary!
Not for the weak of stomach! Learn about food from yore, share your own recipes and maybe even try some of the “treats” on offer!
Saturday 26th November, Captain Taylor’s Coffee House, 18 South Bridge, 10am-2pm, drop-in.
Join Roger Kelly as he discusses General Maczek and the Great Polish Map.
Saturday 26th November, Penicuik Town Hall, 7-9:15pm, £3(2), please phone 01968 677854 for tickets.
Join volunteers and discover the Dean Cemetary, and uncover stories about those buried there.
Sunday 27th November, Meet at Main Cemetery Gate at the crown of Dean Path, 11am-12:30pm, £3, no booking necessary
Discover how the Edwardians celebrated Christmas, with a gorgeous tree, Edwardian toys, parlour games and crafting!
Sunday 27th November,Lauriston Castle, 10am-12:30pm, £6 and booking is essential, please email or phone 0131 529 3963.
Learn about the productive relationship between Scotland and Japan!
Monday 28th November, Penicuik Town Hall Marriage Room, 7-9:15pm, £3(£2), phone 01968 677854 for tickets.
If you love graveyards and hate to see them neglected, why not become a friend of the graveyards and see what you can do to ensure their preservation?
Tuesday 29th November, Beehive Inn, 18-20 Grassmarket, 6:30-7:30pm, free, but please arrive early to avoid disappointment!
An anthology with many voices – patriots and sceptics, radicals and conservatives, debaters and polemicists, campaigners and crusaders – Great Scottish Speeches presents a history of Scotland through its most defining moments.
Wednesday 30th November, Dome Facility at New Register House, 3 West Register Street. 10 – 11am. Free but prior booking essential
Dorthy Crawford and Tara Womersley showcase famous Edinburgh medical alumni through the ages including Robert Knox and others like Charles Darwin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who studied medicine in Edinburgh but went on to make their names in other fields. The book follows the evolution of medical practice through the ages, from the dark practices of the 19th century to Dolly, the first cloned sheep in the 21st century.
Wednesday 30th November, Dome Facility at New Register House, 3 West Register Street, 2 – 4pm. Free but prior booking essential
Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel these due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment caused by this.