Publications

Hugh MacKenzie: a man with big ideas

Hugh MacKenzie: a man with big ideas

Hugh MacKenzie, headteacher at Craigroyston Community High School from 1972 until 1993, died recently in Edinburgh. Hugh played a major part in making comprehensive education work. A follower of A S Neill of Summerhill and of the psychologist, Wilhelm Reich, he offered a progressive role model for […]

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Find your Family Roots 2

Here’s some advice for using ScotlandsPeople for beginners in family history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lCGo27nH1E

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Find Your Family Roots 1

I’ve produced a video to support you in starting to explore your family history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6SKFwIQEFY&t=3s

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Obituary: Hugh MacKenzie, Scottish headteacher and innovative educationalist

Obituary: Hugh MacKenzie, Scottish headteacher and innovative educationalist

Hugh MacKenzie, headteacher at Craigroyston Community High School from 1972 until 1993, died in Edinburgh on 17 March 2020.  He was an innovative, radical educationalist, a relentlessly practical and realistic visionary, who played a key role in introducing comprehensive education in a socially, and educationally, divided city […]

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WILLIAM WARDEN, R.N.

  Caroline Gerard’s excellent article on William Crokat, who for five years commanded the guard on St Helena during Napoleon Bonaparte’s imprisonment there, was a reminder of the wide Scottish contribution to British military power.  Crockat was not however the only Scottish presence on St Helena. William […]

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IAN RANKIN’S EDINBURGH

With a brief interlude in London, the adventures of Ian Rankin’s detective hero, John Rebus, are set in Edinburgh.  Rebus himself, like Rankin, is a Fifer, an exile in Scotland’s capital, an almost archetypal working class, Scottish male who has left his roots behind, but reminisces nostalgically […]

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KENNETH ROY

KENNETH ROY

I had known of Kenneth Roy for many years.  He was a well-known Scottish journalist and the founder of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland and of the Young Scotland programme.  He was also the brother and brother-in-law of two of my dearest friends, but my regular contact […]

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BURNS: THE WHITBURN CONNECTION

BURNS: THE WHITBURN CONNECTION

INTRODUCTION I was approached by a student in one of my classes who believed that her family was descended from Elizabeth Burns, ‘Dear Bought Bess’, Robert Burns’s first child, his illegitimate daughter by Elizabeth Paton. In 1784, Burns had a brief relationship with Lizzie Paton, a farm […]

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THINKING ABOUT SNOW by Judith McClure

THINKING ABOUT SNOW by Judith McClure

Judith McClure, headteacher at St George’s School in Edinburgh from 1994 until 2009, was enormously respected by comprehensive heads for her frequent (but unique) cooperation with their sector. Her memoir, ‘Thinking About Snow’ (published by Maclean Dubois) explores the moulding of such an astute and admired educationalist. […]

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Thresholds – Roddy Simpson

Thresholds is a series of lyrical, black and white photographs, taken between 1994 and the present, by Roddy Simpson, a photographer, photo-historian, writer and lecturer who lives in Linlithgow. His engagement with, and exploration of, place, means the locations stretch from his home area of Linlithgow across Scotland, […]

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