Farewell to Arms
Heritage and Culture
Heritage & Culture newsletter:
Farewell to arms
The Royal Scots Regiment
HERITAGE and the changing of the guard are in the news this week.
Tears of sadness mixed with drops from the sky on a chilly, wet day in Edinburgh — a day that evoked a wave of emotion as the city and the nation said good-bye to the Royal Scots Regiment. Hundreds of troops joined veterans from across Scotland to pay respects at the farewell ceremony.
Scotland and the military go hand-in-hand, as do the strong links between this country and America. Monday marked Memorial Day in the States and it also allowed Edinburgh to continue its little-known — yet truly sincere — tradition.
A completely different American hero, Nathan Warmack, is back in the news. Warmack is the Missouri student at the centre of a row with school administrators over his wearing of a kilt at a dance. (Here's our original story if you missed it.) Well, after a successful end to his school year, Warmack and his parents are heading to Scotland for a tour of their ancestral homeland. Read it nowhere else but here.
When they arrive this week, the Warmacks will no doubt be scratching their heads when confronted with the complexity that is Scots language. Perhaps before arrival they have enough time to read Ben McConville's four-part series on the mither tongue, including the final instalment: the Central Belt and the sayings that make us uniquely Scottish.
From Scots language to words of a different variety, we are chuffed that Alexander McCall Smith is teaming up with scotsman.com to produce a series of book readings as podcasts from his popular 44 Scotland Street series. The nine readings — and a special interview with the Scots author — all begin next week. We're calling it McCall Smith Mondays — and you won't want to miss it. Full details are available on our lifestyle website Living.
Again, we wish to thank you for the overwhelming response to the Rosslyn Chapel video podcasts. Since we launched the first instalment on 15 May, there have been more than 60,000 downloads of the five-part series. You certainly love your Myths & Mysteries of Scotland!
We produce a new Myths & Mysteries feature every Thursday — there are so many stories to tell. This week we meet Pauline Reid, a physiotherapist by day and witch by night. Read how Reid balances her two interests and shares how today's witches compare with those from centuries past.
We conclude our Disaster Strikes series with two of the most notable — and tragic — events to ever hit Scotland. This week we examine two disasters that hit Ibrox Park, killing more than 90 spectators. Plus, join us next week for the final instalment — Lockerbie.
We love the people who read the Heritage newsletter — especially those who share in the fun with friends and family. (That was a hint! They can sign up here.) We have nearly 6,000 subscribers to the weekly update and they live in every corner of the world. Here are the countries most represented:
United States — 35.9%
Scotland — 26.3%
Canada — 10.5%
England — 8.8%
Australia — 5.5%
New Zealand — 1.6%
Germany — 1.1%
France — 0.9%
South Africa — 0.8%
India — 0.6%
Did you know the first book printed in Scotland was John Lydgate's romance novel The Complaint of the Black Knight. It was published in April 1508 and to mark the forthcoming 500th anniversary the National Library of Scotland is spearheading a national programme of events. Number one on the list is the launch today of the website www.500yearsofprinting.org. Please spend a moment to see what the library and its supporters have in store over the next several months to celebrate the occasion.
Diane Maclean, as most of you know, is our Heritage reporter extraordinaire. She has visited most parts of Scotland — from tiny islands (St Kilda, Rum, Seil) to vast spaces (Perthshire, Midlothian) and even a place call London — just to "get the story". While she had a break (which is rare!), we asked if she would offer us a personal Top Five list of favourite stories from the site ... and here they are:
Curse of the mummy - By Diane Maclean, 21 April 2005
Women and children first - By Iain Lundy, 30 May 2005
Stunning tale of brainwashing, the CIA and an unsuspecting Scots researcher - By Craig Howie, 6 January 2006
Natural wonders in Scotland's northern reaches - By Sarah Roe, 13 January 2006
World's oldest football — fit for a Queen - By Will Springer, 13 March 2006