A happy Burns’ Nicht tae ane an’ a.’ We’re looking forward tae oor haggis and champit neeps and tatties and we hope you can join in too. If none of this makes any sense to you, may we recommend a visit to the online Scots dictionary. And if that rouses your interest in things Scottish, why not try a course of Scottish History with the New Curiosity Shop.
If tonight you are having your first Burns’ Supper, there are full instructions here at rabbie-burns.com. Have fun.
The biggest ever horde of anglo saxon gold has been found in a field in Staffordshire. Metal detectorist Terry Herbert discovered the 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver. The find is treasure trove and will now be valued. Mr Herbert and the land owner can expect a substantial reward.
Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum’s Department of Prehistory and Europe, said, “This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries.” It is a wonderful new source of evidence for archaeologists studying this hidden period of British history.
More from the BBC.
Scotland’s most valuable history award has been won by Dr Douglas Watt, author of “The Price of Scotland: Darien, Union and the Wealth of Nations.” The Hume Brown Prize commemorates Prof Peter Hume Brown, first incumbent of the Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography in the University of Edinburgh, and is worth £4000 to the winner.
You can read more at the Scottish History Society.
The New Curiosity Shop has just launched a new kind of course. A mix between a science course and a history course, The Story Of Apollo will take learners back to the cold war era to examine the cultural factors and the engineering that made possible the US moon missions and the eventual landing of men on the Moon in 1969.
Astronomy tutor, Mark Toner said, “It is nice to branch out into another field that is of interest to me. Now the events which inspired me as a child are the stuff of history. I hope that I can transmit some of my enthusiasm to the students who take this new course.”
The Story Of Apollo is live now, and you can investigate it on the NCS web site.
How do you qualify to be a student in the UK? Ideally, you need to be under 25 and looking for a vocational course. Only 1% of the UK education budget is available for older students. This in the face of demographic change which sees 11 million people of pensionable age, many of whom will be looking for something to do post-employment. It is being left to private organisations such as the NCS to provide brain stimulus to our older people, a necessary part of maintaining health into older age.
Today, President Barack Hussein Obama starts the job of leading the western world. A great deal of hope has been invested in this man and, clearly, one man cannot save the world. However, a good leader can inspire the rest of us to pull together and then, just maybe, we can all try to save the world. So let’s hope that all the dreamers and the hopeful who believe in Barack Obama, and there are a lot of them, also start the job, today, of solving some of the difficult problems that bedevil our world. Then the wishes may come true.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme has just released its Treasure Annual Report at a special event in the British Museum. The scheme coordinates a network of Finds Liaison Officers who take reports from people who find ancient artifacts on their land or while out walking or metal detecting and, this year, they have 1,257 archaeological finds to report, including a golden torc from the Iron Age, a single hoard of over 3,600 Roman coins and an Anglo Saxon roundel depicting the Hand of God.
In the wake of the release of a new film and book about the 1950 theft and subsequent recovery of the Stone of Destiny, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has claimed that that particular Stone is a fake and that the original has been lost for 700 years.
The Stone, on which Scotland’s kings were traditionally crowned, was stolen from Scone Palace by England’s King Edward I, in 1296, and kept in Westminster Abbey until it was returned to Scotland in 1996. Even, then, the one returned to Westminster Abbey may have been a fake made by the Glasgow stonemason who repaired the stone which broke in two during the escapade.
Alex Salmond claims that ancient descriptions of the Stone describe a black shiny object, not the dull grey stone kept in Edinburgh Castle today.
More in the Times.
Literary Landscapes’ on www.ambaile.org.uk is a collaborative project between Am Baile and Highland Libraries. It uncovers authors inspired by the Highlands and was launched by award-winning novelist, poet and publisher James Robertson who features in the Literary Landscapes listings.
Literary Landscapes is an interactive map leading to biographical information, images, sound files and bibliographies of writers inspired by the landscapes of the Highlands and Islands. It currently covers over 30 authors, past and present, from Caithness to Kintyre and from Nairn to Portree and North Uist. It will continue to expand to include writers from Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, Perthshire and Argyll.
The authors include poets, novelists and historians, who either live in the Highlands, come from the Highlands, write about the Highlands, or set their books in the Highlands. The entry for each author includes a booklist, with links to the Highland Libraries online catalogue.
Am Baile is a bilingual website which can be viewed in either Gaelic or English. An interactive map allows users to click on specific points to discover more about writers associated with a particular location.
A feature of Literary Landscapes is the inclusion of sound recordings which allow anyone to listen to authors reading passages from their own works. Typically this is a piece of descriptive text – it could be describing a mountain, a village, a journey, or local customs. Extracts from past authors are read by local school children and other local residents, in Gaelic or English.
Among the writers featured so far are Neil Gunn, Hugh Miller, Sir John Sinclair, Osgood Mackenzie, Clio Gray, Angus Peter Campbell, James Robertson and Katharine Stewart.
On Sunday the 6th of April, the town of Arbroath took a step back in time to the days of Robert the Bruce and re-enacted the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
To read more about this event visit the Arbroath Herald
Read the text of the Declaration of Arbroath here
For full marks tell us in which year it was signed.