Talks 2017/18

Our new winter programme is now available and is shown below. All our winter talks are held in the MacRobert Hall, The Square, Tarland, AB34 4YL beginning at 7.30 pm except for the talk on Sunday 24th September which is at 4pm. Entry is £4.00 and all are welcome.

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14th September 2017 – From Tomnaverie to Old Kinord: two decades of excavation in the north east

Richard Bradley is Emeritus Professor of archaeology at the University of Reading. He led the excavation of Tomnaverie in 1999 and three other important excavations in the Howe of Cromar at Walkmill, Hillhead and Old Kinord. He will bring us up to date with the results of his latest research in north-east Scotland.


Sunday 24th September 2017 4pm. In association with The Tarland Food and Music Festival          *Please note the change from our usual time.

Stories and Songs

Bothy Ballad Champion Hector Riddell will entertain us with stories from his life in farming and sing some of the bothy ballads for which he is famous.


12th October 2017 – The Deeside Line

Mike Cooper is the former picture archivist for the Great North of Scotland Railway Association and is author of the  book “The Great North of Scotland Railway -Then and Now”. He will take us on a virtual tour along the railway line from Aberdeen to Ballater.


9th November 2017 – White, Black and Grey: recent discoveries of medieval friaries

Recent excavations at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen have revealed 30 burials from the medieval Dominican (Black) friary as well as hints at remains of the buildings. This talk will present the latest evidence from this site and look at the other excavated medieval friaries, Franciscan (Grey) and Carmelite (White).


14th December 2017 – Rubislaw Quarry

Aberdeen has for a long time been known as the “Silver City” and was famous for its granite industry. Many of the buildings which characterise Aberdeen were built with stone from this famous quarry. Hugh Black, owner of the quarry, will talk about this unique and iconic legacy of the granite city.


11th January 2018 – Explorations of Ruined Buildings

Local photographer James Dyas Davidson has been recording the abandoned farms and settlements in the remote glens of Aberdeenshire, the empty places where life once flourished. He will talk about his photographic expeditions to ruined buildings throughout north-east Scotland.


8th February 2018 – Bankers, Baronets, Cowboys and Chorus Girls

Simon Welfare, local author and broadcaster, will delve into the background of the Gordon family of Haddo and tell us about some of the more colourful relatives of Ishbel, Lady Aberdeen.


8th March 2018 – Place Names, Statistics and Hair Powder

Ruaraidh Wishart is the Archivist for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. CHG members have been assisting him in his project to transcribe local tax records from the nineteenth century. He will tell us about the taxes levied in Aberdeenshire during the Napoleonic wars and the information we can get from the tax records of that time.


12th April 2018 – The Pictish Symbol Tradition

Dr Gordon Noble is head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. His talk will outline new dating evidence for the symbol tradition found in Pictland. The symbols appear to represent a non-alphabetic written language and this talk will explore new data on the origins and dating of this epigraphic tradition.