The 2014 Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend took place from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th April at the Royal Over-Seas League.
Our weekend began on Friday 4th April with the traditional welcome dinner at The Sheraton Hotel. On Saturday 5th April we heard Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society describe her extraordinary quest to find the body of the much-maligned Plantagenet king. She was followed by Professor Caroline Wilkinson who took the skull discovered by Philippa and the archaeological team from Leicester University and reconstructed the face of King Richard. After lunch we listened to our own Bill Marshall discuss the magnificent Jerott Blyth, a Dunnett character equally loved and loathed and the subject of fierce debate. When we had calmed down we were addressed by Natalie Lussey, the winner of the Dorothy Dunnett History Prize. We finished the afternoon with the Annual General Meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett Society. Later that evening we enjoyed a gala dinner in the ROSL restaurant, with readings, toasts and frivolity.
On Sunday 6th April we took a coach from Edinburgh to the beautiful seaside city of Dundee – home of jute, journalism and jam! Here we divided into two groups. One group visited RSS Discovery, Capt Robert Scott’s legendary ship, with its adjacent museum filled with artefacts from the glorious golden days of Antarctic exploration. The second group visited Dundee’s award winning Verdant Works, Scotland’s jute museum. After lunch we spent some time in Dundee’s famous McManus Gallery and were among the first to see the carved medieval stones recently restored and placed on display, as well as wonderful paintings, artefacts and historical treasures. Some of us also took the opportunity to take a five minute stroll to The Howff – ground given to the city by Mary, Queen of Scots, and used as a cemetery ever since. The atmospheric graveyard is filled with ancient gravestones many with poignant verses and attractive carving. After returning to Edinburgh we joined fellow delegates for a fond farewell in small groups at restaurants of our choice around the city.
Many thanks go to our wonderful organiser, Kathy Lewis, who masterminded the entire weekend. Kathy will be resigning her position next year and the Society will be looking for someone new to arrange the Dunnett Weekend in 2016. It’s a hugely enjoyable role but does require time and commitment. If you are interested please drop Kathy a line using our contact form. She will be happy to answer any questions.
The job does not have to be done by one person of course. It could easily be shared, perhaps with one person arranging the Saturday lectures and another the Sunday trip. The Saturday events are easily arranged via mail, phone and email and can be done from home with no requirement for travelling to Scotland. The Sunday outing may particularly suit someone who lives in Scotland or northern England as at least one exploratory visit has to be made to a potential venue.
The next Edinburgh Dunnett weekend will take place at the Royal Over-Seas League on Princes Street from Friday 17th-Sunday 19th April 2015.