Events 2005-2011

Until its name change on 1st September 2011, the Dorothy Dunnett Society was the Dorothy Dunnett Readers’ Association (DDRA). On this page you will find a record of events from 2005-2011.

Oxford Day 2011
In association with the DDRA
Saturday 4th June 2011
Wolfson College, Oxford, England.

Highlights of the day included talks from: Pam Willis, Head of Heritage, Museum of the Order of St John; Gareth Williams from the British Museum on “Viking hoards and what we can learn from them”; and our very own Deborah Conway Read on “Medieval woad dyeing: confessions of a dyer’s apprentice”.

The DDRA Weekend 2011
Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April 2011

This was held in Edinburgh as usual. On Saturday morning, we had the usual AGM activities at the Royal Over-Seas League, followed by lunch. In the afternoon we had a talk on Mediaeval Glasgow and its development from Margaret Anderson, a lecturer with Glasgow University’s Extra-mural department.

On Saturday evening we had our Gala Dinner at the Royal Over-Seas League, in the dining room looking out to the floodlit Edinburgh Castle. This year, as last, there was a musical entertainment by Susie and Aisha Schofield.

On Sunday we visited Glasgow, a town of major importance long before the Industrial Revolution, where our guide was Alison Reid. Many of you will remember Alison from the previous year when she was our guide at Dunkeld. She was back by popular request! Alison, a Dunnett reader herself who is well aware of our particular spheres of interest, took us on a guided tour of Kelvingrove Museum. After lunch, we moved on to St. Kentigern’s Cathedral, the High Kirk of Glasgow. St Kentigern’s was consecrated in 1187 and is rare in being a Scottish mediaeval cathedral that survived the reformation almost unscathed; it is a fine example of medieval Scottish architecture. We also visited its close neighbour, the Provand’s Lodging, Glasgow’s oldest house.

The weekend completed with the usual Sunday evening meal at Il Castello Italian Restaurant at Castle Terrace in Edinburgh.

3rd Rye Academic Medieval Conference
Saturday 16th Oct 2010
Rye, Sussex, England. Organiser: Jo Kirkham.

This year’s theme was ‘Medieval Trade and Transport’. Various academics wrote new papers for the conference, including Alex Langlands who was involved in the TV production series called ‘Tales from a Green Valley,’ and who produced ‘Victorian Farm,’ ‘Victorian Farm Christmas’ and ‘Tudor Feast Christmas’ at Haddon Hall, and who was in the process of making a new series – ‘Edwardian Farm’. On Sunday 17th, Jo organised a Dunnett Day of visits in Rye and the locality.

Le SpitLe Spit Paris, Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th October 2010
LeSpit went off very well, following in the footsteps of Lymond and Philippa around Paris, and with visits out to Fontainebleau (for a look at the Royal Chateaux, and a spot of Real Tennis), Ecouen (the Museum of the Renaissance) and with a gala meal on the final night at Chantilly.LeSpit Attendees at Fontainebleau

LeSpit Attendees at Fontainebleau

Oxford Day 2010
In association with the DDRA
Saturday 5th June 2010
Wolfson College, Oxford, England

The DDRA Weekend 2010 – “Spring Hereafter” – including the AGM
Friday 16th April to Sun 18th April 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland. Organised by Pam Keeling.

This year we focused on the historical and religious background of King Hereafter, with visits to the historic town of Dunkeld (stomping ground of Abbot Crinan) and Scone, the ancient crowning place of Scottish kings.

Lincoln Gathering
Saturday 12th September 2009
Lincoln, England. Organised by Betty Cooper.

Medieval Fair – further details in issue 103 of Whispering Gallery.

The DDRA Literary Luncheon
Saturday 20th June 2009
Edinburgh, Scotland. Organised by Jean Stringfellow.

At the Royal Over-Seas League Hotel, Edinburgh. The guest speaker was Professor John Guy, author of My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots and winner of the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award.

DDRA Edinburgh Weekend 2009 – including the AGM
24th – 26th April 2009
Organised by Pam Keeling.

The weekend started with a buffet supper at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. The AGM was held on Saturday morning at the Royal Over-Seas League in Princes Street and was followed by a talk by Professor David Bradley on exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries: ‘The open sea, with some charts’. In the afternoon, Hugh Robertson of ‘Living History Scotland’ spoke (and demonstrated) on weaponry and arms training in the 16th century, which involved some re-enactment and demonstrations with weapons of the period. In the evening there was a gala dinner at the ROSL.

On Sunday we visited the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, Edinburgh for a guided tour of portraits of the 15th and 16th centuries. After lunch there was a leisurely literary and historic walking tour of Edinburgh led by Alan Forster.

Oxford Day 2009
In association with the DDRA
Saturday 21st March
Organised by Olive Millward and Diana Crane.

This year’s Oxford Day, again at Wolfson College, Oxford, focused on King Hereafter. Speakers were Professor Matin OH Carver, Editor of Antiquity, and Dr Niki Pervival from the University of Exeter who talked about ‘Viking Women’.

Oxford Day 2008 In association with the DDRA
Saturday 27th September
Organised by Diana Crane and Olive Millward.

At Wolfson College, Oxford, this year’s Oxford Day featured Dr Todd Gray, Exeter historian, on ‘Understanding Household Accounts, 1550-1700’; and other activities.

Warwick Gathering 2008
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September 2008
Organised by Betty Cooper.

This event was held in the Great Hall of the 15th Century Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick. The main attraction on Saturday was the highly acclaimed performance by historian Lesley Smith on ‘Mary Queen of Scots’. Other attractions on Friday and Sunday included visits to The National Herb Garden, Warmington, Kenilworth Castle and Stoneleigh Abbey.

DDD – Darmstadt Dunnett Day 2008
9th – 10th August 2008
Rossdorf near Darmstadt, Germany. Organised by Sylvie Hotz.

The annual Darmstadt Gathering was held on the weekend of 9th/10th August 2008.

Dunnett Congress of Alexandria, Viginia, USA
Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th March 2008
Organised by Jackie Meeks.

This event consisted of a programme of talks, followed by lunch and tours of historic Alexandria. On Sunday delegates headed into Washington DC to see the sights. For more information, see Issue 99 of Whispering Gallery.

DDRA Edinburgh Weekend 2008
Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th April 2008
Organised by Olive Millward and Pam Keeling

The weekend and AGM was held at The Royal Over-Seas League, Princes Street, Edinburgh. Our speaker was Doreen Groves on ‘The Rowallan Music’, and we had a talk on Timbuktu. On Sunday we visited Dirleton and Tantallon Castles. Further information is in Issue 99 of Whispering Gallery.

Australian Dunnett Lunch, Southern Cross, SW Victoria
Thursday 1st May 2008
Organised by Margaret Beaton.

Australia Dunnetteers, from Warrnambool and Portland, gathered for their quarterly meeting. They tackled Scales of Gold and shared delicious culinary surprises whose ingredients were limited to what was available at the time or mentioned in Scales of Gold.

Oxford Day 2007
In association with the DDRA
Wolfson College, Oxford. Organised by Olive Millward and Diana Crane.

This annual event featured ‘The Tudor Tailor: reconstructing sixteenth century dress’, and ‘Mirror of the World: The Astrolabe in the Renaissance’, a talk by Stephen Johnson.

The Thorfinn Experience, Orkney
September 2007
Organised by Anne Artymiuk

A gathering was held in Thorfinn’s Orcadian stamping grounds.

DDD – Darmstadt Dunnett Day 2007
7th – 8th July 2007
Rossdorf near Darmstadt, Germany. Organised by Sylvie Hotz.

DDRA Edinburgh Weekend 2007 – including the AGM
April 2007
Organised by Olive Millward

The Edinburgh Weekend was held at The Royal Over-Seas League, Princes Street, Edinburgh. It included a visit to the Museum of Scotland and a trip to Dean Castle, near Kilmarnock.

Saddell in Scotland
April 2007
Organised by Diana Crane

Saddell, on the Kintyre peninsular in South West Scotland was the venue for a Dunnett event in April 2007, following the DDRA Weekend.

Oxford Dunnett Day Wolfson College, Oxford
In association with the DDRA
Saturday 16th September 2006
Organised by Olive Millward and Diana Crane

The speakers included: Alexandra Walsham, Professor of Reformation History at Exeter University discussing “Destiny in the Stars: Astrology in Early Modern Europe”; and a talk on Medieval and Renaissance Treasures of the Wernher Collection by Annie Kemkeren-Smith

Bath 2006 Gathering
The Guildhall, High Street, Bath
Saturday 7th October 2006

DDRA Edinburgh Weekend 2006
Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April
Organised by Olive Millward

Dunnett joins literary elite list
Dorothy Dunnett was honoured at the Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh during April 2006. An inscribed stone was laid in Makars’ Court, Ladystairs Close which is off the Royal Mile. The Saltire Society proposed that Lady Dunnett join the distinguished list of literary figures already commemorated there. Her inscription joins those of, among others, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sorley MacLean.

The Writers’ Museum held an exhibition about Lady Dunnett and her work from April 2006 until January 2007.

The Dunnett Siege of Malta
Monday 17th – Thursday 20th October 2005
Organised by Simon Hedges and Cindy Byrne.

About 100 people descended on the Hotel Phoenicia in Valletta for four days of Dunnett delight! A good time was had by all and the trip was featured in the January 2006 issue of Whispering Gallery.

More details of all events can be found in Whispering Gallery.