Annual General Meeting, followed by The Howff: The Dead Centre of Dundee

Our Annual General Meeting will be followed (at 7.40 pm) by a talk by retired City Archivist Iain Flett, who is well known to many of our members.

Iain will outline the history of the ancient central burial ground, the Howff, which dates back to the sixteenth century.

Note this talk replaces our previously-billed event ‘A Menace in the Archives’, which has been postponed.

Thursday 21 April 2022, 7.00pm

Dundee Art Society Gallery, 17 Roseangle, Dundee, DD1 4LP

The Creation of Water’s Edge

Dundee entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl will join us in May. In addition to his role as chairman of 4J Studios (developers of Minecraft), Chris co-owns Water’s Edge at Camperdown Dock. The transformation of these previously run-down transit sheds to a high-quality commercial development will be at the centre of his talk. Members may remember that Water’s Edge was one of the winners in the 2019 Dundee Civic Trust Awards.

Thursday 19 May 2022, 7.00pm

Dundee Art Society Gallery, 17 Roseangle, Dundee, DD1 4LP

The Dundee and Arbroath Railway: from Pioneering Line to Trunk Route

When the Dundee and Arbroath Railway opened in 1838, few could have imagined it to be anything other than a local transport enterprise. The concept of a national rail network had scarcely formed; but in little more than ten years the ‘D&A’ was to become established as a strategically important main line.

Civic Trust member Neale Elder has worked on the railways for 35 years and takes a keen interest in the history of his industry. He will tell the story of the ‘D&A’ from its inauguration as an independent operation, through nearly 70 years’ stewardship by a joint board of two rival companies, to the ‘ups and downs’ of the late twentieth century.

Today, with improvements to the rail route between Aberdeen and the Central Belt in the course of development, this once pioneering railway has a promising future.

Thursday 17 March 2022, 7.00pm

Dundee Art Society Gallery, 17 Roseangle, Dundee, DD1 4LP

The Commonwealth War Graves

Patricia Keppie, one of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s regional coordinators, will be accompanied by a local Dundee volunteer to outline the important work of the Commission and its educational charity, the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation.

This will cover the history of the CWGC and its ongoing work, including its early challenges, and will also take a look at the unique CWGC architecture and its conservation with an emphasis on our Dundee graves.

This will be our annual joint meeting with the Friends of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Thursday 17 February 2022, 7.00pm

Dundee Art Society Gallery, 17 Roseangle, Dundee, DD1 4LP

HMS Unicorn and the Dawn of Modern Naval Architecture

The second of Dundee Civic Trust’s popular series of winter evening talks will take place on Thursday 18 November 2021 at our usual venue of the Dundee Art Society gallery, 17 Roseangle.

HMS Unicorn is well-known to Dundonians as the old ‘wooden wall’ in Dundee docks but her true international importance is still very little understood.  She is the oldest British-built ship still afloat but, far more importantly, the ship also illustrates an extraordinary story of the dawn of marine engineering which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

Unicorn is the only survivor of the very first system of shipbuilding to integrate iron and wood structurally within a ship’s hull, a system invented by Sir Robert Seppings who can be thought of as the Royal Navy’s ‘Brunel’.

Roderick Stewart has been associated with Unicorn his entire life and will describe the ship’s design background as a warship and explain her important place in the history of marine engineering and naval architecture.

20-Minute Neighbourhoods

A talk by Dr Husam AlWaer

Dundee Art Society Gallery, 17 Roseangle

After the loss of the 2020-21 season, we plan to resume our programme of evening talks on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Dr Husam AlWaer’s presentation will challenge us to consider the benefits of living locally and will examine the need to redesign how we live, in the face of climate crisis and in the wake of Covid. Can you easily get everything you need within 20 minutes of where you live? The concept of the 20-minute neighbourhood is a way to radically reconsider space; and the idea offers many solutions.

Dr AlWaer is an architect, planner, urbanist and award winning author. He is currently Reader in Sustainable Urban Design at the University of Dundee and has a focused interest in the past and future of sustainable places, neighbourhoods and cities.

 

 

Members’ Zoom Talk: Art for All

The Dundee Civic Trust joint meeting with the Friends of Dundee Heritage Trust will be hosted this year by the Friends, using Zoom. Our members will have received an invitation to join this event at 2.30 pm on Wednesday 24 February.

The speaker, Matthew Jarron, is Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee and author of the book Independent & Individualist: Art in Dundee 1867-1924. A former Chair of the Scottish Society for Art History, he is also Secretary of the Abertay Historical Society and coordinator of the Public Art Dundee project.

Dundee has an extraordinary variety of public art across the city, including sculptures, murals, mosaics and more. This illustrated talk will tell the story behind these innovative artworks, with a particular focus on the pioneering public art programme of the 1980s and 1990s.

“Scots” Architecture – Crichton Wood

Scotland had its own native architecture with a critical period 1570 -1620 when architects explored complex spatial and aesthetic principles well ahead of their time. Architect Crichton Wood will show Robert Adam flirting with the style, David Bryce developing the style, both in bad and good ways, and Macintosh & Lorimer continuing and developing the Scots style. He will then show from his own work ways to continue and develop a Scots style, showing the potential but also the dangers.