Armitstead Lecture Series
Lecture Summaries
Lecture CVs
Lecture Summaries

Eddie Small

'Dundee's Four Marys'

Friday 5 October 2018

Brief summary

Four women, amongst quite a number, stand out in Dundee's story; the fact that each was called Mary is one of life’s lovely coincidences.  They were from different backgrounds, and their contribution to the betterment of conditions was very different too, but they shared a desire to make things better for Dundee’s people and especially its women. This talk will tell of them and their incredible influence on the fabric of our society.


David & Elizabeth Robb

The Armitsteads, Dundee and the Riga Connection

Friday 12 October 2018

Brief summary

The lecture arises out of an invitation, last year, to Dundee’s Armitstead Trust to send representatives to a conference held in Riga, in the autumn of 2018, about an early 20C mayor of the city, George Armitstead (1901-12). Mayor Armitstead was the nephew of Baron Armitstead, the major nineteenth-century benefactor of Dundee.

We shall describe our brief visit, the city of Riga as we saw it, and the conference itself. In particular, we shall explain why Mayor Armitstead was so important to Riga and to Latvia, and give brief accounts of the Armitstead family history as well as the history of the connection between Latvia and Dundee.

Latvia is celebrating the anniversary of its independence in 2018, and its present identity is partly the result of its difficult 20C history. With their strong national pride, their sense of the past, and perhaps also their concerns for the future, Latvians are keen to develop links with other nations and to foster abroad a sense and an appreciation of their country. One example of this is their pride in the distinctive architecture of Riga which was fostered by Mayor Armitstead’s enlightened leadership. It is hoped to bring to Dundee, in 2018 if possible, a major international exhibition reflecting the Latvian twist on the international Art Nouveau style.


Susan Davies

Natural Engineers: Bringing Back the Beaver

Friday 19 October 2018

Brief summary

In 2008 the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland were issued with a licence to undertake a trial re-introduction of beavers in Scotland. The trial was hosted on Forestry Commission Scotland land at Knapdale and independently monitored by Scottish Natural Heritage. This talk will describe the process behind the Scottish Beaver Trial, its outcome, the changes that beavers create in our landscapes and the management approach being developed to help facilitate their return in Scotland. An update on current activities at Knapdale will also be presented.


Dr Angela Montford

Take a Handful of Flowers: Medieval Herbs and Herbals

Friday 26 October 2018

Brief summary

Much medical herbal lore has been passed down through generations of families or practitioners, but written and illustrated herbals have been known about for more than 2000 years. This illustrated lecture explains the development of these often very attractive works; describes some of the authors who contributed to the widening of plant knowledge; and discusses some of the medicinal plant recipes in use in the Middle Ages.


Tara Proud

Marine Conservation Society in Scotland: Current Projects and Opportunities to get involved

Friday 2 November 2018

Brief summary

Since Blue Planet II was aired, concern about plastic pollution of our seas has become mainstream with almost daily media headlines about these topics and the good news is that we are already seeing positive impacts of this.  This talk will be a look at a variety of the exciting projects which the Marine Conservation Society are currently undertaking in Scotland, including updates and future plans."


Dr Noman Watson

‘The 1918 Armistice - by Those Who Took Part

Friday 9 November 2018

Brief summary

Dr Norman Watson uses his outstanding collection of unpublished letters from November 11, 1918 to explain what actually happened on Armistice Day 100 years ago. These precious words of soldiers and families in the final hours of war provide an extraordinary and deeply moving insight into the thoughts, actions and emotions of those involved. The men are gone, but this is a wonderfully vivid and contemporary record in the words of those who were there and took part.