This week we once again hosted our annual audio visual evening with Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club. Little did we know when we hosted this meeting a year ago that a year later we would still be hosting it by Zoom. A major difference this time was that the meeting was also broadcast in room G3 of the Fisherrow Centre.
The meeting began with a presentation from Beeslack about The Union Canal, following the route of the canal from its beginning in Edinburgh to its merger with the Forth and Clyde Canal at the Falkirk Wheel. With a combination of ground-based photographs and drone shots, were treated to a virtual journey, visiting the many landmarks which the canal passed (such as the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena the Almond Aqueduct, Linlithgow Palace and the Falkirk Tunnel).
Next, Musselburgh showed the long-awaited presentation from John Knox and Gus Langlands’ Landscape Group entitled “The Herring Road”.
The presentation began by describing the history of the fishing industry at Dunbar and, through archive photographs, telling the story of the Dunbar fishwives. The presentation was in several parts, each introduced with a reading by Jennifer Davidson. It took us on a 29 mile journey along the Herring Road, which the fishwives used to carry their heavy baskets and creels of fish to sell at the market in Lauder. We were again taken on a virtual journey along this route, visiting landmarks such as the village of Spott, the Witches Stone, the Whiteadder Reservoir, and through the Lammermuir Hills to Lauder. It looked difficult enough to make that journey with photographic equipment, let along while carrying several stone of fish. After the fishwives had sold their fish in Lauder, they had to make the return journey back to Dunbar, being careful to avoid thieves who might want to steal the money they had made. The presentation returned to Dunbar and, by contrast, showed us the modern view of the town and described the modifications which made Dunbar Harbour the way it looks today.
We finished the evening with a series of short presentations from Beeslack, bringing us introductions to the Scottish Wildlife Centre, the City of Edinburgh, Shetland and Australia. All in all it was a fascinating and entertaining evening. Thank you to Beeslack for joining us. You didn’t get any tea and biscuits for a second year running, but I hope we can correct that the next time we host this meeting.