Greyfriars Bobby Bar re-opens on Friday 23rd March at 5.00 pm. The public bar has been enlarged. Bob Lawson will be playing the ‘Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby’ at the opening as Jennifer Hutcheon the official One o’ Clock Gun Asscn piper is unable to attend. Lisa Fleming will be coming along with Bob the association’s official mascot. Caroline Walker of City Tours will be present wearing Victorian dress. Members of the Royal Engineers Association will be present as Colour Sergeant Scott who fed the little dog lodged in the building when he was stationed in Edinburgh. The colour sergeant is buried in Piershill Cemetery, Edinburgh.
Alexandra Laudo a Barcelona-based curator will be presenting a public lecture on her research at the Museum of Edinburgh in the Canongate on 1st April at 5.30 pm. Drawing on her project ‘An intellectual history of the clock’, her talk will discuss the social construction of time and its measurement, the history of clocks, the implementation of clock time and
the history of timekeeping on Calton Hill.
A small display on the unveiling of the memorial stone for John McLeod is now running at the Scottish Department, Central Library, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh until the 17th March. The display will then move to the Art Department
Sir John Pender MP presented the Edinburgh City Artillery Volunteers with a six-pound Whitworth field gun in 1862. The wealthy businessman owned a large collection of paintings, including works by J M W Turner, Joshua Reynolds, John Everett Millais, Gainsborough and Canaletto. Joseph Whitworth was employed at the workshops of Maudslay, Son & Field who designed and built the lifting machinery for the time ball on the Nelson Monument. image credit Wikimedia Commons
The ceremony to unveil John McLeod’s memorial stone went well. Bailie Staniforth said a few words on the artist and his work before the One o’ Clock Gun fired from the Castle. Derek MacLeod the artist’s great great grandson travelled up from Norwich with his wife and two daughters to attend the ceremony. Caroline Walker and her brother attended as PC Gray
and his wife. Bob the official mascot of the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn stood to attention as Jennifer Hutcheon played the “Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby’. Major Nicol from the Royal Artillery Council of Scotland was also present.
The Edinburgh City Artillery Volunteers took part in the Royal Scottish Volunteer Review at Holyrood Park in August 1860. The 1st Company consisting of over forty gunners including, Alexander Ritchie quartermaster, sergeants Robertson, Hay and Vallance was commanded by Captain James Ballantyne. Lt. Spence was second in command. Sam Bough RSA painted the review which is now in the collection of the National Galleries Scotland. image credit National Galleries Scotland.
Born in Wooers’ Alley Cottage, Dunfermline in 1821 artist Joseph Noel Paton joined the ‘Smashers Club’ which was formed in Edinburgh in 1848. The sketching club’s president was John Ballantyne. The members included James Archer, William Crawford, John and Tom Faed and William Fettes Douglas. In 1859 the artists decided to form the 1st Edinburgh City
Artillery Volunteers No. 1 Battery. Noel Paton RSA was appointed captain and John Faed first lieutenant. James Archer who was appointed second lieutenant was responsible for the administration of the battery. Supervised by Master Gunner Findlay who was responsible for maintaining and firing the One o’ clock Gun, the part-time gunners used the twelve pounders on the Argyle Battery at Edinburgh Castle to practice artillery drill. image credit Wikimedia Commons
The One o’ Clock Gun Asscn will be unveiling a memorial stone to the memory of John McLeod the artist who painted the portrait of Greyfriars Bobby hanging in the visitors centre at Greyfriars Kirk. The unveiling will take place in the New Calton Cemetery in Regent Road on Saturday 17th February at 12.45 pm. The ceremony is open to the public. We’d be glad to see you if you can attend. The cemetery is divided into two parts. John McLeod is buried on the north side of the cemetery. The stone has been provided by Purves Funeral Directors, Edinburgh. Tim Purves one of the company’s directors will be attending the ceremony. image credit Wikimedia Commons
John McLeod was born on 18 July 1812 in Golspie, Sutherland. Moving to Edinburgh in the 1830s he specialised in painting cattle, horses and dogs. He received commissions from wealthy landowners including Lord Abercromby and the Duke of Buccleuch. Following the hearing at the Burgh Court in 1867 to establish the identity of Greyfriars Bobby’s owner, the artist was commissioned to paint a portrait of the terrier. Loaned by the owner Thomas Cowan, the painting entitled ‘Greyfriars Bob’ was shown at the RSA’s annual exhibition in the South Octagon Room in the National Gallery of Scotland the following year.The artist also painted a portrait of the little dog lying in a kennel which was presented to the Kirk Session of Old Greyfriars. The niece of a celebrated English writer wrote to the ‘Scotsman’ offering to provide a kennel for the dog shortly after the hearing in the Burgh Court. The painting which was restored by Kenneth Brien in 1986 can now be seen in the visitors’ centre. The prolific painter who lived
at 28 Buccleuch Place died on 16th February 1872. His wife Mary Ann McLeod died on 8th August at Seafield Place in Leith.
The cold weather failed to prevent the local residents and tourists turning up to mark the anniversary of the death of Greyfriars Bobby. Bert Hutchings deputising for the Reverend Richard Frazer introduced the main guest Councillor Lezley Cameron who delivered a tribute to the memory of the little dog. Bert an elder at Greyfriars continued the theme by informing the guests on the life of Dr Robert Lee the minister of Old Greyfriars who died 150 years ago next month. The innovative minister was responsible for installing the church’s stained glass windows and introducing a harmonium. Lisa Fleming and Bob the mascot of the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn laid the wreath from the Lord Provost and the citizens of Edinburgh on the terrier’s grave as Jennifer Hutcheon the association’s piper played a ‘Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby’. Following the ceremony the guests were invited to Greyfriars for a cup of tea served by the ladies of the kirk and a
chocolate biscuit. Greyfriars Kirk guide Willie Telford showed visitors round the church, while Wallace Ferguson took a number of the guests including Councillor Cameron to ‘Auld Jock’s’ headstone the spot where the little dog’s owner is said to be buried.