I have begun working on a couple of future projects and this may influence my blog for next few weeks. The next meeting of the History Club will be on January 8, 2011. We don’t meet in December but the St. Andrews Society does have its AGM on December 12, 2010, beginning at 3 p.m.
On February 12, 2011, I have been asked to speak at the First Presbyterian church in Wheaton, Illinois. The subject is the Scottish/Presbyterian contribution to American Democracy and Freedom. Not sure how I can cover that subject in just one night, but I will be sharing some of my research on the blog. The Woodrow Wilson story was the first research on this subject.
Usually in January, we try to do something about Robert Burns. Not sure what it will be at the moment, but we might take a look at all the monuments to Burns in the United States. There are great stories surrounding some of those monuments.
Last August, the BBC News ran a story about a Burns statue in Victoria, Australia. “The sculpture carved by John Greenshields in 1826 was shipped to Australia in the 1850s.” Apparently, the statue had been in poor condition for quite some time even though some restoration work had been done “using inappropriate stone and techniques.”
The closest match to the stone was found at the Drumhead Quarry in Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland. The quarry was not operational so permission had to be obtained in order to reopen the quarry. A “planning permission” had been submitted as of August 26, 2010. Can someone tell me if the quarry has reopened? If Scotland is anything like America it will be years before permission can be obtained. Must have an environmental impact study first!
Dr. Ewan Hyslop said: “In comparison to other sandstones currently quarried throughout the UK, the Drumhead sandstone ranks as one of the higher quality stone types.” He said it was also a good match for many of the historic buildings in Falkirk, Stirling, Linlithgow, Glasgow and Kilmarnock.
Now the question is: Did they get permission to open the quarry and was the statue in the Botanical Gardens in Camperdown repaired?
We do have readers in Australia, so can someone let us know what happened? Did “the oldest existing statue of Robert Burns” get restored or not?
The cost of restoration was around 60,000 pounds and needed to be raised though public donations.