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The Piazzi Blog

15th January 2018

Greyfriars Bobby Day

The ceremony

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.

7th January 2018

Dr Lee and Bobby

Dr Lee and Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby Day is held annually on January 14th at the little dog’s headstone in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Edinburgh, Scotland UK. As the terrier went for his dinner when the time gun fired from the Half Moon Battery at Edinburgh Castle, the ceremony normally starts with the firing of the One o’ clock Gun. As the time gun does not fire on a Sunday, this year's ceremony will begin at 1.30 following the morning sermon in the church. 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Dr Robert Lee the minister of Old Greyfriars. As Dr Lee was chaplain to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when they came to Scotland on frequent visits, he would have kept the royal couple informed on the little dog's welfare. A bust of Dr Lee can be seen inside the church on the north wall above the burial door. Dr Lee was responsible for installing the beautiful stained glass windows in the building where the National Covenant was signed, transformng the interior. John MacLeod's painting of the terrier sitting in a kennel can be seen in the visitors' centre. When you arrive in Edinburgh, head for Greyfriars which Sir Walter Scott described as 'Scotland's Westminster'.

19th December 2017

Vladivostok Gun

Vladivostok Gun

The tradition of firing a time signal resumed in Vladivostok in 1970 when the shot was fired from a 100mm field gun on ‘Tiger Hill’. The time signal continued until 1996. Since 1997 the signal was fired by a 45mm signalling cannon on the battery ‘With No Name’ until 2008 when it became difficult to obtain the charges. The tradition was resumed on 12th June 2016 which marks Russia Day. Information on the Vladivostok time gun can be seen here

12th December 2017

Appleton Tower

Exhibition Information

The Scottish Military Collectors Society held a Militaria Fair in the Appleton Tower, Edinburgh in 1972 which proved to be very popular with the public. A second fair was held lasting two days in the same venue the following year. In addition to members from the society’s branches in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the 4th Royal Tank Regiment and the Royal Scots supported the event which was attended by collectors from all over Scotland. image credit Wikimedia Commons

5th December 2017

Exhibition Information

Exhibition Information

Although the One o’ Clock Gun Asscn was formed in 1998, it’s history can be traced back to an exhibition of toy and model soldiers held in the Scottish Tourist Board Hall, Shandwick Place, Edinburgh in December 1961. The committee consisted of William Thorburn, curator of the Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Councillor Patrick Murray curator of the Museum of Childhood, Peter Gouldesbrough of the Scottish Record Office, Stuart Barrie of the Edinburgh College of Art and Basil Skinner assistant keeper Scottish Portrait Gallery. The exhibition was held in aid of Dr Barnado’s Homes. The exhibition led to the formation of the Scottish Model Soldier Society which later developed into the Scottish Military Collectors Society. Image credit Alan Grieve