Members and non-members are welcome to attend our public talks at Dreel Halls in Anstruther. If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £3 per event. Membership is £7.50 per year and will allow you to attend all of the year’s Anster Nichts and the Christmas Social.
Foraging for food in our shared environment is part of our culture and history, but modern landscaping trends often leave public spaces sterile with non-native and non-food plants. Recently there has been a resurgence of growing food within our shared landscape, with projects like Incredible Edible Todmorden and Fife EATS. These projects not only provide no-cost, healthy food, but also stimulate wider health benefits and landscape enhancement and reduce maintenance costs.
Alistair Macleod from the Anstruther and District Allotments Association will take us on a journey along Anstruther’s Edible Routeway, begun in 2015 to replace substantial tree losses but which can also provide a regular, seasonal food source that is easy to maintain, whilst adding visual and wildlife value. The project now has 4 sites and is looking to increase community planting along key routes.
Seaweed is thought to be one of the oldest forms of plant life on the planet; scientists have proven it is one of the most nutritionally rich and balanced foods available to us. It is also abundant in the clean, clear waters around the East Neuk, something locally-founded company, Mara Seaweed, has been making the most of with its Celtic Sea Spice Company.
New Zealander, environmentalist and outdoor specialist, Jayson Byles, joined the Mara team last year as the Fife Harvest Manager and is excited to talk about his experiences and share some tips on how to harvest this wild treasure sustainably.
On August 4th 1914 the area from Grangemouth eastwards to the May Island fell under the command of the Royal Navy and throughout the four years of World War I naval vessels of all sorts, from small patrol ships to battleships, joined the merchant and fishing boats as an everyday sight in the Firth of Forth. Between 21st and 27th November 1918 shipping traffic in the estuary peaked when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered to units of the British Grand Fleet and to other Allied units, and were subsequently escorted to Scapa Flow, Orkney.
Jim Stormonth DA, Graphic Designer, has painted a series of works depicting the various types of warships, auxiliary vessels and merchant ships that plied the Forth during World War I. In this talk he will give an insight into his work and the background history of this significant wartime location.
This is most likely to be the date for our ever popular Christmas social. It is free to members and lots of fun, with food and seasonal entertainment.
Hannah Fleming, Assistant Curator at the British Golf Museum, will look at the development of links golf on the East Coast of Scotland, including the evolution of equipment, changes in costume and the beginnings of the Open.
Hannah is from the East Neuk, having attended Waid Academy and the University of St Andrews, where she studied Art History and Classical Studies. Having graduated she began working as a seasonal Museum Assistant at the British Golf Museum in 2015 and as an Assistant Curator in 2008. She completed her Museum and Galleries Studies Post Graduate Diploma at St Andrews in 2016.
The only woman commemorated on the Anstruther war memorial is Elizabeth Johnston, a former pupil of Waid Academy, whose father was a sailmaker in East Green. In 1917 she enlisted in Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps as a telegraphist, and was sent to France. She died in dramatic circumstances, falling from a church tower in Rouen on Christmas Day 1918.
In this, her centenary year, local author and historian Kevin Dunion will consider the circumstances of her death and will reveal the results of his painstaking research to establish the identity of the young Canadian soldier she had become close to and who played a prominent part at her funeral. It is a story with an unexpected twist, which resonates down the years. Kevin is Vice-Chair of the Kilrenny and Anstruther Burgh Collection and author of ‘The Democracy of War – Anstruther and Cellardyke in the First World War’.
Scotland and France enjoyed an official special relationship between the years 1295 and 1560. This troubled period includes the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Hundred Years’ War, the arrival of the Stuart dynasty, the Renaissance and the Reformation. It explains how the Scots enjoyed claret at a discount and why so many French words are still in the vocabulary, especially those relating to food!
Odile Hughson came from Provence for one year and has stayed for more than half a century. This subject reflects her love of these two countries.