BM&NHS winter meetings


Bute Museum & Natural History Society    (Scottish Charity No. SC009667)
Understanding the archaeology, history, flora, fauna and geology of Bute and beyond

Information for members: if you have changed your address, please let us know,
either at the Museum or email .

Syllabus for Oct 2019 – March 2020

Meetings take place on alternate Tuesday evenings in the library of Bute Museum, Stuart Street, Rothesay, commencing at 7.30pm.
Scroll down for details of speakers and topics – to appear as the programme takes shape


08 October

22 October

05 November

19 November

03 December


14 January

28 January

11 February

25 February

10 March

24 March

09 January 2018 Members’ Magazine
23 January 2018  Marian Pallister Giving a voice to the past: grassroots history
06 February 2018   Tertia Barnet – Rock Art
20 February 2018   Fraser Hunter  – Scotland’s early silver – from Roman bribes to Pictish bling
06 March 2018   Jeanne Robinson Invertebrates of Scotland’s ancient oaks
20 March 2018 Annual General Meeting, Weather report, Social

03 October  Jess Smith – Belonging to a Tinker Clan
17 October  Rebecca Crawford, Butterfly Conservation Peatlands for People
31 October  Moira Cunningham History of Mosaics
14 November  Ben Harrower,  Beavers, wildcats & Knapdale
28 November Manuela de los Rios – Community of Arran Seabed trust


Previous years’ meetings

11 October 2016           Jess Smith   [Invergeldie] Belonging to a Tinker Clan
25 October 2016       Neil McCheyne [Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh] Plant collecting in tiger country
08 November 2016  Jean McMillan [Bute Museum & BNHS] Men and women of Bute in World War One
22 November 2016   Isabel & Colin Sharp [Bute Museum & BNHS] Namibia
Wed 23 Nov 2016  Jazz at the Museum with Tim Saul and his band (fundraiser)
06 December 2016   George McKenzie [Bute Museum]  The River Clyde
17 January 2017     Members’ magazine
31 January 2017     Paul Duffy [Brandanii Archaeology & Heritage / BNHS] Bute’s deserted farmsteads
14 February 2017    Chris McInerny [Glasgow University] Reptiles & their conservation at Loch Lomond
28 February 2017   Sean Donaldson [BAE Systems] Constructing an aircraft carrier
14 March 2017        Greg Chamberlain [BSG Ecology]  The work of an ecological consultant
28 March 2017       Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report, Social

Previous Years’ General Meetings

* change of speaker from advertised programme – usually due to bad weather

13 October        Gabrielle Flinn [Buglife] Iconic Invertebrates of Scottish Woodlands
27 October        Cairns Mason  [Stirling] Beauty from Adversity: Craftwork by Napoleonic
Prisoners of War

10 November   David Gray [Ace Marine] Alfred Mylne’s legacy,his yachts then and now
24 November   David Palmar [Photoscot] An Excursion to Shetland
08 December   Laragh Quinney [National Library of Scotland] The National Library’s map

12 January       Members’ magazine Members’ magazine – edited by Shirley McFarlane &
Billy Shields. Speakers – Adam Ellis-Jones [Mount Stuart Trust] and Gordon
Stephenson  with Jessica Heriot [Woodwatch Bute]
26 January       Jeanne Robinson [Hunterian Museum] Bug hunting on Mingulay
09 February     Paula Baker [RSPB] Work of RSPB at Loch Lomond
23 February     Fiona Mills [Firth of Clyde Forum] Managed realignment of the Clyde
08 March         Heather James [Northlight archaeology] Hidden Heritage of a Landscape –
A Community Archaeology Project in Arrochar

22 March          Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report, Social

14 October       Peter Livingstone [Eadha Enterprises] Aspen Conservation
28 October       Alice Martin [Mount Stuart]  Churchill and Chartwell
11 November   Robyn Stewart [Glasgow University] Water voles in Glasgow
25 November   Alison Sheridan [National Museum of Scotland] Bute 4000 to 1500 BC: an
everyday story of farming folk

09 December   *George McKenzie [Bute] Roskilde Ship Museum
06 January       Members’ magazine, edited by Patrick O’Sullivan and Liz McKirdy. Speakers Billy
Shields –  Twenty years of Bute’s Ranger Service and Ian Brown – Before we came                              to Bute.
20 January      Philip Robertson [Historic Scotland] Scotland’s Historic Shipwrecks
03 February    Natasha Ferguson [Treasure Trove Unit] Treasure Trove
17 February     Gill Smart [Scottish Wildlife Trust] Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves in south-west                               Scotland
03 March        Lorna Pearce [Rothesay THI]  Rothesay THI – before and after
17 March         Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report, Social

08 October      Vanessa Banks [British Geological Survey] Landslides
22 October      Catherine Gillies [freelance curator & researcher] Dunollie Castle
29 October      Special find-raising Film Night: The Dam Busters (1955). Proceeds from ticket sales to Museum and RNLI.
05 November  Tom Christian [Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh]  International conifer conservation
19 November   Peter Wright [author] Ribbon of Wildness – Scotland’s Watershed
03 December   Geoff Hancock [Hunterian Museum] Why William Hunter’s eighteenth century insect collection is so important
14 January      Members’ magazine, edited by Chris Peveril, Betty Norris Smith and Roger Connard. Speakers:  Chris Peveril – a visit to New Zealand; Betty Norris-Smith – wildlife incidents on Bute; Roger Connard –  A to Z of Bute’s Wild Flowers.
28 January      Angus Hogg  [Ayrshire] Ayrshire Bird Life: Winners and Losers
11 February     Cairns Mason [Stirling] John Napier of Merchiston and logarithms
25 February    Gavin MacGregor [Northlight Heritage]  From crossing the bridge to burning the circle
11 March          Fraser Hunter [National Museums Scotland]  Celtic Art
25 March         Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report, Social


Oct 09     *Charles Woodward [Muirshiel Regional Park] Muirshiel: a park for people.

Oct 23     Robert Williams [Froglife] Amphibians and reptiles of Scotland

Nov 06    Rosemary Hannah [Mauchline] Grand Designer: 3rd Marquess of Bute beyond the Gothic.

Nov 20    *Sue Hothersall [Bute] The Battle of Largs

Dec 04     Stewart Redwood [Rothesay & Panama] The Scottish Colony in the Darien, Panama (1698-1700).

Jan 15      Members’ magazine, edited by Paul Duffy, Doug Menzies and Janet O’Sullivan. Speakers: – Doug Menzies Ospreys. Duffy – Archaeology of Cnoc an Rath, Ruth Slater – a contemporary Bute artist.

Jan 29      Ian Maclagan [Bute] The Maritime Rights of the Magistrates of Rothesay.

Feb 12     James Brown [Cormack Brown] The St Ninian Ways: pilgrimage to Whithorn.

Feb 26     Chris Cathrine [Caledonian Conservation Ltd / Brit. Arachnological. Soc] Scottish Spiders.

Mar 12    Gilbert Markus [Glasgow Univ] The Cult of Saints: Bute and Beyond.

Mar 26    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.


Oct 11     James Bray [British Trust for Ornithology] The BTO in Scotland: the work of volunteers.

Oct 25     George Geddes [RCAHMS] – North Rona & St Kilda: archaeology, history and culture.

Nov 01    Special Scott centenary film nightScott of the Antarctic. Proceeds from ticket sales to Museum and RNLI.

Nov 08    Heather James – [SERF project] Archaeological investigations at Castle Craig.

Nov 22    Simon Green [RCAHMS] Dumfries House.

Dec 06     John Knowler [Milngavie] Why study moths – surely they are brown, boring and nocturnal?

Jan 17      The Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Scheme. Speakers: Billy Shields – Organisation of the DBLPS, paths, bird hides and Rhododendron control, Paul Duffy – Archaeology, Angus Hannah – Walls, hedges and woodlands.

Jan 31      Scott Shanks [Butterfly Conservation] Scottish Butterflies.

Feb 14     Richard Matts [Bute Forest] A forester’s view of Bute Forest.

Feb 28     *Iain MacLeod [Bute] Carved in Stone.

Mar 13    Alison Morrison-Low [Museums Galleries Scotland] Scottish lighthouses past and present.

Mar 27    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.

2010- 2011

Oct 12     Davie Galloway [British Geological Survey] Earthquakes.

Oct 26     Angus Martin [Campbeltown] Davaar Island.

Nov 09    James Brown [Baltersan castle] Crossraguel: a hidden history.

Nov 23    Lewis Pate [Scottish Wildlife Trust] Red squirrels.

Dec 07     *Glyn Collis [Bute] Pill Woodlice, *Donald Kinnear [Bute] Four early Bute settlements, *Angus Hannah [Bute] Evolving field systems at Nether Ardroscadale.

Jan 11      Members’ Magazine, edited by Gloria fear and Allan Martin. Speakers: Gloria Fear – Bute’s connections with Cardiff and the Welsh valleys, Allan Martin – Compiling the book “Bute Connections”.

Jan 25      Rebecca Boyde [Archaeology Scotland] Reconstructing ancient diet.

Feb 02     Special Wednesday meeting. Alex Hale [RCAHMS] Bute’s archaeology inside out.

Feb 08     Robin Harvey [Oban] What makes Argyll and Bute’s Seas so special?

Feb 22     John MacCallum [Bute] A stroll down memory lane: images of Bute.

Mar 08    Elizabeth Cumming [Glasgow university] The arts and crafts movement in Scotland.

Mar 22    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.


Oct 13     Craig Macadam [Buglife Scotland] 4000 years of mayfly recording.

Oct 27     Jeanne Robinson [Glasgow Museums] Entomological investigations in Trinidad.

Nov 10    Deborah Long [Plantlife Scotland] Conserving Scotland’s native plants.

Nov 24    Alexander MacKinnon [Glasgow university] The night sky this autumn.

Dec 08     John Steele [Ardrossan] Welcome to Wee Cumbrae.

Jan 12      Members’ Magazine, editors Anne Howie & Ron Forrester. Glyn Collis – Bute’s moths, Paul Duffy – The work of an archaeologist, Ron Forrester – Birds of Kenya.

Jan 26      Ian Scott [Perth] Forty years on: art and landscape.

Feb 09     Grace Strong [Bute] A trip to the Arctic.

Feb 23     Gerald Cummins [Ayrshire] History of roads and tracks in Scotland.

Mar09     Chris Dalglish [Glasgow University] Clans and estates: an archaeology of Highland society.

Mar 23    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.


Oct 14     Derek Alexander [National Trust for Scotland] Archaeology at Culzean Castle.

Oct 28     Pat Batty [Kilmichael] Scottish Dragonflies.

Nov 11    Fraser Hunter [National Museum Scotland] Romans in Scotland.

Nov 25    John Steele [Ardrossan] Horse Island.

Dec 09     Rosie & John Wells [History of Armadale Association] Kite and pole aerial photography.

Jan 13      Members’ Magazine, editors Sue Hothersall & Iona Gray. Patrick O’Sullivan – Old picture postcards, Graeme Connor – The history of Rothesay’s water supply, Sue Hothersall – Architectural ironwork.

Jan 27      Mauvis Gore [Edinburgh] Plankton-eating sharks.

Feb 10     Geoff Moore [Millport] History of marine natural history in the Clyde.

Feb 24     Bill McQueen [Bute] Wildlife of the Falkland Islands.

Mar 10    Simon Jones [Scottish Wildlife Trust] Return of the Beaver.

Mar 24    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.


Oct 16     Euan Clarkson [University of Edinburgh] Archie Lamont, Bute’s Geologist.

Oct 30     Donald Reid [Mellor Archaeological Trust] Excavations at Mellor.

Nov 13    *Pete Drummond [Scottish Place Names Society] Scots and Gaelic hill-names in southern Scotland.

Nov 27    Rob Wilson [University of St Andrews] Studying environmental and climatic change using tree-rings.

Dec 11     Jim McIntosh [Botanical Society of the British Isles] The work of BSBI Scotland.

Jan 15      Members magazine, editors – Linda Mellor & Chris Shelley. Speakers – Ray Bruce, Iain MacLeod, William Scott.

Jan 29      John Knowler [University of Glasgow] Wildlife and flora of Spitzbergen.

Feb 12     Ian Marshall [Glasgow Archaeological Society] Environment, people & history of Glasgow.

Feb 26     *Phil Kirkham [Bute] Wildlife photography & *Glyn Collis [Bute] Species named after Bute people.

Mar 11    Stuart Nisbet, [University of Paisley] Waterborne lime trade in the West of Scotland.

Mar 25    Annual General Meeting, Meteorological Report by Viv Shelley, Social.