Perthshire's Past

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May is Local and Community History Month in the UK, and in Perthshire it has already been a busy month of activities that have been organised by local cultural trust, Culture Perth and Kinross.

The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history and to promote history in general to the Perthshire community and encourage them to participate.

Libraries throughout Perthshire have been holding talks, drop-in events, and showcasing artefacts and documents which highlight Perthshire’s past.

Perthshires Past - Culture PKAnd, there’s still an opportunity to get involved. Tomorrow night sees the legendary former Perth archivist and author, Steve Connelly, give a talk at the AK Bell Library from 18:30 – 19:30.

In his 38-year-career, Steve helped to ensure the safety and survival of some of the most historic records from Perthshire and Kinross-shire’s archives making them available for generations of history lovers to come. These records were originally held in the old Sandeman Library and safely transferred to the current room at AK Bell.

He’ll be sharing his memories of establishing and developing the Perth and Kinross Archive that we know and love today. His talk, called ‘An Archivist’s Life for Me’ is the final in the Friends of Perth and Kinross Archive 2017-18 series, and entrance costs £5, or free to Friends Members.

The final big event planned by Culture PK for Local and Community History Month is the screening of two fascinating short films which feature Perth and Perthshire in the 1950s.

The films are being shown on Thursday 31st May at AK Bell Library and it’s a unique opportunity to see both of these colour films which are currently on-loan from the Moving Image Archive catalogue at the National Library of Scotland.

‘Perthshire Panorama’ is a 1959 film which takes you on a tour around 1950s Perthshire. It was created for Perth Town and County Councils and Films of Scotland, and it was intended to give an introduction to Perthshire, highlighting places of interest for leisure and tourists. We particularly hope to trace the families of those who participated in this project.

The second film, ‘The Tay Valley’, was created by Educational Films of Scotland and showcased the towns, landscapes, farms and industries around the River Tay.

In addition to the two screenings, the audience in attendance will also be treated to highlights from the AK Bell Sound Archive. These recordings of memories and personal experiences are accompanied by images and songs which highlight life in rural Perthshire.

And, if you think any of your family might have featured in any of the recordings then local history officer Dr Nicola Cowmeadow is keen to hear from you.

“We particularly hope to trace the families of those who participated in this project,” she said, “as we do not have contact with relatives of those who were recorded and want to reunite them with the voices of their relatives.”

This historic film and audio event takes place on the 31st May from 18:00 – 20:00 and tickets cost £3. You can purchase tickets from the Culture PK website or by calling 01738 444949, and booking is essential.


Culture Perth and Kinross is a charitable Trust which officially came into being on April 11st 2016, taking responsibility for the delivery and development of museum and library services in Perth and Kinross.


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