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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Late Night Innerleithen

Mulled wine, Mr Harrison's famous mince pies and retail therapy were all on offer at Smail's on Friday evening.  Tom did a sterling job upstairs producing batch after batch of fresh hot mince pies and ensuring that the mulled wine didn't run out.  Ailsa and Gen had a successful evening in the shop where the takings matched or even exceeded expectations and Rachel made sure that no one missed out on the wine and mince pies.  Meanwhile I was there to bark (but not often) at anyone who didn't use a coaster when they put their glass down and talk about Smail's to those that behaved.  A very successful evening all round.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser

Last week I wrote about an enquiry from Langholm Archive about a collection of printer's blocks they'd acquired from the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser.  Today  Tom Hutton from the Langholm Archive came to see us with the blocks.  There were four cardboard boxes of blocks - difficult to estimate how many but far fewer than the original enquiry suggested.  Amongst them was some fascinating stuff - pictures of many of the Cornets - the principle in Langholm Common Riding - photographs of the Langholm area and some lovely line drawings of local buildings.  Regrettably some were in poor condition but we'll see if we can get could quality prints from as many as possible as and when we have time.  You never know there might be one or two interesting additions to our collection of printed material.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Monday was of the course the last day that we were open to the public.  Shortly before we closed two young ladies from St Ronan's School came in asking about Victorian History.  Unfortunately they were a bit early for Living History which won't happen before the spring (watch this space) and we struggled a bit for suggestions. Gen suggested Horrible Histories and gave them a copy of our Schools Pack for the class with a suggestion that they came back for a visit.
Earlier this week a message was sent to all Trust staff looking for people willing to talk to Members Groups. Well I’ve been on their list for a couple of years with talks on: 
  • Robert Smails’s Printing Works
  • Robert Smail’s Archives
  • Lasting Impressions ( a history of printing)
I’m not proud I’ll talk to any group about Smail’s for little more than travelling costs and a beer. Of course if you want the best deal ask for Gen instead.
A contact in Langholm wanting to make copies of hundreds of old printing blocks from the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser.  At the moment we’re thinking about that.  If there really are hundreds that’s  a lot of work for someone so how best to help them do it for themselves? If anything interesting comes out of this we'll let you know.