Sandy Stoddart’s Monument to the Wars of Independence

It is widely accepted, although not universally agreed, that William Wallace was born in the town of Elderslie in Renfrewshire. Any town across the world would welcome such a unique historical connection but in the West of Scotland it sometimes feels like we quietly acknowledge our connection to Wallace, rather than actively celebrating it. I... Continue Reading →

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A Review of Darren McGarvey’s ‘Poverty Safari’

If you're interested in Scottish politics then there is a fair chance that you've already heard of Darren McGarvey. I first became aware of him during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum in which he argued the socialist case for an independent Scotland. Over the past few years McGarvey, who is also known by his stage... Continue Reading →

The Craignish Men of Argyll’s 1685 Uprising

The mid-17th century was a tumultuous period in the history of Scotland. Between 1639 and 1651 Scottish soldiers participated in the Bishops' Wars, the Scottish Civil War, the Irish Confederate Wars and a series of English Civil Wars. These complex and interwoven conflicts ultimately led to the execution of Charles I, the establishment of a... Continue Reading →

A Review of AncestryDNA

Around six years ago I took a DNA test to determine my genetic ancestry through the company Ethnoancestry. Overall it was a pretty lousy experience as shortly after sending my sample to the company they underwent a restructuring that meant the service I paid for could no longer be honoured. I was eventually given a... Continue Reading →

The Dardanelles, Greenock

One of the earliest memories I have of my Grandfather is walking with him through the small lane in the West-end of Greenock known as 'the Dardanelles'. I can still remember him explaining to me that the Dardanelles was where a great battle took place against the Turks. He was of course referring to the... Continue Reading →

Frederick Douglass in Greenock

Frederick Douglass is a towering figure of American History. Escaping slavery in 1838, he became one of the great social reformers, passionately advocating for the end of slavery and the emancipation of African-Americans, women and others who were marginalised from the American political system. He was known to be a gifted orator and he presented... Continue Reading →

The Loch Indaal Tragedy of 1879

Over the centuries nearly every coastal town and island community in Scotland has experienced a loss of life as a result of a maritime tragedy. We can read about Scottish history from the ancient times right up until the present day and find stories of shipwrecks, drownings and of lucky survivors. Some of these events... Continue Reading →

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