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  • News from the Museum

    A Letter from the Museum (John Buchan Story)

    For an update on activities at the John Buchan Museum (John Buchan Story) during lockdown please click here.

  • Dates for the Diary

    Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd March, 2020

    2020 AGM WEEKEND
    Jury's Inn Hotel, Derby

    The 2020 John Buchan Society AGM weekend will be held in Derby at the 4-star Jurys Inn Hotel (King Street, Derby DE1 3DB; tel: 01332 621000), on the weekend of Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd March. The Jury’s Inn Hotel is situated in the Derby Cathedral Quarter, the Cathedral being situated very close to the Hotel. The Hotel is modern with accessible lifts and where needed disabled facilities, rooms are spacious and all en suite, tea/coffee, bathroom accoutrements and good sized beds being a feature. There is a hotel car park, which is on a first come first served basis, but a disabled spot can be reserved. If the car park is full there is a large pay car park a short 5 minutes’ walk away, with 10% reduced rates for hotel guests. Derby is very accessible by rail from all parts of the UK, and the hotel is a short 5 minutes’ taxi ride from the railway station.

    ROOM COSTS ARE: Double/Twin Room - Sharing - £42 per person per night to include breakfast - Single Occupancy Room £68 per night to include breakfast.

    The hotel will allow members to stay extra nights at the same group rates, as long as they are attached to the Fri/Sat night package, before or afterwards.

    To book, please contact Mike Edwards: Tel. 07786 484114 (m) or Email or in writing to Freemans Cottage, Piccadilly, Guiting Power, Cheltenham, GL54 5UU.

    The group rates can only be booked through the above source, and if you go direct you will pay full rack rate!

  • Latest News

    Message from the Chairman

    Well. Here we are again: a piece from the ‘outgoing’ Chairman! My hope that we would be back to some semblance of normality by this mid-March has proved very wide of the mark. We are having to cancel the AGM weekend for a third time. Mike Edwards and I are now looking at a date in October, when we pray the vaccination programme will have done its job. Unfortunately, no Saturday that month is available at the Derby city Jury’s Inn for the Annual Dinner. The company have another hotel next to the East Midlands Airport, which is only a few miles from Derby. I aim to visit it - to ‘case the joint’ - when lockdown rules permit. If it measures up, we will move there. I am hoping we can enjoy the same format we were planning eighteen months’ previously: talks on aspects of John Buchan and the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and a trip to Lichfield to the Samuel Johnson birthplace house and the striking cathedral. As soon as matters are settled, contact will be made with all those who had signed up to attend in March 2020 as well as the membership as a whole (probably via the July Newsletter.) My plans for a Durham seminar this Autumn will have to be cancelled. Maybe, we could re-arrange it for the autumn of 2022.

    I think you would all agree with me that both our new editors - of the Newsletter and the Journal - have done splendid jobs with their first issues. We have been so lucky with the talent over the years that has ensured two excellent mouthpieces for John Buchan and this Society I am also appreciative of all the good work that Bill Galbraith is doing in Canada on JB’s behalf (or, rather, Lord Tweedsmuir over there). I am grateful that Andrena and Bill Telford have agreed to stay on until the next AGM, when we can have a formal and proper farewell to their time on the Council. I very much want to hand over to the ever-patient Richard Love as my successor at a ‘real’ AGM. I wish you all a healthy year which, hopefully, will improve steadily as we move towards October.

    Ken Hillier

    Temple Tales

    Ninety-eight years after JB carried out the first restoration, we have just completed the second restoration of the temple folly in the garden at Elsfield which has been without a roof or pillars for over 30 years. This curious ‘Cotswold romanesque’ structure is all that remains of several miniature monuments - including a water cascade, a triumphal arch, an Egyptian pyramid, a Druid temple - put up in the mid-18th century by Francis Wise of Elsfield Manor, an eccentric antiquarian, the first librarian of Oxford’s Radcliffe Camera and friend of Samuel Johnson. The temple’s first restoration was in 1922 by JB, using royalties given to him by the Earl of Rosebery, the ex-prime minister, for putting together a miscellany of Rosebery’s writings. In a January 1922 letter thanking Rosebery for this generosity. JB says he will use part of the money for a war veterans charity and part to preserve “a little temple in my garden where Dr Johnson used to drink tea [and which] is falling into a sad disrepair”. The 2020 restoration has been a bit of a challenge because of the need to be true to the original by using stone slates, largely recycled these days because rarely quarried any more, and because of the precise slate trimming needed to fit the circular part of the roof. We are thrilled with the final result, and would welcome any JB Society member who wants to see it.

    David and Lisa Buchan

    Durham Conference, September 2019

    The Society held its biennial conference on the weekend of September 6-8, 2019, and once again in the congenial surroundings of St John’s College, Durham, a stone’s throw from its famous Cathedral. The theme was ‘John Buchan and Empire’, and 28 members attended. The speakers were Dr William R. Telford (on ‘John Buchan and Empire: The Formation and Development of His Imperial Vision'), Ursula Buchan (on 'Willie Buchan and India'), Dr Andrena Telford (on 'Anna Buchan and India: Adventures of a Chota Miss Sahib’), Dr Roger Clarke (on 'John Buchan’s Journalism and Empire: 1900-1914') and Dr Michael Redley (on 'The African Colony’). Meals were taken in the College’s Haughton Orangery, and presentations took place in the newly opened and technologically sophisticated Learning Resources Centre opposite. As always, the Saturday afternoon was kept free for conference participants to explore Durham on their own. For a fuller account of the conference and its deliberations, see the John Buchan Journal, Issue 52, 2019, pp. 69-70.

    Short Stories read by Alasdair Hutton

    Thanks to the initiative from Alasdair, we are trying out some audio pieces of John Buchan's short stories. We have started with the 'King of Ypres' and 'Divus Johnston'. Go to the John Buchan's Works/Fiction/Audio section and have a listen.

    Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan by Ursula Buchan

    A biography by the author's granddaughter, drawing on recently discovered family documents. With perception, style and wit, she brings this remarkable man to life. Available in hardback, paperback or e book.

    John Buchan on Angling

    The Medlar Press is delighted to announce the publication of John Buchan on Angling, a new title by Keith Harwood. Further details of the book can be found on their website.

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