We are pleased to present the draft programme for the annual Society for Folklife Studies conference, 2022. This year the conference will be held at Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 8-11 September.

We will update the draft programme over the coming months.

The programme (at 15 August) is set out below. It can also be downloaded.

The booking form is set out below. It can also be downloaded.

The Society for Folk Life Studies

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland

8-11 September 2022

* Power to the People *

The conference will be based at Biggar Museum,156 High Street. Biggar, ML12 6DH

The conference accommodation is a choice between: The Kirk Style Hotel 72 High Street, Biggar ML12 6BJ (The Kirkstyle Hotel, Biggar | Homepage) or The Elphinstone Hotel, 145 High Street, Biggar, ML12 6DL www.elphinstonehotel.co.uk

Please indicate your preference on booking form,

accommodation will be booked by the conference organiser.

PROGRAMME

[Draft at :15-08-2022]

Please note:

The Annual General Meeting of the Society for Folk Life Studies

will now take place on-line on Thursday 29 September at 18.00hrs (UK time).

Papers and joining details will be circulated after the conference.

THURSDAY 8 September

17:00 – 18:30              Registration at The Elphinstone Hotel

18:30 – 20:00             Dinner at The Crown (tbc) 

20:00-20.30                 Lecture 1

David S Forsyth (formerly National Museums Scotland)

The power of the object

[Summary to be circulated] 

FRIDAY, 9 September

09.30                           Assemble at Biggar Museum, 156 High Street, Biggar 

09.35-09.40                 Steph Mastoris (President, Society for Folk Life Studies)

Welcome to the 2022 annual conference 

09.45-10.00                 Elaine Edwards (Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum)

                                    Welcome to Biggar

10.00-10.45                 Lecture 2.

Janice Kirkpatrick (Designer and activist)

Powering Ahead: the continuing story of the Clydesdale horse

                                    [Summary to be circulated] 

10.45-11.15                 Coffee

11.15-12.00                 Lecture 3

John Burnett (formerly Nation Museums Scotland)

Celebrating the Work, Celebrating the People: public utilities in South Lanarkshire 

                                    [Summary to be circulated] 

12.00-12:45                 Lecture 4

Stefan Sagrott, (Historic Environments Scotland) 

Gas!  (working title) 

                                    [Summary to be circulated] 

13:00 – 14:00             Lunch at The Coffee Spot, Biggar 

14.15-1700                  Excursion 1

                                    Biggar Museum and environs 

18.30 – 20.00              Dinner at the Elphinstone Hotel, Biggar 

20:00                           Claudia Kinmonth (Independent researcher and consultant curator)

Joining in Butter to fill a Firkin: Identifying the hand tools of Irish butter making using the Dash Churn, up to c.1900.

Always interested in researching previously neglected areas, Claudia’s most recent research, sheds light on techniques of Irish butter making before 1880. The Irish have been raising cattle and making butter from their milk and cream for about four thousand years. But until now, no-one had researched the techniques used by women on small, primitive farms, making butter using simple ‘dash churns’. This paper attempts a typology of the varied range of small hand tools and implements, which may potentially act as a touchstone for museum collections.These tools were made and repaired by coopers and turners. While reading manuscripts from The Irish Folklore Commision, the curious ways women collaborated to maximise profit from their butter was discovered, and will be discussed and illustrated. Called ‘Joining in Butter’ this enhances an appreciation of the importance of Irish Farm women, so often overlooked in rural history.

Since the pandemic, Claudia’s field-studies have been curtailed, but her recent book has resulted in new material popping up on social media, from museums and via her disparate new research At the end of the talk some newly discovered objects will be shown, if time permits.

SATURDAY, 10 September

09.30                           Assemble at Biggar Museum

09:45 – 10:30              Lecture 5

Neil Johnson-Symington (Glasgow Museums)

The Albion Motor Company

[Summary to be circulated]

10.30 – 11.15              Lecture 6 

Heather Holmes (Independent researcher)

Power and innovation: Lanarkshire agricultural implement and machines makers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Lanarkshire had a number of noted implement and machine makers. They include James Wilkie of Uddingston, James Gray & Co., Uddingston, Charles Weir of Strathaven, and William Dickie of East Kilbride. This paper examines the importance the implement and machine makers in Lanarkshire – and especially the areas outwith Glasgow itself – as innovators and leaders in the making of these manufactures. It looks at the character of the makers, what was innovative about their manufactures, what they were making and the implements and machines that they were renowned at making. The period of focus is from the late eighteenth century onwards, with an emphasis on the mid nineteenth century to early twentieth century.

11:15 – 11:45               Coffee

11.45 – 12.30               Lecture 6

David Eveleigh (Independent researcher and consultant curator)

Old ways, old things – When connoisseurship discovered ‘Ordinary Folk’

(Folk life collecting etc., Part 2)

    This paper examines the rise in interest in the recording and collecting of traditional folk life material from the mid-nineteenth century. It looks at how intellectuals, aesthetes, artists and writers –people like John Ruskin, William Morris and Gertrude Jekyll – who were conscious they were educated and upper class – came to find something important and special – and therefore, worth promoting and preserving in the traditional rural and household lives of ordinary ‘folk’, both ‘the way’s (intangible) and the’ old things’ (the tangible).

                                    Excursion 2 

12.30                           Travel to Leadhills Mining Museum        

                                    Lunch on arrival followed by tour of the mine, museum & historic library

18.00                           Return to Biggar

19.00-20.30                 Dinner at the Barony Restaurant, Biggar

20:30                           Entertainment at the Elphinstone Hotel

The Mighty Joes

SUNDAY, 11 September

09.45                           Assemble at Biggar Museum

10.00-10.45                 Lecture 7

Steph Mastoris (Amgueddfa Cymru-Museum Wales)

Fifty-two things a year on Facebook: Interpreting material culture through social media

Despite its reputation for promoting angry people’s opinions, fake news, and endless images of food and pets, social media is increasingly being used to interpret museum collections and other material culture. This presentation will discuss a variety of these initiatives before reviewing Steph’s own modest contributions on Facebook over the past five years.

10.45-11.30                 Lecture 8

Jim Ness (Clydesdale Mills Society)

The Lost Mills of South Lanarkshire

                                    [Summary to be circulated]

11.30-11.40                 Concluding remarks and thanks

11.45                           Buffet Lunch at Biggar Museum 

End of conference

The Society for Folk Life Studies

ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 2022

Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland:

8th to 11th September

**Power to the people**

The Society’s annual conference for 2022 will be held in Biggar. The theme of the conference has been inspired by the social and economic development of the area.  It will examine the sources of power which drove the industrialization of Lanarkshire, from the Clydesdale horse to the Albion car and truck company and so much more. The conference sessions will be based in Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum, with excursions exploring the town and its environs and to the Wanlockhead lead mine and museum. The conference accommodation will be at the Kirk Style and Elphinstone hotels. 

Biggar is a thriving town in the Southern Scottish Uplands lying between the river Clyde and the river Tweed. Occupied since Mesolithic times, the present-day High Street (A 702) follows the line of a Roman road. In the 12th century the Normans came to the area. Built around 1150CE there are remains (you’ll need your magnifying glass though!) of the motte and bailey castle in the town, which belonged to Baldwin of Biggar who had emigrated from Flanders in France. Biggar was made a burgh of barony in 1451 which allowed it to hold a market on Thursdays and the town has retained its medieval layout of a wide road running through the centre to allow markets and fairs to be held, with closes running to parallel back streets and buildings with long gardens. The town prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time a number of banks opened, fairs were held each year, the Gasworks was established, the rat-infested Meal House was replaced with the Corn Exchange and a new parish school was built. Most of all, Biggar’s prosperity was helped by the coming of the railway in 1860. Large country houses became a feature in and around the town. The railway made a daily journey to Glasgow easy for industrialists, professionals and trades people alike.

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum opened to visitors in 2015. It has a gallery illustrating the history of the area from early times up to the 20th century, a street of shops recreated from the town and furnished from the collection, and a special exhibition room which can house items loaned from national collections.

If you wish to attend this year’s conference, please complete the application form attached and send it by 30 June 2022 with a non-returnable deposit of £100, to:

The Conference Secretary (Steph Mastoris)

National Waterfront Museum,

Maritime Quarter, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3RD, Wales, UK.

The closing date for all bookings is 8th August 2022 and final payment will be required by this date.

The cost of attending the whole conference will be:

  • £420 per person with accommodation and meals for single occupancy of a room.
  • £370 per person with accommodation and meals for two people sharing a room.
  • £240 per person with meals but NO accommodation 
  • Day rates for the conference (with lunch and dinner, but NO accommodation) are available:
    • £80 EACH DAY for Friday 9th and Saturday10th September

BOOKING FORM

The Society for Folk Life Studies

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland:

8th to 11th September 2022

I/We wish to attend the 2022 annual conference:

Name/s: ………………………………………………………………………………………….

Address: …………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Telephone: ……………………….. E-mail: ………………………………………..

I/We understand that the total cost of the conference will be:

WITH ACCOMMODATION:   £420 for single occupancy of a room

£370 per person for two people sharing a room

Please indicate your preferred hotel (the conference organiser will book your room)

Kirkstyle Hotel     www.kirkstylehotel.com/ or Elphinstone Hotel      www.elphinstonehotel.co.uk/

WITHOUT ACCOMMODATION:        £240 per person

DAY RATES (with lunch and dinner, but NO accommodation) are available at:

  • £80 EACH DAY for Friday and Saturday 9th & 10th September.

Please book ….. place(s) with / without accommodation and I/we enclose a non-returnable deposit of £100 per person.

I understand that the remainder of the conference fee will be due for payment by 8th August 2022.

Dietary requirements: ……………………………………………………………..

Mobility requirements: …………………………………………………………………………

Please return this form with payment or notification of BACS transfer to:

Steph Mastoris, National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Road, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD (steph.mastoris@museumwales.ac.uk)

Please pay either 

by cheque, payable to The Society for Folk Life Studies, or UK BACS transfer to the Society’s bank account: Sort code:  40-35-18               Account number: 11226363

International transfer details:

Account No: GB61HBUK40351811226363;  Branch code: HBUKGB4108N

(Please identify the transfer as ‘Conference 2022 + [your surname]’)