Douglas MacQueen's blog

Football returned to Aberdeen after floating 1100 miles to Norway

Aberdeen (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain) is a city in the north-east of Scotland. The island of Vanna is on the northern coast of Norway, about 1,118 miles (1800km) away. So it was with some surprise that a local Aberdeen football club got a message from Johnny Mikalsen, who is a shopkeeper in Vanna, saying that he had their football. The Banks o' Dee youth team can regularly see their footballs going over the fence of their ground and dropping over into the nearby River Dee. Once that happens it is just accepted that they are lost.

Scottish archaeologists save 50,000 frozen Alaskan artefacts with aim to return them to their Nunalleq homeland

Archaeologists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland are to return more than 50,000 artefacts rescued from the archaeological site of Nunalleq on the southwest coast of Alaska. The objects, which had been frozen in time, were everyday things that the indigenous Yupik people used to survive and created. They began to emerge as temperatures continue to rise. The team from Aberdeen has spent more than seven years recovering and preserving the objects at Nunalleq in a race against time.

Plans to restore memorial cairn as one of Scotland's biggest archaeology projects launched at World War One internment camp

The First World War lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Originating in Europe, by the end of one of the deadliest conflicts in history, over nine million combatants and seven million civilians had died as a result of the war. During the First World War, many thousands of German, Austrian and other Central Power civilian men were interned in Britain. These were made up of civilians already present in the country in August 1914, along with others brought to Britain from various parts of the world.

The Laird's daughter turned into the Maiden Stone to save her from the Devil

The Picts were a Celtic society of farmers and hunters. The remains of Pictish art, language and society can be found throughout north and eastern Scotland. Their carved stones are both mysterious and beautiful. One such is the Maiden Stone, also known as the Drumdurno Stone close to the village of Chapel of Garioch near Inverurie (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Uraidh) in Aberdeenshire. This beautiful Pictish cross slab, carved in pink granite, is thought to date from the late 8th or 9th century AD.

Bass Rock in Scotland and the strange case of the three bodies of St Baldred

Bass Rock is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe)  in the east of Scotland. It stands just over three miles from North Berwick (Bearaig a Tuathsits) and is the core of an old volcano. Bass Rock stands at 351 ft (107 metres) at its highest point and is just over a mile long. It is also home to the world’s largest colony of gannets. On the island are a lighthouse and the ruins of a castle and the old chapel known as St Baldred's Chapel. The chapel is said to be on the place where St Baldred (Balthere of Tyninghame) had a small and humble cell.

SNP win the Scottish council elections

The full results of last week's Scottish council election have been published. They show that the Scottish National Party (SNP) secured 610,454 first preference votes, an increase from the 503,233 it won in 2012. However, given a higher turnout this time the party's share of the vote was 32.3% in both elections. The SNP won 32% of the first preference votes, the Conservatives finished second overall on 25%, Labour finished with 20%. Scottish Labour saw its share of the first preference votes fall from 31.4% and its number of seats from 394 to 262.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry goes on display in Scotland

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry (Scottish Gaelic: Grèis-bhrat Diaspora na h-Alba) is on display in its entirety for the first time in Scotland and is being exhibited at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh until 18 May 2017. The Tapestry is a community arts project that celebrates the Scottish Diaspora through embroidery. Involving communities around the world it recognises Scottish heritage and culture, and the people and places which connect Scotland to its global diaspora. Work on the panels began in 2012.

‘OOPS PERISCOPE’ - warning for Irish Sea fishermen

News from the Celtic League:

Irish Sea fishermen need to keep a weather eye on the wave tops as the Royal Navy has just launched its latest nuclear submarine (HMS Audacious) and presumably after getting the finishing touches it will be starting its sea trials around our coasts (link):

Charles Rennie Mackintosh:150th anniversary of Glasgow architect and designer to be celebrated

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 – 10 December 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist. He, along with painter and glass artist Margaret MacDonald, Frances MacDonald and Herbert MacNair, known as The Four, were prominent members of the The Glasgow School. This was a circle of influential artists and designers that worked in Glasgow, Scotland in the 1870s until about 1920. Glasgow Style designs and art works were created by teachers, students and graduates of The Glasgow School of Art and The Four were at the core of this movement.

Condemnation as scallop dredger wrecks rare flame shell reef off the west coast of Scotland

A rare flame shell reef off the west coast of Scotland has been 'devastated' by a scallop dredger. The Loch Carron reef near Plockton (Scottish Gaelic:Am Ploc) was intensively dredged on two occasions in an act of devastation that could take decades to recover.  Flame shells live hidden on the seabed inside nests built from shells, stones and other materials around them. Many hundreds of these nests can combine to form a dense bed, raising and stabilising the seabed. This then attracts many other creatures.

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