Scottish Arts Group

The Scottish Arts Group is for all members with an interest in Scottish history, folklore, literature, architecture, music, natural history, science and arts.


Group meetings take place on Saturday evenings at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Grove Road, Millhouses, Sheffield. The hall is open from 7.00 pm and meetings start at 7.30 pm, finishing at around 10.00 pm. All members of the Society are welcome.


Contributions towards supper are always welcome and are pooled, e.g. sandwiches, cakes, scones etc. There is a small charge per person of £3, payable on the night.


Convenor:  Mrs Julia MacNamara     0114 266 4585









October 12th 2019    They gave ……the ambulance crisis of WW1 –



November 2nd 2019 The Royal Caledonian Education Trust –

                                  an Institution of the Scottish Nation –

                                  Colin Flinn – CEO of the RCET


December 7th 2019   Work not Charity – the story of Painted

                                Fabrics Limited – Brian Holmshaw              


January 11th 2020    New Year Party (7pm start)


February 8th 2020    Sheffield Cutlery – its use through the ages

                               Paul Iseard of The Sheffield Shop          


March 7th 2020        20 Iconic Scottish Buildings – from Skara Brae      

                               to Dundee’s V&A by Willy Coupar



An outstanding speaker- Michael Copeland- came from Cornwall to present They Gave-

a totally absorbing account of the medical and ambulance service in WWI. Michael’s grandfather was WWI hero Ronald Copeland, who although unable to enlist converted his car into an ambulance and drove it to France.













At the beginning of the War the army medical service had not changed since the Napoleonic Wars.  Women particularly took the initiative to improve all this.  For example, Elsie Inglis after whom two Edinburgh hospitals have been named, travelled to the War Office to present her proposals.  The senior officer’s response to her was recorded as “Go back to your home and sit still, woman”.  In response she formed the Scottish Women’s Hospital Service and led a company of predominantly Scottish women out to Serbia where they are still revered on a national day and are even on recent postage stamps.


Past President Willy Coupar revealed that his family have a close relationship with Elsie Inglis and we all enjoyed singing ‘Keep Right on to the End of the Road.  An absolutely mouth-watering tea followed.  The Usual Suspects did a great job clearing up at the end of the evening.    By common consent this was probably one of the best Arts Group in recent years.


Julia McNamara    

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Colin Flinn is one of our favourite visiting speakers and Sheffield Caledonian Society is one of his favourite visits.  Colin is CEO of the Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET) based in Edinburgh.  He drove to Sheffield and back to deliver to us a fascinating presentation on the history and role of the RCET.  The Trust was formed in 1815 as The Caledonian Society to care for the vast numbers of children made destitute by the loss of a father whilst on military service in the Napoleonic Wars.    The Trust began as the Caledonian Asylum, became The Royal Caledonian Schools and is now the Trust.  Colin took us through this fascinating history which has remained steadfast in fulfilling the original aims of the charter establishing the Asylum all those years ago.  A final slide showed us a worryingly large group of Trust youngsters on a trip to Staffa.  They looked happy and confident, as they should, especially when one considers the circumstances which led them into the care of the Trust.  This is every child’s birthright.  It is also a wonderful validation of the Royal Caledonian Education Trust.

The evening ended with a great tea, as always thanks to the generosity of our great members – one of the reasons we are so popular with Colin!   The Usual Suspects excelled themselves in washing up, tidying away and clearing up.  It was great to see the ever-popular Maxine and Keith White back with us.

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