Bothwell Historical Society
The idea of forming a local historical society was first put forward in May 2011 as part of the Village's Scarecrow Festival planned for September 2011. Bothwell has a long and fascinating history and it was felt that an historical society would be an appropriate body to prepare and mount an exhibition reflecting aspects of the village's heritage. This would give locals as well as visitors some idea of the range of past events and interesting personalities associated with Bothwell.
The first meeting to organise the society was held on May 5th and an interim committee was formed to prepare a constitution and to formulate the aims and objectives of the Society.
The society aims to be a local focal point for promoting an interest in the history of Scotland in general and of Bothwell in particular. Efforts are being made to record and catalogue artefacts, documents and photographs of Bothwell's past. The society seeks to collect a record of the memories of an older Bothwell by interviewing villagers who are either Bothwell born and bred or who have lived here for many years and witnessed significant changes. History is being made every day and the society has undertaken a project to record Bothwell as it is at present. One day this may be of interest to those who come after us. The society joins with and supports the work of other village groups in preserving the environment and in opposing inappropriate development locally.
Efforts are made to encourage our young people to take an interest in the work of the society. We co-operate with local head teachers to prepare material for the classroom following the guidelines laid down in the Government's Curriculum for Excellence Programme. Finally we have winter programmes of speakers on topics of interest.
OUR HONORARY PRESIDENT.
Professor Sir TM Devine OBE, DLitt, FRSE, HonMRIA FBA Senior Research Professor of History, Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology of Edinburgh University has kindly agreed to be the Honorary President of Bothwell Historical Society. Professor Devine, a Lanarkshire man, is one of the country's foremost historians and the author of many definitive books on Scottish history. We are greatly honoured and encouraged by having his support.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has designated 39 significant battlefields as sites worthy of preservation. Local planning authorities may take this into consideration when applications are made for developments on these sites but despite the recommendations of HES, the battlefields are not protected by any legislation enacted by Parliament. We consider that these battlefields are an important part of the national heritage and should be protected by legislation for the benefit of present and future generations.
Consequently the Bothwell Historical Society is petitioning the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to prevent the development on battlefields as listed on Historic Environment Scotland’s Inventory of Historic Battlefields.
The petition we raised to the Scottish Parliament regarding protection of Scottish battlefields attracted 1,245 on-line signatures and a further 77 local signings. The petition was closed to further signings on 25th June.
Of the on-line signings many originated in Scotland, many from other UK sources and a large number from all around the world. We were happy at the final numbers and the petition has now gone to the Petitions Committee for consideration to be submitted to Parliament. How long that procedure takes is unknown, we now have to wait for a response from Parliament.