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The Edinburgh Book Festival is the largest public celebration of the written word, with 700 writers. And Mark Mecha… twitter.com/i/web/status… … 1 day ago
It was with great sadness, that on Thursday July 21st, 2022, we learned of the passing of Alan Grant.
We were not part of Alan Grant’s world which embraced Starlord, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter and Ace Trucking Co., Doomlord, Joe Soap Private Eye, Computer Warrior, The Outsiders, Nightbreed and The Last American, Detective Comics, Shadow of the Bat, Lobo, L.E.G.I.O.N ’89, Legends of the Dark Knight, and The Demon.
However, in 2006, at Scottish comics artist Cam Kennedy’s suggestion, we tempted Alan back from the future. The proposal was to adapt a story set in 1751 to create a graphic novel to be accessible to many, who would not perhaps otherwise read such a classic. It was Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. Set during the time of the Jacobite rebellion, a tumultuous and tragic period in Scottish history, Kidnapped had of course already been adapted for film, stage, audio, and published in book form many, many times.
What resulted was an adaptation of the dramatic and epic adventure story that brought together two creative giants from the world of the graphic novel, as the absolute ‘dream team’ – artist Cam Kennedy, and scriptwriter Alan Grant.
The idea turned into a major publishing initiative. Kidnapped was published simultaneously in English, simplified English, Scots and Gaelic and it was the focus of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature’s ‘One City One Book Campaign’ in February 2007. Several publishing companies were involved in the campaign, led by Waverley Books – Black & White, Canongate and Barrington Stoke.
There have been many fitting tributes to Alan from across the world.
Alan Grant will be missed. It was a privilege to know him and to work with him on Kidnapped and subsequently on Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Ron Grosset, 25/7/22
Waverley Books, Glasgow.
Happy New Year!
We are big fans of tomorrow. And today. We celebrate the power of now. Such as it is. As a concept. And the day!
So - happy new year! Happy New Year!
We are fans of Robert Burns, as you know, and prepared a blog post about the traditional Scots song people sing on Hogmanay, ‘Auld Lang Syne’. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is attributed to Robert Burns, who collected traditional folk songs and re-wrote the lyrics.
There are many versions of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
One, in the archive, was written for The Masonic Lodge Burns belonged to. Another is the adaptation Burns wrote.
We noticed, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, that Dr. M. J. Grant of Edinburgh University had revealed her research on why she thinks we link arms when we sing ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ (The roots are masonic - her view is that the tradition in Masonic associations, linking arms to sing was the form)
Dr Grant’s book is available and published by OpenBook Publishers and is available to read free online.
Meanwhile, Ron Grosset, publisher of Waverley Books, gathered for us a variety of Robert Burns’ related files in the course of our work. One of which is the ‘Masonic Odes and Poems’ by Rob Morris LLD, 1864. As well as a ‘Tribute to Robert Burns’, and ‘Burns’ Farewell’, the Morris publication includes a ‘Masonic Auld-Lang-Syne’ which we thought we would share.
Christmas in Scotland had been a religious feasting day until the time of the Scottish Reformation in 1560, when Scotland split from the Catholic Church and new beliefs and practices came in to being.
In 1640, the Scottish Parliament passed a law that made celebrating ‘Yule vacations’ illegal. The Reformation abolished Christmas as the greatest festival of the Christian year. Even baking Yule bread was an offence. Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland for a long time, which is why Hogmanay and New Year celebrations in Scotland became important. 25 December didn’t become a Scottish public holiday until 1958.
Previously, Yule bread had been a tradition for hundreds of years across the British Isles, as Yule was a pagan tradition, and part of the 12 day festival in winter that began with the winter solstice. Yule festivities were observed and practiced in Germanic nations and northern Europe. The ancient Celtic practice of bringing in a living tree to the home to bless it. Bringing in misletoe was also a tradition to praise nature.
‘Inside Central Station’
The BBC Scotland documentary following the staff at Glasgow Central Station is in now into its 4th series.
At the back of the station is the 4-star Glasgow's Central Hotel, now run by Voco,
Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel has been a Glasgow landmark since it opened in 1883. Over its long history it has played host to show business stars such as Laurel & Hardy, and Frank Sinatra, and world leaders such as John F Kennedy and Winston Churchill. Through parties, weddings, drinks, and events, thousands of people have travelled to the hotel from all over the world, as well as Glasgow and Scotland.
The hotel, is no stranger to television – indeed it has a permanent link to Scotland’s great history of inventiveness and creativity. In 1927 the hotel hosted one of the most transformational events of the 20th century, when John Logie Baird made the first-ever long-distance television broadcast from London to a room on the fourth floor.
John Logie Baird chose the Central Hotel back in 1927 as the receiving equipment used was transported from London by train so it was a simple matter to move it from the adjoining Central Station. Just a quick walk across the concourse.
On the wider screen, in 1954, the hotel appeared in the Ealing Film Studios’ comedy, The Maggie, made by Alexander Mackendrick. Several scenes were filmed on the west coast of Scotland at Islay, and in Glasgow. The film reflects life as it was in the 1950s when Glasgow was an industrial city with a thriving riverside (and not short of few characters among its citizens!).
‘Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel – Glasgow’s Most Loved Hotel’, by Bill Hicks and Jill Scott is published by Waverley Books, Glasgow.
The many illustrations in the book include pictures of people’s personal mementoes as well as wonderful images, old and new, documenting the development of the hotel from its beginnings in 1883 as Glasgow’s railway station hotel at Central Station to the bustling presence it has today.
The book shows how the railway and the businesses surrounding the station, including the Central Hotel, have helped shape Glasgow throughout the years.