New Website and New Logo
As we now have our new website there will be no more updates on this site however the information in here will remain as it is for the future. Here is the link to our new website queensferryhistory.org
We also now have a new Logo!
There But Not There .......
This Armistice Day remember those who did not return. Please click on the link above.
The silhouettes shown in this slideshow, produced by Queensferry History Group, were awarded to Queensferry History Group through the Armistice and Armed Forces Communities Programme, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust. Partners in this programme, the charity "Remembered" are responsible for running this project., "There but not there". These silhouettes are displayed, especially over the Armistice period to give focus to remember and reflect on the Armed forces of today and the past. It is fitting that they formed part of our last exhibition in 1918 which informed the community of the events at the end of World War I, in particular the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet and the effect of the war and it's aftermath on those serving in the armed forces as well as those in the community at that time - 100 years ago. The key aim of the Armistice and Armed Forces Communities Programme is to improve and increase understanding between civilian and military communities. To add to and help illustrate our previous research into those men listed on both Queensferry and Dalmeny war memorials, this slideshow displays photographs taken of the silhouettes in specific places around Queensferry, perhaps where a serviceman is known to have lived, or just places which have changed little in 100 years, in the hope of engaging the imagination, bringing together communities in remembrance of the armed forces of 100 years ago and of today. Music sourced by Alastair Wood with permission - Flowers of the Forest sung by Isla St Clair available on www.highlandclassics.com
Queensferry History Group announce our new website and booklet, thanks to National Lottery Heritage funding, covering our research on the names on our WWI War Memorial both in Queensferry and Dalmeny, plus our research for our two WWI exhibitions held in Queensferry Museum in recent years. The booklets are available in some of our High Street shops, restaurants and pubs. Unfortunately the Library is unable to take any at the moment due to the Covid regulations. Just ask around. We are still in the process of distributing them. The website also contains some local Queensferry History. https://queensferryhistory.org/book-website/
As Queensferry History Group is not meeting just now, due to the Coronavirus and Government guidelines, here is a brief acknowledgement to the 75th Commemoration of VE Day, as prepared by Blogmaster and History Group member, Norma Brown. The following information has been gathered and condensed from several on-line sources. (Free to use historical images of local celebrations are hard to find, if you have any we can use here or in our website, please contact us on our email address which is email@example.com or in our facebook page).
VE (Victory in Europe) Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on 8th May 1945.
It meant an end to nearly six years of a war that had cost the lives of millions; had destroyed homes, families, and cities; and had brought huge suffering and deprivation to the populations of entire countries.
On 7th May, Montgomery accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark. The document of surrender was signed on behalf of Germany by General Alfred Jodl and came into effect the following day. Soviet leader Josef Stalin wanted his own ceremony. At Berlin on 8th May, therefore, a further document was signed – this time by German Field Marshal William Keitel.
The announcement that the war had ended in Europe was broadcast to the British people over the radio late in the day on 7th May. The BBC interrupted its scheduled programming with a news flash announcing that Victory in Europe Day would be a national holiday, to take place the following day, 8th May 1945. Newspapers ran the headlines as soon as they could, and special editions were printed to carry the long-awaited announcement. The news that the war was over in Europe soon spread like wildfire across the world.
Crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace to cheering crowds.
Various events were organised to mark the occasion, including parades, thanksgiving services and street parties. Communities came together to share the moment. London’s St Paul’s Cathedral held ten consecutive services giving thanks for peace, each one attended by thousands of people.
Although VE Day marked victory for Europe over Germany, it did not mark the end of World War Two.
Even after 8th May, many soldiers, sailors and pilots were sent to the east to fight against the Japanese, who had not yet surrendered. Many had to continue fighting in other battles and lots of people were being kept as prisoners of war abroad. Three Queensferry men were Japanese Prisoners of War.
Japanese surrender came on 14th August 1945, after two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (6th August) and Nagasaki (9th August). On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri.
The political, social and economic repercussions of the Second World War were felt long after Germany and Japan surrendered. Millions of people had lost loved ones and their lives had been turned upside down by the fighting.
The nation had to rebuild, as the war had been so expensive.
Food and clothing rationing had begun on 8th January 1940, four months after the onset of the war. Clothing rationing stopped on 15th March 1949. Rationing of food was gradually reduced and on 4th July 1954 rationing finally ended with butter being the final item to stop.
Read Our News Here!
Due to the Covid regulations we are unable to meet as a group. Meetimngs will recommence when we are able.
March 2020 - The community Poppy Drape (see October 2019 below) is going to be hung in Rosebery Hall for the community to see. Date is uncertain due to the current Corona virus pandemic.
November 2019 - Our most recent exhibition - "Queensferry at War -The Final Chapter and Beyond" which focuses on the end of World War I and the impact the War had on the community, and also features the Surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, is no longer exhibiting in Queensferry Museum.
Sadly, due to covid regulations, Queensferry Museum is closed indefinitely.
Museum hours should be 10am - 5pm every day, closed for lunch 1.pm - 2.30pm. However all depends on staffing. Best to phone first to see if they are open. Number 0131 331 5545
October 2019 -Community Poppy Drape
Queensferry History Group along with volunteers from the local community, made an Armistice Poppy Drape, which was on display at Rosebery Hall during the 2019 Armistice Service. It is now hanging on the wall going up stairs to Queensferry Museum. A description panel has been installed.
Armistice 100 Years Ceremony
Some images from this years special Armistice Service in Queensferry High Street, conducted by Rev David Cameron, Rev Terry Harkin and Father Deeley at Rosebery Hall. The Poppy Drape was made by the History Group and members of the local community. It will soon be hung in Queensferry Museum.
There are two major events this weekend for Queensferry History Group. Firstly we are proud to present our Poppy Drape outside Rosebery Hall for the Armistice Service on Sunday the 11th November. This has been created by members of the History Group and the local community. Thank you to all who contributed towards making this possible.
The second announcement is the opening of our new exhibition in Queensferry Museum, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This brings the War research we have been working on for the past five years, full circle. It touches on the impact the war had not only on communities but also on a changing society. The surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth on November 21st was one of the most impressive naval events of the century and the exhibition gives information about this using original naval signals from the time and also artefacts from some of the German Ships, eventually scuttled in Scapa Flow, which are very kindly on loan to us from Orkney Council. There are still some finishing touches to be done to this exhibition, but it is open for visitors now.
Members of Queensferry History Group were honoured to be invited to St Giles Cathedral to attend the Memorial Service for Dr Elsie Inglis starting 100 years to the minute since her funeral at St Giles Cathedral. Dr Elsie Inglis was remembered with a Service of Thanksgiving for her life and for the work and influence of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals movement. Guests included HRH The Princess Royal and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Edinburgh Open Doors Day 2017
Queensferry History Group participated in this years 'Open Doors' day on Sunday 24th September. In partnership with Queensferry Heritage Trust, hosted by The Masonic Lodge, groups of visitors were given a guided tour around the Old Vennel Cemetery, by members of the History Group. Among the highlighted graves were those of the "Good and the Great" of Queensferry. Philanthropists, Merchants, Ministers, even possible relatives of Witches burned at the stake were on the 'list', many people who have given their names to streets in Queensferry. The cemetery dates from 1635 and was closed in 1900. There was aso an exhibition in the Masonic hall, featuring the history of the Old Vennel Church and its famously cursed bell, the first School in Queensferry and the Cemetery. Meanwhile there was also an interesting rerely seen exhibition of the history of the Masonic Lodge. This was a successful venture all round and may be repeated next year. Thank you to all who helped to make this day successful, whether by volunteering or visiting.
‘Queensferry Crossing’, the new £1.35 billion road bridge, Britain’s tallest bridge, opened for traffic on 30th August. The first Minister Nicola Sturgeon turned on the lights (that no one knew were coming) then led a procession of vintage and modern vehicles on to the new Queensferry Crossing. Sightseers added to the usual rush hour, causing mayhem to the surrounding roads, and very long delays to commuters. The first breakdown on the new bridge happened at 7am, when a lorry stopped, mostly on the hard shoulder (which was cordoned off with traffic cones) but sticking out in to traffic It was closed again on 1st September to get ready for the 50,000 plus people who will walk across the bridge over the following 2 days. There will be an official opening of the bridge by H.M. Queen Elizabeth, on Monday 4th September, exactly 53 years after opening the ‘old’ Forth Road Bridge and further walks by school children and other groups going half way, on the 5th.
The 1.7mile crossing has a projected life span of 120 years but could last longer.
By the 7th everything should have settled down and this bridge will be open to all traffic while the Forth Road Bridge (old one) is closed for upgrading. When the Forth Raod Bridge reopens, this will be used for public vehicles (buses, coaches, taxis) pedestrians, cyclists and motor cycles below 125 CC. The Queensferry Crossing (new road bridge) will be classed a motorway and will not allow Learner drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or motor cycles below 125cc.
Have you seen the exhibition by the Harbour depicting the history of the building of the Queensferry Crossing in wonderful colour images? Well worth a look! Likewise the steps beside the Boathouse Restaurant!
As we have mentioned before, we are still having difficulty identifying several of the men on both Queensferry and Dalmeny War Memorials. If you recognise any of the names, or know someone who might know something, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also be grateful for any images of any of the men named on both memorials. Thank You.
The men we cannot identify, or we are unsure if we have the correct person, are:
R. Campbell (Dalmeny Memorial) - cannot identify despite extensive research to try to do so.
J. Cullen (Dalmeny Memorial) - cannot identify, as above
J. C. Nelson (Dalmeny Memorial) - cannot identify, as above
A. Rutherford (Dalmeny Memorial) - cannot identify, as above
As the Dalmeny Memorial does not give the first name of the men or their regiment, it is almost impossible to correctly identify them, particularly when we can find no Dalmeny link for any of these men, either through registers or war information.
John Mclean (Queensferry Memorial) - cannot be sure if we have the correct person due to conflicting records.
Don't forget our Queensferry At War Exhibition is still on in Queensferry Museum, this year with updates for 1917. Not to be missed! Please visit and leave comments (nice ones) in our comments book in the room. Thank you.
Members of Queensferry History Group were honoured to be invited to the ww100 Scotland, Battle of Arras commemorations at Edinburgh Castle, on 9th April, organised in conjunction with Legion Scotland. A fitting tribute to the 18,000 Scots who lost their lives 100 years ago. Queensferry and Dalmeny lost 7 men here. Images are reproduced with permission from ww100 Scotland, a Government Organisation which aims to inform people about Scotland's role in World War One and its impact on the country.
An Evening at the Brewery!
Some members of Queensferry History Group had a very interesting visit recently, to the new 'Ferry Brewery' at Dalmeny. The tasting session after, was very 'tasty'. Mark (on the left with the beer glass) is so informative and enthusiastic about his project and we wish him good luck with his business venture, for the future, not that he'll need it, things are going well for him, and no wonder, his products are great. Have a look at his facebook page. Thank you Mark. Glad our research was a help to you. www.facebook.com/TheFerryBrewery/?fref=ts
A plaque unveiled at the Battle of Jutland commemorations (held in South Queensferry earlier this year) has a new home - taking pride of place in the Provost's Room at Queensferry Museum.
Edinburgh's Lord Provost, The Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, visited the museum last month to see the plaque and Queensferry History's Exhibition 'Queensferry at War' within the museum.
He also met civic and military representatives as well as members of Queensferry History Group.
More on the Jutland events in 2016 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36397063
The Queensferry at War exhibition is on until 31st January
Queensferry during World War II
Marie and Janice from Queensferry History Group, gave talks to pupils at Echline Primary School last week. On Tuesday 4th October they talked to P6, on Wednesday they talked to P6/7 and then P7 about how Queensferry was affected by World War II. The children particularly enjoyed hearing about the barrage balloons, rationing (especially sweetie rationing) and identity cards.
Queensferry Museum Update
Queensferry Museum is open normal hours Thursday 29th Sep and Friday 30th Sep (this week).
Don't know about next week, watch this space!
As Queensferry Museum is closed until October some time, Queensferry History Group has set up a small display in the case in the Library, showing a little of what can be found in our 'Queensferry at War' WWl Exhibition which will hopefully continue to be on in the Museum until the end of the year.
Just to let everyone know if you are planning to go along to Queensferry Museum to see the our 'Queensferry at War'World War 1 exhibition, sadly the Museum is closed at least until 26th September due to Museum staff shortages.
However, while our 'Ferry Fair Through the Ages' Exhibition continues in the library for a few more weeks, our Ferry Fair Exhibition in our History Group meeting room in the basement of the Council offices continues until the end of September. If you would like to visit our Exhibition in our meeting room, which features advertisements from old Ferry Fair programmes, and historical photos of the businesses advertised, contact us on email@example.com to make an appointment. Otherwise you can pop in during Monday morning meetings between 10 and 12.
Ferry Fair Exhibition
Queensferry History Group are holding a small exhibition in Queensferry Library during this 80th Ferry Fair Week.
Entitled “Memories of the Ferry Fair” there is an array of historical photographs through the years and also a display case with memorabilia donated for the exhibition by Edinburgh Museums and Galleries.
The Library is open Monday and Wednesday 1pm – 8pm and 10am – 5pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
There will also be a ONE DAY exhibition on Saturday 13th August, 2pm – 6pm, in The History Group headquarters, in the basement of the Council Offices by the car park on the High Street. The gate is on the right hand side of the building beside “Once Upon A Time”.
This exhibition shows advertisments and extracts from historical Ferry Fair programmes, supported by photographs of the premises advertised. There will also be other interesting historical information and exhibits.
Somme Offensive Memorial Day
Today, 1st July 2016,Queensferry History Group held a short memorial service to commemorate the men who lost their lives during the Somme Offensive 1st July - 18th November 1916. This was held in our 'Queensferry at War' exhibition room, in Queensferry Museum. Queensferry and Dalmeny lost 15 men at the Somme and you can read more about the Somme Offensive under 'Memorials', July 2016
Some members of the WWI research team of Queensferry History Group, were lucky enough to be invited to a reception on board HMS Kent, lying in Leith Docks, which was waiting to join the Jutland 100th Commemoration Day to be held in South Queensferry, 2 days later, on Saturday 28th May.
It was a very memorable evening.
On Saturday 28th May the sun shone, albeit a little windy (which caused havoc with our exhibition banners) and the atmosphere was good. Princess Anne visited Queensferry to unveil a plaque dedicated to WWIOO, and spoke to several adults and children involved in the event.
Queensferry History Group had an exhibition area with Banners telling the story of the Battle of Jutland, and were also in the gazebo laid aside for Princess Anne to visit, where she met two members of our research team.
A large screen on the street relayed the ceremony at the Commonwealth Memorial in Queensferry Cemetery to the crowds of people that gathered along at the Hawes area.
The images below are reproduced with kind permission from David Molloy.
Bi-plane Flyover. Image reproduced with kind permission from Diane Job
Images below, showing the wreaths from the Memorial Service in the Cemetery, and also showing the World War I Quilt in the Priory Church Jutland Exhibition, are reproduced with kind permission from Christine Vincenti.
© Queensferry History Group 2016
On 24th March our exhibition was officially opened by Councilor/Bailie Norman Work.
It will be on for the next 6 months in Queensferry Museum, Room 3 (the first on the right at the top of the stairs. If you visit us, please sign and perhaps make a comment in our visitor book, which is in the room. For opening hours please read the entry below.
Queensferry at War Exhibition!
'Queensferry at War'!
Queensferry Museum, above the Council offices in Queensferry High Street.
Opens March 25th 2016, for 6 months! Open hours - Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10am - 1pm and 2.15pm - 5pm, Sunday 12pm - 5pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
'Queensferry at War' is a new exhibition, commemorating the anniversary of the Somme Offensive 1916 and our Queensferry and Dalmeny men who lost their lives there and also commemorating the anniversary of the mighty Jutland Sea Battle 1916 and the men who are buried far from home in the Commonwealth Graves, South Queensferry Cemetery. Not forgetting the role of women on the Home Front and insights into South Queensferry during World War 1 and how the losses affected local families.
A team from the Queensferry History Group has documented stories of the families, peacetime jobs, medals and military history of many of the 103 war dead. The Group’s exhibition shows what Queensferry was like during the conflict and the town’s role as a base for some of the ships involved in the biggest sea battle of WWI at Jutland off Denmark in 1916.
Maps show where some of the men lived in Queensferry and the battlefields where some of them died. Medals, models, uniforms and other memorabilia will be on display.
Families are welcome and we welcome school groups.