Everyone knows the history of Scotland: the romance of the highlands with Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Northern Isles with their Pictish and Viking heritage, Dundee with Jute and Jam, Glasgow and its shipyards and Edinburgh and the New Town Enlightenment. But what of the Borders? A published historian and archivist, Mary, and her friend, Doug, explore the less well-trodden paths of Scottish history and folklore as they shine a light on some of the best kept secrets of times past and present in the Scottish Borders. Join them as they chat and natter about the chequered history of the Borders region and reveal that, despite the best efforts of Hollywood, not all of the dramatic, historical intrigue and derring-do took place in the Scottish Highlands.
Many have their view of Scottish history informed and shaped by popular feature films such as Braveheart, Rob Roy and Highlander. Yet the lands around the Anglo-Scottish border are steeped in a rich, mythical and magical history of their own. Join Mary and Doug on the Borders Bletherings podcast as they chat about the rhymers, reivers, rideouts and realities of this oft-forgotten past.
History part 1 - What is history? What is it for?28th May 2023
In this taster episode, get introduced to your hosts and what's to come.
Doug and Mary discuss the Common Riding festivals of the Scottish Borders and their origins.About - Return To The Ridings, Lauder Common Riding, Hawick Common Riding – Scotland in the Scottish Borders
Tales of witches & witchcraft in the Scottish Borders.Survey of Scottish Witchcraft (ed.ac.uk),
All about Halloween and 'Samhain' in Scotland, with special guest Rhiannon.31st October 2021
1848 saw the coming of the railway in the Scottish Borders. This opened up the region and helped the mills to flourish. The railway company shareholders made fortunes while the Irish Navvies faced prejudice with every mile of track they laid. This is their story.Samhain - Wikipedia
From sheep on the hills to looms in the Mills; how the Borders clothed the world.28th November 2021
Walter Scott, lawyer, poet, novelist and the inventor of Scottish History?Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott
As the light fades outside, gather round for some tales of Midwinter Magic.26th December 2021
The rich story of Scotland's Gypsy Kings and Queens.
(The word 'Gypsy' is used here in its historical sense and no disrespect is intended in its use)
Doug and Mary continue the story of Scotland's Gypsy Kings and Queens in part 2.23rd January 2022
The braw lads o' Galla Water - Robert Burns great visit to the Borders6th February 2022
How Scottish is the Scottish Borders Region? In this podcast, Mary and Doug debate this question and explore what it really means to be Scottish.20th February 2022
The Great Pestilence in the Borders, how Bubonic Plague shaped social and economic life in the 14th century.6th March 2022
The stories of Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin, come with Mary and Doug in this instalment as they explore the shadowy and definitely magical world of the Scottish Borders.20th March 2022
Pilgrimage in the Borders - listen as Mary and Doug wander the medieval pilgrim routes and discover the realities of pilgrimage.St Mary's Well
Christian knights, infidels, battles, Constantinople and an elephant - the story of the Crusades.17th April 2022
The Darien Venture: how the Scots set out to create an overland route to connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.1st May 2022
The Darien Venture: how the Scots set out to create an overland route to connect the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.15th May 2022
The Goddodin - a dive into the deep history of the Borders and their ancient people.29th May 2022
Mungo Park - Influential African explorer?12th June 2022
A bite-sized blether before the holidays.26th June 2022
A bite-sized blether after the holidays.30th October 2022
The Lowland Clearances: the so-called agricultural improvement that changed the traditional system of farming in the Borders and forced thousands from the land.7th November 2022
The trials of accused witch Robert (Hob) Grieve in the 17th century. Special thanks to Lauder Amateur Dramatics.20th November 2022
Sir Hugo de Gyffard and the goblins of Goblin Ha'4th December 2022
Frederick Douglass - send back the money! The great campaigner in the Scottish Borders.22nd December 2022
Murder in Stow, episode one - 18718th January 2023
Murder in Stow, episode two - The unanswered questions22nd January 2023
Murder in Stow, episode three - Victoriana5th February 2023
Murder in Stow, episode four - A different story19th February 2023
Murder in Stow, episode five - The denouement5th March 2023
Maharajah - the elephant who walked to Manchester19th March 2023
Abbeys part 1 - The Border abbeys: how and why they were built2nd April 2023
Abbeys part 2 - The monastic life in an abbey and how that changed over the years16th April 2023
Stones and stone circles part 1 - more questions than answers
Join Doug and Mary as they discuss the standing stones and stones circle in the Borders. When were they built, why were they built and what were they for?30th April 2023
Stones and stone circles part 2 - the myths and legends
Join Mary as she tells Doug the folk tales that have entranced generations. Hares, faeries and boiling cauldrons!14th May 2023
History part 1 - What is history? What is it for?28th May 2023
Music by Spectacular Sound Productions
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Mary W Craig is a writer and historian living and working in Scotland. She is a former Carnegie scholar and a graduate of the University of Glasgow. It is said that there are three types of historians. Some historians are hedgehogs, happily snuffling about rooting out the minutest of historical details. Others are eagles, soaring on high they see the great vistas of historical events. Mary is a magpie: if something shiny and interesting catches her eye she will try to capture it where possible. Her main focus in writing is to explore the lives of extraordinary people who lived through extraordinary times and to bring to life the history of Europe in all its vivid colours.
During my many years working with adult English language learners, in countries as diverse as Germany, Belgium, Turkey and the U.S.A., I was intrigued often by questions asked of me and stories told to me when talking about knowledge and experience of Scotland's story. A common thread running through these was a particular focus on the history of the Scottish Highlands. Rather than accuse Hollywood of misrepresenting our story, Borders Bletherings seeks to entertain and inform by shining a light on the curious, shadowy and often magical history of the Scottish Borderlands. Please join Mary and me as we post each podcast episode and, if you are able, support us in continuing our work. Thank you.
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