Barnwell Brothers meet Robert Burns

The Incorporation of Hammermen enjoyed an historic second annual dinner in the Allan Park Hotel during late November. The occasion was marked by the presence of four Deacons from the Seven Trades of Stirling. The first time for many decades that four Deacons from the Seven Trades had been present at the same dinner.

Four Deacons Hammermans Dinner (Copy)Pictured left are the four Deacons:-
Left to Right
Stuart Campbell – Incorporation of Hammermen,
Stewart Forsyth – Skinners,
William Scotland – Shoemakers,
Graham McEwen – Baxters.


Bruce BlancheThe dinner was thoroughly enjoyed by all, who were entertained by a talk from Squadron leader Bruce Blanche. He talked about Frank and Harold Barnwell who were Scotland’s aviation pioneers. They opened the Grampian Engineering works and Motorcycle Company in Causewayhead in 1906 and from there on 28 July 1909 flew their biplane 80 metres being recognised as Scotland’s first powered flight. They continued their enthusiasm with flight when they both moved to England. Frank specialised in aircraft design and was responsible for the Bristol Bulldog and Bristol Blenheim. Despite his early death in 1938 his contribution to aviation design is still felt today. Harold became a test pilot for Vickers, being killed while experimenting with one of his own planes in 1917.

The second speaker was David Sibbald, a IMG_0806 (Copy)world authority on Burns, who gave all an insight into Robert Burns away from the traditional burns suppers and poems. David told those present why due to the prejudices of the upper classes and government of the day that many of Burns poems were not published until after his death. Those in power were fearful of Burn’s work and thoughts, particularly where in those days open criticism of government could have lead to transportation. Many of his works were in a form of code, often hiding the real deeper meaning of the works.

A vote of thanks was given by Baillie Andrew McEwen who thanked both speakers and everyone present for a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

Top Table Hammermans dinner (Copy)Pictured right is the top table at the dinner,
Left to Right
Baillie Andrew McEwen,
David Sibbald,
Deacon Stuart Campbell
Squadron Leader Bruce Blanche.



About Seven Incorporated Trades of Stirling

The power to grant incorporated status to trades rested with the magistrates of royal burghs. An incorporated trade was granted the right to monopolise and control their trade within the burgh. Trade Incorporations were usually constituted by a seal of cause granted by the magistrates but some were constituted by use and consuetude. A strict monopoly was enforced within the burgh and non-members of an incorporation were not allowed to trade within the bounds of the town.
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