Page last edited on: 22 Jan 2013

Activities in the past

A Visit to Scotland

In 1996 a group of 50 inhabitants of Veere, organised and guided by the Municipal Archivist Peter Blom (who was to become our chairperson), visited Scotland and was introduced to several aspects of the Scottish-Dutch relationship. In April 1998 a visit by a group titled ‘Scots in Europe’ led by Dr Ewing visited Veere and were delighted to discover the remarkable shared history. Few in the party were aware until that visit that our ancient trading links existed or that our charming town of Veere was so pivotal in so much of Scotland’s history with the Netherlands. The group was amazed when they were shown the Veere archives; our hidden treasure of three centuries of Scots-Dutch trading records.

 

Uncovering history

Quotes at the time were that the archive was precious; a lost part of Scots history of trading, diplomatic, religious and social connections with the Netherlands and other Northern European countries; completely unknown in Scots schools or deemed unimportant in Scots universities. To date a few of this group have been endeavouring to expose the archive and the town to the wider public in Scotland and the various institutions in Scotland, viz. - National Museums of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, National Archives of Scotland, Historic Scotland, General Assembly of Church of Scotland, Scots Parliament, Registers of Scotland, Law Society of Scotland, Fife Council. Newspapers and historic societies were contacted and program makers in broadcasting. Investigations were made into the possibility of collaboration between authorities such as the National Archives in Scotland and those in the Netherlands with a view to not only preserving the new found information but to make it more accessible in Scotland. 

 

Communion Cups

One of the group is of special mention as he has over the past 50 years traced the history and where abouts of the Veere Communion Cups, which now form part of the treasure of Manchester Cathedral.

 

Culross

Several of the party have been regular visitors and organised other bus groups to visit Veere and have kept very much in contact with our Organisation. During the summer of 2001, a visit took place to Culross, hosted by a family from the group who live in Culross. As part of the Community Council of Culross the husband, James T. Watson, has represented Culross-Veere in the Fife Town Twinning Forum and is vice-convener of that organisation. He has also succeeded in pointing out to Fife Council that Fife with 16 out of a total of 63 Ancient Royal Burghs, of which Culross formed one of the most important, comprised the largest number of the Royal Burghs which traded with Veere under Royal Charter. He stressed also that their records of trade etc. were very important to Scottish-Dutch history and should be found and made accessible to the public. Happily, this has now been done in the Fife Council Archives.

 

Veterans 

Culross

A special visit took place in October 1998, when veterans of the 6th and 7th Cameronians and Royal Engineers, the ‘Liberators of Veere’ during World War II returned to the town. They were invited by the Organisation to commemorate our liberation day, November 7th 1944, with the unveiling of a memorial sculpture. Several groups of Scottish tourists have met (and will meet!) a warm welcome, the Glasgow Phoenix Choir is regularly invited and continuous attempts are being made for a more official twinning with the town of Culross.

 

Tour to Veere

In October 1999, a special study tour by the ‘Heritage Society of Scotland’ was organized, in co-operation with DA Study Tours of Culross. By that occasion, the 200th anniversary of the end of the Scottish Privileges in Veere was commemorated. The tour included receptions in both Town Hall and Scottish Houses, special dinners with music and culture events. Two plaques were unveiled in the Scots Houses and Kleine Kirk, respectively, the first bearing the names of Scottish Conservators and the other the names of the Ministers of the First Scots Kirk on foreign soil but linked with the General Assembly in Edinburgh. Click here for the full list. A guided tour of Veere and an exclusive visit to the Veere archives were also included.

 

 

Publications

Learned archival research has always been an important part of the Organisation's work. A preliminary inventory has been made, both in the Netherlands and in Scotland, of the records concerning the Scottish-Dutch trade, in co-operation with the Dutch maritime historian Dr. V. Enthoven and Dr. Rab Houston of the University of St. Andrews. Help was given to research on various subjects, like the history of Stirling, the Scottish Kirk in the Netherlands, Mary Stewart, daughter of James I, common Scottish life, etc., etc., and translations have been made of Dutch publications for the benefit of various Scottish archives. We advised the architects of a new attachment on the Kleine Kerk about the location and history of the Scottish church and graveyard.

 

Festivals

In September 2000 we organized for the first time a 3-day Scottish-Zeelandic Cultural Festival in the town of Veere. The performers were Adri Quaak (Zeelandic storyteller), Tich Frier (Scottish singer/entertainer), Wendy Stewart (Scottish folk harpist), Celtic Shores (folk band), Ewan McVicar (Scottish story-teller), the Kwintes Ensemble (mouth music), Lindsay Porteous (‘the Music man of Culross’), Anna of Avalon (harpist) and Helen-Ann Ross (actress). In addition, folk music workshops were held, led by Wendy Stewart and Kees Bakker (bodhran, tin whistle and flute). Dr. Fred Freeman, from the Department of English Literature of the University of Edinburgh, presented a talk on the Scots poet Robert Burns, whose music and songs were ably illustrated by the singer/guitarist John Morran. Impressions of the festival were broadcast nationally on VPRO-radio, in the renowned ‘world-music’ programme ‘De Wandelende Tak’. In 2002, 2004 and 2006 the festival was continued and various folk and story telling artists were present. Noteworthy was the European premiere in the Grote Kirk of the musical multimedia show about Scots in Europe through the ages, ‘The Baltic Tae Byzantium’), of Brian McNeill (fiddle, former member of the Battlefield Band), with Patsy Seddon (harp) and Lorne McDougall (bagpipes). See http://www.brianmcneill.co.uk/bal.htm.

500 years links of communities Scotland and Veere

On Sunday October 1st 2006 representative of the Parish of Culross and Torryburn, Mr. James T. Watson, presented a reproduction of the Culross Psalter to the Protestant Church Community of Veere, as a token of over 500 years being linked together.

Commemoration Walcheren Expedition 1809

During the 2004 festival members of the living history group The Gordon Highlanders made up a genuine Napoleonic bivouac and revived parts of the battle of Walcheren in 1809. The 92nd Gordon Highlanders show the life of the soldiers and their families within this famous regiment; www.gordonslivinghistory.org. In 2006 and 2008 the bivouacs were extended with other regiments from the Napoleonic Wars, the 68th Durham Light Infantry Regiment, the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch), the 71st Highland Light Infantry Regiment and the 79th Cameron Highlanders Regiment. 10, 11 and 12 July 2009 the Walcheren expedition will be commemorated and re-enacted in a major event with over 500 soldiers, horses, ships, etc. For more detailed information: www.veere1809.nl.