Visit to the Angus Archives for the members of Angus Writers Circle

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Sixteen members of the Angus Writers’ Circle attended the recent meeting held at Angus Archives in Forfar on August 21.

Fiona Scharlau, senior archivist, welcomed the members of the Angus Writers’ Circle to the Angus Archives, Hunter Library, Restenneth Priory, by Forfar.

Craig Pearson, an assistant, then gave the visitors a brief introduction to the archive. It had begun in Montrose, but had moved to its present site about seven years ago.

Craig told how there were original documents, local histories, Angus parish registers of births, marriages and deaths, estate papers, maps, council minutes, etc.

There are also copies of the Census from 1801. However, the 1911 Census has not yet been added to the collection.

Craig showed members where to find indexes and the visitors were allowed to do their own research. There were two strict rules, everyone had to use pencils to take notes and no one was allowed to take tea or coffee near a display of original documents.

The documents had been laid out by the staff to show Circle members some of the special treasures housed in the archive. On display were reports of witch trials that had taken place between 1661 and 1663.

Legal documents relating to the will of a sugar plantation owner showing how he had left his money to relatives in Angus were examined. There was no doubt some of the details in the documents will be used to write creepy, romantic or crime stories by the Circle visitors.

It was a very interesting visit for Circle members and Fiona Scharlau and Craig Pearson were warmly thanked for making the evening so interesting. The archive closed at 8.30 p.m.

The Circle meets on Wednesdays in the first and third week of the month throughout the year in the Rosely Country House Hotel, Arbroath. New members are always welcome. Telephone 01341 410346 for more information.