The Red Arrows, the aircraft known for their aerobatics and red, white and blue trails, were to fly over Edinburgh in the morning of 15 August 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary of V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day), the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, bringing the war to an end. The flypast had to be postponed for low cloud and poor visibility, but was held a few days later and a photographer snapped this spectacular picture of the aircraft passing over Charlotte Chapel.
In Ian’s mother’s youth, and in his own teenage years, autograph albums were popular – asking friends and relations to contribute a page with a drawing, poem, personal message or other memento. When Ian was asked to contribute to a friend’s album, he often reproduced the first entry in his own album: ‘It’s not the gale, but the set of the sail, which tells us the way to go.’ Ian discovered, with incredulity, when compiling this note at the age of 87, that the author of that couplet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, was also the author of the poem, The Valley of Fear, which is the fifth entry here from Isobel Ingram’s album.
Ten pages are copied here from her album, from 1913 (when she was 17) to 1920:
- Five about life during the Great War, 1914 to 1918, and
- Five, chronologically from 1913 to 1920, by evangelists and Bible teachers.
When Charlotte Chapel moved from Rose Street to Shandwick Place in 2016, no space was available for 50 boxes of archived material, covering the history of the Chapel from 1808 to 2009. The boxes were therefore deposited with the City of Edinburgh archives at their Murrayfield depot.
There was no opportunity to make a detailed index of the boxes before they were deposited. This had not been a problem in Rose Street, because they were available on open shelves, with the contents listed on the side of the box. To examine a subject referred to across different boxes, for example Minutes of Meetings, the monthly Record or the weekly Sunday Bulletins, boxes could be taken off the shelf, rearranged, and the contents read chronologically.
In 1979, David Edwards in Glasgow sent a questionnaire to churches, an early initiative by the (still flourishing) Scottish Baptist History Project. He asked 64 questions about ‘the life of the churches in the (inter-war) years from 1918 to 1939’. I was given twelve completed questionnaires while preparing a chapter for the 1988 monograph, David Bebbington (ed.), Baptists in Scotland: a History. I came across them during a recent spring-clean and thought it worth preparing this Paper.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that when I was asked to speak at Christian meetings and to choose a subject, I often suggested ‘Common Grace and Saving Grace’ . If I was asked back, and again asked for a subject, it was often ‘The Ten Commandments today – or are there Eleven?’ My talk went as follows – footnotes and additional information have been added for this version.
Supplement to ‘The Balfour Family Tree’
George Balfour of Chalmersquoy, married Barbara Rendall in 1731. From their son Thomas of Uttersquoy comes the Balfours who are now in Edinburgh.
From their younger son, Murdoch of Chalmersquoy comes another branch of the family, whose identity was provided to Ian in 2018 by Murdoch’s great great granddaughter, Jennifer Hicks in Jamaica.
Click to download PDF:
The following list of photographs spans generations of Ian and Joyce’s family. Although the ‘family gatherings’ section contains recent images, this is simply a selection of special events.
Graham Scroggie was one of the most influential evangelical preachers and teachers of the first half of the 20th century. Many have regretted, one in print in the year 2000, that ‘there is no published biography of Graham Scroggie, and unlikely ever to be one now’.
A Group which met weekly on Thursday afternoons in St Thomas’ Scottish Episcopal Church, Costorphine, Edinburgh, asked Ian Balfour in 2001 to give a Paper about evangelistic missions in Edinburgh, particularly those in which St Thomas had been involved. St Thomas was constituted as an Independent Chapel within the Anglican Church in 1844, and has a long and worthy history of contributing to interdenominational evangelistic outreach in Edinburgh, particularly since 1945 under its rectors Rev George Duncan, Rev Dr Geoffrey Bromily, Rev Philip Hacking, Rev Gordon Bridger, Rev John Wesson, Rev Dennis Lennon, Rev Mike Parker and Rev Ian Hopkins. This is the text of the Paper which Ian gave.