Friday, 27 March 2009

Hawick to unleash the Voyage of the Vampire

The following has just been announced from the Heritage Hub at Hawick:

Join the Voyage of the Vampire for an adventure on the high seas in bygone days: experience pirate-infested waters, parties, antics, foreign sights and tales on board a ship bound for foreign shores.

This online journal from April 1846 – January 1847 belonged to George Henry Scott Douglas of Springwood Park, Kelso. He was stationed with the 34th Regiment of Foot (now the Border Regiment) in Corfu. After acquiring a Cutter called the Vampire, he got leave to go on a long cruise with some friends and toured the Greek islands, Athens, the Turkish coast and Istanbul. Twenty years of age when he writes this diary, it is lively and full of verve and joie-de-vivre, providing us with a privileged insight into the life of a young man in an age very different to our own.

The project launches at on 1st April 2009, with the publication of the first diary entry of 1st April 1846. The adventures will unfold in real time as each subsequent day sees the publication of the next diary entry, plus some songs and poetry penned by Scott Douglas’ own hand.

The diary is part of the Scott Douglas collection held by the Heritage Hub, Scottish Borders Archive & Local History Centre. The collection was given to the Heritage Hub by Ian Abernethy who tracked down the Douglas papers to an address in Aberdeen while researching the history of the village of Heiton for his book: The High Toun on the Hill.

To coincide with the launch of the Voyage of the Vampire, there will also be an accompanying exhibition at the Heritage Hub on travel and travel writing from the Scottish Borders. The exhibition will feature the original Scott Douglas material, plus other archives from the Scottish Borders Archive collection and will run from 1st April to
19th May 2009.

For more on the Heritage Hub at Hawick, visit

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