As part of the Golden Games programme to encourage exercise by the over 65s, Sport Aberdeen organised a Memorials to Women Walk on 14 June. The route was planned by walk leader Fiona Rennie. I was asked to join to the walk to talk about the memorials, which all feature on our project Mapping Memorials to Women in Scotland, in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library.
The Walk started at Rubislaw Terrace Gardens, and went past St Margaret’s School for Girls to Harlaw Academy, where there is a plaque to poet Rachel Annand Taylor.
We then continued along Albyn Place, stopping at no. 27 to remember a woman who has no memorial in Scotland. Marie Therese Moser and her husband Bernard were German Jews, who had friends in Aberdeen. In 1939, fearing their lives were in danger, their friends found them employment as a housekeeper and manservant at 27 Albyn Place. The paperwork was completed on 29 August 1939, too late for the Mosers, who both died in concentration camps.
We then went to the plaque to Lady May Baird.
The walk went past the statue of Queen Victoria at Queen’s Cross, and turned along Carden Place. We turned into Albert Street to see the plaque to Dr. Agnes Thomson, which was erected last year.
The Craigie Loanings hill came next, fortunately with a stop half way up to look at the small garden in memory of opera singer Mary Garden, and another stop at the top to look at a memorial bench, also to Mary Garden. Most of the over 65s went up the hill at a faster pace than I did!
From there we went down Argyll Place, past Victoria Park, and on to the maternity hospital to see the final memorial, the plaque to midwife Maggie Myles, author of a Textbook for Midwives, now in its sixteenth edition. (you can find out more about Maggie here too – http://womenshistoryscotland.org/tag/maggie-myles/)
After the walk, SportAberdeen had laid on coffee and biscuits at Westburn Bowling Club, where I talked about the Mapping Memorials project.
All those on the walk said that the memorials theme had added considerable interest to the walk, and sparked conversations about other noted women from Aberdeen such as Dr Mary Esslemont. I was impressed that SportAberdeen had devised a route which included four plaques, a park, a school, a garden, a bench and a statue!
Alison McCall (Convenor)