Newsletter Items

Letter from Alan Livingstone


November 2018


Dear Friends


As you read this we will be within touching distance of Christmas and what that might mean – presents, parties, pantomimes and pressures.

Beyond Christmas, New Year. A time to look back and to look forward.

As I look back I am thrilled to be your minister. You have welcomed Chris and I wholeheartedly and with love. Thank you.


By the end of the festive season we will have travelled together in the church for four months. They have been happy months, fulfilling and meaningful for me and I hope for you.


As God spares us we will look forward to what we might undertake together and how, and as a team of committed Christians, we might embrace the challenges and opportunities of 2019.


I wish you all seasons greetings and a blessed and happy Christmas.


Kindest regards


Your Minister





TUESDAY 2ND OCTOBER 2018  :  The Life and Times of David Taylor  - Interview by Graeme Tarbet

                                                         President : Ella Clark


Ella was our President for our first meeting of the session and welcomed a very good attendance of members including Marie.  It was so nice to have her back with us.  After our short business meeting Ella then introduced our two guests Graeme and David, both well known to us.


David was born in 1937 in Dundee and was brought up in Ann Street off the Hilltown. He was educated at Rosebank Primary and Rockwell Secondary Schools and during the war years he spent a short time with his grandfather in Strathmiglo and went to Primary School there.  On leaving Rockwell School at 15 he started work on the railway as a junior porter at St Fort, Fife moving to Leuchars, St Andrews and Dundee.  One of his colleagues was a Pipe Major and he encouraged David to join the Black Watch 4th/5th as a trainee piper which he did and spent three years with the TA until called for National Service.  His attachment to this Regiment continues today as he is Chaplain to the City of Dundee Branch of the Black Watch Association.  During his National Service he had the opportunity to train as a Highland Dancer and was picked to dance with the team at the Military Tattoo in 1957.  After National Service there was a career change and David worked for various firms in the town for a number of years as a lorry driver and long distance driver but the heavy work and long hours began to tell on his health and he suffered a heart attack.  He spent some time in Ninewells Hospital and while there reading his Bible he was influenced by the words of  verse 89 of Psalm 143  - “Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust, cause me to know wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee”.  


After much discussion with Chris and the family he decided to study for the Ministry.   On completion of his course he was placed at Newburgh Congregational Church under the care of Rev. George Sykes.  He moved to Tillicoultry Congregational Church and remained there until he retired.


 David and Chris were marred in Bonnethill Church in 1957 and celebrated their Diamond Wedding this year with their large family and friends.   Congratulations David on your achievement and thank you for sharing your life todate with the Guild.   A big thank you to Graeme also for conducting this interview.

(also see page      )


TUESDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2018   :    ‘A Life in Teaching’   -   Mrs Isobel Brown

                                                               President Graeme Tarbet


Another good attendance today and nice to have Nancy Fawns back with us again after her accident.  Graeme is a man of many parts, today he is  President, Pianist and  Part question master.  He introduced our speaker Isobel Brown who is well known to most of us and also a very good friend of Graeme’s.


Isobel was born in Shettleston, Glasgow in 1942.   She spent her childhood here and attended the same school for primary and secondary education.  She didn’t like primary school very much as she was a bit of a chatterbox and always asking questions which of course didn’t go down very well with the teachers.  The Upper School was very different and she enjoyed this very much and did very well there.   When it came to career choice she had already made up her mind to be a nurse.  However, her mother had other ideas and said she would be a teacher like her sister and so she did.  As she said herself in those days you did what you were told, especially by your mother.  


As a primary teacher she taught in quite a number of schools throughout her career and finished up at Inchture  Primary School .  She loved her time teaching and for a number of years took groups of children to Iona.  After eventual retiral she felt that she still had a lot to offer and went back to college to become A Reader for the Church of Scotland and has since conducted services in various churches. Hymns have played an important part in her life and one of the questions Graeme asked was if she had a favourite.  Indeed she had, in fact quite a few, as you can see below but I think her most favourite was “I to the Hills“ as she had this on numerous occasions including her wedding and also at Christenings.


Lord of all Hopefulness;     I to the Hills;     Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah;  

Through the love of God our Saviour;    As the Deer pants over;    To God be the Glory


 All very good hymns and I’m sure favourites of us all.  A very interesting afternoon and much enjoyed by everyone. 


TUESDAY 30th OCTOBER 2018 :  The Lydian Singers with Guests from Muirhead/ Fowlis  Churches                                                                                                                                                 

                                                          President : Evelyn Cox


Evelyn presided over our meeting today and welcomed our members and guests and introduced the Lydian singers.  We have enjoyed many concerts with the Lydian Singers and today was no exception.   The choir consists of 40 singers but today we had 16 with their accompanist Michael. 


Programme :


Choir  :           Raindrops keep falling on my  head   and       Wouldn’t  it be Loverly; 

Solo:              I know where I’m Going;      Choir :   Why do birds suddenly appear                   

Solo:             The Wonder of You; 

Recitation:   Who’s doing the family Christmas this year?

Fiddle :         Selection of Reels including The Duke of Perth and The Ashoken Farewell                                                                                     

                                    Accompanied by Michael on the keyboard

Solo :           John Anderson

Fiddle :        Selection of Strathspeys and Reels

Recitation :  Christmas Decorations – The Angel on the Tree

Solo:            How are Things in Glockamorra

Solo:            I Know Why from the film Sun Valley  Serenade

Choir :         John Rutter’s arrangement of Psalm 150 This is the Day;

Encore :      Choir  -  Thank you for the Singing.


As you can see we had an excellent programme which had us reminiscing with the ‘golden oldies’ and our feet tapping to the reels.    A super afternoon finishing with an excellent afternoon tea of scones, pancakes and Jessie’s Pumpkin Cake and Spider shortbread. 


Tuesday 13th November 2018  :  Library Connections and Outreach Connections – Neil Paterson

                                                          President :  Elspeth Collins


I think most of us were surprised by Neil’s talk and didn’t realise that there was so much more to our libraries than books.   

New and emerging technology : 3D printing and MakerSpaces.  He showed examples of this - a few hands holding various coloured key rings.  This is a bit beyond me but if anyone is interested by all means call Neil at the Central Library.

 IT Taster sessions where you can learn to download FREE books, magazines,comics etc. 

Online Resources – ALISS : a local information System for Scotland signposts customers to local community support such as NHS and MacMillan Nurses. 

Hidden Cinema and Children’s Library Groups and Activities; Local History Groups;  Craft Groups; Film Groups – Secret Cinema, Cinema.

Events and Activities such as visits from authors and a Book Week to be held in November.

Group work with external agencies.

Library services supporting health and well-being in Dundee.

MacMillan support across Dundee libraries:  Move more project – physical activity for those with cancer during and after treatment led by trained volunteers – gardening;   exercise classes and walking groups.

Dementia Library : 3 strands – those with dementia, friends and family of those with dementia and medical professionals.

The Opportunities Room, Central Library:  Volunteering opportunities – help for those seeking employment;  Skills development opportunities – IT,  social media and Makerspace Technology. The  Mobile Library which of course has been running now for some time and is very much appreciated by the housebound.

As you can see there is a lot going on in our libraries and if anyone is interested in any of the above don’t hesitate to contact Neil Paterson, Library and Information Officer at the Central Library.


Tuesday 11th December 2018 :   CHRISTMAS  LUNCH -   12.30 for 1pm


Our Christmas Lunch will be held in the Church Hall on Tuesday 11th December 12.30 for 1 pm.  Our Caterer is Jenny’s Kitchen from Montrose and the cost is £13.  If anyone who missed the announcement in church would like to join us please get in touch with either Evelyn Cox or Nancy Jack.


STARTING DATE IN 2019 is Tuesday 12th February :  Sing-along with Burns with the Drama Club.





Rev Dave Taylor


This year`s superb annual Festival of Remembrance held in our Caird Hall 0n Saturday 3rd November gave poignant honour to the hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women who have lost their lives in defence of the liberty of future generations. With the precise timing of the Centenary of the Armistice which ended the Great War of 1914-1918 upon us, our hearts and minds were opened to the acknowledgment of the pain and tragedy existing to the present day as we contemplate the cruel fact that wars are still being waged to emphasise man`s inhumanity to man. The precious Act of Remembrance on this annual occasion has been movingly conducted for more than 15 years by Rev Dave Taylor, and this year marks his retirement from this ceremony. There was a special Presentation to Dave in the City Chambers to honour his great service and loyalty and this was in advance of his final appearance on the platform of our impressive Caird Hall. His large family and very many friends have every right to be proud of him and to wish him well at this special stage of his life.




See also Blog from Matthew Jarron




23rd and 24th November 2018 in our Church

(to take us back 200 years and forget about modern technology)


Dr. Keith Williams, Dr. Jeremy Brooker and Lanternist Dr. Daniel Cook, representing the Department of Humanities at the University of Dundee, organised these two spectacular evenings of visual drama and intriguing music to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley`s writing of “Frankenstein”. This was a free ticket only event, mainly for those with university connections, and involved a Gothic and atmospheric assembling starting in the hallowed grounds of our mediaeval Howff Cemetery and processing to our church. Precious Victorian instruments and a very old Truinial Magic Lantern were involved so security of our church was guaranteed. Mary Shelley spent part of her teenage years staying in the city with the Baxter family whose great influence for the history of education in Dundee and indeed the history of our own church is to be treasured. Mary said these years had profoundly influenced her literary future because of the atmospheric situation of the Baxter mansion and surrounding countryside which fostered her flights of imagination. These were then given full rein in Switzerland during her famous story-telling in the company of Lord Byron and her famous husband poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I find it difficult to describe what was intimated as being one of the flagship events to recreate the type of popular Gothic shows that thrilled huge crowds around the time Shelley was writing “Frankenstein.” However I make no apology for quoting from the advance notice in the “Courier” to try and impress our readers with the tremendous atmosphere for these two nights.


“The Frankenstein Phantasmagoria promises a hair-raising, eye-popping performance using Victorian projection equipment and live musical accompaniment that will allow the audience to experience Frankenstein in a whole new way.”


There was no exaggeration where hair-raising and eye-popping were concerned, particularly as the inside of the church and the church hall were in virtual darkness. In the church hall were laid out scary medical instruments and anatomical models from the University of Dundee`s Museum Collections. Showing here on a special screen was the very first film made of “Frankenstein” in USA in 1910. Other screens projected scary images which were reflected on a hall window and were confusingly visible from the street. Had these been projected very late at night some of Dundee`s late night revellers passing by might well have felt something supernatural and frightening was afoot after a convivial session in one of our local pubs!. The very appreciative audiences numbered about 150 on both nights for our Phantasmagoria and the special effects both visual and musical were an education in themselves. It was intimated in the press that there were to be other events in Dundee relevant to Mary Shelley`s masterpiece but this event deserves a 5star rating by any standards.

I do admit to being quite relieved to return to something akin to reality in order to go home - but what a unique and unforgettable occasion for Dundee Congregational Church this turned out to be.


Thank you Dundee University.










(filmed in St.Paul`s Cathedral, Dundee on Saturday 17th November)


This superb recording made for BBC Scotland to the very highest of standards will be well worth tuning in to on Christmas Eve. The programme time will be given in our local press nearer the time. Quite a few of our own church members were in the congregation for the over three hours which were required to ensure each carol was perfect. The Cathedral was very beautiful with the additional filming lights and was of course dressed for Christmas with a lovely Nativity Scene and two very large lit Christmas Trees. Our amazing conductor kept reminding us that we were going home to stuff the turkey and put presents under our trees just to encourage our Christmas spirit! The choir consisted of representatives from several of our local choirs as well as the Cathedral choir and the organ and brass band accompanying us ensured the standard of the music was utterly enchanting and the singing glorious. This Christmas Eve Service will be a must to view and enjoy and to see if you can spot any familiar faces!



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