Scottish Snippets

18 February 2012

Number 621

The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that style, there is now this regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site including "Scottie's Photo Diary From Scotland".

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Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Having produced the special page on the frieze of Scottish historic figures in the revamped National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh for the last newsletter, I though it was only right to write an expanded and updated page on the refurbished and enlarged facility itself. Not that the 19th century building has been expanded, but the internal space is now much better utilised, with display areas in a basement that was previously just used for storage. When it opened in 1889, the gallery did not have enough paintings to fill the whole building. Long before the end of the 20th century, there was not enough space for the collection and much of it had to be stored away.As a result of the renovation work, the Portrait Gallery now has 60% more gallery space and displays 849 works in a floor area of 5,500 Square. metres (61,000 square feet). The cost of the refurbishment was £17.6 million (roughly US$27 million). The building is also home to the Scottish National Photography Collection. For more on the building and its contents, see the illustrated feature page at: Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Mya Thai and Indian Restaurant, Leith, Edinburgh

Mya is located at the harbour area of Leith and is unusual in having two menus - one offers a range of Thai cuisine and the other has dishes coming from Northern India. This gives customers a wide choice - and they can, of course, have a starter from one menu and go to the other for the main course. There are plenty of overlaps between the two, since Thai in particular blends elements of several Southeast Asian countries, partly because of its geographic location. For my illustrated review of Mya (with a background on its location in Leith) see: Mya Thai and Indian Restaurant

Tartan Day 2012

Tartan Day started in the US in 1998 after Senate Resolution 155 was passed recognizing April 6th as National Tartan Day. That date commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which asserted Scotland's sovereignty over English territorial claims, and which was an influence on the American Declaration of Independence. Tartan Day had previously been celebrated, sometimes on different dates, in some other countries (notably in Canada and Australia). Since 1999, I have tried to update a page on Tartan Day events around the world so that they might become more widely known. The official Tartan Day site in the US has not updated their details on the events since 2007, so it has become increasingly difficult and involves emailing those who have provided information in the past and checking on any associated Web sites. But the page is now updated for 2012 and can be found at the link at the end of this paragraph. If you have any additions to the list, please let me know by email to - still time to add an entry! Tartan Day 2012 Around the World

Scottish Place Names in East London, South Africa

In the light of feedback and further research, Ian Kendall has updated his article on Scottish-related place names in East London, South Africa. Of the names of the 124 suburbs in the wider East London area, 20 (16.1%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names. Of course, some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 12 of them (9.7%) are unique to Scotland, or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names. There are 11 metropolitan areas in South Africa with a population of half a million or more. Of these, East London shares the distinction, along with Port Elizabeth, of having the highest proportion of suburban names with Scottish connections. See Scottish Place Names in East London, South Africa

Next Newsletter

The next newsletter is scheduled for 3 March 2012.

Yours aye


Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in an Archive. The Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here.

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