• John Gilmour - Norway & Sweden WWII - Fact, Fiction or Friction?

    Norway/Sweden during WWII - Fact, Fiction of Friction by John Gilmour 13th November

    John is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and is an acknowledged expert in Scandinavian Studies. He was introduced to a good turnout of members by President Ken Kristoffersen and his subject was titled Fact/Fiction/Friction which dealt with the relationship between Norway and Sweden during and after the Second World War. Ken established John’s credentials by giving an impressive list of his published books, research papers and other interests.

    John began his talk by leading us all up the garden path with a fictional history of the events around the invasion of Norway by Germany in 1940 which resulted in the Swedish army, navy and air force being totally destroyed in six weeks, concentration camps being sited in Northern Sweden and the combined Norwegian, Swedish and Danish Nazi forces under German control invading Finland in 1943! The eventual outcome of this fictional scenario was that Russian forces would have eventually taken over all of the Scandinavian countries and Russia would remain in control for many years in a similar way as the unfortunate conquered Eastern European countries that were annexed during the war.

    Thankfully the actual history as it happened was not as terrible as the above fiction. Norway and Sweden before 1939 had spent many years trying to find a diplomatic treaty of mutual support but due to political positioning no agreement was reached before it was too late.

    After the German invasion King Gustav of Sweden offered asylum to the Norwegian Royal Family but anybody wearing uniform would be interned. He also suggested that Princess Marta would not be permitted to travel to America. King Haakon was absolutely furious with what he saw as Swedish/German interference and relations became frosty. The Germans requested that transit through Sweden be allowed for humanitarian reasons such as medical goods, nurses and refugees. This was refused at first but various pressures were brought to bear so that when Norway surrendered on the 11th June 1940, Sweden capitulated to the German demands. The evidence from diaries, letters and communications examined after the war show that many high positioned Swedes such as the Prime Minister were very unhappy with the situation but felt they had been forced into it by the Germans under threat of invasion. The first transit of Swedish Territory was on the 18th June 1940 and continued until the tide of war swung in the Allies favour in 1943.

    There after the Swedish government opened relations with the Norwegian Government in Exile.

    The final word was from the British Ambassador in Sweden during the war.

    After a period of interesting questions from the audience a vote of thanks was given to the speaker by Margaret Thompson to loud applause.

    Jim Carchrie.

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  • Woodhaven - a wee bit of Norway during WWII - 9th October

    Last night’s talk/presentation was very interesting. To add to thast David Winch & Evelyn Hardie brought with them some artefacts’ which were on displayed.

    A short description iof the talk will follow later...

    Katherine Kelsey gave rthe votes of thanks.

    Our usual speaker's fee was accepted on behalf of the RNLI. A very generous donation.

    David’s wife Jan and Evelyn’s partner Ralph also came along and all four were presented with Blue Peter- sorry SNS lapel badges!

    Our usual "cafe and kaker" was well represented by Anny's except baking!

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  • 17.mai 2019 - Edinburgh & Glasgow...

    17.mai Parade

    What a wonderful day! With two pipers leading the way, the large procession of Norwegians and friends of Norway made its way to Princes Street Gardens, with flags, banners and ribbons making it a colourful and happy gathering.

    Garry’s photograph sets the scene far better than I can! Also, check out our Facebook page for more pictures and videos!

    David Windmill, Honorary Consul General of Norway, gave a speech highlighting the very special relationship between Norway and Scotland and then laid a wreath at the Norwegian Memorial Stone. After a rousing rendition of The Norwegian National Anthem - “Ja vi elsker” we had a reading from Mari Olsen ( Defence Counsellor, Norwegian Embassy, London).

    This was followed by a sermon from Annette Tronsen Spilling (Norwegian Church Abroad). Hans-Håkon Lamprecht (President of NORSA) then spoke about his happy experience in Scotland as a student from Norway. The increasing number of children then enjoyed some games including a potato and spoon race (indeed - not an egg and spoon race ;) After ice cream and hot dogs, a few of us made the short walk to the Norwegian Consulate for a very enjoyable reception hosted by David Windmill and Consul Mona Rhøne.

    17.mai middag (dinner)...

    the day finished off on a high with a festive dinner at the Western Club in Glasgow. This year they did us proud by allowing the Society to use the dining area normally used by club members.

    We were also honoured by many of the ladies wearing their national dresses.

    See Facebook for pictures...

    Copy and paste this link to the search box in Facebook...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/2yfKGANxXTX5XPzF

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  • 2019 CoScan AGM report by Mark Elliott - CoScan Chairman

    For this year's CoScan Annual General Meeting (26-28 April) we returned to Scotland, at the kind invitation of the Scottish Norwegian Society. Their home is Glasgow, but their choice of Stirling for our venue was inspired – an easily-accessible and beautiful town, and a key strategic and historical centre. 36 individuals representing 12 member societies took part, most of us staying in a fine historic hotel from which we could walk to the main sites and to our dinner restaurant.

    The group dynamics worked from the start, with a welcome reception on the Friday evening followed by a collective but informal meal in the hotel. Saturday was a triumph for the organisers, unexpected sunshine adding charm to our tour of Stirling Castle in the morning, and a remarkably versatile actor/guide excelling himself at the Old Town Jail in the afternoon. The jail was fascinating in a flesh-creeping way, and some of us were bullied most effectively as inmates-for-the-day.

    But the castle was spectacular. Our guide there was brilliant – clear and audible, hugely informative without being repetitive, with total mastery of a mass of historical detail. The site had been the focus of action at many of the key moments of Scottish history, and we were given a much clearer understanding of the roles played by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and of the conflicts and inter-relationships between the Scottish and English royal families. James IV, to whose time much of the castle's structure and renown can be dated, emerged as a truly remarkable and multi-talented individual.

    The formal dinner that evening, and the AGM itself on Sunday morning, were again superbly arranged by Ragne Hopkins and her team from the SNS. They have earned the sincere thanks of us all. But the last word should go to CoScan itself. There is a lot going on. Eva Robards's decision to step down as Chairman at this meeting is a major event. But there were other issues to discuss; the International Award for this year, and a decision on the next recipient; the trust fund and its financing; our overseas trip for our 2020 AGM; our new Secretary. It all went very smoothly, and happily. We shall remember Stirling with great pleasure.

    pp Mark Elliot - CoScan

    PS For pictures of the event please see Facebook... (copy and post th efollowing link and paste it in the Facebook search box...

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=CoScan%202019

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  • CoScan AGM & SNS Ventures Forth... Stirling

    Weekend 26th to 28th April: CoScan AGM

    & our ‘SNS Ventures Forth’

    Our annual Ventures Forth event this year take place in conjunction with CoScan’s AGM. The Scottish Norwegian Society (Glasgow) is delighted to be hosting this. This is a good opportunity for our members to also get involved during the weekend… as well as participating in our ever-popular activity - SNS Ventures Forth.

    The itinerary for the weekend is as follows:

    Friday 26th April: Early evening…

    A reception at The Stirling Highland Hotel, Spittal Street, Stirling FK8 1DU. The SNS welcoming committee will be present to meet and greet the other UK and Scandinavian CoScan members. So far, we have around 30 CoScan delegates and we would welcome other SNS members to join us during the weekend to meet our visitors.

    Saturday 27th April: Day time…

    Venture Forth: An 11 am a tour of Stirling Castle.

    CoScan arranged a visit to the historic Stirling Old Town Jail at 3 pm.

    Saturday 27th April: CoScan Dinner 7pm

    The CoScan dinner was at Hermanns Restaurant, 58 Broad Street,Stirling FK81EF.

    Sunday 28th April: CoScan AGM, 10 am

    CoScan held its Annual General Meeting at The Stirling Highland Hotel.

    A more comprehensive writeup from this enjoyable weekend will be added soon.

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