Clan Maclean Heritage Trust
The following Maclean anniversaries fell in 2012.
Quentin Maclean, born in London on 14 May 1896, was one of the most popular church and theatre organists of the mid-20th century, pursuing a dual career as a performer and recording artist that encompassed both popular and classical music, in addition to being a composer and teacher.
From 1921 until 1939 he played the organ at various British movie palaces. After a long residency at the Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, which featured what was then one of the largest theatre organs in England, he designed the Wurlitzer Cinema Pipe Organ - the largest instrument of its kind - for the new Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn, the biggest movie palace in England. An astonishing recording of him playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, can be heard here.
From 1925 onward, he was also a fixture on the BBC, where his performances included a huge volume of light-classical pieces as well as the British premieres of both Paul Hindemith's and his own organ concertos.
He relocated to Canada in 1939, where he continued to play in movie theatres during the '40s, while holding academic and church posts. He also broadcast extensively on the CBC.
In 1912 Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Bt, KCB, DL (1835-1936), 26th Chief of the Clan Maclean, invited Macleans all over the world to come to Duart for the first Gathering of the Clan in modern times, to celebrate the recovery, restoration and re-opening of the Castle for the first time since it had been surrendered to the Earl of Argyll in 1693.
This event was reported by Flight Magazine as follows:
Remembering an appointment in town on Saturday morning, Mr. McClean thought it would be a good idea to come up on his Short machine, and so at 6 a.m. he had it brought out of its shed at Harty Ferry, in the Isle of Sheppey, and after seeing everything in order he started off. Following the coast round Leysdown, Warden Point to Sheerness, he continued over the Thames. At Gravesend the smoke of the various factories rather troubled the aviator but he made good progress. Approaching London Mr. McClean brought his machine lower down and negotiated the Tower Bridge between the lower and upper spans, but the remaining bridges to Westminster he flew underneath, the water being just touched at Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges. He reached Westminster about 8.30 and was taken ashore to Westminster Pier on a Port of London Launch.
The impression of an apparently impromptu event, coupled with the explanation given by Frank McClean to the police that engine problems had forced him to fly low through Tower Bridge, are somewhat undermined by the fact that there were numerous photographers waiting at Tower Bridge to capture this event.
Frank McClean flew with Wilbur Wright in 1908 and pioneered amateur flying in Britain . He is recognised as the founder of naval aviation, having lent aircraft to the Admiralty so that naval officers could learn to fly. He was twice chairman of the Royal Aero Club. He was also a pioneer of underwater photography and a distinguished astronomer. A biography called Frank McClean - Godfather to British Naval Aviation by Philip Jarrett was published in 2011.
Archibald McLean (1733-1812) is recognised by the Baptist Church as being, with Robert Carmichael, the founder of the Scottish Baptist Movement, as distinct from the English order. Their first church, established in Edinburgh in 1765, was the forerunner of today's Bristo Baptist Church. With others, he also founded the churches in Largo (1790), Kirkcaldy (1798) and Coats Memorial, Paisley (1795).
He was a voluminous writer on many scriptural and controversial subjects. His most influential works included Letters to Mr Glas in Answer to his Dissertation on Infant Baptism (1767), which is the first Scottish defence of the baptism of believers by immersion, and The Commission Given by Jesus Christ to his Apostles Illustrated (1786), which sets out Scotch Baptist beliefs in full.
He is buried in St. Cuthbert’s churchyard in Lothian Road, Edinburgh.