Clan Maclean Associations: England and Wales
Elizabeth, The Lady Maclean
Nicolas Maclean of Pennycross CMG
Nigel A. Alington LVO
The Vice-President is the acting Treasurer.
Helen Bailey (Mrs), 1 The Ridings, Arundel Road, Fontwell, Arundel BN18 0SB
Telephone 01243 545369 E-mail Secretary
As our name suggests, the Clan Maclean Association of England and Wales represents members of the Clan Maclean, and septs of the Clan Maclean, throughout England and Wales.
Our main activities are social. We arrange a minimum of two events each year, one being an autumn dinner, to which we invite an illustrious guest speaker, and the other being our annual Burns Supper. Both of these events take place in the Caledonian Club in central London.
Other events are arranged whenever a suitable opportunity arises. We also try to arrange an overseas trip each year to a place of interest to Macleans.
Details of recent and forthcoming events and other items of interest, as well as information about joining us, are set out below.
For further information, please contact the Secretary (details above).
2012 AGM and autumn dinner
Our Annual General Meeting and autumn dinner were held on Friday, 2nd November 2012, at the Caledonian Club in Halkin Street, London SW1.
Draft Minutes of the AGM will be made available shortly on our Members only page. The Minutes of last year's AGM and the accounts for the year ended 31st July 2012 were both approved and are now available on that page.
80 guests attended the dinner that followed, including the Chief, Lady Maclean (Rosie) and Elizabeth, Lady Maclean. Lady Maclean was particularly welcome, as this was the first time that she had attended an event of this Association. In his speech, the Chief brought us up to date with the goings-on of the members of his family and reported on the International Gathering at Duart in June.
Our Guest of Honour was Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chancellor of Oxford University, former Cabinet Minister in the Thatcher and Major governments, former Vice President of the European Commission for External Affairs and the last Governor of Hong Kong. The Pattens are a long-standing sept of the Clan Maclean.
Lord Patten spoke on the subject of ‘Identity, Loyalty and the Politics of the 21st Century’. He discussed these in the context of a world today in which increasingly problems have to be resolved by international cooperation. He did not believe that loyalty to one's country and international cooperation were mutually exclusive. In particular, in a world in which politics, religion, ethnicity and differences in standards of living were dangerously divisive, he believed that clans played an important bridging role.
Following his prepared speech he generously agreed to take questions on any subject. This elicited some excellent questions, which he answered at length and without reservation, about the personal philosophy which has underpinned his career choices, his view of various global issues – notably what he saw as the three most important concerns, being global warming, lack of international cooperation and social inequality - and of course his attitude towards Europe, which was actually much more nuanced and critical than those who label him a Euro-fanatic would have expected.
This was a privileged opportunity to listen to one of the foremost political figures of our time and those who were present counted themselves fortunate. It was a fascinating and memorable evening.
There is currently an exhibition of pictures by Bruce McLean at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery at 6 Cork Street, London W1. The last day is Saturday, 10th November. The exhibition is open from 10.00 am until 6.00 pm from Monday to Friday and from 11.00 am until 1.00 pm on Saturday. There is a Press Release about the exhibition and about Bruce McLean, together with an e-catalogue of the works on display, available from here.
Bruce McLean is also featured in the exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace, Birmingham, forming part of the Gallery's Autumn Almanac: The Voice and the Lens which is taking place from 8th to 11th November 2012 – see here.
An exhibition of works by Peter McLane will take place at the Light Gallery, 5A Porchester Place, London W2, near Marble Arch, during 3rd – 17th November 2012, from 9.00 am until 9.00 pm every day. Peter McLane himself will attend during 7th – 10th November. Peter began his career as a singer, during which he represented Monaco in the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest, and then turned to digital painting. Full details of the exhibition and about Peter can be found here.
Ashbourne Highland Gathering
The Ashbourne Highland Gathering, which we were due to attend on Sunday, 15th July, was unfortunately cancelled, as the area was flooded. Arrival by birlinn was not deemed practical! We hope however to attend next year's Gathering, which will be held on Sunday, 21st July 2013.
2012 Clan Maclean International Gathering
As can be seen from the group photograph on the left, the Association was well represented at the 2012 Clan Maclean International Gathering, which took place on Mull during 18th - 24th June. A full report on this Gathering appears in the Clan Maclean Association Newsletter 2012 which has just been published.
Photographs of the occasion are also available from the Gathering's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/clanmaclean2012).
Other photographs, taken by the official photographer for the Gathering, may be seen at, and are available for purchase from, http://www.photoboxgallery.com/.
The group photograph above is not available from the above websites. It was taken by Shane Winter from Los Angeles, who has kindly agreed that it can be down-loaded from this page. Click on the photo to see a slightly enlarged version.
2012 Burns Supper
On Friday 3rd February 2012 we held our annual Burns Night Supper at the Caledonian Club, in co-operation with The Stewart Society for the second year running. 89 people attended, one of our highest ever attendances.
The Stewarts were represented not only by the Chairman of The Stewart Society in London, Jamie Stewart, who did us proud last year in his Immortal Memory speech, arm in sling straight from an operation, but also by Robert Stewart of Blackhouse, President of The Stewart Society worldwide, of which H M The Queen is the Head.
Bobby Stewart recalled his first meeting with our Patron. “About 45 years ago I had occasion to pick up her daughter Janet, the ‘Maid’ [the eldest daughter of Duart having the charming courtesy title of the Maid of Morvern]. Her father was Lord Chamberlain at the time, hence the grand London address. I leant urgently about three times on the bell at the St James’s Palace side entrance, when at length the door was opened by a formidable-looking lady. Rather startled, I asked if she was staff or the Lady Maclean. “Both” she replied crisply “and you’re late, Mr Stewart!”. Thankfully we’ve got on famously ever since.”
Jamie Stewart addressed the Haggis with great panache and a large dirk, sharing alternate verses of the eight, “so as to vary the pace”, with contributions by Malcolm Maclean, Younger of Duart and Morvern, Bobby Stewart of Blackhouse, and Hew Dundas (a Maclean of Ardgour).
We were fortunate to have Lord (Sandy) Leitch, a sept of Clan Maclean, to hold us in stitches with a series of jokes, including at the President’s expense: “By the way, I would like to thank my dear friend Nicolas Maclean for the invaluable advice he gave me on how I should approach my speech this evening. “Sandy” he said, “Don’t try to be witty or intellectual. Just try to be yourself!”.
Lord Leitch is Deputy Chairman of Lloyds TSB Bank plc, Chairman of BUPA, Scottish Widows and several other companies, but his angle on Robert Burns was to look at his humble origins, being himself like Burns the son of a ploughman, who had also worked as a coalminer in Fife. Lord Leitch paid a moving tribute to Burns as a man of the people and then moved on to the breadth and width of Burns’s impact globally, 216 years after his death.
Lord Leitch had just returned from Davos, where a senior Kazakh politician had been telling him of Burns Night this year in Almaty. The international aspect of Burns was well represented in the Caledonian Club on this night with guests from Canada, Serbia, Armenia, Germany, Australia, Japan, Iran, the USA, Russia, France, India, and several more including the European President of the Hell’s Angels, another Maclean. “Burns embraced the full horizontal and raised the “cup o’ kindness” “that man to man the world o’er shall brothers be for a’ that.”
Jamie Maclean, Sir Fitzroy’s son, then drew deeply but respectably from his wealth of experience as the Editor of “The Erotic Review” in order to toast the Lassies. His wife Sarah had given him carte blanche by not attending the dinner, but he did not abuse his freedom. “So now it falls to me to reassure Scottish womanhood that we Scotsmen are worthy of their love. I’m not sure that I’m really up to the task, but I’ll do my best!”.
Jamie rose to the occasion with revelations of his early explorations with Big Morag, following Burns’ example, to his successful efforts to keep at bay Calvin, Knox and the “monstrous regiment” of Scottish Women Against Pornography. He ended with a lesser-known but very sexy poem by Burns: “Super is’na Ready”.
Caroline de Klee responded in a vigorous and lively way for the Lassies, ending with an innovative Toast to the Laddies! In this centenary year of the re-possession of Duart by Clan Maclean, we were particularly pleased to have one of the Burns Night speeches by a representative of the family which had sold the Duart Peninsula and its then ruined castle back to the Macleans of Duart.
Caroline’s husband is descended from the Guthries of Torosay and accompanied her at this Burns Night Supper. We all regretted that a hundred years after the Macleans of Duart became neighbours of the Guthries of Torosay, Torosay Castle was itself up for sale - the end of an era on Mull and of a great tourist attraction that has complemented Duart Castle and its surroundings across the bay.
After the speeches our traditional musical medley was as great a success as ever, first with Andrew Maclean’s inspiring and rousing “War-song of the Macleans”, then our piper Roderick’s reprise of popular pipe tunes, including a special tribute to Torosay, and finally David Dunham on the melodeon with James Arber on the guitar.
Bobby Stewart of Blackhouse and Malcolm Maclean Younger of Duart and Morvern then closed the evening with speeches of warmest appreciation, especially to the evening’s main organizer, our Hon. Secretary Helen Bailey.
Finally, Rod led us in an enthusiastic “Auld Lang Syne” and we all reluctantly began to head for home.
Maclean Night at the 606 Club
On 19th January 2012 it was Maclean Night at the 606 Club in Lots Road, Chelsea, one of London's premier jazz clubs. The Benet McLean Band was performing and Nigel Alington took a party of Macleans and friends to listen. The music was be-bop/hip-hop, much of it composed by Benet himself, including an up-to-the minute jazz version of Fauré's Pavane!
Apart from Benet on piano and vocals, the other band members were Jason Yarde on sax, Ben Hazleton on bass and Saleem Raman on drums. The virtuosity of all of them was stunning.
It was a great evening. Check out Benet's website (www.benetmclean.com) and try to catch one of his gigs.
For previous News items, see Archive
2013 Burns Supper
Our next event will be our 2013 Burns Supper, to be held at the Caledonian Club in Halkin Street, London SW1, on Friday, 1st February 2013.
We are delighted to announce that the Toast to the Immortal Memory will be proposed by The Rt Hon the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, GCB, LVO, OBE, DL. Lord Guthrie was due to give this toast at the 2012 Burns Supper but had to cancel. We are very grateful to him for now honouring his commitment to us.
Lord Guthrie spent most of his career in the Army, initially in the Welsh Guards and then, after service in Germany and Aden, and with the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment in the Persian Gulf, Malaysia and East Africa, rising to become Chief of the Defence Staff (the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister) in 1997. After retiring from the Army he was made a Life Peer in 2001 and now has a number of non-executive directorships, as well as being President of several charities (see the Register of Lords' Interests here).
The Guthrie family has an association with the Clan Maclean which we particularly wanted to celebrate in 2012, because it was from Murray Guthrie, or his estate, that Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 26th Chief, bought Duart Castle in 1911, prior to its re-opening at the First International Gathering in the following year. It was the centenary of this event that we were celebrating at the International Gathering on Mull in June this year. Duart had formed part of the Torosay Estate since it was sold by the Duke of Argyll, to whose family the lands had been surrendered by the Macleans in 1691, to Charles Macquarrie in 1821. Murray Guthrie's widow then very graciously changed the name of her house from Duart House to Torosay Castle, in order to allow the Macleans to have the sole use of the Duart name.
Among other speakers, Jamie Stewart, Chairman of the London District and Commissioner for London and Southern England for The Stewart Society, will propose the Toast to the Lassies.
We do not yet know which members of the Chief's family will attend. This will be announced later.
British Museum exhibition
We draw your attention to the exhibition "Shakespeare: staging the world" being held at the British Museum from 19th July to 25th November 2012. This provides a rare opportunity to see the magnificent Lochbuie Brooch. This silver, pearl and rock crystal brooch was probably made on the Loch Buy [as then was] Estate in the late 16th century. The inscription on the reverse reads: "The Silver Oar of this Broch was found on the Estate of Lochbuy in Mull and made by a Tinker on that Estate about the year 1500. It was handed down by the Ladies of that family to one another untill Anna Campbell lady to Murdock McLean who had no Male Issue, gave it to Isabella McLean, their daughter, spouse to John Scrogie, Esq, to whom she presented it the day after their Marriage." Photographs of the brooch may be seen on the British Museum's website here. Its place in the exhibition may be linked to the “Scottish Play”, which would be wholly appropriate as Macbeth is buried on Iona close to several Maclean Chiefs.
Please also note some other dates for your diary:
|21st July 2013||Ashbourne Highland Gathering (attendance to be confirmed)|
|27th - 28th July 2013||Visit to Sweden (see below)|
|11th October 2013||AGM and Dinner. Our Guest of Honour will be Lord Blencathra, formerly David Maclean, Member of Parliament for Penrith and The Border from 1983 until 2010. His appointments included being Opposition Chief Whip and Minister of State first at the Department for the Environment and then at the Home Office.|
|7th February 2014||Burns Supper|
|7th October 2014||AGM and Dinner. Our principal speaker will be the political journalist Jim Naughtie, a presenter of the BBC's Today programme since 1994, having joined the BBC in 1988 to present The World At One. He was previously a journalist with, successively, the Aberdeen Press & Journal, The Scotsman, The Washington Post and The Guardian. He has worked on every US Presidential election since 1988. He is the author of two books on Tony Blair. He has also presented programmes on classical music and was Chairman of the judges for the Man Booker Prize in 2009. He was installed as chancellor of the University of Stirling in October 2008, succeeding Dame Diana Rigg. Naughtie is a UK advisory board member for the British-American Project, which exists to promote the British-American relationship and in which our President, Nicolas Maclean of Pennycross, was previously a member of the Joint Executive Committee.|
If anyone would like to propose other events, all suggestions would be welcomed.
How to book
Booking forms for forthcoming events are sent only to the people on our mailing list. Members are included in this list automatically.
If you are not a member but would like to have the opportunity to book tickets for any of our events, which are generally not restricted to members, please ask the Secretary (details above) to add you to our mailing list. You will be asked to provide the normal statutorily required consents (DPA/PECR).
Please note that because of postage costs, although we are happy to have members who do not use e-mail, we will only communicate with non-members by e-mail.
After the success of the Waterloo trip last year, we are considering further overseas trips.
We have not organised one in 2012, as the focus this year has been on the International Gathering on Mull in June.
We are however planning a visit to Svaneholm Castle in southern Sweden, near Malmö, in July 2013. It is hoped that there will also be the opportunity to visit Stockholm, where there are some fascinating Maclean memorabilia in various museums. A gathering with Swedish Macleans is also planned.
Svaneholm Castle, originally built in the 1530s, was inherited in 1782 by Baron Rutger Maclean, a pioneer in the reform of Scandinavian agriculture. It is now in public ownership. A Swedish expert on the history of the castle and the Swedish Macleans has offered to act as our guide. For information on the castle, see here. The Macleans of Sweden by James Noel Mackenzie Maclean (1971) is also recommended reading.
Anyone who might be interested in joining us on this trip should contact the Secretary.
Another option under consideration is a trip to Tangier in Morocco in the footsteps of the Kaïd, Sir Harry de Vere Maclean, Military Adviser to the Sultan and once kidnapped in the Rif Mountains by the famous Al-Raisouli, hero of “The Lion and the Wind”.
A third option is a visit to Belgrade and/or Korcula linked to Sir Fitzroy Maclean of Dunconnel’s heritage.
Another option is a trip to the site of the exiled Jacobite Court at Aubigny, which has been proposed as a joint trip by The Stewart Society. For that we would co-operate with CMA France.
Any other suggestions for overseas trips would also be welcomed.
We have created our own Google map of London, accessible here, showing the location of places that are of interest to members of the Clan Maclean. In due course this will be expanded beyond London to cover the whole catchment area of the Association.
Any suggestions for additional places to mark on the map will be welcomed. Please send these to the Secretary.
If you would like to learn how to reel, or if you already know the reels but are looking for more opportunities to practice them, we are always willing to arrange an evening of reels in central London if enough people express an interest. Please contact Nigel Alington.
Alternatively, there are several groups that organise regular evenings of reels in and around London and elsewhere in England and Wales (see here).
Macleans in need
An important function of the clan system is to encourage and enable members of the clan to support each other, especially in their hour of need. Macleans have always been good at this. Yet we are not always aware of the clansfolk who need our help. We have therefore associated ourselves with two charities who specialise in helping Scots in and around London. For further information, see here.
We now have an entry on Facebook. Why not become a member?
For members only
The Association's constitution, the minutes of our Annual General Meetings and our accounts, as well as copies of the International BattleAxe magazine, are available here. Access to this information is restricted to members only. Non-members may however view all but the two most recent copies of the International BattleAxe magazine here.
We welcome new members
If you would like to become a member of the Association, please complete an application form and send this to the Secretary. The criteria for membership are shown on this form. The form can be completed on screen or printed and then completed by hand. Similarly, payment may be made electronically or by cheque. See the form for full details.
The annual membership fee is £10 per individual or family, as defined in the form (see above). This is payable on 1st August each year. New members who join after 1st August in any year pay a subscription at the rate of £1 for each whole month between their date of joining up to and including the following July. At the same time they also pay the subscription for the following full year. Thus, for example, a new member joining in the middle of January would pay £16, being £6 for February to July inclusive plus £10 for the year from August.