City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Voyage of the Vampire Heart of Hawick - Heritage Hub

By Editor - Posted on 30 March 2009

Heart of Hawick - Heritage Hub

Voyage of the Vampire

A sea-faring blog from 1846

Date:   Wednesday 1st April 2009

Venue: Heart of Hawick - Tower Mill Auditorium, Kirkstile, Hawick TD9 0AE

Time:   6pm

Join the Voyage of the Vampire for an adventure on the high seas in bygone days: experience
pirate-infested waters, parties, antics, foreign sights and tales on
board a ship bound for foreign shores.

This online journal from April 1846 - January 1847 belonged to George Henry Scott Douglas of Springwood Park, Kelso. He was stationed with the 34th Regiment of Foot (now the Border Regiment) in Corfu. After acquiring a Cutter called the Vampire, he got leave to go on a long cruise with some friends and toured the Greek islands, Athens, the Turkish coast and Istanbul.
Twenty years of age when he writes this diary, it is lively and full of
verve and joie-de-vivre, providing us with a privileged insight into
the life of a young man in an age very different to our own.

The project launches on 1st April 2009, with the publication of the first diary entry of

1st April 1846. The adventures will unfold in real time as each subsequent
day sees the publication of the next diary entry, plus some songs and
poetry penned by Scott Douglas' own hand.

diary is part of the Scott Douglas collection held by the Heritage Hub,
Scottish Borders Archive & Local History Centre. The collection was
given to the Heritage Hub by Ian Abernethy who tracked down the Douglas
papers to an address in Aberdeen while researching the history of the village of Heiton for his book: The High Toun on the Hill.

He said:  "After
transcribing some 106,000 words of these diaries, I became concerned
that, although the papers were safe and catalogued, they were not
generally available for research. Bearing in mind the wonderful new
archival facilities in Hawick,
I decided that the papers should remain in the Borders. I was delighted
to find that not only were the papers being cared for and
professionally catalogued but the staff were so impressed with the
diaries of George Henry Scott Douglas that they decided to base an
internet project on them thus opening up these personal jottings to a
world-wide audience".

To coincide with the launch of the Voyage of the Vampire,
there will be an accompanying exhibition at the Heritage Hub on travel
and travel writing from the Scottish Borders. The exhibition will
feature the original Scott Douglas material, plus other archives from
the Scottish Borders Archive collection and will run from 1st April to 19th May 2009.

Councillor Graham Garvie, Scottish Borders Council's Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning said: "This blog from the past is an innovative way of bringing the Scott Douglas diaries to life and engaging with new audiences.  The
combination of the blog and the travel exhibition is an excellent
example of a living history project with international appeal designed
to complement the Year of Homecoming."

Heritage Hub opened in May 2007 as the Scottish Borders Archive &
Local History Centre. This state of the art facility helps visitors to
research their Borders ancestry, heritage and the wider communities of
the area.

Heart of Hawick
is a partnership, principally funded by Scottish Borders Council, the
European Regional Development Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Leader funding has enabled digitisation and staff funding to complete this project.

For further  information : Liz Smith


1)      Heritage Hub opened to the public on 28th May 2007 and is part of Heart of Hawick,
an arts and culture led regeneration project that is making a
substantial contribution to the social, cultural and economic
regeneration of Hawick and the wider Borders.  By transforming two derelict buildings in the town's West End,
the project has created new, sustainable facilities that add value by
creating jobs, encouraging visitors, building civic pride and promoting
social inclusion (

2)      Heritage Hub opening hours:

Monday                  10am : 4.45pm

Tuesday                10am : 7.45pm

Wednesday           Pre-arranged talks and tours

Thursday               10am : 7.45pm

Friday                    10am : 4.45pm

Saturday                10am : 1pm

2pm : 4.45pm

For further information phone the Hub on: 01450 360699 or email: /

3)      Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrates the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth and the Scottish Borders Homecoming Scotland Programme includes three major events:  Return to the Ridings, a celebration of the centuries' old tradition and stunning spectacle of the Border Common Ridings & Festivals; In The Footsteps of the Reivers - the Scottish Borders Walking Festival, a fascinating look at the rich and bloody history of the Border Reivers
across the distinctive landscape that was their home; and the Clan Scott Gathering, an exciting four day programme full of history, music, colour and drama