The next GLTU will take place on Wednesday, 20th March at 4pm. Thanks to Myra Paterson (@MyraCPaterson) and her colleague, Susan Taylor, we will have a tour behind the scenes of the Mitchell. This will take about 1.5 – 2 hours and, as is now traditional, those who wish to stay on can follow up with a curry at the Koh-I-Noor at 6pm. Booking is now open on Evenbrite (you can book for either or both) until Sunday, 17th March. Places are limited to 15, so hurry!
The highlight of the Mitchell visit will undoubtedly be a viewing of the Leningrad Album from World War 2, which is not usually on public view. Here’s a description from Susan, followed by a few sites to check for further information:
The Anglo-Soviet Aid Committee in Airdrie and Coatbridge had an active women’s section and they decided to send messages of support and solidarity to the women of Leningrad during the siege. The ‘Scottish Album’ was taken to London and given to Madame Maisky, the wife of the Soviet ambassador. Given wartime censorship, no further details are available of how the album made its way to Leningrad. It could have been transported on a convoy ship to Murmansk or Archangel, by air or even by overland via the Southern states of Russia. Once it has arrived in Russia, there were only two ways in to the city – either by air on one of the very few flights that made it into Leningrad or (more likely) across Lake Ladoga, the main route in to the city during the siege. The journey could be made by boat in summer or over the ‘ice road’ in winter. The Leningrad Album was sent in return – it was supervised by Anna Petrovna Ostramova-Lebedeva, a well-known graphic artist in the city. It’s boxed in gold brocade and the album cover is decorated with an ancient embroidery from the Russian Museum in Leningrad. There are 3,200 signatures and it also contains messages and photos of housewives and workers and their children in happier times.