St Nidan's Church and Motte

Midmar church was fortunate to receive a box of old papers that belonged to Maggie Middleton and her brother David Middleton who lived together at Carters Croft, Midmar.

Maggie Middleton was Midmar church organist for 30 years and Sunday school teacher for 57 years and as well as being Guild secretary. David Middleton was elder for 41 years and Session clerk & treasurer for 34 years.

What wonderful service they both gave to Midmar Church!

On investigation this box contained a real glimpse into the past with minutes from the Guild, church receipts and interesting letters. Also included were handwriting and shorthand exercises, knitting patterns for socks; balaclavas for soldiers and sailors and some wonderful clippings from the 1930’s ‘People’s Journal’ giving tips for medical cures for everything from carbuncles to more serious T.B.

The Guild notes are taken from minutes recorded by the then secretary; Maggie Middleton all hand written in the most beautiful script. Here we catch a glimpse of bygone times and can see the kind of topics that entertained and educated the Church Guild in the 1950's.

Midmar Church Women’s Guild Talks from 1953 - 1960

summarised from MIDMAR GUILD minutes by Maggie Middleton

Oct 1953

The Rev James Swanson gave a descriptive talk on the life of a miner.

‘We consider coal expensive but the cost to the miner is not in money.

It’s often in broken bones, broken health and sometimes at the cost of life itself.’

Nov 1953

The temperance agent for the Church of Scotland gave a talk with an American film strip showing the effects of alcohol on the brain.

'The effects were said to be the blunting of the senses of hearing, taste, touch and vision.’

Feb 1954

Mrs. Buchanan gave a travel talk on a holiday she had spent in Paris.

'The people were not gay and smartly dressed as one would expect in Paris.'

She discovered that poverty was the cause.

April 1955

Miss Urquhart, Children’s Welfare Officer for Aberdeen County Council gave a talk about her various duties.'700 children were under the care of Aberdeen County Council in foster care and homes.'

May 1956

Rev John McGee from Aberdeen told about his experiences since entering the ministry.

‘He ended his amusing stories on a more solemn tone, but finally concluded with a beauty recipe- its chief ingredient was – smile.

Nov 1956

Messrs. Bruce and Adam from the Singer Sewing Machine company gave an excellent demonstration on sewing.

The skills demonstrated were, 'in addition to the usual stitching, hemming, felling, there was darning, ruffling, shirring, binding and making buttonholes.'

Dec 1958

Mrs. Still gave an interesting talk on the Formation of the Guild

‘…there was a place for women’s work in the church.’

‘The Guild is a Christian fellowship, but how many members undertake even one Christian duty.’

‘We are all missionaries banded together to evangelise at home and abroad.’

Midmar Woman's Guild Talks from 1953 -1960

A few more TALKS in summary:

Dec 1956 Committee on Temperance- A Film about Drunken Drivers

Feb 1957 Mrs. Buchanan- Holiday in Spain

April 1957 Mr. Youngson- Chaplain of hospitals in Aberdeen

May 1957 Mr. Russell – Home for Working Lads

Oct 1957 Mrs. Gordon – United Nations Association

Nov 1957 Mr. Murray-Smyth – Gambia

Dec 1957 Mrs. Webster – Mission Station in Nyasa Land

Feb 1958 Cancelled because of a snow storm

Mar 1958 Mr. Lockart -Holiday in French Riviera

Apr 1958 Dr. Mary Esslemont –Visit to Russia as a delegate sent by the British Council

Jun 1958 Mr. Smith -Royal Blind Asylum

Oct 1958 Rev WMG Edgar – Robert Louis Stevenson

Nov 1958 Mrs. Foote – Demonstration on rug making

Feb 1959 Rev. W. Buchanan- Elizabeth Fry

April 1959 Mr. Jaffray – The havoc caused by alcohol

Nov 1959 Mrs. Bisset – demonstration on how to paint china and make lampshades

Dec 1959 Mr Jaffray – The temperance and moral speaker for the Church of Scotland – ‘The evils of the higher purchase system, smoking and gambling.’

Feb 1960 Rev Buchanan – Robert Burns