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Latest News.

Very warm welcome to Paul Gilhooley on becoming a Squareman in the Mither shed.

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The following is an extract from,"The Corporation of Squaremen by J. Stewart Seggie", written in 1947.
Many thanks to Bill Brand for sending me his copy of the book in PDF format.

"The billet dated the 25th January (year was 1946), contains the usual summons to a meeting on the 2nd of February,
but it is illustrated on this occasion with a drawing of the entrance to the Shed, the Clock and the steeple of St Giles.

The new Deacon, Brother Charles. R. Gerrad is shown at the centre of the billet dressed in the uniform of an Officer of the Special Police.
At the side of the photo, with an arrow pointing to his head, are these words: "It's not what's on yer heid that counts, it's what's in it."
The fines Tank is depicted with this motto: "Roll on Squaremen"."

I will endeavour to locate the actual billet if it still exists.
The motto is now complete on the Tank.

The history of the Tank has yet to be unearthed but it looks as though it was modelled on the Britsh Mark V tank shown below.
They were in service from 1918 (last known)1941 and were used in the First World War, Russian Civil War and the Second World War (minimal).

Mark V

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The Mither Shed has relocated and forthwith the meetings shall be held at:

Guards Club (Scots Guards Association Club Ltd.)

2 Clifton Terrace


EH12 5DR

Tel: 0131 337 1084

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Please note that the meetings of the Mither Shed will take place at 2.30pm prompt on the 1st Saturday of each month, October to April.

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The puir cratur that was Craig Drysdale managed to satisfy the Intelligentsia that he was a worthy candidate to be inculcated in the antient mysteries of the Corporation. His skill in the assay test and answering of the questions was exemplary.

Welcome Craig as the newest member of the Mither Shed.

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Callum Shanks has kindly agreed to take up the office of Boxie. Thanks Callum, we wish you all the best in your new post.

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Those members of a more curious disposition may have looked at their certificate of membership and pondered on the meaning of the letters surrounding the small pipe-smoking man in the upper left corner and other images, some will never have looked and won't care, but for those that do here's the explanation of some of them:

This is the motto, Festina lente or (speûde bradés) it is a classical adage and oxymoron meaning "make haste slowly" (usually rendered in English as "more haste, less speed"). It has been adopted as a motto numerous times, particularly by the emperors Augustus and Titus, the Medicis, the Onslows and the Squaremen.
The original form of the saying is Classical Greek, of which festina lente is the Latin translation.

The constructive intent of the phrase is that activities should be performed with a proper balance of urgency and diligence. If tasks are overly rushed, mistakes are made and good long-term results are not achieved. Work is best done in a state of flow in which one is fully engaged by the task and there is no sense of time passing.
One extrapolation is "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."

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Stag image

The stag's head with cross in the right upper corner of the certificate.

Tradition has it that it was at the foot of Arthur's Seat, covered by the forest of Drumselch, that Scotland's 12th-century king David I encountered a stag (hart) while out hunting. Having fallen from his horse and about to be gored, he had a vision of a cross appearing between the animal's antlers, before it inexplicably turned away, leaving him unharmed.

That night he dreamt that a great religious house would be established at the place of his miraculous escape. David, believing his life had been spared through divine intervention, founded Holyrood Abbey on the spot.

That same year the establishment of a monastery was approved which was to become the Augustine Holyrood Abbey. He also granted a charter to the adjacent burgh which was to become Canongate.
On the death of Queen Margaret in 1093 she bequeathed a casket of holy relicts to her sons which was later given to the Abbey.

The walk between the Abbey and the walled town of Edinburgh around Castle Rock became known as 'Canon's Gait' or Canongate.

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Cannongate image

Burgh arms of the Canongate on the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh.
"Sic itur ad Astra; This is the path to heaven. Such is the ancient motto attached to the armorial bearings of the Canongate

The Palace of Holyrood was started in 1501 and completed by Charles II.
The Burgh of Canongate grew up around the Abbey and Palace and was separate from Edinburgh until the 19th century.

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I am certainly not an expert on the history of Ye Corporation O'Squaremen but I do like to indulge myself in some research when possible.
As far as I can ascertain (with evidence to back it up) the first mention of the Corporation is in 1903 -04 in this interesting clip from Post-Office Edinburgh & Leith directory.

The previous Post Office Directory (1902-1903) has no mention at all but this is most likely due to the organization being reformed in Edinburgh at that time by Brothers Philip and William Murray. (see "History" page for further information) which makes the Mither Shed 111 years old at the time of writing article.

There are also some other interesting orders listed alongside.

The first "lawful day of the month" as far as I can discern, means the first working day. The closest reference I can find is this:
"Arrested and kept in a Police cell to appear "the next lawful day" at Court. This means that if you are arrested on a Tuesday you will appear at Court on the Wednesday morning, but if you are arrested on a Friday you will remain in a Police cell until Monday morning."

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory extract

1903 to 1904 Post Office Directory extract

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