Dr Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish: political, economic and social change in the western Highlands, c.1870-c.1945
A one-day workshop in Ballachulish
Saturday 10 September 2011
view online (programme)
A one-day workshop will be taking place on Saturday, 10 September 2011 at the Shinty Pavilion, Ballachulish, for academics and community members interested in the ‘life and times’ of Dr Lachlan Grant, Ballachulish and the western Highlands in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Dr Lachlan Grant (1871-1945), was a General Practitioner in Ballachulish, journalist, scientific researcher and Medical Officer of Health. He was a star pupil of the Edinburgh medical school, who went on to general practice in the remote Highlands and Islands. He kept his medical research active, however, building his own private laboratory to continue working on medical problems such as TB (which reached epidemic proportions in the interwar Highlands), anaemia and eye health.
Beyond his medical career, Grant was an important figure in the interwar Highlands; he was deeply involved in the major industrial disputes which took place at the Ballachulish slate quarries in the early twentieth century, where he was employed as a doctor for the workers. He later became Medical Officer of Health for British Aluminium, where he struggled to balance his support for much-needed industrial employment projects in the Highlands with a poor employers’ health and safety record onsite. Additionally, he was active politically, both in the Liberal party and the early years of the Scottish National Party. He was also a prolific journalist, integrating medical with wider political, social and economic issues in the Highlands, particularly those surrounding mental health care in the region. Lastly, he was an active campaigner for the economic and social development of the Highlands, modelled on the Tennessee Valley Authority set up by Roosevelt in the USA in the same period, including a crucial role in the Highland Development League (est. 1936) and especially improved health administration in the region, being a key a contributor to the Dewar Report (1912), which led to the establishment of the Highlands and Islands Medical Board in 1913, considered by many to be a ‘proto-NHS’.
Welcome and explanation
Session 1: Academic papers
1:00pm-2.30pm: Dr Lachlan Grant and his Highland context
Chair: Dr Annie Tindley
Professor Marjory Harper: “A vicious and soulless propaganda”: Dr Lachlan Grant and Highland emigration’
Professor Ewen Cameron: ‘Dr Lachlan Grant and the 'Highland Problem' in the 1930s’
Dr Annie Tindley: ‘The havoc played by an irrational land system:’ Dr Lachlan Grant and the land question in the western Highlands, c. 1886-1911’
2.45pm-4.15pm: Dr Lachlan Grant and health and medicine in the Highlands
Chair: Dr Karly Kehoe
Mr Jim Leslie: ‘Hospital Facilities in the West Highlands and Skye, 1860-1950’
Professor John Stewart: ‘Medicine and Healthcare Provision in Scotland in the First Half of the Twentieth Century’
Ms Pat Whatley: ‘The Dewar report 1912: the background, context and the impetus for change’
Session 2: Workshops
4.30pm-6.30pm: community workshops
More detail on the workshops can be found in this booklet
6.30pm: The End!
Dr Annie Tindley, Glasgow Caledonian University (Annemarie.email@example.com)
This workshop and the project associated with it have been funded by the Wellcome Trust. The event is supported by Ballachulish Community Council.