Memorial lecture honours Capital poet

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THE second annual Hamish Henderson Memorial Lecture is to be given by Dr Fred Freeman.

Hamish Henderson (1919-2002) was a greatly admired Edinburgh poet, songwriter, scholar and activist widely celebrated in Scottish culture.

Among his many admirers was Nelson Mandela, who sought him out on his first visit to Scotland in 1990. Mr Henderson wrote the much admired poem Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica about his experiences as a soldier in North Africa in the Second World War.

As a pioneer of the post-war Scottish folk music revival, he wrote ballads and anthems including 'Freedom Come All Ye'. He joined the ground-breaking School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University and was a founder of the Edinburgh People's Festival in 1951.

Last year the Edinburgh People's Festival inaugurated the first Hamish Henderson Memorial lecture. This year's talk is by Dr Freeman, an acknowledged authority on Mr Henderson.

A Fellow in English at Edinburgh University, Dr Freeman was a lifelong friend of Mr Henderson and recently presented a special programme on his life and legacy on BBC Radio Four.

The lecture is on Wednesday, 12 August at the Nelson Hall in St Leonards, and starts at 7.30pm.