100 Weeks of Scotland: Week 24

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In the run-up to the independence referendum in 2014, photographer Alan McCredie will be telling the story of the nation in photographs.

Thatcher death

100 Weeks of Scotland

100 Weeks of Scotland

Margaret Thatcher’s death is the story that dominated all others this week. I wasn’t sure whether to do anything on it and then on reflection decidedit was just too big a story to ignore. Although she had no links to Scotland her policies had, in the opinion of many, disastrous effects on the country and are still being felt even now. I have used two images to illustrate it. The first was taken very shortly after her death was announced, in a pub in the centre of Edinburgh and reflects how most news stories are broken and read these days. The other image is an interesting one – The Sun, to me, is absolutely synonymous with the Thatcher years. It seemed to be the voice of the brash, individualistic, get-rich-quick 1980s and was a huge supporter of Thatcher, and her governments. That is why the way they chose to report her death surprised me a little. I would have expected The Sun, of all the tabloid newspapers to be the most gushing in their praise, whereas in the end even to them her death is nothing more than a vaguely rhythmic headline.

Signet library

My third image this week is of a dinner in The Signet Library in Edinburgh.

Dating from 1822 the Signet Library was built for the visit of George IV to Edinburgh and he described the upper library (the one pictured) as ‘the finest drawing room in Europe’. The library is home to the Society of Writers to her Majesty’s Signet (The WS Society) an association of Scottish lawyers and one of the oldest professional bodies in the world. The origins of the WS Society lie in the 15th century as the “writers” of documents sealed with “the Signet”, the private seal of the Scottish kings – members are known as “Writers to the Signet” or “WS”. It is a stunningly beautiful, and incredibly atmospheric building.

Penny chews

My next image, Rajiv, The Man in the Corner Shop is part of my series ‘This Happy Breed - at Home and at Work in Scotland’ and shows a typical scene

in a local shop. How often when we were kids did we run to such places clutching 10p and trying to get as many penny chews and sweets as we could…

Alan McCredie began the ‘one hundred weeks of scotland’ website in October last year, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

McCredie says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

You can follow the project at www.100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter.

• All pictures (c) Alan McCredie/ 100 weeks of Scotland