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Talk by Bruce Keith: History of Scottish Milestones and Waymarkers

On 28th. March 2023, author Bruce Keith delivered a talk in Rutherglen Library on the history of milestones and way markers in Scotland. A retired surveyor and environmentalist, Bruce is also Vice President of the Milestone Society.

A small but appreciative audience of 14 greatly enjoyed this informative and entertaining talk, and several copies of Bruce's book Are We Nearly There Yet?, which formed the basis of the talk, were sold on the day

In his talk, Bruce told us of the use of mile markers by the ancient Romans during their invasion of Scotland and about the expansion of turnpike trusts in the 18th. century. We learned that it was Ayrshireman John Loudon McAdam who championed the turnpike trusts, holding surveyorships across both Scotland and England. He also developed an improved road construction technique although he is frequently mis-credited with the invention of tarmacadam.

We also learned that most milestones were removed or defaced in World War II to baffle potential German invaders and that not all were replaced afterwards.

Our talk was one of several that George gave on his current visit to Scotland from his home in Peterborough.

We're very grateful to Bruce for giving us this talk. His was the last in the current series of talks hosted by the Heritage Society. More talks are planned for Autumn/Winter 2023/24.

© 2023 by Rutherglen Heritage Society.


The Milestone Society website. Click here

Review in The Scotsman of Bruce Keith's book Are We Nearly There Yet? Click here

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