Glasgow Scribes

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As regular readers of this blog will know, my early involvement with calligraphy was a lonely affair. Back in the eighties, there were no classes and no local calligraphy-related societies or groups that I could belong to. England did have a thriving calligraphy-based community, but somehow everything calligraphic stopped at Carlisle, never quite making it over the border into Scotland. The biggest problem for me was having no-one nearby with whom I could share my passion for calligraphy.

I joined The Society for Italic Handwriting, and became a lay member of The Society of Scribes and Illuminators, just to make me feel like I belonged to a larger community of calligraphers. But all I could look forward to were monthly newsletters and notifications of major calligraphy events and exhibitions that were happening in London and other big cities south of the border. Scotland was simply not on the calligraphic map.

Things began to change in the late eighties, and I like to think I did my wee bit for the cause by teaching one of the first calligraphy classes in Glasgow City Centre (something I’ve continued to do).

A number of years ago, I learned just how much things had changed when I discovered Glasgow Scribes, a group of passionate calligraphers who meet regularly in the centre of Glasgow to discuss all aspects of calligraphy, and who motivate and inspire each other in the process. I’ve even had the pleasure of having a few members of the group attend my evening classes.

Evelyn, one of the Scribes, describes the group like this…

“The Glasgow Scribes was founded in 1998 to allow calligraphers to meet informally, to share/develop skills and ideas and also to promote the art of calligraphy to others.  Members live within travel distance of Glasgow and have a wide range of calligraphy interests and experience.  The group meets in the Mitchell Library and/or Glasgow Caledonian University between September and May and is funded by an annual membership subscription.  Each year there is a programme of events chosen by members and which contains presentations, workshops, visits, annual exhibition, etc.  All visitors, and past and future members, are welcome to visit us to see if you like the group and its activities.”

I have had a sneak preview of the group’s 2013-2014 Programme of Events, and I’m impressed by the standard of the events, particularly the upcoming workshops by eminent calligraphers, Manny Ling and Janet Mehigan. And during September, Calligraphity, the Calligraphy Bookshop, will be in attendance with a large amount of calligraphy books for sale.

Any enthusiastic calligrapher in the Glasgow area who would like to meet up with like-minded folk should get in touch with Glasgow Scribes. Having met many of the members, and having viewed examples of their calligraphy at their annual exhibition, I can vouch for their friendliness, enthusiasm, and passion for calligraphy. The meetings are informal, all levels of ability are catered for, and everyone is made welcome (the one and only condition of being granted membership is that you love calligraphy).

You can find out more about Glasgow Scribes on their website.

To obtain a copy of the current events programme, or to get more information about the group, please email the Membership Coordinator at,  or telephone 07538-823723. Then you can arrange to drop into one of their meetings for an informal chat.

You might even be offered a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit while you get involved in all things calligraphic. Sounds like heaven to me.


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