Our co-Founder and the original Adam Lyal (deceased), Robin Mitchell, described his recent visit to Loretto School in Musselburgh to deliver the Loretto Lecture as 'a real joy'.
In front of an audience of 125 good souls, Robin's theme for the evening was 'crossroads' (and we're not talking about the 1970s British television soap opera based in a Midlands motel). His 'crossroads' related to people who were important and pivotal in the formation and continual development of the Cadies & Witchery Tours since its inception in 1984. Explaining that this was not an exact science, Robin selected eight key people or 'crossroads' during his lecture at the historic Painted Gallery in Pinkie House (now part of Loretto School).
Robin's eight 'crossroads' were his parents Rollo and May Mitchell (fairly important to him being here), inspiring high school history teacher Mrs Leitch, hotelier Mr Gourlay (who encouraged Robin to apply to college in Edinburgh), friend and colleague Ruari Mackenzie (whose flat served as the business's first headquarters in 1984), fellow co-founder Colin Macphail (a partner until 1992), restaurateur James Thomson (from The Witchery restaurant), filmmaker Jim Hickey (co-producer with Robin on a number of films) and theatre impresario Liam Rudden (Director of a successful series of plays based on Robin's debut children's book Princess Pumpalot).
The lecture was a finely tuned mix of business development, historical stories and tour anecdotes mixed with Robin explaining how his activities have diversified over the years from walking tours to publishing books, producing films and writing plays. During the lecture there were a few timely surprises in the form of our very own 'jumper ooter' (Cameron Pirie). It's fair to say that this is the first time the Mad Monk of the Cowgate has visited Loretto School!
Guests attending the lecture were greeted at the entrance to Pinkie House by two talented Loretto pipers (Chris and James). The event was organised by Communications Director Jonathan Hewat, and all the attendees were made warmly welcome by Jonathan and Headmaster, Dr Graham Hawley.
Previous speakers at the now well-established Lecture Series have included peace activist Colin Parry, Edinburgh artist Richard Demarco, former Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore, and broadcaster and journalist Lesley Riddoch.
And the next crossroads? We'll have to wait and see.