Science writer Duncan Lunan is a busy man. He has just had a book on the Green Children of Woolpit published and has two most interesting and in-depth interviews on a podcast for the Flat Earth Society.
Entitled ‘Children from the Sky’ the book explores theories around the appearance of two green coloured children suddenly appearing in a medieval village in England. They were dressed strangely, spoke a language totally unknown in the area – which was a busy pilgrim place where many travellers passed through – and who not only caused a great stir at the time but who are still being discussed today.
The podcast gives him time to give his detailed reasoning behind the book but also to explore other areas of professional interest to him ranging from outer space to Glasgow’s modern standing stones circle which he helped create.
He is still working on research on the Green Children by tracing the descendants of the girl who survived into adult hood, married and had children. The green boy died some time after being found.
Another book by Duncan is about to be published: The Stones and the Stars: Building Scotland’s Newest Megalith This tells the story of the creation of the modern stone circle Duncan devised and had built in Springburn Park. Said Duncan: ‘These two books have taken 18 years and 32 years to find publishers – it’s great to have them come off at last!’
Duncan’s wife Linda is developing a career as a photographer. Her image of an equinox sunset has been used by publishers Springer for ‘The Stones and the Stars,’ book cover and some of the illustrations in the green ‘Children from the Sky’ are Linda’s too. Both Linda and Duncan signed copies of the latter title at a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Glasgow on Thursday 23 August. It can also be found in the CCA in Sauchiehall Street and ‘Plan B’ in Parnie Street.
Dr. David Clarke, an Honourary Research Fellow with more than a dozen books published on supernatural belief, UFOlogy and contemporary legends, plans to use some of Linda’s photographs in his forthcoming History of Astronomy in Glasgow.
On Tuesday 21 August, BBC Radio Suffolk interviewed Duncan about his book Children from the Sky. This can be heard online in the Lesley Dolphin slot where Georgina Wroe sits in and talks about green things including farming, food and the green children of Woolpit.
The rare sound of Medieval music in praise of Glasgow’s Patron Saint, St Kentigern, was heard in Glasgow Cathedral in January.
‘It made my hair stand on end just to hear it,’ said Bailie Catherine McMaster, chair of Glasgow City Council’s Local History and archaeology working group who introduced the event. She said: ‘This connects the past with our present and helps us to learn our own story.’
St Kentigern – a sixth century holy man known also as St Mungo – became known as the first bishop of Glasgow and the city’s patron saint. His legendary miracles are remembered in the bird, tree, bell and fish with golden ring, as seen on the city’s coat of arms.
The music was selected from chants of the Office (service) which were composed especially to celebrate his feast day which falls on 13 January. The manuscript which contains this Office is known as the Sprouston Breviary dated around 1300 and is housed in the National Library of Scotland. It is the only known manuscript which contains both the text and the music for his feast.
Known to a limited number of scholars familiar with early editions of the chant texts, it was brought to public attention during the BBC radio series, Scotland’s Music, by John Purser. Following that, Alan and Rebecca Tavener of Cappella Nova commissioned Dr Greta-Mary Hair and Dr Betty Knott-Sharpe to prepare a performing edition of chants from the Kentigern Office for a concert and recording.
The performance in Glasgow Cathedral was given by Canty and Schola Glasguensis – professional Medieval singers and musicians. Canty director, Rebecca Tavener said: ‘Performances of medieval material would not be possible without the tireless expertise and generosity of very special scholars, Dr Greta-Mary Hair who transcribed and edited the music and Dr Betty Knott-Sharpe, editor and translator of the texts.’
Afterwards, Dr Hair told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘It is always gratifying to hear a good, live performance after having worked on the manuscript.’
* The entire Office will be published later this year by Musica Scotica Trust.