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Whose Town? Iain MacLaren

Whose Town? Iain MacLaren
Whose Town? Iain MacLaren
Whose Town? was an educational resource built on the heritage collections of the City of Edinburgh. It was developed by Edinburgh City Libraries in partnership with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and Edinburgh City Archives. The resource was launched in 2011 and unfortunately is no longer available in its original format, however, we have created exhibitions here on Capital Collections to provide schools with access to even more material and to allow a wider audience access to the fascinating stories told in Whose Town?

We are also working on recreating the life stories as digital trails on Our Town Stories.

Whose Town? looks at Edinburgh from 1850 - 1959 to discover the city's past through the lives of the people who lived there. We have used people who lived in Victorian times, at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Second World War and in the Fifties. There are fourteen lives to discover as well as exhibitions about each of the four eras.

Iain MacLaren was a trainee surgeon from 1954 to 1958. He came from a medical background as his father was a GP in Edinburgh. During his training he contracted Tuberculosis (TB) and had to spend a whole year in convalescence. Iain notes that had he had the disease three years earlier, he probably would have died as the cure for TB was in its very early stages. As a trainee surgeon, Iain experienced the early development of the NHS, as well as groundbreaking advances in combating TB. Iain loves to play the bagpipes and there is a photograph of him playing the pipes for the visit of a renowned surgeon, Professor Rene Leriche. The exhibition includes a document explaining the importance of the mass TB x-ray campaign in 1957 and images of the wards at Colinton Mains Pavilion Hospital where TB patients were treated.

Find out more about life in Edinburgh in the 1950s.

Whose town? was supported by funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.