New Addition to the Archive: Coventry ’80 Commemorative Cover

Coventry '80 Commemorative Cover


Coventry ’80 was an event organised by the citizens of Coventry to commemorate the blitz of the city on 14th November 1940.

Pride in our Past, Faith in Our Future aimed to remember the city’s destruction with sorrow for the losses and thankfulness for its resurrection but also to look to the future with realistic hope. This commemorative cover depicts the east end of the ruins of the old Cathedral which was destroyes on 14th November 1940, with the ‘south’ side of the Cathedral built alongside and consecrated in 1962.

This cover is held within the Kenyon Wright collection. Kenyon Wright was appointed Director of Urban Ministry at Coventry Cathedral in 1970 and then in 1974 was promoted to Canon Residentiary at the Cathedral and Director of its International Ministry. In 1980 he returned to Scotland as General Secretary of Scottish Council of Churches in Dunblane.

Active collecting at Processions 2018

We are always out and about collecting photographs and leaflets at current events.  Last weekend we were at Processions 2018.

Processions was a mass participation artwork to celebrate one hundred years of votes for women.
In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the first British women the right to vote and stand for public office. One hundred years on, Processions invited women and girls across the UK to come and mark this historic moment as part of a living portrait of women in the 21st century.

On Sunday 10th of June 2018 women and girls in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London walked together as part of this celebratory mass participation artwork. Wearing either green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement, Processions appeared as a flowing river of colour through the city streets.

In Edinburgh, Processions started at the Meadows, up over George IV Bridge and passed the columns of the Scottish National Gallery wrapped in the suffragette colours for the event. Processions finished at Holyrood Park.

Please visit our Flickr site and you can see all the photographs we took on the day

Campaign Materials wanted

We are always collecting material and recently were donated a pile of Yes for IndyRef2 postcards from a campaigner in Stirling including this postcard below.  If you do come across IndyRef2 campaign material please email us at 

We will be delighted to discuss any donations with you.

I'm no leaving EU postcard, 2018


“Scotland the What?” Order of Service, July 1999

This Order of Service is part of the Kenyon Wright collection. This Church Service would have been delivered by Kenyon Wright in the first Sunday following the Opening of the new Scottish Parliament on 1st July 1999.

Kenyon Wright took up the post of Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Glencarse in March 1994.

Our Flickr Account

Think Twice beermat, 1997 referendum

SPA regularly adds new items to our Flickr account which contains photographs and images of items within the collection.  Today we added some beer mats from the 1997 devolution referendum.  They were issued by the No Campaign which wad called Think Twice.


Found in the Archive

Unpacking and cataloguing a new collection is always a voyage of discovery.  When you take in boxes of archive papers you know roughly what subjects you hope it will cover, but there are always unexpected gems.

Kenyon Wright’s archive is no exception and amongst the papers there are personal diaries, photographs and reflections on his life.  This morning I have come across personal notes reflecting on a visit to Auschwitz, his father’s driving licence and an ink stamp with his signature alongside papers from the Constitutional Steering Group.  Who knows what this afternoon’s rummaging will uncover???

Democracy and Devolution in the 1970s Conference

Thursday 26th April 2018

Paterson’s Land, University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh’s Academy of Government and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology are jointly sponsoring a FREE one day conference and roundtable on politics in the 1970s.

Papers will be presented on a range of subjects with particular focus on democracy and devolution in the late 1970s followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Bernard Ponsonby,  Political Editor of Scottish Television.

Stirling University’s Scottish Political Archive (SPA) will provide posters, leaflets and other political material from the period  throughout the day and Dr Peter Lynch of the SPA will present showcasing material from SPA prior to the evening roundtable.

Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite:

Constitutional Convention newsletters found whilst sorting the Archive

We are mid-sorting the Kenyon Wright archive and amongst papers we found some copies of Scotswatch the newsletter of the Scottish Constitutional Convention

In 1988 the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly published A Claim of Right for Scotland which proposed the establishment of a constitutional convention to agree a plan for devolution. In 1989 the convention was launched with the participation of representatives from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Greens, trade unions, churches and other civic bodies.

The Spring 1991 newsletter includes a message from the Chair of the Constitutional Convention Kenyon Wright.

Remembering Kenyon Wright

On the first anniversary of Kenyon Wright’s death an article in Cable Magazine explores the largely hidden internationalism behind grassroots Scottish politics in the 1990s. 

Kenyon Wright’s archive was donated to the Political Archive in 2017.

Items found whilst sorting through the papers of Canon Kenyon Wright

We have spent time over the last few months beginning to list the donated papers of Canon Kenyon Wright.  Canon Kenyon Wright is best known as the Executive Chair of the Scottish Constitutional Convention which planned for Scotland’s Parliament, which came into being in 1999. Often referred to, by the media, as the ‘Godfather of Devolution’, he was made a CBE ‘for services to constitutional reform and Scottish Devolution’.

Going through the boxes we have discovered that the papers contain a wealth of important material drawn from all stages of his working life which will complement and enhance our existing collections.  Included amongst the material are papers relating to the People and the Parliament project.

People & Parliament was an independent project set up in 1997 on the eve of devolution and chaired by Kenyon Wright. In 1998 they distributed 28,000 leaflets inviting people from all over Scotland to share their vision of what Scotland’s future should be like. The project asked people to form groups to discuss three issues:

  1. We are a people who….
  2. By the year 2020 we would like to see a Scotland in which…..
  3. We therefore expect our parliament to work with people in ways which……..

In 1999 the Project reported back their findings and the archive includes correspondence, minutes, handwritten notes and papers relating to the project.  These papers are still in cataloguing but we hope they will be available to interested researchers soon.