They are among the most treasured items for train enthusiasts: the old posters promoting the luxury and sense of romance of travelling on a steam-powered vehicle through the Scottish countryside.
And next week, a leading auction house will be selling an eclectic collection of these classic artworks, highlighting the extent of services which used to exist before the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.
There were routes all across the north of the country and many feature in the upcoming event with Lyon & Turnbull offering 14 vintage railway posters, advertising travel to Scotland in their Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 auction.
One item of particular note is the original poster by Robert Bartlett for “The Night Scotsman”, which has been valued at £12,000-14,000, issued by the London and North Eastern railway in 1932.
The Night Scotsman was the 10.25pm departure from Kings Cross and offered first and third class sleepers as it advanced all the way up to Aberdeen.
It is a journey still treasured by many people and, as David Meara commented in his recent book, the sleeper was “one of the last truly romantic experiences left on the mainline railway system in Britain.”
Sophie Churcher, a consultant vintage posters specialist, said: “Bartlett’s poster shows the celebrated train thundering through the landscape by moonlight.
“The artist was clearly influenced by the art deco style of the time and reflects the dynamism, speed and style of travelling by rail in the early 20th century.
“The rare and highly sought after poster is expected to fetch over £12,000.”
She continued: “The golden age of the railway poster was undoubtedly 1890 to 1960 – with many of the most famous or intriguing examples appearing between the years of 1919 and 1939.”
Other posters of note in the sale include “Maid of the Loch on Loch Lomond” (valued at £400-600) by Alasdair MacFarlane, “Edinburgh Princes Street” (£400-600() by Lance Cattermole and “Over the Sea To Skye” (£200-300) by Kenneth Steel.
The auction takes place in Edinburgh on the 3rd April 2019.
An exchange scheme which has given 50 Grampian student nurses the opportunity to study healthcare provision and nursing education in Texas is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The initiative, which involves students from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Houston Baptist University is sponsored by the Grampian-Houston Association.
The latter is a thriving organisation whose members are planning to mark the anniversary with a reunion of the RGU students who have taken part in two-week study visits to the twin city of Houston since 1995.
“We want to contact them to invite them to a get-together in Aberdeen on May 16,” said Kristin Jackson-Brown, the Grampian-Houston Association’s exchange co-ordinator.
She told the Leopard that former participants who had not been contacted so far should get in touch with Katie Baxter at Robert Gordon University by emailing email@example.com.
Two student nurses from Houston will arrive in Aberdeen on May 12 and, in September, two RGU students, Leigh Watson and Brett Hillson will pay a fortnight’s study visit to Houston.
The official twinning relationship between Grampian Region and Houston reaches its 40th anniversary in May and the occasion will be be celebrated during a dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa on May 22.
Sometimes, when famous people are given honours, they make mealy-mouthed speeches at the awards ceremonies. But not so in the case of Oulander author Diana Gabaldon, who has received a special accolade from VisitScotland.
Rather than simply turn up, smile for the cameras, prattle on about bonnie Scotland and enjoy a dram, the American writer said it was cricual to do more to protect natural heritage sites across the country.
Mrs Gabaldon, who has almost finished the ninth novel in the series after starting work on it five years ago, spoke out after it emerged a Clan Fraser memorial stone at Culloden, which has recorded a 66% increased in visitors in the space of four years since the TV show began, had to be sealed off to allow turf repairs to be carried out.
And she has insisted she will continue speaking out against “real estate firms” planning housing developments near sites like Culloden, saying she had been “appalled” at the insensitive promotion of some projects.
She said: “I’ve been against building near the Culloden battlefield. I’m not a UK citizen, so I’m not allowed to sign petitions and thinks like that, but I retweet campaigns and other movements.
“I think there does have to be a great deal of protection for heritage sites and not just from commercial development – there is also the sheer friction of their popularity and the impact of people trampling around.
“The people at Culloden have not said anything to me directly, but I’ve heard they have been concerned that so many people have visited the Clan Fraser memorial stone they have worn away all of the grass around it.
“There is perhaps a need for more education at visitor centres to explain this is a delicate environment and people should keep their visit as short and unobtrusive as possible.”