Keeper’s Blog // Festival of 400

Last month, RoS celebrated a full week of events to mark our 400th anniversary: our Festival of 400.  Not many organisations get to celebrate such a landmark occasion and it is an honour to be leading RoS in this special year.  It was an amazing week that included events and activities that celebrated our history, our achievements and our staff.

I was delighted to welcome colleagues and invited guests to Meadowbank House on Wednesday 28 June for the anniversary of the creation of the General Register of Sasines. It was fitting that I welcomed back three of my predecessors as keeper – all of whom have played an important role in RoS’ history – to celebrate our four centuries.

Staff gathering on day of 400 anniversary
Staff gathering on day of 400 anniversary

We marked the day with an unveiling of our public artwork, which is a modern take on the stained glass window, featuring an amazing map of Scotland showcasing the sasine register and its 400 years. The colours of the map show our transition from a paper-based organisation to a digital-first organisation. I also enjoyed the reading of ‘Sasine’ by the Scottish Makar, Jackie Kay; the poem was incredibly moving and I want to say a huge thank you to RoS’ own Hamish Moncur for his reading. I was very proud to present a cheque for over £4,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support, raised at May’s Fore!Hundred charity golf tournament. It was a special and memorable day for everyone at RoS, and a fitting ceremony to mark the official 400-year anniversary.

Presentation of cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support
Presentation of cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support

It was an equally exciting day on Thursday 29 June, as we welcomed Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, for the official opening of our new Glasgow office at St Vincent Plaza. I was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary was so impressed with our new office.

RoS staff meeting the Cabinet Secretary
RoS staff meeting the Cabinet Secretary

It was brilliant- and a first – that the opening was livestreamed from Glasgow to our Meadowbank House atrium for Edinburgh-based staff to see.

The whole week’s events were a great success, celebrating the important role that RoS has played in Scotland over the centuries. I am proud of the work we do to maintain the oldest national land register in the world. We have 400 years of learning and expertise and are consolidating that with modern practices that serve the needs not only of our customers, but of our stakeholders, partners and employees. I look forward to the rest of our 400th year.

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