Local Landscape Heroes: Hamilton Natural History Society
Bill and Audrey Wallace
Hamilton Natural History Society (HNHS) are nominating Audrey and Bill Wallace as our ‘Local Landscape Heroes’. Both of them had a great love and knowledge of the local landscape and were involved in recording and preserving our natural and built heritage.
Audrey was originally from Belfast, where she worked in the library at Queens University and was a member of Belfast Naturalists Field Club. When she married Bill and moved to Hamilton in the 1950’s, she found there was no similar society so she re-started one – Hamilton Natural History Society. She was a keen observer and recorder of wildlife and was also interested in archaeology. She made sure the Society was involved in local issues to protect nature – doing surveys, commenting on planning issues, attending public enquiries, keeping rights of way paths actively used and taking part in public consultations on new developments such as Strathclyde Park and Chatelherault Country Park. She was HNHS secretary for 29 years and remained a member until her death in 2014.
Bill Wallace was also an active HNHS member, being treasurer for 20 years then vice president for 5 years. He was also a member of Hamilton Civic Society and was extremely knowledgeable about local history. In 1969 he wrote an article on ‘Hamilton - Its Naturalists and Natural History Societies’ for our journal but he also wrote about local history. He donated much of his archive material to Hamilton Library. He died in 2008 age 92.
Hamilton Natural History Society HNHS 50th Anniversary cake
In 2010, HNHS celebrated its 50th anniversary and to mark this, we produced a booklet detailing the historical origins of the society (from the 1890’s) and some of our activities over that time (in parallel with a local timeline of what else was happening in the area). It highlights the enthusiasm and dedication of many local people who could all be regarded as ‘Landscape Heroes’. Read the booklet, available under ‘Related Resources’.
This Museum item was created as part of the Local Landscape Heroes project, delivered by CAVLP Heritage, managed by Northlight Heritage, with support from Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Historic Environment Scotland. The project facilitated community exploration and celebration of people who they deemed 'Local Landscape Heroes', from farmers to millers, poets to painters and everyone inbetween. Explore the other Local Landscape Heroes items in the Museum and by clicking the links below to find out more.