Mearns Probus Club notes...

The second meeting for August was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, where the president introduced club member Richard V Slicher.

He talked about papermaking, starting with a short session to find out how many types of paper club members could name. They managed about 30.

In fact, there are many more types, possibly into hundreds, which was news to most of his audience.

From pre-historic times, a form of paper has been produced with materials such as grasses, reeds, cotton, wood and various other additions with present day products now concentrating on wood pulp.

Demonstrations on how the frame was made to adding the paper making material then on to pressing and drying were given, when paper was made manually.

Water marks were incorporated, one such mark leading to the well-known “Foolscap” size, now superseded by A2, A3, A4 and A5 sizes with decimal dimensions. Through history, rags were one of the most common raw materials, with re-cycling of almost anything with cotton even bandages were included, with no protection from infection. Mills known as Raggers were located to break down these materials, and the remains of one such mill can be seen in Aberdeen alongside the River Don at Woodside.

Indeed, Aberdeen and Shire had paper mills alongside the River Don at Muggiemoss, Stoneywood and across from the Granholm Mills. Water was an essential, providing power to drive the water wheels, provide steam for the engines and paper making drums and all the ancillaries needed in the Mills.

Richard completed his informative talk with pictures showing the layouts of a modern mill, with the process machinery stretching in-line over quite a distance, sometimes over ½ a mile in length.

Samples of paper were available showing trimmed, untrimmed, paper used for Bibles, envelopes, parchment and even a piece of Papyrus.

Ian Davidson proposed thanks.