Gavin McCrone to give a personal view of the impact of oil on the Scottish economy.

Gavin McCrone to give a personal view of the impact of oil on the Scottish economy.

Professor Gavin McCrone, author of a much publicised paper on the impact of oil on the economy, will visit the University of Aberdeen this week to give lecture on North Sea oil.

The visit forms part of a series of lectures to celebrate the culmination of the Lives in the Oil Industry oral history project and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Queen’s visit to the North-east to switch on the flow of oil from the Forties Field.

The lecture series, ‘Tis Thirty Years Since, Personal Reflections on the History of the North Sea Oil and Gas Industry, has attracted a number of key speakers from various aspects of the industry including Peter Odell, former adviser to UK Energy Secretary, Tony Benn, and photographer, Owen Logan, whose work deriving from the Lives in the Oil Industry project is on permanent display at the Holyrood Parliament.

This week's lecture by Professor McCrone, who is former Chief Economic Adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland and a distinguished academic, take place on Thursday May 25, at 5.00pm, in New King’s – Room 10.

Hugo Manson, the leading researcher on the Lives in the Oil Industry project, said he was looking forward to welcoming an academic of Gavin McCrone’s standing to the University of Aberdeen. He said: “Gavin McCrone has had a distinguished career in academia and, while Chief Economic Adviser in the Scottish Office and later as Head of the Industry Department for Scotland, had a close involvement in the development of North Sea oil in the 1970s and 1980s. In his lecture he will give a personal view of the policies followed at the time and the impact of oil on the economy.

“The talks that we have organised also celebrate a major achievement in oral history and I am delighted that such a prolific figure and well-respected author will be joining us in the 30th anniversary year of the production of oil in the North-east.”

Lives in the Oil Industry is one of the world’s largest ‘life-story’ projects documenting a particular industry, through the personal memories and reflections of people who were involved in the North Sea offshore industry or were affected by it. It began in the summer of 2000, initiated by the University of Aberdeen and the British Library Sound Archive. Led by Aberdeen senior history lecturer Terry Brotherstone, the project was established to create an archive of the personal and professional lives of the people connected with the UK North Sea energy sector.

The collection, now comprising over 700 hours of archival recordings, is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. The project website, launched last year, showcases many aspects of the project, its content and development. The people interviewed include men and women representing all sectors of the industry – management, offshore workers, technical professionals and specialists, personnel from government and regulatory bodies.

Interviews were recorded in many parts of the UK, with an emphasis on centres such as Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, the Great Yarmouth area, Shetland and Orkney. People were also interviewed in the United States.

Mr Manson said the project formed a remarkable collection of personal stories from a key North-east sector. He added: “Now that the project is complete, it is time to start making it more widely known and to provide potential users of the material we have gathered with an indication of the range of interviews and topics covered.”

Further information on Lives in the Oil Industry is available by logging on to: www.abdn.ac.uk/oillives

* The lecture series will culminate with a talk by Carol Boyd, a solicitor who now produces market intelligence on current North Sea activity. Her talk, entitled ‘Experiences of the UK Continental Shelf That Cannot Be Shared in The Royal Northern and University Club’ will be held on Thursday, June 1, in New King’s Room 10 at 5.00pm.

Further information on the series of public talks, or to book a place, contact Hugo Manson on (01224) 272472 or email: h.manson@abdn.ac.uk

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