The Scottish and Leningrad Albums

CCI Broadcast Production student Andy Knight has spent years researching and exploring the untold story behind the Scottish and Leningrad Albums. Below is his story and the research he has undertaken.

Back in 2009, whilst a student at Reid Kerr College in Paisley, studying HNC in Radio Broadcasting, he represented the college and travelled to St.Petersburg, Russia to make an audio documentary on the Leningrad Siege.

From this opportunity, he became very attached to the both the story of the Siege and the Albums. With all the audio and sufficient information, a 30 minute audio documentary was produced in June 2010 as a show reel for Reid Kerr College. Which won best audio programme at the Creative Loop Student Media Festival earlier this year, having contacted BBC Radio Scotland; they showed an interested and the programme is due to be transmitted in the future.

Andy is very keen to progress to the next stage of getting the story told, having contacted the BBC Online Features department this means a 7 minute short film is required and the finished programme is hoped to be put onto their website. Production is already well underway and upon making the narration with Sally Magnusson, exposed the story to the Reporting Scotland team.

The head of news, Alison MacDonald was very touched by the story and it was decided that a short feature to celebrate the 70th anniversary would be co-produced by Andy for BBC News. The finished feature was transmitted twice on BBC1 Scotland on Tuesday 15th November 2011.

Currently filming various scenes for the online programme along with close friend Wilma Stark, (the daughter of one of the committee members that instigated the Scottish Album), he will have more than enough footage for a 30 minute feature documentary, with Russian siege survivors to add additional content. Andy has now been asked to send a treatment to the commissioners at the BBC and hope they will find the topic of interest for the BBC Scotland audience.

The passion lives on…………..

Some brief information from Andy about the story behind the albums.

Of course, I was delighted and privileged to be asked and although I knew some details of the World War 2 Siege, I had no idea what was to unfold, I discovered a virtually unknown story of a remarkable event that took place in Central Scotland.

I thoroughly researched the history of Hitler’s actions and the facts about the 1941 -1944 Leningrad Siege prior to departing in January 2010. During my research, I was given a book to read, ‘Dear Allies’, written by Margaret Henderson, that tells the story of an act of humanity and solidarity, instigated by a group of six committee members in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

These people collected over 6000 signatures, mainly from women, along with messages of friendship and hope in an album to the women of the beleaguered city in December 1941. Against all odds, the album arrived and was well received in Russia that thoughts and support had come from their allies in Scotland.

In return, under terrible conditions of constant bombardment, lack of electricity, water and almost starvation, an album was produced within 5 days and sent back to Scotland that has become a priceless artefact for Scotland.

This album contains lithographs, poems, greetings and messages of gratitude from the women of Leningrad.

The Leningrad Album is preserved in temperature controlled conditions and is available for viewing, by appointment at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow.” Andy Knight – Nov 2011

2 Responses to “The Scottish and Leningrad Albums”
  1. Laura Coyle says:

    very interesting have a look peeps

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