The idea of forming a local historical society was first put forward in May 2011 as part of the Village's Scarecrow Festival planned for September 2011. Bothwell has a long and fascinating history and it was felt that an historical society would be an appropriate body to prepare and mount an exhibition reflecting aspects of the village's heritage. This would give locals as well as visitors some idea of the range of past events and interesting personalities associated with Bothwell.
The organising group consists of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary/Treasurer, an Archivist and four further members. Our Honorary President is the distinguished Scottish historian, Professor Tom Devine, Senior Research Professor in History and Director of the Scottish Centre of Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh University. Recently Professor Devine was awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh Beltane Senior Prize 2012 for Public Engagement. In recognition for his services to Scottish history, Professor Devine was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2014 as Sir Thomas Martin Devine.
The society aims to be a local focal point for promoting an interest in the history of Scotland in general and of Bothwell in particular. Efforts will be made to record and catalogue artefacts, documents and photographs of Bothwell's past. How many times have all of us wished we had paid more attention to the reminiscences of an older generation? The society will seek to collect a record of the memories of an older Bothwell by interviewing villagers who are Bothwell born and bred or who have lived here for many years and have witnessed significant changes. History is being made every day and the society will undertake a project to record Bothwell as it is at present. One day this may be of interest to those who come after us. The society will join with and support the work of other village groups in preserving the environment and in opposing inappropriate development.