With deep sadness the Scottish Castles Association learnt of the sudden, unexpected death of our chairman, Robert Bogdan, on Wednesday 22 March 2023.
Schooled in Morayshire, Robert read Medieval History and Geography at St Andrews University representing Scottish Universities at hockey. He followed this up with a PGCE at Cambridge where he earned a hockey blue, on the strength of which he was offered a job at Charterhouse school to run the hockey activities and teach geography. His plan to try this for just one year continued to his eventual retirement from the school – many, many years later in 2015.
We first met Robert when we visited Barra Castle, his mother's old family home, in September 2007 just before he handed over the keys to the new owner. His late brother Nick had been involved in many archaeological adventures, and was also working with the late Ian Bryce to update MacGibbon & Ross' great five-volume tomes. Since his retirement from teaching in December 2015, Robert set himself a challenge to visit as many castles as possible, sometimes in his vintage Riley. Some of these trips have been shared with us in his regular Chairman’s round-ups in our newsletters and in our Journal.
Robert's hope for the future of the Scottish Castles Association was to promote the aspirations of the association and further the knowledge of individual sites, connecting with those with specialist knowledge of clan history and families, and linking up with other bodies with similar interests in the heritage of Scotland. His own family connections to the Burnett, Forbes and Irvine families in Aberdeenshire, and of course their castles, gave him a great starting point in pursuing his aims.
Robert's knowledge and cheery personality shone through to everyone who met him, and the hole he leaves in the Scottish Castles Association will be a difficult one to fill.
From all of us to you, Robert, yours aye. You will be dearly missed.