PSNS People 1940-1980

James Menzies (1854 – 1945)

Worked in the bleachfields at Almondbank and then at Pullar’s as a dyer. He was a PSNS
member for over 50 years and President from 1926-1928. Botany and especially fungi were his main interest and he discovered the fungus Pezizella (Calycella) menziesii, which is named after him.

Thomas McLaren (1873 – 1947)

Thomas McLaren spent his working life with Perth Town Council, starting as a trainee and
holding the position of Burgh Surveyor for eighteen years. Through this work he was able to secure important archaeological finds discovered when buildings were demolished and
building sites were excavated. He joined PSNS in 1912 and over the years contributed many interesting papers to the Transactions including a full account of the old maps of Perth. He served as Vice President and was very active in Society matters.

Peter K McLaren (1903 – 1963)

Peter McLaren was well known throughout Scotland as the manager and chief photographer of Starphotos, a Perth business started by his father. His work was widely reproduced in the local and national press and his later focus was on industrial and commercial photography. He was exhibited at the various salon of the Scottish Photographic Federation and was elected to the Fellowship of the Institute of British Photographers in 1941. PK McLaren joined PSNS in 1928; he was Vice President of the Society in 1949 – 1950.

Professor James Robert Matthews CBE (1889 – 1978)

J R Mathews was born in Dunning and attended Perth Academy. He was a pupil teacher at the Western District School where PSNS member and rose expert William Barclay was headmaster. A strong friendship developed. Barclay and the Society were a major early influence and nurtured his talent as he began an academic career finally becoming Professor of Botany at Aberdeen University.

Allan Watt Robson (1916 – 1981)

Allan Robson was a talented artist and Principal teacher of Art at Perth High School. He had a passion for botany. Joining PSNS in 1954 he was Chair of the Botanical Section for around 20 years. He worked with section members collecting and compiling plant records and was Botanical Society of the British Isles Recorder for all of the Perthshire vice counties. After his death three oak trees were planted in his memory on Moncreiffe Island near the 1967 PSNS centenary planting.


Personalities of Perthshire : Current and Past