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Shuttleworth Talks

Hosted amongst the heritage rich Shuttleworth Collection, every talk offers a fascinating look into a new topic. So grab a tea or coffee, learn something new, and finish your day off by exploring the rest of what the site has to offer.

This time Shuttleworth invites you to join Hugh McLeod MBE as he speaks about his time serving within BRIXMIS, a military liason mission that operated during the Cold War, from 1946 to 1990.


BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN: An Argyll’s story of working in the Military Liaison Mission 1979 – 1981

Hugh McLeod’s last two years in the Army were spent in the liaison mission to the Soviet Forces in former East Germany, when the Soviet build-up in Eastern Europe was at its peak.  BRIXMIS was established at the end of WWII as a means of deconflicting the operations of the Allied armies.

It quickly became an invaluable and unique source of intelligence on Soviet military technology, Order of Battle and planning.  Hugh will explain the mission of this exceptional unit, describe some of its operations and draw parallels with Putin’s Russia and its Army. He will extend it for this occasion with three air-oriented operations and some brief thoughts on Putin and his current popular support.


About The Speaker – Hugh McLeod

Hugh served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for fourteen years including four tours of duty in Northern Ireland.  His final appointment, from 1979 to 1981, was as a Liaison Officer in the Military Mission to the Soviet Forces in East Germany (awarded MBE). He had earlier read Russian at Nottingham University and then qualified as an Army interpreter.

He went on to spend 18 years in HM Diplomatic Service, including postings to Islamabad, Accra, Nicosia – where he served as Political Counsellor – and Kosovo. He worked on the FSU, counter-terrorism and the politics and security of the Muslim world.

In 2002 he established his own company providing forward-looking country risk analysis and business intelligence to large companies and governments, focusing on the Islamic world and some other high-risk areas including Russia.  He now plays an advisory role, having retired in September 2014.



Ticket prices are £6 for members, and £12 for non-members. Children under the age of 15 get in free.

As with all our talks, a ticket grants you full access to the rest of the site for the day. So once the talk finishes feel free to enjoy the rest of what Shuttleworth has to offer!