Exhibition is a triumph of community spirit
A SLATE Islands exhibition entitled, 200 years of island community: people, history, change and renewal, on the isles of Seil, Easdale and Luing, impressed visitors with its wealth of research at Seil Hall in Ellenabeich over the weekend of October 22-23.
The exhibition, organised by the Scottish Slate Islands Heritage Trust, based in the Ellenabeich Museum, brought together ‘a blitz of research’ gathered by 10 autonomous teams, comprising at least 25 local volunteers.
The trust’s chairman, Michael Shaw, told The Oban Times before the event: ‘ People came into the museum with research but we did not have room in our tiny museum, so we decided to have an exhibition.
‘ The whole project has attracted so much attention in the community. It has pulled everyone together.
‘ I hope it is going to last as a real legacy, and I hope we will have more people interested in our history and create a coherent plan for saving it.’
The researchers’ table displays, which filled the hall, included a survey of the slate industry buildings on Easdale, a history of the gardens at An Cala and a presentation by Luing History Group.
Isobelle Smith of Balvicar exhibited stories of her island family – from her great-grandfather William, an engineer in the slate quarries, through her grandfather Angus, who kept the shop in Balvicar, and her uncle Billie, who ran the island’s bus company, transporting people, newspapers, bacon and even live calves tied up to their necks in bags.
Speaking at the exhibition, Ms Smith said: ‘ It has been very successful. It has stimulated the interest that I hoped it would.
‘ We are going to do this again because so many people are coming with memories.
‘ It is important these things get recorded because it is the social history of the island.’ If you missed the exhibition, The
Oban Times can reveal some of the highlights below.
The Slate Islands exhibition, created by local volunteers, looking at 200 years of island community: people, history, change and renewal on the islands, proved to be extremely popular.