Seil exhibition 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.
Architect Helen Glennie from Seil researched each life and story behind all the names inscribed on the Slate Islands’ war memorial, which commemorates local soldiers from Kilbrandon Parish who died during the First and Second World Wars.
‘This has taken me two years,’ said Helen.
‘Thirty-nine men lost their lives in the First World War: 20 per cent of the eligible young men. In a small community, 39 is an awful lot.
‘Most of the men who died in the Somme have no known graves. I numbered them all one to 39 and put in all the information I could find. I’ve just been researching as much as I can.’
Ron Hetherington had an idea to complete the display with a model of a trench from the Battle of the Somme, to mark its centenary in 2016.
Three island men – Alan Coutts, George Houston and Bill Clark – set to work constructing the trench, complete with hessian sandbags stuffed with polystyrene, silver spray-painted cardboard as corrugated iron, littered with spent shells, bully beef tins, cigarette playing cards and a fluffy toy rat.
Ron Hetherington and Helen Glennie at the Seil war memorial exhibition.