Parts of Staffin’s precious past have been preserved thanks to the involvement of local native Gaelic speakers.
Recordings of several locals recollecting changing times in the north of Skye have now joined a national archive which aims to ensure that generations to come will be able to discover more about not just historic events but the day to day lives of those who came before them.
Staffin Community Trust/Urras an Taobh Sear teamed up with Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o’ Riches to capture the views, memories and thoughts of older members of the community in autumn last year. The result was a range of subjects being discussed in the lively oral recordings which are now available on the SCT’s local history section.
Tobar an Dualchais is a collaborative project which has been set up to preserve, digitise, catalogue and make available online several thousand hours of Gaelic and Scots recordings. The material has been collected from all over Scotland and beyond from the 1930s onwards.
Last year saw SCT hold three events in Kilmartin Restaurant and Staffin Primary School where native speakers discussed subjects such as the number of shops in the district. The author of the children’s classic novel “The Hill of the Red Fox” Allan Campbell McLean, who lived in Staffin, is also recalled as are schools, crofting, the advent of tractors in Trotternish, telegrams and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Donald MacLeod, Culnacnoc; Morag Ross, Clachan, Lachie Gillies, Stenscholl; and Jonathan MacDonald, Kilmuir, are among some of the people who feature in the audio recordings. The event was chaired by SCT’s Donald MacDonald. Thanks also go to Mairead Dhòmhnallach and Eric Cloughley of Tobar an Dualchais for all their work. SCT is hoping to continue these events in its Ceumannan II project http://staffin-trust.co.uk/skyes-eco-museum-ceumannan-ii-2 so that it can preserve the area’s heritage and also work towards establishing a Staffin history society.
To listen to the audio recordings click here: http://staffin-trust.co.uk/staffin-recollections-in-gaelic