The past comes to life

Stornoway museum
Stornoway museum
WESTERN ISLES museums – Museum nan Eilean and the Comainn Eachdraidh are taking part in a project entitled ‘Lewis at War, 1939-1960’, a new oral history initiative which explores the theme of military service from World War II up to 1960.
The project is part of the ‘Their Past Your Future (TPYF) Scotland initiative. Kildonan Museum in South Uist has also announced the launch of its TPYF programme – ‘Proiseact Beinn na Coraraidh’.
Working with pupils from some local schools, the groundbreaking project will collect reminiscences from islanders focusing on island life during the Second World War and the longer lasting impact it had on the community.
Themes range from the experience of war to reminiscences of what life was like on Uist and how the development of the airfield went on to impact on the island in later years.
In Lewis students from the Nicolson Institute are receiving training in producing multimedia recordings of the personal histories of veterans. Combined with film footage, photographs and newspapers cuttings from the period, these recordings will be edited to create a series of fascinating on-line exhibitions, which will be available on the ‘Their Past Your Future’ Scotland website.
Among the memories to be explored and recorded in both Gaelic and English will be service in India, Burma and Africa, bomb disposal on the front line, Lewis servicemen’s participation in major engagements in Europe, and of course the way the war was experienced in the islands.
People with their own memories of the Second World War and conflicts up to 1960 are invited to become part of the project and share their living histories – for Lewis, contact Chrisella Ross, the project officer on: 01851 870400 or 07824 664 225 and for South Uist, contact Mairi MacLeod: 07747 092427. Their Past Your Future Scotland will culminate with the launch of a website in 2010 –
, which will feature some 300 online mini-exhibitions or ‘vignettes’.
The vignettes and related historic objects will be available as a classroom teaching aid via Learning and Teaching Scotland’s new Scottish schools’ intranet, Glow.

Hebrides today brings you news from theWestern isles and Stornoway

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