Thursday, 14 August 2008
The Scottish Slate Islands Heritage Centre and Museum
Yesterday I took my father, my wife and two boys for a long drive around Glencoe and Argyll, culminating in a stop at the Isle of Seil, where I have not visited for about four years. On this occasion I managed to spend time in the magnificent Heritage Centre and Museum at Ellenabeich, and I promised Mary Sandilands, one of the volunteers of the Scottish Slate Islands Heritage Trust, that I would give the centre a quick plug!
The islands of Belnahua, Easdale, Luing and Seil are known as the Slate Islands, for obvious reasons - not a thatched cottage in site! The museum at Ellenabeich on the Isle of Seil has a magnificent display of photographs, models and artefacts depicting the life of the slate islanders from the early 19th century to the modern day. However, the centre covers all aspects of life on the islands, and there is a mountain of information there of interest to the genealogist.
The museum is run by the Scottish Slate Islands Heritage Trust, which was established in 1999, the remit of which involves aspects of the modern day to day running and conservation of Seil, as well as the historical, in conjunction with the Seil Community Council and Argyll and Bute Council. Membership of the Trust is by an annual subscription of £20 (£30 for joint membership), for which you will receive a journal twice a year, and there are various activities in which you can participate.
To join, call Membership Secretary Jenny Tarbatt at 01852 300114 or e-mail her at email@example.com .
But even if you don't wish to join, I'd thoroughly recommend a visit not just to the centre, but to Seil and the other islands - one of Scotland's hidden gems!
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