Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Western Isles history talks and boat trips - May

The Islands Book Trust is organising three boat trips for the month of May, each with a talk about the specific location's history.

First up is a trip to the isle of Scarp, departing from Husinish pier on Harris at 10.30am on Saturday 16th May. Calum John Mackay will be giving a talk on the island, which was finally abandoned by its residents in the 1970s. I've actually been to Scarp, having filmed it as part of the first series of the BBC's Coast series, and this is definitely a trip I would recommend! Scarp was the island where the famous rocket mail experiment took place in the 1930s by a German enthusiast called Zucker, but the rocket carrying the mail unfortunately blew up at launch, producing a lot of singed mail. The experiment was in response to the islanders need to improve communications with nearby Harris, following complications which set in with the birth of a set of twins. The first twin was born on the island, but the mother had to be taken to Stornoway with great difficulty for the second to appear the following day - creating the strange situation of two twins born on separate islands and counties on two separate days!

At 10.00am on Saturday 23rd May, there will be an excursion to Rossinish, a deserted township on the isle of Eriskay, whilst on Saturday 30th there will be a boat trip to South Rona, following a talk on Rona at 10.30am by Sine Ghilleasbuig.

For more information, visit

Scotland's Greatest Story
Professional family history research & genealogical problem solving

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