Community encouraged to participate in special Staffin Crofters Memorial event

RESIDENTS in Staffin and the wider Trotternish peninsula are warmly invited to view proposals for the long-awaited Staffin Crofters’ Memorial this week.

The idea for a lasting memorial to the crofters who took a stand against the landlord in the Taobh Sear was suggested at the very first meeting of the Staffin Community Trust (SCT) way back in the mid-1990s. Similar crofter-led revolts took place in Braes and Glendale and are marked by permanent memorials. It was strongly felt that something needed to be done by the community to honour the actions of the crofters in Staffin, as it was their determination and actions in the 1880s which saw new legislation introduced to provide the security of tenure that their descendants who are working the same land enjoy to this day.

Stenscholl haymaking.

Thanks to Creative Scotland funding SCT has been working in partnership with Skye’s ATLAS Arts to research ideas and invited artists to come up with proposals which are linked to the historical struggle of the crofters in Staffin. Sculptor Henry Castle and Tom Smith of the design collective Lateral North have been working on ideas for the project and have spent time meeting local people, visiting key sites and researching material at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre since they were appointed last year.

Henry and Tom, ATLAS and SCT are holding a week-long exhibition from 10am to 6pm in Staffin Hall Monday to Friday, March 5-9, and are keen to meet as many local people or visitors as possible. Staffin and Kilmuir primary school pupils will also be taking part in the public event.

SCT chairman Sandy Ogilvie said: “The Staffin Community Trust considers a fitting memorial to the Crofters’ Uprising to be of major importance to the community. This partnership with Atlas Arts has brought about a real opportunity to deliver a contemporary and relevant memorial and the trust is encouraged by what they have seen so far from Lateral North and Henry Castle. SCT is confident that both artists have engaged positively with the community to get the memorial to this stage and we are looking forward to getting more input and feedback from the community on the ideas proposed.”

More of the background on the crofters’ story from SCT director Sine Gillespie, here:

Further details on the ATLAS website, here: