The Nisich are coming… Staffin to welcome history society stalwarts

TWO members of a well-established historical society in the Western Isles will be in Staffin next month to deliver a talk on the organisation’s impact on their community.

Annie MacSween and Joan MacKay from the Ness district of Lewis will be in Staffin next month to deliver a talk on their community’s historical society, which was established more than 40 years ago.

Staffin Community Trust’s Skye Ecomuseum project has funding in place to support the creation of a historical society for Staffin. Ecomuseum manager Angus Murray organised the event to illustrate to local residents the opportunities, enjoyment and benefits from recording local history.

Annie MacSween.

Annie MacSween and Joan MacKay from Comunn Eachdraidh Nis will talk about how they went about establishing their historical society in 1978 into what is now one of the biggest employers in the north of Lewis. There is now a community archive in Ness, regular exhibitions and social events. These range from covering topics from local football, researching family trees, crofting etc.

The ecomuseum’s events programme includes the Health Walks. Next Wednesday, May 15th from Loch Langaig, Flodigarry. The Staffin Health walks are now twice a month. The first successful walk of the summer season was on the new path between Grealin and Lealt at the end of April. There will also be a walk on the last Wednesday in May. This will be promoted to the SCT membership via e-mails, on the SCT website and on the Staffin community Facebook page. Phone Angus on 01470 562464 for more details.

Portree High School art students will be attending a workshop with Ellis O’Connor, a visiting landscape artist from North Uist, in early June. The pupils will be painting the landscape of the Quiraing.

There is ongoing work with local volunteers and the RSPB. There are coastal surveys being carried out of the nesting birds.

Pupils from Bun Sgoil Chille Mhoire and Sgoil Stafainn visited Brothers’ Point last week to learn about the research and work going on there into the dinosaur footprints. Students met the Edinburgh University team that discovered the dinosaur footprints there and got a guided tour to discover the types of dinosaur that once roamed Staffin.

School pupils on their way to Brothers’ Point.

There was a storytelling event at Loch Shianta about Latha Buidhe Bealltainn/May day last Saturday and the travellers’ traditions. The visiting storytellers were Jess Smith, a renowned traveller, author and storyteller and Ceit Langhorne, Gaelic storyteller and singer.

Meanwhile, SCT has had improvements carried out at the Lealt Viewing Platform and car park area. A crash barrier to improve safety for motorists has been installed by local contractor Brian Irving.

This was in response to safety concerns in winter when vehicles were driving up the road to the upper car park and slipping back on the ice. Picnic tables have also been installed, picture above, on the floor of the old diatomite building in the upper car park, drainage has been improved, accesses to the path improved and fencing improvements.