Gaelic unit P6/7 from Sandbank Primary (Bunsgoil Thaigh a’Chladaich) were learning about the history of the Holy Loch area over the past two hundred years. The work was organised by Fiona Lochhead from Kilmun Mausoleum who arranged for a weaver called Fiona MacDougall and a heritage worker called Robin Patel to come in and work with us.
We got a lot of information from the gravestones at Kilmun, including occupations, infant mortality and the gristly work of resurrectionists. We researched famous people connected to Kilmun and the timeline of the Campbell earls & dukes of Argyll (EarraGhaidheal).
Fiona MacDougall did two workshops with us which included:- basket-making, weaving with willow to make a sheep hurdle, making rope from rushes (luacharan) and thatching a medieval house. Robin Patel took us to the archive section of Sandbank library where Eleanor MacKay taught us how to research from books, maps, old pictures & postcards and microfiche. Robin also brought in artefacts from Auchindrain and the Castle House Museum, Dunoon. He left them in school, for us to research on SCRAN, to draw still-lives in art and to write up reports for an exhibition which would be open to the public. Many of the artefacts would have been used by crofting families around the Cowal area, so this work will continue over the next year as we then look at the story of wool and the growing of grain as part of our ongoing Crofting Connections & Local History projects.
We wrote shape poems to compare and contrast old and modern laundrywork. All our work was ready for the public to view at the Burgh Halls in Dunoon on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of March. We recorded Gaelic milking songs on motion sensors, which sprung into action whenever anyone passed that section of the exhibition. Some of the pupils volunteered to become curators and showed people around the exhibition on those days.
We would like to say a great, big thank you to all the people who helped us and also to everyone who attended our exhibition. The topic has made us all appreciate how easy our lives are today, in comparison with our ancestors.