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…and it’s goodnight from him…

Well, this evening saw the final project meeting of the two project managers and myself, nearly three-and-a-half months after the intended end of what was originally to have been a seven-month long project!

So, this is the final entry on this blog but you can follow future progress via the historical society’s own website.

I’d just like to once again thank everyone who has been involved in the project, and to dedicate this work to the three men from Berneray whose pioneering work we have continued to build upon: John Ferguson, Donald MacKillop and Archie Dix.

Peter 12/12/2013

Volunteer Training Session

Today a couple of hours were spent equipping Comunn Eachdraidh Bheàrnaraigh volunteers with the knowledge and skills to inform visitors to the Nurse’s Cottage about the project itself, and about the place name walks.

Our six volunteers were each provided with a copy of the project pack and presentations were made regarding the historical background to the project and the content of the packs.

Thank you to those who attended this very enjoyable and productive session, and to the Lobster Pot Tearoom who provided us with an excellent light lunch.

Celebration Cèilidh

Our community event in Berneray Community Hall on Saturday 30 November attracted over forty people who were entertained by an excellent array of talented local musicians and singers, enjoyed a delicious Berneray buffet, and then ended the evening on their feet performing a wide selection of traditional dances.

Everyone appeared to have a thoroughly good time and it was particularly nice to have a social event as we count down towards the winter solstice –here in latitude 57N the sun set at a quarter-to-four yesterday!

We would like to thank everyone involved with the cèilidh, especially our musical performers and our caterers, but most of all to thank everyone for attending a very successful celebration of the completion of this project.

September’s Update

This is likely to be the penultimate update from the project because it is drawing to a close at the end of the month. Meanwhile, it seems someone has been trying our latest walk!

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As with any project there are many strands to pull-together and these have expanded slightly with the addition of us developing a brand new stand-alone website for the historical society. 

This will be online quite soon – so long as we don’t have too many more interruptions to our island internet connection, that is! On the subject of interruptions, there was no update for last month because I was on holiday for the majority of the middle of August. 

We had reached the situation where a second trail had been developed, and the booklet successfully trialled, when it was decided that we would adopt a totally different format to present the walks. So a large leaflet is currently being designed. It will have a different walk on each side and will be available in a pack containing the book, The Place Names of Berneray, and an accompanying DVD. 

These will be available following a celebration launch event to be held in late October – further details will be announced here very soon!

May’s Update – in mid-June!

So, here we are embarking on the second-half of June and my May update is only now appearing. It isn’t only the plants and animals that have suffered delays from our long, cold Spring this year! 

Various aspects of the project were addressed in a series of meetings held over the course of May (and early June) resulting in the production an improved Action Plan. A combination of questions regarding several aspects of technologies, and the weather quite literally putting a dampener on things, has led to us focussing upon producing three printed island trails and training volunteers in helping visitors, and others, to follow them.

We considered various options regarding format, layout etc., before deciding to keep things relatively simple with the emphasis upon clarity and ease of use. I looked at many publications of a similar nature before deciding to keep things simple. Each trail will be an A5 (folded A4) leaflet of two or three leaves printed in colour with sufficient information to make the trail enjoyable but also to whet the appetite for further knowledge.

A very pleasant evening spent in excellent company produced some new, previously unrecorded, information which is a vital part of the project and I hope for more of the same during the weeks that lie ahead!

More to follow at the end of June…

April’s Update

The month began well with fieldwork to establish the first trial trail in the south of the island, focussing particularly on the old settlement of Siabaidh which had been buried by a sandstorm in 1697, repopulated in the 18thC and then Cleared in 1853.

A new resource, pastmap.org.uk , was published by RCAHMS towards the end of the month and the potential for integration of it into our project is under exploration.

On Saturday 27 April the Stornoway Gàidhlig publisher, Acair, launched ‘Òrain Eachainn MhicFhionghain – Bàrd Bheàrnaraigh’ , a collection of some of the songs of Hector MacKinnon,in Berneray Community Hall adn organised by Berneray historical Society so we took the opportunity to have a small display updating people on progress with the project.