Jenni Minto writes: "Although closed for the winter season, things haven't been quiet at the Museum of Islay Life. In November, Archibald Campbell's saddlers tools came home to Islay. Archibald, and his father, Peter, before him, were the saddlers based in Port Charlotte and after whom Saddlers Brae is named. It is said that not only was Archibald a talented saddler but he was also proficient in extracting decayed teeth from Port Charlotte residents! The tools had been donated to the National Museum of Scotland in the 1970s and were in storage at the Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride. When Archibald's grand-daughters, Gael Roy and Wendy Feist, requested that the tools be returned home to Islay, where they would be on display, their request was granted. The Museum in Port Charlotte is in the process of creating a display of the tools there are over 20 of them alongside photographs of the saddlers at work. It would be wonderful if anyone has a piece of leatherwork or an object crafted by the Campbells which could be loaned to the Museum to be incorporated in the display. Continue reading....
World War I continues to be commemorated and the Museum is looking at the War from Islay's perspective. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Norman Drummond of WWI Scotland visited the Museum in October and were enthralled by the letters, photographs, objects and documents relating to the ‘Tuscania' and ‘Otranto' disasters that the Museum holds in its archive. We are looking at ways in which this important archive can be exhibited in the Museum.
Also, a big ‘thank you' to those of you who have loaned documents and pictures relating to family members who served during the War. During a visit from Port Ellen Primary 7, we were able to use some of these to illustrate how Islay was impacted by the War. A display is being created using these objects to tell the stories of these times. It has been suggested that the Museum should open its doors to Islay people during the closed season. We thought that this was a great idea and so the Museum will be open every Tuesday in February from 1:30 to 4pm, free of charge. We would love to see those of you who have stories to tell, memories to share or who are just interested in taking a walk down memory lane! Also, if you have any objects, photographs or documents that you would like to donate or loan to the Museum, then please bring them along.
The Museum of Islay Life will be open, free of charge, from 1pm to 4:30pm on Tuesdays 3, 10, 17 and 24 February.