An Iodhlann’s building is enjoying a fresh new look. The whole exterior has been stripped of its salt-spray, lichen growth and peeling paint, and re-painted in its traditional livery. With the addition of new signs, flags and bench, the building looks more ‘alive’ and welcoming, and we are already seeing an increase in the number of visitors. In May alone, there were almost twice as many visitors as in May 2017.
The bench is a lovely addition and is being much used. It was donated by the family of the late Mairi Campbell who was heavily involved with An Iodhlann, and whose expert knowledge of the island is very much missed. Since the above photo was taken, a memorial plaque has been attached to the bench.
After over two years of planning, fundraising and preparation, An Iodhlann’s new exhibition at the Airport is now complete and is looking great. There is a display about the history of the airport in the Arrivals lounge and one about emigration in Departures. An Iodhlann is grateful to John MacCaskill and staff at the airport for providing and preparing the spaces, and to the Tiree Trust for providing Windfall funding.
Scanned copy of a Christmas card posted from RAF Tiree to Wales in 1944. It reads “From daddie with love to little Heddus [who was born only 8 weeks previously] and Mum”. The poem in Welsh translates roughly as “With hope that your Chirstmas will be full of song / To snow, or not to snow, may your world be purely white”. LAC John Roberts was stationed on Tiree in 1944-45.
The excavation of the mound at Kirkapol has been completed and the ground returned to its previous state. Many Tiree residents and visitors joined the professional archaeologists in the dig, and they made some wonderful findings. Dr John Holliday has written a short report on the excavation for An Iodhlann’s website. You can read it here.
What will we find? September sees an exciting community archaeological dig at Cnoc an Fhuamhaire ‘the hillock of the giant’ in Kirkapol. Rather than being a giant’s grave, however, archaeologists think that it might be a Viking boat grave. These are very rare in Scotland, and if proven to be true, would be a significant find.
An Iodhlann has put together a project to investigate the mound from 2-16 September 2017. Led by archaeologists Dr Heather James and Dr Colleen Batey, the project will include a geophysics survey of the area followed by a careful dig. This will be a community project, and anyone prepared to give up part of a day or a week will be welcome, and given training in excavation. Or you could just come and have a look. The school will also be involved. If you’d like to help out, contact Dr John Holliday (01879 220385 ; ).
The project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (£10,000), the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (£2,000), An Iodhlann (£1,500) and the Tiree Community Windfall Fund (£500). An Iodhlann is also grateful to Fiona MacKinnon and Argyll estates for permission to dig their land.