Results of an academic study ‘Ancestral tourism & heritage work in a Hebridean island’ conducted by Joanna Rodgers, UHI, on Tiree in 2015-2018. From the book ‘Creating Heritage – unrecognised pasts and rejected futures’, Routledge 2020.
Abstract Roots-seeking travel is an increasingly popular activity around the world, and such visitors are particularly ubiquitous in Scotland. As a heritage practice, this ‘ancestral tourism’ has been predominantly interpreted in terms of its national or regional significance, with previous research focusing largely on ancestral tourists in the context of official heritage institutions or commercial tourism events. The distinctive contexts of ancestral tourism destinations at the local scale are rarely attended to on their own terms and residents’ perspectives have received little attention. Consequently, the practices and meanings connected to this form of tourism are only partially understood: the “heritage work” (Byrne, 2008; Harrison, 2010) of both residents and visitors in quotidian, unofficial spaces remains unexamined. Drawing on 18 months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in the island of Tiree, this chapter addresses these gaps and explores the heritages connected to ancestral tourism “from below” (Robertson, 2012).
A digital photocopy of the full text is available from An Iodhlann.
Fabric-covered book ‘Seeing London with my Young Friends’ by Charles A Puncker, published in around 1930. On the inside front page is handwritten ‘Presented to Archie Jonston for Attendance Ruaig Sunday School, March 1945’. Archie’s family were from Ruaig, and he was evacuated to Ruaig from Rochester, Kent, during WWII.
Local news: Agricultural Show results; Tiree Regatta results; Tiree architecture exhibition report; Feis Thiriodh 2009 report; request for new members of Tiree Rural Development; An Iodhlann’s article ‘Sheaves from the Stackyard’ about schools and staff; new recycling and refuse collection scheme – Tiree Environment and Recycling (TEAR); poem about Tiree by Joseph Thompson; news about the ferry service’s Road Equivalent Tariff (RET); PC Danny Lapsley receives Queen’s Police Medal at Holyrood; Stramash dinghy sailing courses schedule; notice about start of groundworks for the community turbine; RSPB news; new leaflet for responsible visitors; community Powerdown information about low-energy light bulbs; QMS Scottish Sheep Strategy Group open night and demonstration at Heylipol Farm; Mull Theatre play.
Local news: report on the meeting to discuss the Crofters’ Reform Bill; article about Skerryvore’s debut at ‘T in the Park’; forthcoming launch of Skippinish’s live album; Michael Holliday’s article promoting a public event exhibiting Tiree building design; interview with Operations Director of Atlantic Edge Hotels which now runs both the Scarinish and Lodge hotels; opening of new guest house ‘Rockvale’ at Balephetrish; letters to the editor about a visitor’s perspective of island culture, Angus MacPhail’s interview for the Oban Times, and a drunk driving incident; invitation from Strathclyde Police for potential Special Constables to come forward; Job Centre visit to Tiree; RSPB news; corncrake in the office; article by Alan Reid MP; community Powerdown home energy check; responsible access to Tiree’s beaches; conserving water supplies; Tiree Regatta advertisement.
Local news: Tiree Community Development’s Open Day challenges; island weddings (Sian & Adam Milne, Lisa & Ali, Eilidh & Martin Hendry); visit by Waverley Paddle Steamer; A&B councillor’s ‘CalMac chaos?’; TRD’s new Powerdown Officer, Frances Woodhead; Tiree Open golf competition; An Iodhlann’s ‘Sheaves from the Stackyard’; letters to the editor – fire service, inconsiderate road users; Community Powerdown project; reporter’s notes about lunch with Ian and Patricia Sharp, Tiree is no. 2 in Lonely Planet Guide; Tiree High School parent council; promotion of Gaelic language; SWRI news; an evening of Gaelic drama; Duncan MacLean’s invitation to the Queen’s garden party; Tiree Pipe Band play at 10K; John Bowler’s RSPB news; Tiree Agricultural Show preparations.
Local news: Tiree’s voluntary firefighters; Tiree 10K success; blind art exhibition to raise funds for Baugh Church re-development; Windsurfing club swim clinic; vacancy for Tiree Ranger/Access Officer; new prescription forms from Baugh surgery; acknowledgment of Prof. Donald Meek; dinghy sailing course; visit by/to Spirit of Adventure cruise ship; reporter’s notes about the exasperation of locals to visitors’ careless driving; notice of public consultation for draft Crofting Reform Bill; composting tips; letter responding to a criticism of the ‘Cows for Africa’ sponsorship drive; request for helpers for An Talla.
Local news: article about whether Tiree’s health service is prepared for an outbreak of Swine Flu; Gordon Scott’s ‘Himalayan Odyssey’; An Iodhlann’s ‘Sheaves from the Stackyard’; cruise ship visit to Tiree; Alec MacLean’s poem ‘Na Muileann Gaoithe‘; Tiree 10K; reporter’s notes about Ian Sharp’s continuing illness and a light aircraft belonging to a Belgian couple who have bought a house on the island; SWRI news; fundraising for the Pre-5 school garden; advert for an Agri-plastic recycling service; A&B councillor’s report on the condition of Argyll’s roads; John Bowler’s RSPB news; AGM of Tiree Community Development Trust.
Black and white photograph of two visiting brothers, Richard and Paul Noble, standing outside a black-roofed house in 1969, and their story about their efforts to revisit the house in 2018, believing it to have belonged to Mrs Mary Flora Chicken, in whose house they stayed.
The Scots Magazine, June 1965, with an article about Tiree and its people ‘Island of Prosperous Crofters’ by Campbell K Finlay. Includes photographs of Scarinish Harbour: A D Brown, Tobermory (merchant to Tiree); Margaret Brown, Vaul; Malcolm M MacLean, Salum; A H MacPhail, Clachan; A G H Bruton, Lodge Hotel; Travee; coastal cliffs; croft house, Scarinish; Parkhouse, Balephetrish; L J MacFadyen, Kenovay; J L MacInnes, Salum; W MacPhee, gamekeeper; Balephetrish road. Also mentioned in text: Walter Hume, the Reef & An Fhaodhail, primary schools, boarded-out children, island house, sheep, bulb-growing, cottars, income, crofters’ war, snipe shooting, tourism, fishing.