PRESS RELEASE: Heritage Lottery Funding in Perthshire and the West Highlands, October 2016

Grace Notes Scotland LogoLogo of Heritage Lottery FundsA project to encourage  sustainability of land-use, language and culture in rural communities wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Perthshire charity Grace Notes Scotland has received £53,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an inspiring project to digitise the unpublished journals of the late Eric R. Cregeen, the visionary social historian and founding member of the Scottish Oral History Group. The Cregeen Journals consist of more than 2,000 hand-written pages in 23 notebooks, as well as manuscripts and photographs, which will be digested to create a searchable archive.

A team of subject specialists will collaborate on the project and will hold workshops and events in seven communities central to Cregeen’s work. People will be invited to engage with the journals to learn more about traditions that help sustain the economy, heritage and language of their communities. The project will also train 140 volunteers in oral history and manuscript skills, and will encourage them to make new recordings in their communities, to add to those recorded by Eric Cregeen and archived at the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh.

As Grace Notes Scotland is a charity that works with young people to help them to learn  through tradition, the project team will operate in partnership with Crofting Connections to reach schools in the crofting counties of Argyll, Highland and the Western Isles. The Cregeen journals will be used to inspire both Gaelic and English pupils, enriching their rural skills as well as traditional knowledge of local history, language and culture.  The collaboration will help teachers meet the aims of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence and will raise awareness of the importance of “Sustainability of land-use, language and culture in rural communities.”  Selections of Cregeen’s photos  and journals will also be on display at exhibitions in these communities as well as at the National Library of Scotland.

Commenting on the award, Grace Notes Scotland’s Secretary Liz Elkind said: “We’re delighted that Heritage Lottery has given their support to the project which will not only recognise Cregeen for his outstanding work but will also benefit such a wide range of people. As there’s an ever-increasing need for skills to sustain land-use, language and culture, digitising the Cregeen journals will provide world-wide access to a fantastic resource. We are also pleased to collaborate with Crofting Connections and very grateful for additional funding from Grimsay Community Association, North Uist and the Community Interest Company in Crieff, Grace Note Publications.

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Saving our historic archives has never been more important. They provide such a valuable resource for anyone who wants to delve into their past. Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to support projects such as Grace Notes Scotland that is bursting with information about what life was like and how that has shaped who we are today.”

ENDS

Open Position: Oral History Project Administrator & Assistant - Application Closing Date: 30/11/16

We are seeking to an enthusiastic part-time administrator for a Heritage Lottery funded project in Oral History.
Applicants must be able to work flexible hours, and should have good IT skills, with experience in office and project administration. An interest in oral history is essential, as is the ability to engage with the project team, local history groups, volunteers, publicity contacts and the general public.
Funding for the part-time post is £10,500, approx. 18 hours per week, and will last until March 2018.
Applicants should email to express interest and should send a brief CV.

Application Closing Date: 30/11/16
Contact Telephone: 07786 964 300
Contact Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

URL: http://www.gracenotescotland.org

 

 

 

Nell Hannah: Aye Singing an Spinning Yarns by Margaret Bennett and Doris Rougvie review by Donald Smith

9781907676406Aye Singin an Spinnin Yarns is a distillation of the life and crack of Nell Hannah who was brought up in Turriff but spent much of her working life at the Stanley Mill in Perthshire. Nell is in conversation with Margaret Bennett and Doris Rougvie as she maintains an invincible love of life through hardwork and some times hardship. A big-hearted and humorous lady!

Book Blethers by Donald Smith @ The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

 

Gannochy 1  gnslogoNew01  HLFHI RGB

Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage:‘They Taught Us Skills For Life - We Are The Engineers!

By Paul McCabe - Fife Free Press -July2, 2015

A new book has been released which chronicles an important, but almost forgotten, part of Kirkcaldy’s industrial heritage.

 

Called ‘They Taught Us Skills For Life - We Are The Engineers!’ the book tells the story of the former Melville-Brodie Engineering Company in the words of the workers themselves.

 

It was the brainchild of the Retired Melville-Brodie Club which was formed by two former employees,

Dougie Reid and Willie Black, in 2009, and who have been working on the book ever since.

 

The club, which unveiled a memorial on the site of the former works on the corner of Maltings Road and Junction Road last year, contacted writer and historian Margaret Bennet [End of the Shift] to help put the project together. She found writing the book “exhilarating and exciting”.

 

She said: “I have an interest because my dad was an engineer, so when Dougie got in touch with me we hit it off because I was tuned in to this sort of thing having grown up with it. I think the engineers’ history has been neglected.

 

“The whole world knows about Kirkcaldy’s history with linoleum, but has anybody ever given credit to the guys who not only made the machinery that maintained it but actually designed it? Melville-Brodie was just amazing.

 

“Kirkcaldy alone could hold its own with any engineering city in the world.”

 

Dougie said that the book, released on Grace Note Publications with a foreword from Gordon Brown, is the second part of a trilogy of projects which began with the memorial and will end with the creation of a website which will be ready by the end of July.

 

“We couldn’t ever have imagined ourselves achieving it all,” he said.

 

“We thought the book might be around 50 pages but it’s three times longer!

 

“We’ll be sending out a copy to all schools across Fife too.”

 

Dougie said that the club was an ongoing project, adding: “Willie and I are now offering our services to any schools and colleges who would like us to come along and talk to them.

 

‘‘We’ve already met with the engineering students at Fife College and had a great day.

 

“This has all come together at the right time and I’m really pleased.”

 

Exhibtion and book launched by author Margaret Bennett,  John Greig, William Black, Ron Fleming, Dougie Reid and Councillor Kay Carrington.


 

 A Grace Notes Scotland Project

This book has grown out of an oral history project, ‘The End of the Shift’, which aims to record the working practices and conditions of skilled workers in Scotland’s past industries. Publicity about the project caught the interest of a group of retired engineers, who had all served apprenticeships with a prestigious Kirkcaldy firm, Melville-Brodie Engineering Company. Having lived through times when Scotland seemed blighted by industrial closures, the engineers could identify with ‘The End of the Shift’ as they had experienced the effect of closing down Melville-Brodie Engineering Company. The entire workforce was dispersed, and with it, the skills, expertise and wisdom of generations. Kirkcaldy also lost a company that had been the pride of Scottish engineering.

Conserving the oral history of this specialised area of industry is part of a Grace Notes Scotland project, ‘The End of the Shift’, which records the experiences of workers in past industries of Perthshire and Fife. The wider project includes mines, mills, dye-works, bleachworks, and other factories, and is jointly funded by Heritage Lottery and the Gannochy Trust. On behalf of all who have taken part, Grace Notes Scotland accords sincere thanks to our sponsors for supporting a project that not only benefits a wide number of people but will also leave a lasting legacy to Scotland.

                                                                               

One of Perthshire’s most celebrated traditional singers: Nell Hannah

One of Perthshire’s most celebrated traditional singers, Nell Hannah, has died at the age of 93.

She was active to the last, releasing her fifth album at the age of 90 and earlier this year publishing her autobiography.

Born in Turriff in 1920, Mrs Hannah moved to Perthshire with her family during the war, where with her mother and sister she worked at Stanley Mills.

The naval career of husband George (Harry) took the family to England, with many years spent in Lowestoft, but they returned north in the 1960s.

Mrs Hannah trained as a nurse at Stracathro and went on to be a psychiatric nurse at Murthly Hospital and Perth’s Murray Royal until her retirement.

It was only then that she was able to indulge her passion for music and singing.

Her son Phil recalled that a teacher at Turriff once told her she “couldn’t sing for toffee”, but said her family always knew her to have a wonderful voice.

It was not until she was 69 that her musical talent became acknowledged outside her circle of family and friends.

Recognition came swiftly after she attended a music festival with a friend who was visiting from America.

They persuaded her to enter a competition that she went on to win so impressively that Grampian television invited her to film a programme for them. Work with the BBC soon followed.

Over the years she became a respected figure in the Scottish traditional music scene, singing at festivals, concerts and charity events.

There were also five albums, the first produced on cassette when she was 70 and the last recorded and released three years ago.

Her biography, Aye Singin’ An Spinnin’ Yarns, produced with Margaret Bennett and long-time friend Doris Rougvie, was published in September.

Mrs Hannah is survived by her children Thyrza, Phil, Robert and John, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

She was active to the last, releasing her fifth album at the age of 90 and earlier this year publishing her autobiography.

Born in Turriff in 1920, Mrs Hannah moved to Perthshire with her family during the war, where with her mother and sister she worked at Stanley Mills.

The naval career of husband George (Harry) took the family to England, with many years spent in Lowestoft, but they returned north in the 1960s.

Mrs Hannah trained as a nurse at Stracathro and went on to be a psychiatric nurse at Murthly Hospital and Perth’s Murray Royal until her retirement.

It was only then that she was able to indulge her passion for music and singing.

Her son Phil recalled that a teacher at Turriff once told her she “couldn’t sing for toffee”, but said her family always knew her to have a wonderful voice.

It was not until she was 69 that her musical talent became acknowledged outside her circle of family and friends.

Recognition came swiftly after she attended a music festival with a friend who was visiting from America.

They persuaded her to enter a competition that she went on to win so impressively that Grampian television invited her to film a programme for them. Work with the BBC soon followed.

Over the years she became a respected figure in the Scottish traditional music scene, singing at festivals, concerts and charity events.

There were also five albums, the first produced on cassette when she was 70 and the last recorded and released three years ago.

Her biography, Aye Singin’ An Spinnin’ Yarns, produced with Margaret Bennett and long-time friend Doris Rougvie, was published in September.

Mrs Hannah is survived by her children Thyrza, Phil, Robert and John, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

THE COURIER.CO.UK 11 December 2013 5.15pm