The Long Memories Project aims to promote awareness of the social history of Lochgair village and immediate surrounding villages and farms.  It has mounted two highly successful exhibitions in Lochgair Hall attracting folk from other areas as well as the input of archaeologists and historians.  The current priority is collecting memories of the hall and activities that ran in it in the past; as well as continuing to find out about the lives and experiences of long term residents of the village.

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With two exhibitions so far, themes explored included the fishing industry, the history of buildings in the village, noteworthy boats visiting the loch, the school, the church, local personalities, and of course, the village's role in the war.

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With enthusiastic support for the project, work is underway to prepare the third exhibition which will focus on the daily life of villagers in the years prior to the A83 and the years following the introduction of modern world influences such as the telegraph, and the shift from water transport to road transport.


Glashan, Gair, Power and the Puzzles of the Past.

One theme explored fully in the first two exhibitions was the relationship between the two lochs ‘Glashan’ and ‘Gair’.  This is a story of power - political and electrical - stolen water, and how the timely intervention of locals enabled archaeological discoveries of world wide significance to be made.

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In the early 1960’s the power station was opened sporting an ancient arch set into the roughcast wall.  With a civic award for the few weeks that were allowed for Horace Fairhurst and Jack Scott over two summers to excavate remains of the Loch Glashan Crannog and island settlement, nobody realised that the streams would go dry and that there would be even less low water access as the price to pay for electrical convenience. Of course if it hadn’t been for the desire for electric lights and the gizmos of the 60’s, the archaeology, as yet only partly understood, may never have been uncovered.

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With permission from the authors, Crone and Campbell of ‘A Crannog of the first Millenium’ the exhibition was able to describe the discussions that still rage as to what the true nature of the settlements on Loch Glashan in the 3rd, 6th, and 14th centuries were, and crucially the relationship to the political centre of Dunadd and the commercial centre of Kilmichael.

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Artefacts abound including one that for a while was thought to be a leather smock, now identified as a satchel probably for a religious book. Some of these can be seen in Kelvingrove Gallery and at Kilmartin museum. Others are in storage.  

The exhibition was able to bring all this together with pictures and text retelling a piece of village history that had perhaps been forgotten,  not in the least because of the more than 40 year delay between the dig and the results being published.

Look out for more summaries.