Luing History Group has its own permanent display space upstairs in the Atlantic Islands Centre. Themed displays are changed at intervals during the year. At any one time several themes will be on display. A separate study area is provided for genealogical and local history research. A small reference library is being built up over time.
Since the official opening of the Atlantic Islands Centre in June 2015, displays have covered a wide range of themes:
- Education in the parish of Kilbrandon and Kilchattan
- The 70th anniversary of VE Day and the Wars
- The Gallipoli hero James Cowan D.C.M. with some material contributed by his great-niece and nephew, who visited Luing at that time
- Leisure activities on Luing: Flower Shows, football teams, drama groups, food
- The Fladda lighthouse and stories of the Attendant Boatmen, and Cuan ferry
- The Mòd, including photographs of the 4 Luing Mòd Gold Medallists and choirs
- Achafolla Mill
- Slate quarrying on Luing
- Farming on Luing, to accompany the 50th Anniversary of the Luing cattle breed
- Holy Isle in the Garvellachs and its early Christian monastery
- Luing and the Battle of the Somme
- The 1936 shipwreck of Helena Faulbaums and Luing’s Latvian connection
- Boats of Luing: Past and Present
- Ballycastle and Leccamore hill forts, Ballachuan deserted settlement
- The Churches of Luing, including Kilchattan chapel and its Medieval boat graffiti
- Life as a Breadalbane tenant
Fascinating recent additions to the archives include: a 1930 photo album and drawing belonging to a trainee Minister at the Cullipool Episcopal Church, Merricks Arnott; a sgrioban, a long copper rod used to clear a failed fuse during slate quarrying; and a large collection of bottles from around the island.
We often have visits by descendants of past islanders keen to see photos of their relatives and find out about their lives. Their many questions about their ancestors and their homes keep us on our toes, but the comments in our visitors’ book are full of praise for the Centre and our exhibitions.
Scottish Government Transport and the Islands Minister Humza Yousaf admires Luing History Group photograph of steamer travel to the old Luing Pier during his visit to the Atlantic Islands Centre, July 2016.
Events and Activities
The History Group organises various events during the year. During 2017 and 2018 we have had talks about Achafolla Mill, reconstructing a slate bogie (on display outside the Centre) and new archaeological discoveries on Luing. We’ve organised four informative and entertaining ‘Show and Tell’ evenings, at which people bring photos, documents or objects relating to Luing’s history and people. Posters about forthcoming events can be found at the Centre and on the community noticeboards around the island.
A major activity since 2017 has been an archaeological walkover survey of the island organised by Dugald MacInnes and his group of ACFA archaeologists. In the company of islanders and often in cold and wet weather, they have carefully walked the whole of Luing, recording all archaeological features visible on the ground surface. The survey has already added significantly to our knowledge of the island’s archaeology, with some very exciting discoveries. The survey also involves transcription of historical documents, notably from the Breadalbane Muniments, and detailed drawing of some of the most important sites. A full report will be available during 2018/19.
New members are always welcome to join the Luing History Group, and we are delighted to receive information or material relating to the history of Luing and its neighbouring islands. Please contact us by email at email@example.com.