As part of our research into the role Highland women played in the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and also to prepare for forthcoming field trips to France and Serbia, I, with my dog, headed to the Isle Of Skye in the campervan.
On the drive up to Skye I took the opportunity to visit a couple of museums that might be interested in doing an exhibition on the SWH as part of there own local WW1 centenary plans. We should hear more from them in the next few months. I also visited the grave of Mary Drummond in the Appin churchyard, Mary served in Serbia in 1915. There’s more on Mary in the A-Z.
Having never been to Skye before I was instantly impressed by the scale of the landscape. It’s simply breathtaking. At this point in our research we have identified two ladies from Skye . Margaret Nicholson was born in Strolomus where her father had been a crofter. The plan was to locate the house but sadly it’s no longer in existence. Margaret’s details are also on the A-Z.
The next day i had a productive meeting with Lisa Falconer of the West Highland Free Press. Lisa agreed to carry the story of the SWH and in particular the significant contribution made by the women of the islands and the West Highlands. So far we have found around 10 women that came from the area. Her article will go to print in the next week of so.
One of the more interesting activities whist away was filming with Elly Welch from Mac TV. It’s certainly new territory for me!! The hope is to develop a documentary for television on the subject of the SWH. We had to start somewhere and Skye was perfect.
Next up was the impressive Broadford Hotel. Kevin the Manager was happy to welcome us and i explained to him that the purpose of our visit was to highlight the fact that Isobel Ross, who served as a cook with the American Unit in Ostrovo, (at that time part of Macedonia) was born and raised in the Hotel. Her father not only owned the Hotel but developed and sold the first bottle of Drambuie. Isobel, when she was young, would help put the labels on the bottles. For more reading on isobel i suggest getting Little Grey Partridge by Jess Dixon. We are working on doing a presentation on Isobel for the Hotel.
It was not only an enjoyable trip but a fairly fruitful one. It has certainly opened up a few doors for the project and given us some practical experience for the future.