It’s difficult to believe that we are coming to the end of our initial 4-year study period in fair Dumfries and Galloway. We’ll be continuing to support initiatives, such as fieldwork collecting, as well as individual projects, for example our collaboration with Moat Brae, for some time to come. And our super colleague, Alison Burgess, will co-ordinate and facilitate ongoing activities so we’re looking forward to seeing how this Study will continue and develop into the future. We are all excited to see, for example, how the fieldwork recordings might be used by school groups, researchers, artists, community groups and individuals to explore our shared history and also, perhaps, inspire new work.
This move from one phase of the project to the next provides a great opportunity for us to reflect on the project so far and over the coming weeks we’ll be posting blogs from some of the many people who have contributed to our work together. On the spoken word side of the project over 300 fieldwork recordings have been made by 49 volunteer fieldworkers, covering subjects as diverse as experiencing Armistice Day as a small child to the challenges facing rural communities in the 21st century. On the written side one of many highlights for me has been the publication of The Pocket-books of a Dumfriesshire Drover, edited by Willie Waugh, which can be read online http://www.dumfriesandgalloway.hss.ed.ac.uk/written-word/ If you were at the Castle Douglas study gathering last November then I’m sure you will have enjoyed Willie Waugh’s talk about the family source material which led to this publication.
The first Regional Flashback, based on the recordings made between 1999 and 2016 by The Stranraer and District Local History Trust, is now at the final proof stage with publication expected early summer 2017. Trust members Christine and Eric Wilson, Donny Nelson and Nancy McLucas have been tremendously supportive during the preparation of this Flashback and we shall all be raising a glass when the copies arrive from the printers.
If you’ve been involved in the Study and would like to write a piece for the blog, then please do get in touch with me at Caroline.firstname.lastname@example.org There’s so much to discuss and to celebrate about the past four years, and the blog is a great space to do this. The next blog post will be from Sheila Findlay, who reflects on the perils and perks of transcribing.