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Bliadhna mhath ur! Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song)

We’re starting the new year with plans for a new exciting project to use the archives to inspire new music, song, drama and writing – read on!

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) will be an island-wide creative project bringing together Tiree artists with the local community, children, young people, and the Tiree diaspora. The project will explore seven stories from Tiree, each of which is associated with a specific place on the island, a feature in the landscape and events from Tiree’s past, both historical and mythological. The stories will be the inspiration for Tiree artists to create new music, song and film, and for the community and young people to create new writing, theatrical work and textile pieces. Each creative response will stand alone and become part of a community performance which will weave together the artists’ work with a dramatic retelling of the stories. The performance will be developed by a creative theatre practitioner in collaboration with the other artists, young people and the community. Additionally, the new writing, music, song and film created during the project will be published in printed and online formats, and the textile pieces created will be put on display in Tiree’s community and heritage centres. Additional workshops, exhibits and installations will encourage participation in artistic, creative and historical activities for all ages.

We are currently seeking funds to enable this project to go ahead, and have confirmed support from the Friends of the Argyll Papers, the Tiree Windfall Fund, Argyll Estates, Tiree and Coll Gaelic Partnership and Feis Thiriodh. Get in touch if you can assist!


The Tiree Mermaid, 1812 (ref. PFV65/88)

At Tiry House in the Island of Tiry the Eleventh day of August one thousand Eight hundred and twelve. In presence of James Maxwell Esquire one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County of Argyll.

Compeared Colin MacNiven Tacksman of Grianal in the island of Tiry who being solemnly sworn Depones that one day in the beginning of Harvest about Eighteen years ago two little girls who had been walking about the shores of his farm which is situated on the Western extremity of the Island of Tiry came to him the Deponent and informed him that there was an human body cast upon the Beach that a Brother of the Deponent having been drowned a short time before this period he hastened to the Shore to examine the body. There he and some of his servants who were alongst with him in the belief that it was a human body raised it from amongst the Sand, and then perceived that down from the middle it was formed like a Fish – that it was in a very putrid state, and from having been tossed and chaffed amongst the Rocks and sand the surface skin was almost entirely rubbed off, that the upper part of the Body had a perfect resemblance to the human form. That the head was about the size of that of a Lad of twelve or fourteen years of age, the features of the face very much resembling those of a Negroe; the Ears small and flat like the Human Ear that the chin was short and projected but very little beyond the line of the neck. Depones that the arms appeared to be about fourteen inches long formed in all respects like the Human arm, and ending in hands like the human hand with fingers and nails like those of a man except that the fingers were all joined together by a membrane. That its intestines were torn out and the Deponent could not observe whether there had been any sexual distinction. Depones that the extreme length of the animal appeared to him to have been fully five feet and from about the middle downwards was formed like a fish. That at the point where the human form described divided in to that of a fish there were two broad lateral fins, and that the tail was forked like that of a Mackeral but placed flat or horizontally. Depones that there was a small part of the skin remaining entire near to the tail which resembled the skin of a porpoise and was perfectly free of hair.

Depones that from the close resemblance which the upper part of the animal bore to the human form, he the Deponent and his servants did not like to see it exposed to injury or torn by dogs, and they therefore put it upon an hand barrow, and carried it to a sand bank where they dug a hole for it and buried it. That they raised ane head and foot stone, and threw some loose stones and sand over it to protect the body and mark the place of a grave. Depones that a Grave in a sandbank near to his, the Deponents House which he has shown to the Magistrate before when the deposition is emitted, and which has been opened in his presence and in the presence of his son Doctor Neil Maxwell is the same in which the Deponent and his servants deposited the body of the animal above described and that the remains of a skeleton found therein are its remains all which is truth as he shall answer to God.

The above deposition was emitted and the grave therein mentioned was opened in presence of us.

[signed]           Ja[mes]. Maxwell J.P.

Neil Maxwell M.D.

This document was transcribed by Linda Fryer, volunteer, and illustrated by Pamela Campbell Bickford, Friend.


Event 2

This again would be an event listing noting the date and time and place of the event along with a short description.


Doors Open Day at the Archive
September 2015: The Argyll Papers, Cherry Park, Inveraray

This would be an event listing where you would describe the event to take place and then list the location date and time.