Shinty Memories group could start in Oban to help people living with dementia

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

There was a three-day shinty exhibition at The Rockfield Centre last weekend which left behind more than just pin-marks in the wall.

The display featured photographs, trophies, sticks, as well as an interactive map that played videos when you scanned it.

The voice of shinty, Hugh Dan MacLennan, launched the exhibition and talked about all things shinty over the Macaulay Cup weekend.

One of the main topics he explored was the ability to help those living with dementia by triggering memories through sports memorabilia and photographs.

He has helped launch the charity Shinty Memories and encouraged The Rockfield Centre to back the project and help launch an Oban branch of the organisation.

Speaking about the project, Mr MacLennan said: ‘There can be few clubs or families who are not aware of people who have to meet the challenges of dealing with dementia.’

Throughout his talk in Oban, he spoke about, and showed videos, of the benefits of people who attend the gatherings.

One of the video clips featured a quote from a woman, whose husband attended a group in Badnoch: ‘A lady said she left a man living with dementia at the meeting and she picked up her husband.’

Other clips were more history related, such as the 1937 Camanachd Cup Final between Oban Celtic and Newtonmore, which was the first cup final to feature numbers of the players’ strips – this was to help commentators identify them.

Other topics covered how many shinty teams there have been in Oban – there have been a lot, such as the Soroba Strollers from the 1920s.

But they all serve as conversation starters and can trigger memories for those living with dementia.

Mr MacLennan added: ‘Oban is such a big part of shinty’s history. Before people start throwing stuff out, let’s gather it all and start using it.

‘I think there should be an Argyll shinty archive in The Rockfield Centre.’

Eleanor MacKinnon, The Rockfield Centre, said the organisation was very much behind the idea of kick-starting a group in Oban.

‘All of this actually sits exactly with what is planned for the building,’ she said.

‘It is the heritage of the town and shinty has always been in about it. We will form a group and we are absolutely delighted to get the additional resource of the memory box.

‘If people are interested in getting involved in the group, get in touch with me on