Islanders launch story search for old Kerrera

Islanders on Kerrera are looking for stories to share about their heritage.

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Islanders on Kerrera are looking for stories to share about their heritage.

A call has gone out to help them collect tales, photographs and artefacts to piece together its past.

There are plans to eventually gather all the stories and contributions either in an exhibition or a book.

Whether it is the chance to chat with people who have links to Kerrera’s past or to take guardianship over interesting items of old from the island, organisers behind the appeal want to hear all about it.

‘We know there’s lots of folk out there with a connection to Kerrera. Please help us to gather stories and if you have any nuggets of info, old photos or just suggestions of where to look – please get in touch,’ said Aideen Shields who is project co-ordinator for the Isle of Kerrera Development Trust (IKDT) and is asking people to spread the word.

If you can help send an email to heritagekerrera@gmail.com

For the time being, COVID-19 has put a stop to the  15,000 plus visitors a year who take the short ferry ride over from Oban, but the island with its tiny full-time community of 65 is still pushing ahead with plans for a busy future.

Earlier this year the island was awarded more than £100,000 to turn its old school into a community hub.

One idea is that the possible heritage exhibition will find a home in that fit-for-purpose centre when its doors open in the future.

Lottery money totalling £85,584 will help pay for a planned programme of events and activities over three years on the island and will buy a marquee to go outside the school  as a temporary venue while the building is being renovated.

Another £16,000 came from a foundation who chose the old school project to be a beacon for other similar community-asset schemes.

A successful bid to the Scottish Land Fund meant the island was able to buy the dilapidated building  from Argyll and Bute Council last year after it stood empty for two decades.

Community fundraising continues and more bids  for grants are being made with final costs of building works still to be finalised.

To make a donation to the old school project go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/kerrera