New Oban heritage map clues up children

TRC's heritage officer Elisabeth Stevenson, who is also a former primary teacher, took inspiration from the children's questions and the idea for a map began to grow.

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A new walking map is helping children get clued up about Oban’s heritage.

The Rockfield Centre (TRC) got the idea for the map after pupils from Easdale Primary School turned into tourists in the town for a day to experience what visitors might see if they came to visit.

The youngsters, whose day trip was the last lesson in a World Tour project learning about the world’s seven continents, had lots of questions about things they had seen connected to Oban’s past and wanted answers.

TRC’s heritage officer Elisabeth Stevenson, who is also a former primary teacher, took inspiration from the children’s questions and the idea for a map began to grow.

‘Walking about the town with my son to see and listen to what sparked his curiosity or intrigued him, while also remembering the questions from the Easdale children, was the start of developing the map. An existing walking trail about Oban’s built heritage and the Oban Play Map were also used,’ Elisabeth said.

Working with TRC Heritage Hunters and a volunteer group of history experts, fictional stories about Oban through time were created. The  stories are all written from a child’s point of view and are based on the volunteer’s childhood memories and historical facts.

As extra encouragement, there are also clues for children to look out for as they follow the directions about the town.

To give the final map the thumbs-up,  the children at Easdale school were asked for feedback and local families were also tasked with putting the directions to the test.

Oban-based graphic designer Leonie Mead stepped in to illustrate it and get it ready for the printers, with Heritage Lottery help through TRC’s  An t-Òban – The People and the Place project.

The trail starts at TRC near the big tree and follows an accessible route around the main part of the town.

A paper copy of the map can be found at Rockfield Centre or you can download it from the website.