Kilbride trains up Scotland’s future ‘ambassadors’

Left to right: Margaret Hubbard (tour guide trainer), Kirsten Miller (digital marketing modern apprentice, CHARTS), and six participants in Oban.

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A project to train Argyll’s next generation of visitor guides has been completed at Kilbride’s historic kirkyard in Lerags Glen near Oban.

The five tour guide trainees, aged 16 and over, embarked on a three-day course from March 18-20, run by experienced tour guide Margaret Hubbard.

The young participants developed the skills they’ll need to be passionate and knowledgeable ambassadors for Scotland, specifically Historic Kilbride which consists of an 18th century church and more than 300 gravestones.

The two-day instructional and one-day practical events were held at Historic Kilbride, where participants immersed themselves in the rich history and practiced the guiding skills they learnt on a walking tour around Oban.

If these hills and stones could speak, they would tell the story of Argyll, from the Bronze Age to the Druid Age, from the Reformation to the Jacobite Uprising, from the birth of modern Scotland to the birth of the British Empire.

Columban missionaries dedicated the original church to St Bridget around the 6th century. Our first reference to it is in a 1249 document ordered by King Alexander II during a political row with Clan MacDougall, and it is the final resting place for the chiefs of this ancient clan.

Kilbride provides a rich understanding of Scottish history, as told through the eyes of one community, much older than Oban, over thousands of years.

The project, Heritage Horizons, aims to address the challenges of an aging workforce by building youth employability-skills for young people across Argyll and Bute.

It is funded by the ScottishPower Foundation and run by the Argyll and Bute Museums and Heritage Forum and the charity CHARTS, a network working to create a sustainable future for the culture, heritage and arts sector in Argyll.

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Left to right: Margaret Hubbard, tour guide trainer; Kirsten Miller, digital marketing modern apprentice, CHARTS, and six participants in Oban.