Dunoon Grammar School

These past two weeks we've been at Dunoon Grammar school, where some of the students from the History department have been helping us with the official recordings for this project. Seven wonderful ladies managed to come down to the school to be interviewed by the pupils, and we've arranged home visits for some other contributors. We hope to publish a CD full of interesting anecdotes and nuggets of local historical stories! The pupils also video recorded the interviews, so hopefully we'll be able to post some spippets on our blog soon.

There's a lot of footage and audio to organise, edit and format, so you're going to have to wait for the final poduct! In the meantime, here's a snippet from one of the home visits we've already recorded; a natural born story teller if ever there was one, holding forth on the youth club held in Kilmun Church Hall (which we currently use as a wee tea room for visitors):



Don't tip the Bell Ringer.

We had a very vibrant session this afternoon, with every seat in the tea room occupied, and a pleasant hub-bub of chattering activitiy! Unfortunately, for you, this means I don't have any sound clips to share; because the background blethering was too overpowering to single out any one voice. And unfortunately for me, it means there was no leftover cake for me to scoff! Actually, I'm fibbing on both counts; there was one spare slice of cake to take home, and I've managed to pull one funny story from the recordings, see below.

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Glen Massan & Glen Lean


We had a really fun session this week, with the ladies holding forth on such topics as hot water in bathrooms, "Onion Johnnies", Jim Crow stone, powder mills, "tackety boots", parraffin ovens and angry celebrities! Well, if you can count Emma Thompson's husband as a celebrity.

If, like me, you're wondering what "Onion Johnnies"are, then maybe you'll be familiar with the image of a Frenchaman on a bicycle with strings of onions around his neck?

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The 10th Duke's Funeral

This week was a very interesting session! We only had one person attend, but were were lucky in that it was our favourite red head lady from week 1. And she's a lifelong resident of Kilmun, so she was a mine of information. In fact, I think we wore her out aksing so many questions! We heard stories about the dances in Kilmun Hall, a bounty of oranges washing up on the shores of Holy Loch, and tales of having picnics on the fallen gravestones in the church yard. Here she is recounting memories of the 10th Duke of Argyll's Internment in the mausoleum: 

The Minister's Daughter

This week our Cowal Connections social was joined by some regulars and some new attendees, one of whom is the lady who married the Minister's son. Not the current minister of course, but Reverend Gillen. We heard how the key to our Mausoleum used to be jealously guarded by the Campbells at Inveraray, and you had to get special permission to open the doors. She recalls being disappointed when she first saw inside! She also talked about getting the strap in Dunoon Grammar School, how you aren't tell your parents or they'd give you a hiding too!

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