Abbie MacFayden, Heritage Horizons, North West Mull Community Woodland Company Isle of Mull
Abbie undertook a 12 week placement with the North West Mull Community Woodland Company (NWMCWC) on a project researching the history of the people of the Isle of Ulva, with a focus on clan history and the women of Ulva. During her placement, Abbie received training, advice and support from archivist Anne Cleave; delivered research trips to Argyll Papers at Argyll Estate, Ulva House, and Mull Museum; and developed skills in Palaeography with a specific focus on the Argyll Papers. The placement was supported through progress meetings with CHARTS project coordinator Pamela Campbell, as well as receiving support from local heritage enthusiasts and professionals helping to build a network for Abbie. Abbie also gained the experience to portray a heritage organisation online through giving a presentation at CHARTS webinar ‘Love Heritage’, from which she received support from Kirsten Millar.
The Ulva project and CHARTS supported Abbie by giving her access to valuable skills development opportunities and 1-to-1 mentoring support, which helped to set her on a career trajectory in the heritage and cultural sector. Abbie received a Gold Heritage Horizons Award and a 100-hour Saltire Award for her project. She created new networks with North West Mull Community Woodland Company. She attended and completed the STGA ‘Guiding is Fun: Guiding is Fun: Communication and Professional Skills for Tourist Guides’ training course, developed public speaking skills through tour guide training and confidence and was able to develop new archival skills that will help her continue her research into clan history. Abbie also created and delivered a tour of Ulva’s Starvation Row with Lesley Davies.
"One of the skills I've developed is called Palaeography. Palaeography is where you take an old document and you rewrite it in a way that people today will understand. A lot of the old writing is considered quite scribbly, and a lot of people don't know how to read cursive, and a lot of the documents are also in Latin as well, which is quite hard to try and translate. I think old buildings and historical buildings are incredibly important, as they have made history. Without that building there, a lot of its history wouldn't have existed." - Abbie McFadyen
Image: Isle of Ulva