Event to tell tales of the history of Bennachie

Event to tell tales of the history of Bennachie

As a symbol of the north-east landscape, Bennachie has been the focus for many tales – both tall and otherwise.

Now an event on Saturday (June 23) aims to give anyone with their own story to tell, the chance to have it recorded for posterity.

Members of the public with an interest in the past of Bennachie are being invited to join in a community oral history day which will take place at the Bennachie Centre.

Trained volunteers and University of Aberdeen researchers will be on hand to record people’s own memories of Bennachie and the landscapes that surround it, which are so often lost in the historical record.

The team will also bring oral history research up to date with a Skype internet link to involve people who can’t make it on the day – such as the Bennachie ‘diaspora’ of people who have left the area or their descendents.

The event is part of the Bennachie Landscapes Project, led by archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen in conjunction with the Bailies of Bennachie, which aims to build a greater insight into the archaeological past of the hill.

A series of events have taken place on the last two months which have aimed to equip community members with the knowledge and skills they require to undertake their own work into the history and heritage of their local area.

The leader of the oral history strand of the Bennachie Landscapes Project, Dr Jo Vergunst of the University of Aberdeen’s Department of Anthropology, said: “Oral history is a fascinating way of doing research, and in the north east there are still strong traditions of story-telling. What we hope to show with this event is that everyone’s memories, whether they are old or young, have value.

“Among the questions we will pursue are the changes to the use of the land on and around Bennachie, and the different kinds of recreational activities on the hill over the years.

“But key will be the personal significance of the landscape and the ability of oral history to pick up stories and information directly from those involved in them, creating an invaluable resource for present and future generations.”

The event will run from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 23 June, with refreshments provided.

For more information or to book a Skype call on the day, please contact Jo Vergunst at j.vergunst@abdn.ac.uk or 01224 272738.

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