The Innellan Archive Project
Innellan Public Hall was opened in 1903, and has been central to the village community ever since. When the hall should have been receiving its telegram from the Queen in 2003, it was in sore need of repair. Funds were raised as ardently as they had been for the construction of the hall one hundred years before, with the result that the hall has entered its second century fully equipped to meet the needs of the village. It is once again in constant use.
The Trustees of the Hall decided to mark its hundredth birthday, seven years late, with an Archive Project. Originally the plan was to put together simply an archive of the hall itself, but, as the work progressed, what emerged was a fascinating picture of the community which brought our hall into being.
The exhibition of this archive took place in the hall in June 2010. It began with the year 1898, immediately prior to the 1899 inaugural meeting in the Royal Hotel to plan the hall. It ended in 1921, when the War Memorial was unveiled. A number of the names on the memorial are of men, who had been the village children watching the hall being built.
At the end of the exhibition, in response to demand, the Trustees decided that the material should be turned into book form, rather than consigned to a box. The result was 'From Scenes Like These Innellan 1898-1921', which was published in November 2010.
In the course of preparing the first exhibition, and its accompanying book, the amount of enthusiasm in the community for the project took those involved in it by surprise. Many, many people offered pictures and stories of their own. It was clear that the story of Innellan was of great interest, not only to those who live here, but to people scattered all over the globe who have a strong connection with our village. The result was a second exhibition and a second volume taking the archive to 1960.
In November 2012 a third volume was published covering the years 1960-1992. This covers the 'American years' and US servicemen responded to the request to write about their time in our village. From the other end of the world, and without us asking, the son of the last piermaster sent his memories of Innellan in the past. This book contains personal memories as well as accurately researched material. The Archive Project is community based, valuable document of the life of our village.
A fourth exhibition took place and its accompanying book was published in 2014 and covers the period from geological time through the clachan on the hillside to the development of the Victorian resort.
Each book costs £7.50 with all the proceeds going to the upkeep of the village hall. Books are available in the offices of the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard in Dunoon, from Innellan Hall Trustees and from Margaret Hubbard.
In the hall there now hang boards telling and illustrating the history of the village.
'Roamin' in The Gloamin'': Bespoke Walking Tours of Innellan
Harry Lauders famous song was reputedly written about Innellan. A guided tour of Innellan is now available for visitors to the area, or for locals who want to know more about this village we live in. The tour is led by a professional guide and local historian.
The village of Innellan is rich in history from its origins as a crofting village on the hillside to the wealthy Victorian holiday resort that it became. It saw the ministry of George Matheson who wrote the hymn O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go. During World War II the village took in evacuees and commandos. Then came boarding houses, hotels and the American Navy. Now it is a diverse and growing community.
If you would like to go roamin' in the gloamin' (or at any other time of day), on a tour of the village you can select what you would wish to explore: the churches, the geology, the land, the Victorian houses, education, the pier, the hotels, the trades, the highland village, Innellan's contribution to World War I. Coming shortly will be a walk on Innellan and World War II. You can do this in discussion with the guide, Margaret. To discuss your tour and to make a booking at a suitable time phone her on 01369 830 346 or 07974 78 72 45.
Tours of one and a half hours are priced at £5 per head including a cup of tea at the end. All proceeds go to Innellan Public Hall.
This is an opportunity to see and learn more about the sites of Old Innellan featured in the Archive Project and in the volumes of 'From Scenes Like These' which document life in Innellan from 1898.
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