BOWFest and more in the September issue of West Coast Review!

Can you believe that summer is nearly over? For those of us in Scotland, it went by way too fast, probably because we didn’t get very much summery weather this year! But autumn is always something to look forward to, especially with all the awesome festivals, such as MAMA Fest, MOKfest and BOWFest. It’s a plethora of festivals!

In this month’s West Coast Review, we preview BOWFest, as well as two smaller Argyll festivals-  Bookends Festival, which is building on its wildly successful first year, and the first Taproot Festival on Lismore.

We get the lowdown on the festival scene, and Nathaniel Lamb shares the experience he and I had at an archaeological dig at Dunollie Castle as part of Scotland’s year long Dig It! celebration of the country’s amazing archaeology. It was great getting my hands dirty again on a dig and I didn’t realise how much I miss it!  Later, we’ll share our adventures at another dig on the isle of Lismore.

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Read the West Coast Review online, and as always, I love to hear your comments and stories, so please get in touch at mmcanally@obantimes.co.uk.

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Friends of Kilbride kicks off fundraising campaign

Located three miles south of Oban in Lerags, Kilbride Kirk has played an important part in Scotland’s history and is connected to figures such as Robert Bruce, Alexander II and the Clan MacDougall. For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years this has been a special place for prayer, contemplation and gathering, and Kilbride Kirk continues to play an important part in the community.

Kilbride was abandoned in the 19th century and left to ruin, but since 2000, a small, but plucky, group of volunteers called ‘Friends of Kilbride‘ (FroK) have donated time, money and labour to rescue this important historic site from oblivion.

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I have been working with Friends to kick off their £200,000 fundraising campaign to carry out a preservation plan in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland.  We started with a community ceilidh that raised nearly £2,000, and thanks to the generous support of our community and visitors from all over the world, the project has been growing ever since.

Kilbride’s caretaker, Liam Griffin, has developed a interpretive trail on the site, which has been generating a lot of interest and the occasional donation, every pence of which goes toward our daunting goal. He is also available for private tours, and his passion and gift for storytelling are just as inspiring as this beautiful site.

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I invite you to visit the Friends of Kilbride website, where you will find an informational video about Kilbride that I made and a nice shiny Donate button if you would like to support the project.

And if you are ever out and about between Oban and Kilmartin, feel free to stop by, have a wander in this peaceful and contemplative landscape, learn a bit about Argyll’s history- and don’t forget to leave a bit in the donation tin!

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