Celebrating the communities of Loch Lomond

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The stories of people past and present from Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park will feature at a special conference in Gartocharn.

To be held in Kilmarornock Millennium Hall on Saturday, June 8, it will celebrate their lives through music, songs, video films, audio podcasts and other storytelling techniques.

The programme of talks and workshops aims to cultural heritage of Scotland’s first National Park.

The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Community Partnership are organising the one-day storytelling conference with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories fund, the National Park Authority and Scottish Enterprise.

The event is an opportunity to find out how to use local heritage resources, storytelling, music, audio recordings, archaeology and more from inspiring speakers and practical workshops.

Contributors include Mark Stephen from BBC Radio Scotland, who presented the Past Lives series on local history and currently presents their weekly outdoor programme Out of Doors, musicians Linsay Aitken and Ken Campbell, Rachel Hammerton from the Luss Pilgrimage Centre, traditional storyteller Paraig McNeil and Kenny Taylor, writer and broadcaster.

James Fraser, chairman of the Friends, said: “This is going to be an informative day with a great range of speakers and workshops for anyone interested in storytelling and cultural heritage, especially members of heritage, literary, musical and drama groups in and around the National Park. We’re grateful to all our sponsors for helping to kick-start an ambitious project to raise awareness of the National Park’s cultural heritage.”

Celia Burn, Chair of the Community Partnership, said, ‘One of our aims is to support the many community groups in the National Park to record and share our local history and heritage and this conference is doing that in a very practical way. I’m looking forward to developing this partnership to provide further support in the future.”

The conference fee is £10 to cover catering. Full details and booking form on the Friends website at www.lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk or from Sandra Dyson, 01436 677733 or info@lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk

Other Celebrating Park People events include a talk on the literary giants of the National Park by Professor Tom Furniss at the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Luss at 7.30pm on Tuesday, May 21; an evening Loch Katrine cruise on the steamship Sir Walter Scott on June 26 with storytellers David Kinnaird and John Barrington; a musical cruise round Loch Lomond’s islands on August 21 with the Lennox Literary Society; a railway journey on the spectacular West Highland Line on September 11 and a grand charity concert showcasing the talents of Park people in Drumkinnon Tower, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, on September 27.