Culture

Listening to the Piers at Stromness Museum

Stories, Stones and Bones: Stromness Museum’s ‘Listening to the Piers’ exhibition celebrates Stromness Piers.

Growing sea traffic from the 18th century onwards saw the port of Stromness grow with stone-built piers and slips appearing along the shore. Oral history workshops introduced Stromness Primary School pupils to interview techniques to make recordings about the piers.

Piers day test pitting on the beach

Piers Day test pitting on the beach

On ‘Piers Day’ during ‘Per Mare’ week, at the end of July 2017, Listening to the Piers provided an opportunity for local people and visitors to explore different ways of seeing and interpreting these piers through archaeology, marine biology, photography and drawing workshops. Stromness Museum holds important collections of natural history, archaeology, maritime and social history and art.

The dynamic story of the Stromness piers collected during the project through stories, drawings, photographs and artefacts will be exhibited in the entrance porch of Stromness Museum from Saturday 4 November to 31 December 2017.

Stromness Museum received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Stories, Stones and Bones grant as part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. This exciting project, ‘Listening to the Piers’, run in partnership with University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Archaeology Institute, Heriot Watt Stromness campus and locally based artists was awarded £9,700 to investigate the piers of Stromness through creative engagement in archaeology, art and science workshops.

The project coordinator Dan Lee, from UHI Archaeology Institute commenting on the award said:

“It’s great that Stromness Museum was awarded this grant. Stromness piers have such a rich wealth of stories from their working past to the new ways we think about them today. We are all really excited about telling other people about our findings and sharing our heritage and history with them through this exhibition”.

Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said:

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it was our ambition that people of all ages would have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about. With almost 100 projects happening across the country, over 15,000 people have done just that. We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, Stromness Museum is part of that celebration, opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”.

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