Treasure chest of Gaelic heritage to be aired

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A series of programmes featuring archived recordings from the community of Skye will be broadcast by Cuillin FM in July.

The community radio station has joined forces with Tobar an Dualchais to showcase examples from the island’s rich oral tradition, using recordings from the Tobar an Dualchais website.

Tobar an Dualchas is a unique archival project which has been set up to digitise and catalogue over 11,000 hours of Gaelic and Scots sound recordings and make them available online.

There are over 36,500 recordings currently available on the website.

The recordings come from three major collections: the School of Scottish Studies (University of Edinburgh); the National Trust for Scotland’s Canna Collections; and BBC Scotland’s Gaelic output.

These collections contain a vast treasury of folklore, songs, stories, music and poetry.

The website ensures that this treasury is preserved as a unique record of Scotland’s cultural and linguistic heritage. To find out more about the Tobar an Dualchas archive visit: website

A number of the songs which will featured on the radio in July were composed by Skye people who were well-known characters in their day, such as Charles MacDonald (Teàrlach a’ Phosta) and Calum Nicolson (Calum Ruadh) from Braes, and Donald MacMillan (An t-Ogha Mòr) from Breakish.

Among the stories being aired, listeners can hear how herring fishing started on Skye and what happened to Lachlann and his crotal-filled trousers on the boat back from Uist.

Great tunes are provided by Dr Angus MacDonald and the late Alistair Henderson, among others.

Ruth Taylor of Cuillin FM commented: “We are always looking to increase our Gaelic output on the station and were aware of the wealth of material on the Tobar an Dualchais website.

“We approached them about working together and they were delighted to collaborate with us. It was a pleasure making the programmes and we hope that our listeners will enjoy them just as much as we have.”

The first of the three programmes will air on Saturday 9 July at 1pm and will be repeated the following Monday at 9.30pm.

The second and third programmes will be broadcast in the same time slots over the following two weeks.

People outwith Cuillin FM’s coverage area can listen to the programmes live on its website. The series is presented by Skye man Alister Ross.

Mairead MacDonald , Director of Tobar an Dualchais, commented: “Many of the people who were recorded would not have been well-known outside their own communities but their contribution to Skye’s cultural heritage is exceptional.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to them and their legacy on Cuillin FM.”

To find out more about the Tobar an Dualchas archive visit: website