Thursday, 22 January 2015

Cape of the Great Seas

Of the thousands of people who have visited West Ardnamurchan, many will have kept some sort of souvenir of their holiday, such as a photograph, but it's much less common for anyone to have kept a written record.

But that's what Jean Margaret Peace did when she visited Kilchoan in the mid-1950s. Jean was a graduate of the Royal College of Art, a painter, poet and writer.  She had one book published in the 1960s, 'Sweet Vernal' (Dent).

The account describes the area at about the same time as the prize-winning film at the 1951 Scottish Amateur Film Festival made by Iain Dunnachie which is now available at the Scottish Screen Archive's website, here.

Jean's account of her visit runs to 173 pages of neat typescript, and is a vivid description of West Ardnamurchan and its community.  Jean's daughter, Rachel Davies, has generously given the Diary permission to publish the typescript in the form of a .pdf document.  It's a very personal account of a place seen through the sharp eyes of a writer, and was never intended for publication - which is why it is so special. One day, when West Ardnamurchan gets its own archive, this is the sort of work which should be stored in it.

To download the document, click here.  If anyone would like to borrow a printed copy, one is available from me.

'Sweet Vernal' can be purchased on the internet, here.

1 comment:

  1. What happy and evocative stories Jean has expertly captured here. I choked many times and after waiting for my eyes to clear, continued through my tea breaks to the end. One of the most picturesque and involving texts I have ever read. It was like being there every morning this week! Thank you so much to Rachel for allowing the publication of this episode from their lives.