A surprise survival

It is amazing how often I’ve heard the phrase “Oh, but none of the records have survived”, or, in the Stornoway area, “They were lost in the town hall fire”.  I’ve even heard this latter anecdote attributed to records that were created AFTER the town hall fire happened!  So, it’s always a joy when we discover records that were believed to be lost or previously unknown.

I was recently at Sandwickhill School where we are working with the school and community on activities to celebrate the schools history in its final year (more on this later!).  There was some uncertainty as to whether many, if any, of the school’s older records survived.  So, imagine our joy when the following were produced!

Sandwickhill school log books

However, our hearts sank when we realised the logs all retained their original built in lock, all of which were as firmly closed as a teenager’s diary.  The head teacher who kept the logs didn’t want anyone reading them without his knowledge!  Thankfully, a small key was found that fitted the locks and they were soon sprung to see a full historical record of the school activities from the opening of the building in 1898 through to 1991.  Admission records for the 20th century were also discovered, all of which will be valuable in helping to piece the school’s history together over the coming year.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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