The Nicolson Institution in 100 Objects (give or take)

Today saw the opening of a new exhibition in Stornoway Town Hall presented jointly by Stornoway Historical Society and the School’s Heritage Committee.  The event marks the closure of the old and fondly remembered Springfield Road campus as the school moves across the road to its new premises adjacent to the Matheson Hall.

With the audience having been piped in by Peter Mackay, Rector Frances Murray rang a school bell to call the 60-strong crowd to order, offering a warm welcome in the process.  Ian Sinclair, chair of the School’s Heritage Committee then invited Lord Lieutenant (and one-time Nicolson Institute goal-keeper) Alexander Matheson to formally opened the exhibition from the school lecturn.  Sandy rightly praised the hard work of the School and Historical Society and stressed the importance of the links between the school, the local community and the island.

Items on exhibition include many photographs, sports memorabilia, schools magazines and schoolroom equipment relating to the Nicolson.  Portraits of the school’s rectors are featured along with images of the Nicolson benefactors, including Alexander Nicolson whose bequest made the foundation of the school possible.

The Tasglann have loaned the Nicolson School Trustee’s minute book for the display, which includes a copy of Alexander Nicolson’s Will, “bequeathing one-third of my entire property, in the hope that I may be the indirect means of rendering some assistance to the children of some of my oldest acquaintances.”

Nicolson Intitution Trustee's minute book

For those wishing a last chance to see inside the old Nicolson buildings before they are demolished, guided tours are being offered on Wednesday 1 August at 10am, 11am and 12pm.  Please meet in front of the old buildings on Springfield Road.

The exhibition is open daily from 10am-4pm over the holiday weekend (not Sunday) and closes on 10 August.  It’s a must see for all former and current Nicolson pupils!

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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