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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New Angus Og Archives Project Officer Appointed 

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High Life Highland’s Highland Archive Service has appointed a new Archives Project Officer, Katharine Macfarlane, thanks to support from the Scottish Government Islands Programme.

Katharine, a Skye-based writer, will assist in the development of the Angus Og collection of cartoons held at Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.

Katharine’s role will include undertaking research into the collection, the conservation of items and the co-ordination and delivery of a community engagement programme and innovative exhibition.

Opening at the Archive Centre in Skye, the exhibition will tour to various island locations, with workshops, readings, and discussions being held alongside the main event.

Katharine said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Angus Og collection.

“I remember the cartoons appearing in the paper and now live not far from where Ewen Bain found his inspiration for the character and adventures of Angus Og during his own summer holidays in Skye.

“The cartoons offer an engaging insight into Scottish social history with many of the stories reflecting topical and national issues that still affect our communities today.

“I’m excited to improve access to the collection and to bring the cartoons back to public attention ensuring their place in the proud history of cartoons in Scotland, but most of all I’m looking forward to seeing people laughing together as they share the hilarious adventures of Angus Og!”

Angus Og was created by cartoonist Ewen Bain, and his adventures were based on the fabled Isle of Drambeg in the Utter Hebrides.

Angus Og began in the Bulletin and was published in the Daily Record from 1960 through to 1989.

There were 158 Angus Og adventures, and the collection of original strips has been donated by Ewen Bain’s family to the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre.

Ewen Bain was born in Maryhill, Glasgow in 1925 and was the youngest of three children of John and Flora Bain from the Isle of Skye.

His father was from Waternish and his mother from Staffin.

They moved to Glasgow in 1912 and the family would return to spend every summer in Staffin.

Gaelic was spoken as the family’s first language and elements of Gaelic and Scots feature throughout Ewen Bain’s work.

Ewen’s daughter Rhona Flin, who gifted the collection, said:

“My father would have been delighted to know of this special investment in Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre which will enable much wider access to the Angus Og collection.”

The Island Programme funding for the project supports the delivery of commitments within the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan.

Investment has been committed to each Scottish local authority with island populations and seeks to support the development of cultural and historic resources; encouraging island residents to engage with, and participate in, arts and culture.

The funding will be used to support, develop and promote the creative talents of islanders, and ensure that the culture of Scotland’s islands has a wide audience both nationally and abroad.

The Angus Og strip will be made available online through High Life Highland’s history and heritage website Am Baile following on from the touring exhibition in autumn/winter 2023 and there are plans for the Angus Og exhibition to tour venues across the Highlands and Scotland.

For more information visit www.highlifehighland.com/skye-and-lochalsh-archive-centre/ or email skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com

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