The Lost Villages of East Ayrshire - new oral history project


23 June 2021
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Glenbuck Village postcard, posted in 1939
The stories of families who lived in the miners' rows villages of East Ayrshire are being collected for a project to help recover the history of mining communities in this part of Scotland.

The Lost Villages of East Ayrshire aims to create an oral history of six villages: Benquhat, Burnfoothill & Lethanhill, Commondyke, Darnconnor and Glenbuck, discovering what it was like to live in these communities, as well as what happened as the coal pits began to close from the 1930s.

Led by Professor Arthur McIvor and Dr Yvonne McFadden of the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde, The Lost Villages aims to capture the 'intangible history' of life in the villages and the impact of de-industrialisation.  The project operates under the auspices of the Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland.

The Lost Villages website has brief histories of each of the villages, as well as audio clips, a blog on the project's progress, and a page where findings about life in the villages will be added.

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Call for stories and volunteers

There are two different ways to get involved: by contributing a story and/or photos, or by working as a volunteer (for which training will be given). You can find out more here and in due course it is hoped that project team members will be able to give talks to schools and community groups. 

For more information, e-mail Dr Yvonne McFadden and follow The lost Villages on Facebook and Twitter.