An exhibition of local, regional, national and international significance has opened its doors this week in the North West Highlands.
The Wester Ross-based Inverasdale School Heritage Group, working with the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project, have joined forces to create not one but two fascinating exhibitions which are running until the end of September at Inverasdale School on the shores of Loch Ewe.
And to confirm the international relevance and importance of this exhibition, one of the first visitors to the Opening day was the Russian Consul General, Sergey Krutikov, who honoured the local community with his visit.
The ‘Summer Exhibition’ has further developed the very successful Open Days held during the recent annual WWII and Arctic Convoys Week in May, and Commemorative Day in June.
The two exhibitions cover the history of the local school and the story of the Russian Arctic Convoys, exploring the role of the local community.
There are artefacts and memorabilia which have never been seen before in public view, and give a fascinating insight into the area during and before WWII.
Mr Krutikov was extremely impressed with the content of the Summer Exhibition and gave his ongoing support to the plans for a permanent Museum across Loch Ewe at Aultbea, which will be dedicated to all those that took part in the Russian Arctic Convoys.
Both exhibitions will be open to the public every Wednesday and Friday afternoon (2.00 – 5.00pm) until the end of September, with teas and home baking available until 4.30pm.
The Russian Arctic Convoy Museum exhibition was prepared by Museum archivist, Stuart Mackenzie, with help from the Harrison family from Pool House, Poolewe and many others. [As with the current Loch Fyne Hotel during the WWII development of Combined Operations in Argyll, Pool House served as Admiralty House during Loch Ewe’s wartime role. The great bight of Loch Ewe was the collection point for the Convoys and their naval escorts on the imaginably hazardous WWII voyages to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, carrying supplies to keep Russia from defeat.]
Items for the exhibition have been donated by the growing number of Museum Project supporters worldwide, many from Veterans and their families, who are keen to see the story of the Arctic Convoys captured for future generations.
Chairman of the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project, Francis Russell, says: ‘We thank Liz Nicholson from the local Inverasdale School Heritage Group and her team and Highland Council, for the opportunity to work together on this Summer Exhibition, showing the fascinating history of Loch Ewe and its communities in times past.
‘We were delighted that over 40 Convoy Veterans were able to visit Inverasdale School exhibition during the recent Veterans Reunion, following their Arctic Star Medal Ceremony here in May. This gave us the impetus to create a ‘Summer Exhibition’ to showcase all this fascinating local history to locals and visitors alike.’
Further information about the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project and the Summer Exhibition is online here at the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum project website; or by telephone on 01445 731093.
Note: The photograph above shows the opening of the Summer Exhibition, with Russian Consul General, Sergey Krutikov (second from right), and, left to right: Mhairi Harrison from Pool House, Elizabeth Miles, Secretary of the Museum Group and Liz Nicholson, Chairman of Inverasdale School Heritage Group.