PAST EVENT: Scotland's Community Heritage Conference in Oban

Join Scotland's communities as they share their heritage at the second of three Community Heritage Conferences throughout Scotland in 2016.

Argyllshire Gathering Halls, Breadalbane Street, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5NZ

About the event

Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference celebrates public archaeology, showcases community-led projects across Scotland and supports people as they explore their connection to the past. The event is open to anyone with an interest in history, heritage or archaeology, and includes excellent talks, interactive workshops, inspirational displays and stimulating networking opportunities. 

The event will include talks on archaeological fieldwork and discoveries in Lismore, Ardnamurchan and elsewhere in Argyll.

The DRB Scottish Women's History Group, who are working with Scotland's Urban Past to record the Scottish itinerary of anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, will also present on their project.

There will be a special session on community empowerment. New legislation coming into force this year will create new opportunities for local groups to acquire public buildings and adapt them for community use.

We'll hear from groups involved in the community empowerment process, and there will be experts on hand too, in what should be an exciting and important discussion on a new route to regenerating public assets across Scotland.

A graphic with outlines of different buildings in shades of orange. The text reads "Scotland's Community Heritage Conferences 2016"


Registration and Coffee                                      

Session One - Community Heritage: 10.00 – 13.15
Chair: Robin Turner, Historic Environment Scotland

Robin Turner, Historic Environment Scotland
Welcome and housekeeping announcements

Caroline Boswell & Rhona Dougall, Oban Communities Trust
Oban Social History: Heritage Hunters

Elaine Black, Association of Certificated Field Archaeologists (ACFA)
Riddle of the sands: ACFA Tiree Survey 2016

Katie Hunter, DRBs Scottish Women’s History Group
The Frederick Douglass Project: a 19th century Scottish protest campaign

Coffee break

Ardnamurchan History & Heritage Association 
Exploring and celebrating the heritage of the Ardnamurchan peninsula

Robert Hay, Lismore Historical Society
The Lismore Nave Project 

Campbeltown Grammar School
The historic township of Glenrea 

One Minute Mayhem
60-second presentations by conference delegates 

13.15 - 14.50

Lunch, Workshops and Displays

Buffet lunch will be available and is included in the price of your ticket. Please take time to explore the many projects, groups and organisations displaying their achievements in the main hall.

Two lunchtime events will begin at 13.45, each lasting about 60 minutes:

  1. Oban Built Heritage Trail, led by volunteers from Oban Communities Trust
  2. Architectural Orienteering Trail with a difference (and a prize!) led by Scotland’s Urban Past

Session Two - Community Empowerment Seminar: 14.50 - 17.00

Chair: TBC

Phil Richardson, Archaeology Scotland

This year sees the implementation of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which will open up new possibilities for publicly-owned assets to be transferred to and managed by local communities. This afternoon’s seminar will be an opportunity to discuss ongoing work and aspirations among communities across the country, and the skills and support that groups might need along the way.

We will hear from communities already involved in asset transfers, including:

  • Oban Communities Trust
  • Am Fasgadh regeneration Company (Kingussie)
  • Forres Heritage Trust (Scottish Heritage Angels Award winners in 2015) 


Short presentations from these three will be followed by a broad discussion, with professional experts in the field on hand to give their advice. 





Getting involved

If you would like to exhibit your own recent research, community project or local history documents, please feel free to contact us to reserve a display space (tables provided).

Our One Minute Mayhem slot gives you all the chance to stand up and make your own contribution on anything heritage-related (as long as you can do it in 60 seconds!)

Contact the conference mailbox at for more information.

More information

We'll be communicating key messages from the conferences through:

  • live Twitter feed throughout the day - join in with #CHCOban
  • Alex Hale, our resident scriber, will capture the ideas of the day in drawings and doodles
  • many talks and workshops will be filmed for the benefit of those who can’t attend
  • photographers will be on hand to record the conference’s activities and displays. A selection of these may be used to report the conference online and in print.

Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference is organised by a partnership of several organisations: Archaeology ScotlandHistoric Environment ScotlandScotland's Urban Past, the SCAPE TrustDig It! 2017 and Northlight Heritage.