Dancing in Oban
By Sue Porter
Image provided by Sue Porter
For 40 years I have lived in Oban, the getaway to the islands, where Scottish music and dance is never far away. Scottish Country dancing both as a teacher and dancer is a huge part of my life. I have chosen for my journey stone the opening 4 bars of the tune ‘The Hills of Lorn’ composed by local man Charlie Hunter, Taynuilt . It is the lead tune for a favourite dance, ‘Autumn In Appin’ - Appin being 18 miles north of Oban. Also included are the dance shoes of my husband, Gordon and myself.
I am part of the Dam Stitchers group, who worked on the Cruachan Dam panel. By coincidence I have a strong family connection with Cruachan Power Station. My father-in-law, Jimmy Porter, was one of the first engineers brought in to set up the control room documentation while the station was being built and worked as a shift charge engineer there until his retiral. Gordon joined Cruachan in 1982, also working as a shift charge engineer, until his retiral. Thus, it was very special to be able to stitch some of the turbines on the panel in this amazing project.
Many thanks to Sue Porter for sharing with us the story behind her journey stone, created as part of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.
WHAT IS A JOURNEY STONE?
Prior to the beginning of the stitching of each tapestry panel, each stitcher of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands was tasked with telling their interpretation of the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands' within a blank outline of a stone. The possibilities were truly endless - is it represented in the land? The people? A historical site? A favourite memory?
In any case, each journey stone represents the connection between each individual stitcher, their story, and their own sense, or 'spirit', of place. Discover more of the stories behind the journey stones of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands here.