Stanley Mills ‘Clash of Culture’ Bòrd na Gàidhlig

This year saw TWTC providing a bi-lingual play for Historic Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig as part of a year long project to explore the ‘Clash of Culture’ between the highlanders and the lowlanders after the fall of the Jacobite cause at Culloden. This wide reaching project set out to explore the movement of the Gaelic culture as the highlands displaced people left their homelands looking for work, stability and a new way of life.

The very excellent Historic Scotland site at Stanley Mills in Perth was an ideal topic and setting for this project. The Mills is one the best-preserved relics of the 18th-century Industrial Revolution and was established as a cotton mill by local merchants, with financial support from the Duke of Atholl, who also provided his own tenants as labour. This displaced workforce, cleared from the Dukes lands as part of the Atholl estate’s agricultural improvements, was given the option of moving to Stanley to work at the Mill. A Gaelic speaking people, there was a conflict in culture and understanding between these people and the local workers. After a few years the Mill burnt down and was closed for 2 years and the Atholl estate workers were moved on again.

Today the legacy of the Highland culture has spread throughout the world and is reflected in our heritage, culture and memories and holds an emerging place in our future.

Our play showed the relationship between the Atholl estate workers and their new home at Stanley, incorporating both ‘lowland english’ and Gaelic. Our audience had the opportunity to be involved in the drama and to use the Gaelic language first hand.

‘Whispers in The Water’ written by Sadie Dixon-Spain – Performed throughout 2010 at Stanley Mills. Perthshire.

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