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The willingness of people to improve their lives through public clamour in the 18th and 19th centuries will form part of the theme of a free talk and walk being offered next Tuesday (9 August) at Calanais.

Historian Dr Elizabeth Ritchie of the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands, has been exploring the parish records of Uig and has come up with some fascinating observations about the area around Calanais, between Garynahine and Carloway.

DJ Macleod, who is engagement executive for Urras nan Tursachan at the Calanais visitor centre, said: “Dr Ritchie is a very engaging speaker who gives lots of information in a short space of time. This will be a fantastic opportunity to walk and talk with an academic who is passionate about land use and society, past and present.”

Among the insights Dr Ritchie will share is evidence from the parish accounts of past centuries, showing how people sought to take control of their own lives at a time of great inequality.

DJ said: “Some of the events that took place are actually surprisingly radical and make us seem relatively passive today.

“Communities were prepared to come together to ask for schools or reduced rents, and were quite willing to take on authorities like the landowners, the church and the government.

“They were firm, radical and assertive people. This will be a fascinating talk where Dr Ritchie offers observations from the parish records about individual characters, real people who lived here and about social movements and land use.”

The talk is one of a series, Snapshots of Local History, which is part of a new move to offer more community events and engage more fully with the people who live around Calanais.

It’s free and begins at the Calanais visitor centre on Tuesday 9 August at 11am, with a one-hour walk on good surfaces followed by the opportunity for lunch and chat in the café.

To register contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07730 377137.

The picture shows historian Dr Elizabeth Ritchie.