Fieldwork in Stranraer

Enjoyable and satisfying as it is, the process of editing a book is often quite a lonely task. 

Not so a few weeks ago, when an expedition to Stranraer in pursuit of background information for one of the planned Dumfries and Galloway Flashback publications, provided a hugely enjoyable, laughter-filled interruption to my usual solitary endeavours.

The Flashback I’m working on is based on the 40+ oral history recordings made by the Stranraer and District Local History Trust since January 1999.  The task of deciding what to include in my selection (or rather, what I have no choice but to leave out) has been challenging.  The interviews are packed full of significant material covering a wide range of themes across both rural and town life in the Stranraer area.  As my work progressed and the Introduction for the book began to take shape, I realised that I had a long (and growing) list of questions to ask those who’d been involved with this aspect of the Trust’s work.  After a chat with Mark Mulhern (Flashbacks general editor) we concluded that a fieldtrip to interview the collectors was needed and the Stranraer trip arranged.

Eric Wilson, Nancy McLucas, Christine Wilson and Caroline Milligan.

Left to right: Eric Wilson, Nancy McLucas, Christine Wilson and Caroline Milligan.

We set off to Stranraer in high spirits.  We would be meeting up with Christine Wilson, her husband, Eric, and Nancy MacLucas that afternoon, and we had a further meeting planned, with Donnie Nelson, for the following morning.  Continue reading