Cruise of the Betsey - September 2014

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The Friends of Hugh Miller and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) are chartering a traditional sailing boat for a week in September 2014, to follow the journey of discovery taken by Hugh Miller in the summer of 1844 on the sail boat, the ‘Betsey’.  The project will celebrate the life and achievements of a great Scot, a great geologist but also a remarkable observer of the social history of the time.
We have recruited an intergenerational mix of geologists, geographers, artists, writers, ecologists, storytellers, theologians and historians (including Gaelic speakers), which will reflect Hugh Miller’s remarkable ability to think across disciplines. Geology, landscape, people and story will be at the heart of the journey which will begin in Oban on 6th September. Our floating manse, art studio and scientific laboratory is the sailing boat ‘Leader’ built in 1892, which sleeps 19 people including 5 crew (see
Public events
Public events are planned in Cromarty, Fort William and Oban and on the islands of Eigg and Rum. Working in partnership with the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, SNH, the Scottish Geoparks, the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland and others with an interest in landscape and geology, we are planning to advertise a ‘Hugh Miller Festival’ throughout the month of September. Cromarty Craftworkers are currently designing an ensign for the boat and this will be used as a logo to badge/identify events which are part of the festival. This means we can tap into things that are already organised e.g. the re-launch of Fossil Grove in Glasgow.
We are also developing materials for primary and secondary schools, and plan to have live links to the boat during the voyage if possible! – see below.
Two new RSGS interdisciplinary resources for primary schools and S3 which focus on ‘Learning about Scotland’
RSGS is developing two exciting new resources to link with the Cruise of the Betsey in September, which focus on learning about Scotland. The Secondary resource targeting S3, which has been written by RSGS Tivy medallist, Alan Parkinson, involves different departments (drawn from geography, science, english and history) working together over a period of 6 weeks. The programme combines opportunities for indoor and outdoor learning. Working in partnership with Education Scotland, we are currently recruiting schools who are interested in taking part in the pilot which will take place in September/October 2014 to coincide with the Betsey re-enactment.
We are also working with Sallie Harkness of storyline Scotland (author of the much-admired RSGS Droving Storyline materials) to create a primary resource about landscape and geology which has a focus on Hugh Miller. Primary schools in Cromarty, Edinburgh, Oban and Eigg have already agreed to take part in the piloting.

Setting sail in September...