Saturday, 21 May 2011

Obscure leather items in the Museum of Islay Life...

I love a good folk or rural history museum (Ryedale Folk Museum being the best I've visited so far), so I was pleased to discover that Islay had a museum when we visited the island recently.

In a rare moment of good timing, the Museum of Islay Life turned out to be open on the day we visited Port Charlotte...
Museum of Islay life

It's only a small museum, but perfectly formed and there is a board outside advertising its various attractions...
Museum of Islay life sign
Mmm... old photographs :)

Personally, I think they'd be better off listing some of their more random exhibits to draw in the crowds.

Who could resist the lure of 'equine carpet slippers'?
Equine carpet slippers 1

Or the quite grotesque but highly polished 'cow's hoof pin cushion'?!
Cow's hoof pin cushion

By far the most intriguing object for me (bearing in mind that I have quite obscure interests) was the 'sheep's wellie'...
Sheep's wellie

What is it?! What's it for? Which part of the sheep's anatomy does it get fastened to? There was only one, compared to the set of four equine carpet slippers. Does that mean that three have gone missing or is one the most you ever need? No amount of Googling is helping me to get to the bottom of the 'sheep's wellie' mystery...

More conventional exhibits included a rather flash Victorian child's toy cooker...
Toy Victorian cooker

Some vintage Islay milk bottles...
Islay milk bottles

And the promised illicit still...
Illicit still

Which Ade was keen to get a close look at...
Ade checks out the illicit still

One of the 'old photographs' showed what me and Ade could look like in several years time. Sitting either side of the fireplace, him with his tangled grey beard and hat, me busy at the spinning wheel with skeins of yarn hanging from the rafters to dry/lightly smoke...
Me and Ade

All in all, well worth a look in if you're ever in Port Charlotte with an hour to spare and an urge to inspect mysterious sheep accessories! :)

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