The long-buried stories of extraordinary Highland women have found themselves amplified to a new audience thanks to a podcast series which goes live this week.
Commissioned by Museums and Heritage Highlands and in collaboration with Highlands and Islands creative business support organisation XpoNorth Digital, the podcast series is hosted by Pauline Moore, formerly from the BBC who is now an award-winning freelance podcast host and producer. Focussing on uncovering the previously obscured stories of remarkable Highland women, each podcast uses archived material to highlight fascinating individual narratives.
The first in the series, for example, recounts the intriguing rags-to-riches story of Mary Marjory MacDonald, who became a prolific jewel thief after having been orphaned as a teenager. Subsequent episodes, meanwhile, spotlight artist Margaret Swanson, who was ahead of her time when she became a champion of women’s creativity in the 1800s, and Orkney-born doctor and photographer Beatrice Garvie, who blazed the trail for women in medicine when she became one of the UK’s first female GPs in the 1930s.
Nicola Henderson, Heritage specialist at XpoNorth Digital, said: “Over a year ago now, Nick Lindsay from Clyne Heritage Society approached Museums and Heritage Highland with the story of Caroline Ross, a powerful story of a brave young woman. A story that had been lost to time that he believed the world needed to hear. This idea then came to XpoNorth and with support from the team went on a journey to discover the many amazing stories of remarkable women from across the Highlands. I am delighted that we can finally tell these stories to the world and hope that these pilot episodes lead to people wanting to know more not just about these women, but about the many more amazing women from Highland history whose stories have been hidden for far too long.”
Having been recorded live at a series of events earlier in the year, the podcast series has been facilitated by audio production company and network, The Big Light, whose mission is to connect an international community of listeners with Scottish history and culture.
Janice Forsyth, co-founder of The Big Light Network, added: “We are delighted to host Unforgotten Highland Women on The Big Light Network. Pauline Moore is a world-class producer and presenter and we’re thrilled that she’s bringing these extraordinary Highland women to life in this 6-part boxset. Fiona White and I co-founded the network to tell powerful and important stories and share them with audiences around the world. Unforgotten Highland Women proudly takes its place alongside more than 20 other titles.”
This event and podcast series has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund, and is one of the final projects being launched in celebration of this theme. The fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players.
Marie Christie, Head of Development at VisitScotland added “We are delighted to be supporting the Unforgotten Women podcast through the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. Events play an important role in our communities as they sustain livelihoods and help to celebrate and promote our unique places, spaces and stories. Themed Years are all about collaboration and Museums Galleries Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund and VisitScotland are pleased to work in partnership to create this fund to showcase community stories. By supporting events taking place within our communities, including the Unforgotten Women podcast series, new opportunities will be provided for locals and visitors to come together and find out more about the diverse stories, past and present, that our communities have to share.”
Have a listen here ‘Unforgotten Highland Women‘