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Tinkers’ Heart Petition

Written by Jess on .

Give the Tinkers' Heart of Argyll back to the Travelling People.

This was a long and at times difficult campaign to educate both Historic Scotland and Parliament about the significance of the little white quartz stones, in a heart shaped circle, embedded in the ground at the old junction of Hell's Glen and the A815 road to Struchar, Argyllshire. For centuries it had served as the wedding place for Scottish Travellers. Also to bless the dead and the new born. In 2008 I was first alerted that it was in danger of cattle hooves and dung. In 2010 MSP Mike Russell came on board. We began a parliament petition in 2014 gathering over a 1000 sigs and 200 positive comments. We also formed a dedicated group called HOTT (Heart of The Travellers). Historic Scotland would not be moved however and refused to schedule, stating that it did not meet their criteria. Thankfully petitions committee invited them to take a look at their criteria in relation to Scottish Travellers. They then undertook a public consultation to find out how well entrenched the culture is in Scotland. This proved a great success when on June 18th 2015 Historic Scotland changed their minds and decided that the little Tinker's Heart was worthy of scheduling. They said, "1) it gives us a great understanding of the traditions and material heritage of Scottish Travellers. 2) It is a rare example of a permanent physical monument of Scottish Travellers; 3) and it holds a high significance in the consciousness of Gypsy Travellers and the people of Argyll as a symbol of Scottish Travellers and their heritage.  In light of this, we intend to place Tinker's Heart on the Schedule as a monument of National Importance".