NEW GLASGOW – Pictou County’s history is attracting international attention from the British Broadcast Network.
Local historian John Ashton shows Cindy D’Orsay around Pictou County as she scouted locations for BBC’s documentary series Coast. One of the locations she was scouting was the Pioneer Cemetery because it’s one of the earliest in the area. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS
BBC is coming to Nova Scotia in mid-October as part of their documentary series Coast. The show examines life on the shores of the United Kingdom and looks at connections in different parts of the world.
In this case, they’ll be looking at the Highland Clearances that happened over 200 years ago and the link between Scotland, Pictou County and Cape Breton.
“It’s an important story,” Cindy D’Orsay, producer and managing partner with British North American Pictures in Bedford, said.
The segment featuring Pictou County will be following around the MacNeil clan and their journey from Pictou to Cape Breton.
D’Orsay was hired by BBC to do the scouting for locations.
She was travelling around New Glasgow and Pictou Wednesday to photograph and build the stories from the area. Her responsibility was to make contacts and do research.
One of the contacts D’Orsay was hoping to make is someone with a boat.
They want the host of the show to travel into Brown’s Point like those displaced from Scotland did and recreate the landing with period costumes.
She explained it’s more cost effective for companies to hire local firms to do their field producing and scouting, rather than pay for travel costs.
“One thing I was really interested in was the planning and logistics that go into it,” local historian John Ashton said.
Ashton was showing D’Orsay around the area. They went to old stone houses in Pictou, the SeaView Cemetery, Brown’s Point and several monuments.
In New Glasgow, they stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery and visited the gravestones of some of the oldest settlers in the area.
“The reason why they want us to scout this location is because it’s one of the earliest,” D’Orsay said about the New Glasgow graveyard.
They want to show the similarities between Pictou County and Scotland.
The East River apparently reminded the settlers of the River Clyde in Glasgow.
“This just looks like home,” D’Orsay repeated what they reportedly said.
They also want to look at the journey they took and the struggles they encountered.
D’Orsay said they’re trying to follow the trail they took when they landed in Pictou, travelled to New Glasgow and eventually up to Iona in Cape Breton.
The segment with Pictou County will only be 15 to 20 minutes of the hour-long episode, but it takes a lot of organizing. They plan every shot and interview ahead of time to ensure they make the most of their short time in the area.
They’ll also be shooting at the Highland Museum in Iona, Cape Breton. They want to capture a milling frolic, a Gaelic song session where a group pounds cloth to the beat of the music on a milling table.
This is one tradition that has been passed down generations and has really stuck. D’Orsay said often people who have been displaced hold onto those connections to the past harder than they may in other areas.
D’Orsay was heading to Cape Breton for two days to do more scouting.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda