BBC Home > BBC News > Scotland

Pupils celebrate metal discovery

27 June 08 10:52 GMT

The 200th anniversary of a scientist isolating the metal strontium is being marked in the Highlands village which played a key role in its discovery.

Strontium was found in strontianite, a mineral which occurs and was mined near Strontian in Ardnamurchan.

Local schoolchildren have written a song celebrating scientist Sir Humphry Davy isolating the metal in 1808.

Lead mined near the village in the 1700s was used to make ammunition for Britain's war against France.

Strontian Primary School head teacher, Mindy Ogilvie, said Sir Humphry revealed his discovery to the Royal Society in London on 30 June, 1808.

"Strontian is the only place in the British Isles, and one of the very few places in the world, to have one of the hundred or so chemical elements named after it," she said.

Comic series

The Strontium Song ties in with an exhibition and display of mineral samples in the school hall.

At their height, the lead mines provided employment for hundreds of workers and during the Napoleonic wars provided material for the manufacture of ammunition for muskets and artillery weapons.

But the Highlands village's influences go beyond science.

Strontium Dogs was a long running comic series about mutant bounty hunters and featured in Starlord and later 2000 AD.

Related BBC sites