WEST WORD
COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR 2005 & 2008
Community paper for Mallaig, Morar, Arisaig, Lochailort, Glenfinnan
Glenuig, Knoydart and the Small Isles

List of Issues online

September 2010 Issue

Contents of the online version:

Top stories
Monthly news from Knoydart, Muck, Rum, Eigg
West Word ten years ago
Crofting Roundup & Fishing Focus
Local Genealogy & History

Letters, e-mails and comments are welcome.
Contact Details & How to Subscribe to the Paper
Sign our Guestbook

All photos are copyright either of the individual photographers or West Word.
Not to be reproduced without permission.

NEW PRINTER FOR WEST WORD
The new printer is here - as you can see for yourselves! What do you think? There was an incredible response from West Word readers who have helped us raise over £2000. Once again (can we say it enough) many thanks to all of you. We hope you think the end result was worth it.
We must also thank the Gower Trust, the Arisaig Fund, the Road to the Isles Marketing Group, the Co-operative Community Fund, and Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig & District Community Councils, for donations which have made up the balance for the £10,300 machine.
Unfortunately, colour issues will be few and far between. The printing is expensive, and the colour back and front pages and the middle colour spread of this issue have cost us an extra £300 to print. You can see then that without sponsorship of colour pages we can't afford to do it.
So why have we bothered? We needed a new and more reliable machine (time will tell!) and we hope you'll agree that even the black and white print is crisper and clearer. It's good to have the colour option, whether for sponsored or special copies of West Word or for printing jobs for others. We hope that local businesses and perhaps some individuals will consider sponsoring a middle colour spread from time to time at the cost of £150.

MALLAIG LIFEBOAT OPEN DAY
Saturday 21st August dawned bright, if a little bit breezy - a far cry from the torrential rain of the day before. The Mallaig Lifeboat the Severn Class Henry Alston Hewat was open to the public with crew members happy to show visitors around the vessel and stalls were set up in the Prawn Market on Mallaig Pier selling everything from prawns, lifeboat souvenirs and photographs to knitwear. Local Coastguard personnel manned a very successful barbeque, selling delicious burgers, salmon and kippers which had all been donated by local businesses. In the evening, Ballochmyle Band played to a very busy community hall, with lots of ceilidh dancing enjoyed by all. Figures have yet to be finalised but we hope to have raised around £2,000 for the Mallaig Lifeboat. Thanks to everyone involved in such a successful day.

PRINCESS ROYAL VISITS ISLE OF EIGG
On Wednesday 8th September, the Isle of Eigg was privileged to welcome HRH The Princess Royal in perhaps the first Royal Visit since the time of the Lords of the Isles!
Her Royal Highness had a brief tour of the Island and met most of the residents in the Community Hall. The Royal Party learned about the challenges of the past few years, the changes brought about through sustainable energy, the Big Green Challenge and plans for the future.
Gifts were presented by Camille Dressler author of Eigg: the Story of an Island and the youngest pupils in the School, Breagha Millar and Clyde Wallace. Donna MacCulloch piped 'The Isle of Eigg's Welcome to the Princess Royal', a tune she composed specially for the occasion.
The Chairman of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, John Hutchison, said; 'Eigg has become a place to be watched, to be associated with, a place to visit and a place to learn from. Although that is humbling we are also very proud of our achievements.'
In her response The Princess Royal congratulated the community and said that the dynamics on the island had made it successful and an example to others.

HARBOUR WORKS
Work on the £625,000 Mallaig Harbour Cathodic Protection Scheme was eventually completed a couple of weeks later that expected on Wednesday 11th August.
The Authority, via their Engineers Wallace Stone, had commissioned some extra work - the welding of the metal plates over several holes in the sheet metal piling on the Breast Wharf. 'I'm pleased that the work is now completed,' said Authority Port Manager Robert MacMillan, 'and it seems that the contract has come in on budget, which is very pleasing.' Next on the agenda for the Authority will be the creation over the winter months of a series of yachting pontoons for the inner harbour - more on this next month.


KNOYDART
Hello again
August in Knoydart has been as busy as ever. The school holidays meant that all the holiday homes are full of families. The bay was full of yachts. The hills and campsite were never empty. The pub and the tea room were hoaching. And the midgies were, and are still, fierce. And the weird thing is that we're that busy ourselves we hardly notice, apart from the midgies of course.
And the months just roll into one. Was it in August that Fay went into shock because of an unspecified allergy? I think it was. Luckily for her there was an air ambulance here at the time dealing with another casualty. Not so lucky for the other casualty.
I got back from holiday just in time for the visit of Fuiam and the Games at the start of the month. The Italians I left with a baffling case of snow blindness are ruing the day that I ever put on the shorts. The games seemed to go well. The weather was grand and the ceilidh, with the Jim Jam Ceilidh band, fantastic. The next weekend was Stephanie's 21st which again had us all inhabiting the wee small hours. The month was rounded off socially with a massive touring music session, organised by Drew Harris, which had the pub jumping, and lots of tourists pleasantly bemused.
But forbye the social scene we're all a bit manic. Ian and Jackie's new venture, Knoydart House, is open for business. A frenetic final week for the builders, painters, cleaners and curtain hangers, along with Ian and Jackie themselves, meant that deadlines were just about met, and guests had someplace to put their head. The first of the new community owned accommodation is looking the part now, with the walls boarded and David Haynes in about the plastering. The site at Airor has been surveyed and the ground will be broken very soon. Airor was also the site of another productive meeting, to go with the one a few months ago, although this one was more concentrated on crofting. Grant has started some more work at his site. Discussions are at an early stage about the possibility of another music festival. The Forest Trust will be advertising to replace Danny in the near future. A meeting discussing a few land management things, organised by the Rangers, passed off with some accord and little incident. All is good. And of course the kids are back to school so the weather has turned and we're basking in sunshine. More importantly, there's a hint of frost in the air bringing with it the promise of the demise of the midge, at least for a few months.
Oh, but just one gripe. If a government agency is going to ask for applications, it shouldn't wait until after the application date before telling everybody that the fund is restricted. Days and weeks of time that people don't have were wasted all over the country due to just such a scenario with Rural Priorities. Anyway, hope all is well
Davie Newton

ISLE OF MUCK
There was consternation on the island when the bids arrived to build our new Community Hall. All were way over budget and some were over £million. As one islander put it ,'Builders consider the Small Isles in the same breath as St Kilda'. They were not taking any risks and one firm was involved with the new school and knew what to expect. So what can be done?
Removing the 'gold plating' from the building will take top priority and we can do more work ourselves. The third option -raising more money - is not I believe on the Committee's agenda, The Hall is expensive enough already.
On the farm we are preparing for the lamb sales amid an air of optimism. For the second year prices are better than 20 years ago and we have more lambs to sell. On the arable side an amazing new crop has made it's appearance - Tritecale. Similar to wheat but with awns, it has been sown by Toby as game cover but would make superb whole crop silage. It can stand a similar soil pH to oats but it must be much more resistant to rain and wind as so far none has gone flat. All very interesting.
Next month we have more families visiting with a view to coming to live. Perhaps I can report more in October.
Lawrence MacEwen

ISLE OF EIGG
August arrived as quickly as it has passed, kids are back to school already and the visitors are starting to slacken off. The weather this month was at least kind enough to give us a couple of scorchers to allow us to squeeze all our summer activities into two days! With the new school term a few bleary eyes have been spotted (especially me) still adjusting to the early morning starts. The school roll has 10 pupils this year which is fantastic and quite a handful for our teachers as it is the full range from P1 to P6 so good luck to Mrs Ibrahim and Ms Hollands in keeping one step ahead of all those bright sparks. Unfortunately we have none in nursery so Miss Carr can go back to being called Frances!
We have sadly lost Megan Morrison to high school, she will be sorely missed by everyone but in particularly by Ailidh and Hannah. A wee leaving do was held for Megan with a true style beach barbeque with charcoaled sandy sausages and the weather was glorious allowing a fine bit of sea activity but despite it being scorching hot there was still a few blue children coming out of the water by the end of the day!! We wish Megan all the best with her time over the waters and look forward to seeing her at the weekends.
Without having to even step on a boat it has been an absolute pleasure to see so many dolphins and basking sharks present in our waters this month. It has become a daily occurrence, dolphins leaping happily along with the Sheerwater and seeing the basking sharks sifting the plankton tranquilly although, however well you know they are harmless vegetarians, their huge fins still always puts the jaws theme tune in my head! Other than that the other most noticeable things are how much wild fruits there have been on many plants this year. Especially rich pickings from the wild raspberries and the next in line are the apples and hazelnuts as the trees are hanging heavy with fruits, although the brambles appear to be a bit late this year still having a long way to go before being ripe, and then the jammers and pie makers are spotted by their red dyed hands.
We've had some cracking events. Finishing July off nicely was Sharon King and the Reckless Angels which was a fantastic intimate evening of music and songs. On the 20th August a fine performance from Blaze with our very own Mick Brett and friends played into the wee small hours with any request played along with a lot of golden oldies! Some unusual moves could be seen on the dance floor... along with folk you don't see to often these days giving it a hop bop and boogie, a great fun evening all round! To get the balance right and to keep all ages happy (apart from John Cormack who had his tranquil beach house being blasted by the banging beats!) the following evening saw a rave on the Laig beach and stamina was needed to last through to the following afternoon. Not just for the rave but in general it has been great to see the gathering of the clans over the summer months with the different generations of Eigg children coming back to catch up on their Eigg time. To round off August perfectly on the 28th is a boat load of extreme talent - you can't go wrong with a line up from Innes Watson, Garry Innes, John Somerville to mention just a few, and fab to see Kath Robinson from Knoydart in there too! The next big event will be the Away Game organised by Fence Records in Fife who have been hosting weekend music events in Anstruther for seven years called The Home Game and they have chosen Eigg as the venue this year. Tickets sold out in a record six minutes and that was before a line up had been announced, anybody with a slow internet connection had no chance! The full line up is still to be announced but we do know we will be in for a treat as 30 acts will be performing including King Creosote, British Sea Power and Daimh, fingers crossed for calm seas!
Visitors have been MSP's Peter Peacock and Sarah Boyack, genuinely interested in what we have been up to and keen to help out with future plans.
Developments towards our additional PV panels for Eigg Electric have progressed with the arrival of the equipment to lay the base. Once the additional PV's are installed this will bring the array to 30KW in total and will be the first spending of our prize monies from the Big Green Challenge and Ashden Awards.
Good luck to Catriona Helliwell who is setting off to India for six months volunteering as an occupational therapist.
Happy Birthday to Baby Maggie, Frances, Colin, Marie, Sarah Boden and a belated 30th Birthday to Megan Frey for last month!!
Tasha Lancaster

CANNA
A new National Trust of Scotland Manager has been appointed for the island. Mr Stewart Connor from Largs in Ayrshire will be the first manager to live on the island as opposed to running the island from a mainland office in Inverness. His arrival has boosted the population by 5%! Mr Connor said he was very much looking forward to the challenge and added: 'The community on Canna is bursting with ideas and a large part of my job will be to work closely with them to look at how we can develop the island in the future.'

An ode to Mallaig
In a place like Mallaig, a place so reliant on the tourist trade, it becomes easy to decipher between who is 'a tourist' and who is 'a local'. A few important things need to be discovered before categorisation. Firstly, can they pronounce the deceptively-sounding 'Mallaig'? Secondly, do they know where 'The Mission' is? I can safely say that I can correctly pronounce 'Mallaig', and I absolutely know where the mission is. But am I a local? Or a tourist? I like to classify myself as being somewhere in between.
For as long as I can remember, every school holiday was spent in Mallaig. Mum, Dad, sister and I would journey up to Mallaig from our home near Aberdeen. We always stayed with our Granda, Petie McLean (a bona fide local!). There was always something to do or somewhere to see, whether it be going on 'runs' to Morar to see 'the falls' or taking a drive through Arisaig. And who can forget the obligatory Saturday shopping trip to 'The Fort'.
It isn't just being with family in Mallaig that sticks in my mind, but also being with friends. Over the years I got to know the local kids and come rain, hail or shine we were always out and about playing until it got dark. I fondly remember one winter when Mallaig was blanketed in snow, we all went sledging down Coteachan Hill. We had become accustomed to snow-free winters in Mallaig, so we didn't bring our sledge from home. Mum found us a great alternative to hit the slopes with: a tinfoil turkey tray!
In 2006, we moved to a place of permanent snow-less winters - Australia. And while we are far away from a place we hold so dear, you don't have to look far to see its influence. The decision to name our new house 'Camusdarach' was cemented with a green plaque hanging from our letter box. When we bought a new pet, the breeder informed us that this particular pup was called 'Skye', and she was ours. And we are still clinging to our Scottish traditions. Last New Year's Day we enjoyed a Scotch broth like so many we had enjoyed before, but this time we were sweltering outside in 40 degree heat.
Mallaig is a place that touches both tourists and locals alike. Tourists flock to Mallaig in droves to catch the steam train, board the ferry to Skye, or see first-hand the post-card scenery in the area. But the locals give Mallaig its character, a character built on community spirit, a character that welcomes. A character I will never forget.
Allana Wares

THE PRINCE RETURNS TO SCOTLAND
After over 250 years Bonnie Prince Charlie has re-created his journey from Rome to Prestonpans on the world's longest tapestry.
As has been previously reported in West Word local ladies Christine Haynes, Pauline Elwell, Helen Brodie, Vera MacDonald , Ann Cameron, Rosie MacEachen and June Cairns all worked on panels for the tapestry. They were all invited to a Gala Day to see the tapestry in all its glory. Christine, Pauline, Helen and June attended along with the ladies from Fort William and Kinlochmoidart and the rest of the 200 stitchers it took to complete the tapestry. On arrival at Prestonpans we registered that we were there and had coffee.

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One of Arisaig's panels: 'The Prince orders du Teilly to unload and depart'. The du Teilly was the French ship which took Prince Charlie to Erisaky and then brought him to loch nan Uamh. All tapestry photos Richard Lamont.

We then moved into the tent holding the tapestry. Each set of five panels was called a cohort and to begin with we went to our own panels. After a few minutes a bell rang and you moved to the next cohort. Again after a few minutes the bell rang again for you to move to the next cohort and so on until you had seen all 104 panels. This meant everyone was spread through the tent and there was no bunching up at the beginning or end and everyone could see all the panels.

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'The Prince's standard is raised' (at Glenfinnan)

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'Foot soldiers are slaughtered at walls of Preston House'

Next on the agenda was a buffet lunch. The panels have all been photographed and made into a book of the tapestry. After lunch we were invited, a cohort at a time, to sign the master copy of the book which will go to the Library of Scotland.
After tea and shortbread there were a variety of entertainments laid on from a lady hand bell-ringer from Dunblane to a group singing Jacobite songs, to a group of actors doing sketches about the tapestry and the number of husbands who had to eat burnt food while it was being stitched. There were also highland dancers followed by the pipes and drums of the Allan Breck Regiment.
Then followed dinner (they really fed us well all day). After dinner Martin Margulies, Colonel of the Allan Breck Regiment gave a very interesting talk on the battle at Prestonpans. The day finished at nine o'clock with a dram of Drambuie delivered to us by the Prince himself and Auld Lang Syne. It was a day we will all remember for a very long time.
Then the tapestry started its long journey, first to Eriskay and then to Arisaig. There were nearly 400 people who came to see it in Arisaig and seeing it in good light and in the hall really made it look spectacular. Aaron Johnston gave a talk on the battle on the Tuesday night which was well attended and very interesting. The local stitchers from Morar and Arisaig were on hand to give information on the stitching to visitors and Aaron and Fiona answered questions on the history.
After a trip to Invergordon the tapestry then made its way to Fort William. The council gave a reception for the stitchers and local dignitaries in the Nevis Centre. It was nice to be acknowledged in this manner. The 1000th visitor to the tapestry came on the first morning it was in Fort William. Once again we were all there the first day to give advice on the stitching and when I visited with family on the second day there were three school parties there taking great interest in the panels.
Christine Haynes


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Orcas seen off Eigg from the Shearwater at the beginning of August. Photos Arthur Campbell.

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West Word - ten years ago


Sunfish
I caught this mola mola sun fish in Loch nan Uamh on the 16th August while fishing for mackerel. I don't know the exact weight, my scales only went up to 50 lbs, but I estimate it to be between 60 to 90+lbs. it was 35" long and 22.5" high. The fish was returned to the loch alive and swam away apparently fine. It was caught the same day BBC Highlands did a report about a sighting from MV Sheerwater. It took me an hour to land, which I managed only with help from another angler on holiday (called Shuggie), it took the two of us to lift it.
Kirk Phillips
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Birdwatch by Stephen MacDonald
Another fairly quiet month for birds with relatively small numbers of waders passing through this area, apart from a flock of approx. 60 Curlews in Loch nan Ceall on the 14th.
Two Greenshanks on the 4th at Bourblach, Morar, were the first reported this autumn. Two Bar-tailed Godwits, two Greenshank and ten Redshanks were seen at Gorten on the 11th and up to three Bar-tailed Godwits were at Silversands for several days mid-month. Dunlin and Sanderling were seen most days at Traigh and single Knot and Whimbrel were seen there on the 20th.
Great Skuas were seen close inshore at Mallaig and Traigh on several occasions, and an Arctic Skua was seen chasing Terns in the North Channel, Arisaig, on the 11th.
Several flocks of Linnets were seen at Traigh and Back of Keppoch contained a large proportion of juveniles, which would indicate a successful breeding season locally. Flocks of
Goldfinches in the area also contained good numbers of youngsters.
Peregrine Falcons were seen at Traigh and Back of Keppoch on several occasions and Sparrowhawks were reported from Morar and Traigh.
Once again Shearwater season has arrived, so if you come across any the best thing to do if you capture it is to place it in a secure cardboard box lined with newspaper or old towel, and phone myself or Martin at The Moorings, as the intention is to ring as many as possible before release.
Two Shearwaters ringed on Rum were found 11,500km away on the coast of Argentina, which shows how far they journey to Winter in the South Atlantic.
Ongoing studies on Rum using GPS equipment has shown that Shearwaters with chicks forage, not only locally, but over a huge area of sea, and may be absent for several days before returning to feed their chicks.


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Michael Portillo (right) interviewed Elliot Ironside in Mallaig recently for a future episode of Great Railway Journeys


On and Off the Rails

Welcome back ScotRail Club 55
With, hopefully, some lovely late Summer and early Autumn days to come, ScotRail have re-introduced Club 55 (discounted rail travel in Scotland for persons aged 55 and over) to encourage us to travel and visit friends/relatives, go shopping or for an overnight or longer stay, have a girly day away, etc., etc. Basically, return travel between any two stations (including changing trains en-route if necessary) in Scotland, as far as Carlisle in the West and Berwick-upon-Tweed in the East, will cost just £18 per person, with a further £2 discount if you hold a Senior Citizen's Rail Card. How good is that!! The promotion runs for 10 weeks, from Monday September 20th until Tuesday November 30th. Tickets do not have to be purchased in advance, and can be purchased on the trains on the day of travel from un-manned stations or from Mallaig on the 06.05 or on Sundays. However, if you book in advance you have the advantage of free seat reservations for both outward and return journeys, i.e. choose forward or back facing seats, window seats, table seats, airline seats, near to the toilet (or far away!), etc. from Mallaig to Fort William's point of view, it should bring into the area lots of late Summer hotel and B&B guests (including coach party bookings) to stay overnight or even longer. At a total cost of £9 each way per person, it is a real bargain. Well done, ScotRail. So what are you waiting for? Plan your journey, find a friend, pick a good book, a picnic or a bottle of plonk and away we go. Leaflets will be available in staffed booking offices shortly. Carry proof of age with you.

Jacobite steam train continues Monday to Friday working
Sunday August 29th saw the last weekend Jacobite into Mallaig for this season. The Saturday and Sunday service ran throughout July and August, and proved to be a great success. The Jacobite continues to run Monday to Friday from Fort William to Mallaig and return until the end of October, slightly longer than last year and taking in the Scottish and English half-terms which should prove popular. Despite the recession, this year's Jacobite has been very well booked, with seven carriages being used on every journey to date. The locomotives for the rest of the season will be Black 5's 45231 and 45407 being used on a week-about rota. The K1 was scheduled to work until the end of October but, as reported in last month's West Word, it suffered various mechanical problems and had to return South for repairs. K4, The Great Marquess, did a good job in filling in for K1, and proved very popular with photographers from the various railway magazines and journals. As Robert MacMillan reported in his 'Snippets' (August West Word) column, 'it was nice to see the K4 back in Mallaig'.

The West Highlander Steam Express
Departing Liverpool on Friday September 3rd, the 'West Highlander Steam Express', a three day steam hauled tour organised by 'The Railway Touring Company', headed for Scotland. Arriving in Glasgow later that day, the guests have an overnight hotel stop. An early start from Glasgow Queen Street on Saturday September 4th via Fort William saw the tour in Mallaig at 3pm until 5pm. Having arrived in Glasgow behind LMS Royal Scot, The Great Marquess took over the train to Fort William, where it was planned to couple K1 62005 to the rear and take the guests chimney first to Mallaig. Unfortunately, as reported earlier in my column, the K1 has gone south for repairs. So either Black 5 45407 or 45231 were planned to be used instead. After leaving Mallaig (where it is suggested by the Railway Touring Company 'guests spend their time sight seeing, shopping or alternatively enjoying the excellent traditional fish and chips!') the train returned to Fort William - guests again staying in hotels overnight. Sunday September 5th saw the train head for Crianlarich behind a 'refreshed', coaled, watered, and turned on Fort William turntable, K4, The Great Marquess. At Crianlarich a Black 5 was coupled on the rear of the train to haul it to Oban. It was planned to haul the train with locomotive tender first, as it would be that way round after arriving at Crianlarich the day before from Fort William. Departing from Oban behind the Black 5 (now chimney first) the train returned to Crianlarich where a locomotive change took place. The Great Marquess was put back on the front of the train and took the guests back to Glasgow for another overnight hotel stopover. Finally, Monday September 6th saw the 'West Highland Steam Express' leave Scotland behind 46115 Scots Guardsman. Finally, on to Preston where a Class 47 Diesel completed the final leg of the journey, arriving back in Liverpool Lime Street at approximately 17.20 hrs. And you thought organising a train tour was easy!! Let's hope the visitors enjoyed their time visiting Mallaig and Lochaber.

The Royal Scotsman
Saturday September 11th sees the next Royal Scotsman into Mallaig. for locomotive enthusiasts, the last two Scotsmans have been hauled by 57601, a General Motors Locomotive. It was the first of its Class to have been modified from a Class 47. It was the prototype of its Class, which makes it unique. The Scotsman now also visits Oban on a regular basis, which it has not done for several years due to weight restrictions for Class 47b and 57 locomotives. West Coast Railways now use 2 x Class 37's in multiple working in order to adhere to the Network Rail restrictions. Royal Scotsman tours are also booked to come to Mallaig on Saturday September 18th and Saturday September 25th. Please bear in mind that these dates may be subject to change. See their website for up to date information: www.royalscotsman.com

SRPS Railtours
Saturday September 18th will see SRPS Railtours visitng Mallaig for the second time this year. Starting at Ayr and calling at Prestwick Town, Troon, Irvine, Kilwinning, Johnstone, Paisley, Gilmour Street, Westerton and Helensburgh Upper to pick up passengers, they arrive in Fort William for a short stop before proceeding on to Mallaig. They will be using their own MK1 coaches and on-board staff, combined with West Coast Vintage Diesels. The booked traction is Class 47 and Class 37, top and tailed. Let's hope the weather stays good for their visit to Mallaig. booked to be in Mallaig between 2 - 3pm, they should have enough time to enjoy some fish and chips, a pint or two, or an ice-cream. We welcome them.

West Highland Jacobite Statesman
Departing England on October 1st and October 8th, the 'West Highland Jacobite Statesman' three day weekend tours, operated by Statesman Rail, will visit Fort William and Mallaig. the October 1st departure leaves from Peterborough, picking up passengers en-route, including Nottingham and Manchester, arriving in Mallaig on Saturday October 2nd. The October 8th departure leaves from Swindon, picking up passengers en-route, including Cheltenham Spa and Crewe, arriving in Mallaig on Saturday October 9th. From Fort William to Mallaig and return, the steam locomotives are likely to be either 45407 or 45231.

West Word Book Competition result
Thanks to all those of you who entered the competition to win the book Harry Potter on Location. Most of you got the answer right, which was 'J. K. Rowling'. The winner of the book is Brian Bannister, Lockerbie. Well done Brian, your book is in the post! I hope to run another competition in the October West Word.

See you on the train.
Sonia Cameron


WIDE WORLD WEST WORD

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Arthur and Barbara MacDonald (now Letterewe, Gairloch), Mary-Theresa and Morabel on holiday in Southern Ireland with their essential reading.

Right: Kenneth Dyer (ex Arisaig) sent us this photo from his home in Burpengarry, Queensland of 'a weed reading West Word - and a thistle'. He reckons his prize thistle is eight or nine feet high!

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Above left - Lorna Hudson writes: 'I am from Newcastle Upon-Tyne. I have been coming up to Silversands Caravan Site, Arisaig at least once a year since I was 7 months old! My parents subscribe to West Word so we can catch up on the local news while we are not there. The photograph attached was taken from the Millennium Bridge, with the other bridges in the background on the River Tyne.'

Above right - Connie Grant, Morar, even packed a copy when she went to Malawi to help build the school out there. Here she is, catching up with her reading sitting on a pile of bricks.


A Little Genealogy by Allan MacDonald (email: ealasaid6@btopenworld.com)
Campbell Boatbuilders and the MacLellan connection

Following the article in WW May 2010 I was in contact with Marina Dennis, née MacDonell, Nethy Bridge, vice-chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation - Crofting Reform Group, who told me that she was descended from John Campbell, b. 1845. John was her g. grandfather and his wife was Annie Kennedy from Co. Antrim. They married in Rothesay on 10th September 1874 where John was working as a ship's carpenter. After this, they moved to Corpach where John had a boatshed and business. Marina's grandmother was Duncanina Campbell, better known as Ina, who because of the strong Campbell connection to Arisaig, came to work in Arisaig Hotel where she met and married Allan MacDonell of Keppoch, Brae Lochaber. Marina also tells me of Duncanina's siblings, of whom there were nine. There was Kate, Mary, James, Grace, Ronald, Duncan, Jean and Margaret. Duncan and Ronald emigrated to Queensland where they built Campbell's Boatyard. The business was still in existence in the 1950s. Kate emigrated to America and her sister, Mary, a qualified nurse, joined her. Mary decided to return home on the Lusitania and was lost when the ship was torpedoed by a German U boat off Ireland on May 7th 1915.
Marina is hoping to visit us in September, bringing an older cousin and, hopefully, a photo of Angus Campbell b. 1852, taken outside his boatshed in Back of Keppoch.
Another WW reader and Campbell descendant, Tom Mack visited us in July. He came from Menstrie, in Clackmannanshire and his mother was Joan Campbell, Angus' (1852) daughter whom I missed in the previous article. Joan married Martin Mack and had only one child, Tom who married Lynne Rodgers and who have two children, Lynzie and Kirsty-Joan. Tom has taken scout camps from his area to Arisaig for many years and latterly to Theresa MacKenzie's croft at Ach na Luin, Morar. We have put the two cousins, Tom and Marina, in touch with each other. Both wanted to know who was Alexandrina MacLellan, Angus Campbell's (b. 1852) wife and where did her MacLellans come from. Alexandrina was the eldest child of Angus MacLellan, b. 1830 and his wife Ann née Gillies, b. 1834. Ann was the daughter of John Gillies b. 1806, sheepfarmer in Stoule, and his wife, Catherine, b. 1809. Ann's siblings were, John b. 1836, Donald b. 1838, Sarah , b. 1844, Mary b. 1846, Flora b. 1848, James b. 1850 and Hugh b. 1852. The Gillieses and MacLellans were both of old Stoule families. Angus MacLellan and Ann Gillies' family was (1) Alexandrina b. 1861 at Stoule, (2) Archie, b. 1863, (3) Ann b. 1864,. (4) Kate b. 1867 (5) John b. 1869 and (6) Angusina, b. 1870. Their father, Angus d. July 7th 1870 aged forty years. Angus' parents were Archie MacLellan b. 1776 and his wife Catherine Gillies b. 1791. They were sheepfarmers in Stoule. Their family was Donald b. 1821, Farquhar, b. 1826, Angus b. 1830, Mary b. 1832, Margaret b. 1833, John b. 1835 and Ronald b. 1839. Farquhar was the informant at Angus' death in 1870. Farquhar married Flora MacDonald/MacDonell, affectionately known as "Calliach Beag, Croideart", a sister of James "Solomon" MacDonell of the Shenagate/Bracara family. Sometime after Angus' death, Farquhar and Flora emigrated to Cape Breton.
(2) Archie, b. 1863, was a very astute and prosperous businessman and is on record in the 1881 North Morar census, as a merchant aged 18 years. He was engaged in buying and selling fish and supplying provisions to the fishing fleet of the time. He had a kippering shed and curing station before the coming of the railway in 1901. Archie married Mary King who held the post of schoolteacher in Glasnacardoch school. Mary was born in New York and was the daughter of James King, merchant, and Mary King née Lauder. They built the family home named "The Anchorage" in Mallaig and had three children, Archie, Angus and Agnes. Having built a home for the family, he embarked on other building projects i.e. The Marine Hotel, incorporating three shops on the ground floor. One was a general merchant's, later known as Archie Buth's and owned by Archie's son, also Archie. It later became the present day Marine Bar Part of present Bank of Scotland is situated on another of the sites although we don't know if it was the original business there. The third shop was latterly a butcher's business operated for many years by Eustace Grigor and afterwards by Bertie Hepburn. Eventually the Bank of Scotland extended its premises to include the former butcher's shop. After building the Marine building, Archie built a dwelling house and bakery next door to the Anchorage. This was, for many years, occupied by Nell Duncan as a dwelling house and bakery and was known to all as, "Nell the Baker's". Now it is the Cabin Restaurant and the Anchorage is known as the Tea Garden.
Archie then built the dwelling house, St. Margaret's at the top of Annie's Brae. After that he built "Mo Dhachaidh" which is now known as the Corner Shop and Cornerstone Café. Archie died some years before his wife, Mary King, who died in 1937.
(3) Ann b. 1864 married John MacLellan from Eigg. NFI.
(4) Kate. b. 1867 married John Gillies, Mallaig, (?) and they were the parents of Andrew who emigrated. NFI. John Archie, engine driver, m. Mary Morrison. No issue. Ronald, forever known as "Rogie" married May Hannah and they emigrated to New Zealand with family; Iain, Ronnie, Andy and Veronica. Neillie, better known as "Sparks" was not married.
(5) John b. 1869 was tenant in Bracarina and was not married. He was accidentally killed in 1901 while leading a horse and cart on the very steep Bracara Brae.
(6) Angusina, b. 1870, the youngest child, married Thomas Mulligan who was mate on the vessel "Fingal" captained by his brother, James Mulligan. Both were Dublin born. Angusina and Thomas had eight children. Mary, Bridget, Richard, Joan, Frances, Tommy, Annie and Angus. Mary Mulligan m. Archie MacLellan, Mallaig and they managed an hotel in Fraserburgh where two of their children Archie and Maureen were born. During their time in Fraserburgh, they bought the hotel they were managing before selling up and returning to Mallaig where they bought the "Station Hotel" known today as the "West Highland Hotel." Another two children were born in Mallaig; Angusina (Ina Aitchison) and John (the Clachan.) Later Archie built the "Clachan Bar" hence the family patronymic of "Clachan". Descendants of the above families are still to be found in the Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig areas today.
Note 1. Today, St. Margaret's, Mallaig belongs to Ronnie MacDonald, son of the late Angus MacDonald from Arisaig and Carmine Mulligan, daughter of Richard and granddaughter of Thomas Mulligan and Angusina MacLellan.
Note 2. On the BBC "Songs of Praise" Sunday 15th August 2010, an old clip of Mallaig Harbour was screened. It showed a load of fish in wooden boxes bearing the name "A. MacLellan Fish Merchant, Mallaig" being loaded into a railway wagon. The clip would have been ca. 1910


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