An impressive illustrated new publication about the history of the Eishken estate in Pairc, Lewis, written by well-known historian David Jones, was launched by Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc at Orinsay Village Hall recently.

The huge extent of the peninsula of Pairc, which but for a narrow neck of land between the heads of Loch Erisort and Loch Seaforth would be an island, together with its remoteness from main population centres, and dramatic mountain and coastal scenery, have always marked it out as special. There is now growing evidence that Pairc was the private deer park of the owners of Lewis from an early date, a fact which almost certainly explains its name. The population of this vast area was probably relatively sparse up to the late 18th century when kelp and fishing began to take on greater economic importance and led to landlords encouraging local populations around the coastal fringes, perhaps for the first time. But the collapse of the kelp industry in the 19th century, together with the high rents available for a time from sheep farming, followed by the fashionable interest in deer forests during the Victorian period, transformed the position as people once again became expendable.

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Hudson plane crash site photographs

A few months ago we published an article on the Hudson bomber which crashed at Mulhagery in Southern Pairc and received the note below from Dave Earl.

‘Nice article on the Hudson. I am an aviation historian/author living E of Manchester and have for a number of years been researching losses of aircraft around the Scottish Islands for a book project. With permission of the Estate manager Chris McCrae I visited the site of the Hudson in May 2000. I also visted the graves of Rigby & Hancock in Stornoway to pay my respects. Oddly the 1180 accident card on this aircraft was never updated and it is still listed as missing. During research I am always seeking family members to try and obtain a little on a crew members background and any photos of them if available, I note that Roger Hancock left a note here and I would most welcome any correspondance with him, if you could please pass on my e-mail address I would be most grateful. He is of course most welcome to anything I have gathered in my file over the years. Many thanks Donnie once again for writing this article, it is important that we remember the sacrifices these men made for us all. Kind Regards. David W.Earl.’
Dave has now kindly sent us some photographs taken on the site when he visted with his colleague D Ramsay in May 2000.

Eiskein outing 27th June 2009

A great turnout at the Deer Park Raiders monument and a beautiful sunny day – John Randall spoke of the history of the deer park raids and Angus Macleod’s role in commisioning a series of cairns to commemorate the land struggles. The next stop was at Seaforth Head where Ken Roddy Mackay spoke on the history of the area and his own memories of the place. We then moved on to Eiskein and enjoyed a barbecue and a further talk on the history of the estate by John Randall. This was followed by a walk further into Eiskein estate.

Here are some photos of the day. Note that it is better to click on individual photos rather than use the slideshow

Gravir School, 1957-58

Unidentified – from Gravir?

This photo comes from Uig, where it was lying unidentified in the Comann Eachdraidh collection.  It’s marked on the back “M Campbell, Gravir” and there was a mark over the chap on the left.  But who was he, who are the others, what’s it doing in Uig and where was it taken?
Calum Macritchie believes that he is Murdo Campbell, brother of Mary Campbell, 13 Gravir, Mairi Dhomhnaill Ruaraidh who was married to a John Macdonald from Hacklete, Bernera.
Do you know any of the other people in the photograph?
Teen Anne from Uig has kindly solved the mystery as follows:-
“M Campbell was the late Maggie Campbell nee Saunders from 17 Valtos who married Norman Campbell who was missionary in Gravir.  Maggie supplied many of the Uig sheiling photographs in the CEU collection and I think everyone is from Uig. There should be a list of names, if not, I recognise most of them. Domhnall or Calum Beag a Creagain Mackay, 15 Valtos, Betsy Matheson nee Buchanan 7 Valtos, Catherine Smith 30 Valtos, not sure 3 Valtos or Christina Macleod 11 Valtos?, Bella Buchanan nee Smith 8 Valtos, Bell Bheag Mackay 9 Valtos and An “Eye Bheag” Buchanan 8 Valtos.”
Maggie Campbell is not in the photograph

Unidentified Wedding

Can anyone identify this family?

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