This recent Hogmanay fell on a Sunday, so the fireworks in Stornoway went off at 11pm on New Year’s Eve, and most other celebrations were delayed to the Monday. Forty-one years ago, the same applied.
10 January 1961
Hogmanay came late to Lewis this year. On Saturday night the streets of Stornoway were practically deserved. Making a check up shortly before midnight, we found one small group of about half a dozen people standing, very orderly and very soberly, at the milk machine in Perceval Square.
The only other person we saw between Mitchell’s Garage and the Town Hall was a Sergeant of police who said, “It’s been a very quiet evening. I haven’t heard a single angry word, and there has been no incident of any sort so far.”
RAF Aird Uig delayed their celebrations as a gesture to local feelings. “The officers and airmen on this station have very close contacts with the Lewis people,” said the Station Adjutant, Flt Lt Eric Stuart. “They have been very good to us and there will be no first footing until a minute bapst midnight on Sunday night, January 2nd.”
On Monday the camp bus brought most of the personnel into town and remained there until about ten the following morning, when even the most determined had had their fill of celebrating.
The camp were in step with the majority of the Islanders, whose first-footing after an extremely quiet Sunday morning began in earnest after midnight on that night.