• Health & Food

    The Old Lewis House: A View from 1902

    by  • 17 February 2012 • Health & Food, Life in Uig • 2 Comments

    The Report on the Social Conditions of the People of Lewis (1902) by the Crofters Commission gives a detailed account of the traditional Lewis blackhouse, which agitated the minds of reformers from Sir James Matheson onward, and the measures taken from about 1880 to improve it, particularly with regard to sanitation.

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    Hens of 1908

    by  • 23 July 2011 • Crofting, Featured Notes, Health & Food • 0 Comments

    The Congested Districts Board took an interest in poultry farming in the crofting parishes and in 1908 a Commission proceeded around Scotland taking evidence from many involved in the trade. On 22 July of that year they were in Uig, interviewing Mr & Mrs Duncan Maclean of Gisla Farm.

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    Landing at the Flannans

    by  • 25 March 2011 • Church, Featured Notes, Health & Food, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    Martin Martin, in his Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (1695) gives an account of the use made of the Flannan Isles at the time and the superstitions that attended a visit: “The inhabitants of the adjacent lands of the Lewis, having a right to these islands, visit them once every summer, and there make a great purchase of fowls, eggs, down, feathers, and quills…”

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    Stores for the FP Manse, 1939

    by  • 1 February 2011 • Health & Food, Life in Uig, WWII • 0 Comments

    receipt from Cyril Goodge (petrol and provisions at Miavaig) for the Free Presbyterian Manse, date 13 September 1939 – the day after the induction of Rev John Angus Macdonald as FP minister in Uig, so presumably he is setting out his kitchen. It’s also just a few days after the start of the war. Rationing began in January 1940.

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    Abhainn Dearg: the Peacemaker Launch

    by  • 12 March 2010 • Health & Food, News & Events • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=1083,387] Abhainn Dearg, the new whisky from Uig, will not be whisky until 2011 but thanks to the intrepid Leodhaisiach Mike Donald and his colleagues, a small cask of the new spirit is lying cosseted in a cellar in Glasgow. MacSorley’s Music Bar on Jamaica Street will be the venue for a tasting of the […]

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    Dr Duncan Maclennan

    by  • 19 February 2010 • Health & Food, People

    [singlepic=1077,280,left]Dr Duncan Maclennan served as the doctor in West Uig from 1935 to 1945. A native of Stornoway, he studied at Aberdeen and Uig was his first post. He was greatly liked throughout the district, as this piece from the Stornoway Gazette on the occasion of his leaving demonstrates: 20 July 1945 On Tuesday, 3rd July, in Crowlista […]

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    Provisions for St Kilda, and the Austrian shipwreck

    by  • 5 December 2009 • Fishing, Health & Food, History, Weather • 0 Comments

    Winter was always a difficult time for the inhabitants of St Kilda, but the winter of 1876-77 was unusual.  From the Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, 1878: When the factor, Mr M’Kenzie, with MacLeod’s vessel, did not put in an appearance in autumn last year [1876], as usual, the inhabitants at […]

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    The Hiort Mail Boat Arrives in Uig, 1885

    by  • 30 August 2009 • Health & Food, History • 2 Comments

    As Hiort Weekend continues, here’s a piece contributed by Alasdair Shearer (Aird/Australia) from the Celtic Magazine.  The BBC programme An t-Hiortach, about the last surviving evacuee Norman Gillies and his return visit to the island, is available on the iPlayer now (UK only and until 5 Sept), and for those who get BBC Alba, there […]

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    A Herd-boy’s Piece

    by  • 19 August 2009 • Health & Food • 1 Comment

    Lewsiana (W Anderson Smith, 1874/1896) gives this little titbit. Before we leave the family blinking round the peat fire, telling interminable tales or crooning never-ending songs, we will introduce the reader to a favourite bonne bouche. Take two eggs, with a little butter and meal, whip them all well up together, and place on the […]

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    The Ballan

    by  • 27 July 2009 • Health & Food, Life in Uig • 0 Comments

    From Mary Beith’s Deanamh a’ Leighis column in the West Highland Free Press, 3 October 2008. The ballan, a cow’s horn used for cupping against the skin to draw out impurities and cure sciatica and rheumatism, was well known in Lewis and continued into living memory.  One such ballan used in  Lochaber was described by […]

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    Roadless Communities

    by  • 3 June 2009 • Health & Food, History, Life in Uig • 0 Comments

    Another bit from DDC Pochin Mould’s West Over Sea, published in 1953; at the time even quite substantial and central townships like Geshader were just getting their proper roads. Crossing the moor between Loch Raonasgail and the yellow road by the sea at Uig, I had plenty of opportunity to consider living without roads.  Probably […]

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    More 19th Century Food: from the Sea

    by  • 6 May 2009 • Health & Food • 0 Comments

    From Lewsiana, W Anderson Smith, 1874-86. (See also the previous extract.) Dog fish (Spinax) kept for a short time and half dried, like the skate without salt, is by some considered a tit-bit, by others of more delicate stomach eaten for lack of something more tasty.  Perhaps desire for revenge for the ravages committed on […]

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    19th Century Food

    by  • 16 April 2009 • Health & Food, History, Life in Uig • 0 Comments

    From Lewsiana, by W Anderson Smith (J&R Parlane, Paisley 1874-1886). Let us first consider in detail the domestic arrangements in the hands of the women, and trace in order the results of their industry, which is untiring, if not always regulated to the best advantage. As soon as the family is astir in the morning, […]

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    Nurse Ruadh, Annie Maclean

    by  • 12 March 2009 • Health & Food • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=585,426] Annie Maclean, Nurse Ruadh, was born to 12 Crowlista in 1872 and served as district nurse in Uig before taking up the post in Tarbert, where she worked until her death in 1940, and was much loved.  The following is from the Stornoway Gazette: It was with deep regret that we learned of the […]

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