• Tales & Traditions

    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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    Tales of Aonghas nam Beann

    by  • 1 February 2011 • Church, Education, People, Tales & Traditions • 2 Comments

    [singlepic id=1167 w=200 float=left] We’ve looked before at the remarkable Angus of the Mountain. The little stories surrounding his life and faith are numberous – here are a few more abridged from Macfarlane’s Men of the Lews (1924): His mental constitution was not of gun-metal. It was weak and of the wool-gathering order. People said [...]

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    Murchadh Ban

    by  • 22 August 2010 • Tales & Traditions, Vikings • 0 Comments

    This story comes from the end of the 18th century, but seems to hark back to an earlier time.  However it is likely that the Viking element was grafted on later – did Vikings pick up local pilots? And potatoes didn’t arrive in the islands until the middle of the 18th century, and even by [...]

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    Aonghas nam Beann

    by  • 11 July 2010 • Church, Education, People, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    Angus nam Beann was a well-known figure in Uig at the time of the Revivals, and ever since.  The following is from John Macleod’s History of the Church in Uig. Angus MacLeod’s father was a shepherd in the hills of Uig towards the border with Harris, and this is where Angus was born. So it [...]

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    Dòmhnall Càm in South Dell

    by  • 18 May 2010 • People, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    Another grisly story about our Uig hero, Dòmhnall Càm, who has a much less heroic reputation in other parts of the island. This is from Capt FWL Thomas’s Traditions of the Macaulays (1880) and he notes that “this tale is certainly mythical”. We ought in our own day to be very thankful to that Divine [...]

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    The Macaulay Resistence

    by  • 15 March 2010 • Genealogy, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    The Rev William Matheson, “Mac Gille Chaluim” and the pre-eminent Island genealogist of his day, gives the following account of the Macaulays resistence to, and eventually tentative alliance with, the Mackenzies who took ownership of the Isle of Lewis in 1610, after the decline of the ruling Macleods and the failed attempt at colonisation by [...]

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    Dòmhnall Cam and the Blind Woman

    by  • 8 February 2010 • Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    We do fairly harp on the heroic stories of Dòmhnall Càm, the local chieftain, warrior and cattle-plunderer, particularly ruthless in wars against the Morrisons of Ness, but there are some deeply unpleasant traditions about him too. The following is from Capt FWL Thomas’s Traditions of the Macaulays (1880). Donald Cam and the Gow Ban [the [...]

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    Lighthouse Disaster in the Lews

    by  • 21 January 2010 • Fishing, Tales & Traditions, Weather • 0 Comments

    In December 1900, the lighthouse on Eilean Mor in the Flannan Isles, which had only been lit for the first time a year previously, was discovered deserted by its three keepers; their dinner table had been set with cold meat, pickles and potatoes, and a chair was overturned in an obvious urgent departure.  Two sets of oilskins and seaboots were missing, and otherwise the quarters and lamp were in perfect order. 

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    Calum Olach in Java

    by  • 20 September 2009 • Military & Police, Old Soldiers, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    The following comes from the Spring 1987 edition of Sanais, the Comann Eachdraidh’s quarterly publication under the editorship of Anna Mackinnon.  There are many tales about the Old Soldiers of Uig and this is another about the doughty Calum Olach of Valtos, serving with the Seaforth Highlanders as one of the Saighdeirean Mac a’Mhinisteir.  They [...]

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    The French Boy at Tealasbhaigh

    by  • 18 August 2009 • Chessmen, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=907,291] From DDC Pochin Mould’s West over Sea, another telling of the familiar story of the ship’s boy who was murdered for the Lewis Chessmen by an Uig gillie.  The story as told by Rev Col AJ Mackenzie, brother of Roderick Mackenzie, the keeper mentioned below, is also given by Dolly Doctor in his Tales [...]

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    Exile to the Flannan Isles

    by  • 1 February 2009 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=439,383] From Sanais,1988. There lived in Uig, before the advent of the policeman, a man of great physical powers and a wild, lawless nature, who robbed and plundered his neighbours with impunity.  To remove him, the crew of a boat to visit the Flannan Isles evolved a plan to maroon him on one of the [...]

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    The Morsgail Meteorite: When Space Hits Back

    by  • 28 January 2009 • Entertainments, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    [singlepic=426,480] Further to the Daily Express cartoon about the alien cause of the disappearing loch at Morsgail, here’s a summary of the international coverage, from the Stornoway Gazette, 29 Dec 1959. Few events in Lewis in recent years have aroused such worldwide interest as the “Morsgail Meteorite”. In addition to the planeload of British reporters, [...]

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