Enterprise of Four Uigeachs

Stornoway Gazette, 30 December 1949.

It is many years since there was a fishing boat of any size in Uig but four Uigeachs arrived in Stornoway on Tuesday of last week with a 45-foot motor-boat which they have purchased in Inverness.

The boat will take her new name from the initials of the four owners – KJ Mackay, who is the skipper, and the three brothers L, D and A Macdonald – giving the name ‘Kilda’.

The ‘Kilda’ is powered by a 36-horsepower diesel engine and averaged 8 knots on her way over from Inverness.  She has previously been engaged in ring-net fishing and is of such a size as to be suitable for drift net, seine net, line or lobster fishing.

At the moment the ‘Kilda’ is to fish the great lines from Stornoway, and last Thursday her crew were busy getting their lines, of which she will carry sixteen, so as not to waste any time in getting their new boat to sea.

Kenny John Mackay was renowned as a footballer, had a shop at Miavaig and later emigrated to Australia.  The brothers were Louis, Donald and Angus Macdonald.  We don’t seem to have a photo of the Kilda – if you do, please let us know.

See more on the fishing boats of Uig here.

1 thought on “Enterprise of Four Uigeachs

  1. K.J.MacKay was my dad and unfortunately I cannot find any photographs of the ‘Kilda’ but have many memories of the Kilda being tied up in the Loch outside the cottage in Miavaig whilst the boys did repairs on her. Later on around 1953 our family moved to 31 Valtos to take up residency in my Grandparents home where we lived till we left for Australia in 1957. My Dad would go fishing for 2 weeks at a time to set his Lobster traps and then return later to collect them, being gone for 2-3 weeks this time as he would call in to the fisheries in Stornoway to drop off his haul and the other crewmen. I can remember standing on top of the Quay at Valtos and watching for the flag on top of his mast only to run home and tell our Mother that he was rounding Pabbay and to get all the pots she could find onto the stove in readiness for his oversize lobsters which the fisheries wouldn’t take and sometimes even fish that were caught in his pots. He would dry his pots out on the quay and then bring home the ones that needed repairing and lay them on the grass along side the house. The smell of tar was always on his hands and in the surrounding air. He also made Harris Tweed in the shed alongside the house and had a 5 ton Bedford van which he shelved out and sold groceries up the glen. It was a harsh life and one which would see all three of his children leave home to go to the Nicolson and subsequently to the mainland for our chosen careers only to return once, maybe twice a year to visit our parents and homeland. Which is why he made the decision to migrate to Australia where, (at least) we would all be able to stay close to each other. He died in 1967 and our Mother died in 2007.

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