Hogmanay in the Capital, 1943

The pressmen get their snaps – Lewisfolk provide a little colour
Stornoway Gazette, 21 Jan 1944

American press photographers visited the vicinity of St Pauls on Hogmanay to pick up a few colourful pictures of New Year celebrations in London.

A group of Lewisfolk gave them their best ‘shots’ of the evening when Pipers Findlater and Grant accompanied some of the lads and lasses totheir stations to see them off.

While waiting for the train at Tottenham Court Road and Hyde Park Corner, the pipers played and dances were arranged in the wide open spaces at both ends of the escalators.

Some allied servicement joined in the dances although the steps were strange to most of them, and the American photographers who had been waiting for a real snap got the best of the evening there.

Earlier the cameramen had met another Lewis crowd at Chancery Lane, and they appeared to like their company too, focussing their cameras on them periodically, perhaps attracted by the Gaelic banter and song.

Despite travel restrictions a number of Lewis folk obtained short leave in December and early January and the following were among those who met in the heart of the capital during the festive season:

Norman* Maclean, Army, 8 Timsgarry; Chief Officer W Williams and Bell, the Manse, Carloway; Catherine Macleod, WAAF, Aird Dell; Nurse Jessie Macdonald, Burnside, Doune; Malcolm Mackay, Navy, 13 Kneep; Nurse Chrissie Macphail, 7 Doune; Donald Smith, Navy, 20 Valtos; Chrissie Macdonald, NFS, 35 Gress; Nurse Peggie Morrison, 24 South Bragar; Malcolm Macaulay, MB ChB, Enaclete; Mary Mackay, WW, Cromore; LS Malcolm Macdonald, Navy, Earshader; Annie Murray and Chrissie Eliot, LT, North Tolsta; Norman Macaulay, MN, 34 Upper Bayble; Nurse K Morrison, Reef; Fergus Ferguson, Army, Croir; Malcolm Macleod, Navy, Park Shawbost; Joan Mackenzie, NFS, Back; John Campbell, MN, North Bragar; John Chisholm, Canadians, whose ancestors left Uist 150 years ago; Pt Neil Maclean, Canadians, 37 Kenneth St; Louis Macleod, Navy, Ranish; PO Mary Macneil, WRNS, 51 Upper Carloway; George Macleod, Navy, Coll; Donald Maclennan, Navy, Tong; CPO Kenneth Macdonald, Breaclete; LAC Alex Neil Macleod, RAF, 28 Keith St; John Smith, Canadians, 20 Valtos.

*see comment below.