Comann Eachdraichd Uig

Miavaig, Carishader and the Bays in 1959

Metropolitan Miavaig

A chapter (abridged) by Annis Heawood from Uig:  A Hebridean Parish (1960).  Photo by Chris Murray.

The district here described includes Gisla, near the head of Little Loch Roag, Enaclete, Ungeshader and Geshader, on the western shores of Loch Roag proper. All these are strung out on or close to the main road. Miavaig, like Gisla, is a small farm but also functions as something of a metropolis for south Uig; it has the post master, whose other functions include registrar and receiver of wrecks, and it has two churches, a telephone exchange, the district doctor and mans, and a petrol pump. At the time of our visit it was also the base for the ‘bus service. Its metropolitan functions arose in the days before the road replaced a ferry boat service from Callanish; here the mails were landed until some date in the 1920s and here to the estate kept coach and horses for transport to Uig Lodge, three miles further west.

There is no record of the original settlement of the four crofting townships, nor of Gisla, which was a township or joint farm of five crofters until about 1850. Some modern houses and bungalows have been built, many with easier access to the road than the old black houses, now often used as byres. Water supply does not seem to present a serious problem because of the extensive moorland gathering grounds to the west, but there are not at present any water-supply schemes. Electricity is, of course, available. Carishader an Enaclete are on the main Stornoway road being served at present by the ‘bus and by vans selling meat, groceries and fish at least once a week. Enaclete has a sub-postoffice. Geshader is less fortunate since, although vans call regularly, ‘buses must be met at the junction of the unsurfaced track and the main Stornoway road, where the school serving this district also stands. The track has been extended in recent years so that it now reaches all the houses. Ungeshader, however , is smaller and although it has had similar delivery arrangements, it is now a dying settlement largely due to its inaccessibility.

Seòldairean na Bàgh

Taigh Eachainn, 10 Geshader

Verses about the boys from the Bays, by Donald Macleod (Dòmhnall Eachainn) of 10 Geshader, who was born in 1874 and spent his working life in Glasgow.  This hasn’t seen the light of day for some time; thanks to the family for providing it.

Bho Ghiosladh gu Gràsabhaig
‘S h-uile h-ait ‘s na cuiltean sin
‘S na seòldairean a’dol gu sàl
An uair theid each don cùlaisdean.

An teid thu leum do Bhearnaraidh
Gheibh sinn bùntata ‘s crùbag ann
An teid thu leum do Bhearnaraidh
‘S mo lamh gu dean sinn sùgradh ann.

Donnachadh Gioslaidh ‘s Iain Màsach
Am Brace is da shuil ùr aige
‘S Seonnaidh Gorabhaig sa mhàthair
Dol air sgàth na h-ùmhlach leotha