Thursday, 22 July 2010

Mary's Story

Mary MacGillivray is one of Kilchoan's most popular residents, and it is therefore thrilling that her memories of her upbringing on a croft in Ormsaigbeg have now been collected in a booklet, published this week.

Mary was born in 1928, so her recollections go back to the early 1930s. Along with her brother and sisters, she attended Kilchoan Public School, as it was then called. She left without the opportunity of a full secondary education - in those days, going to secondary school was expensive for the parents, and the students had to travel to the High School in Oban, where they boarded for the term. So when Mary left school she worked in the village.

The family home was this house, Port Beag, on the Ormsaigbeg road. Mary's memories include details of how the croft was worked, the people who lived in the township, and daily life around the village.

The booklet, profits from which go to Kilchoan Community Centre, is on sale at the Lighthouse, the Ferry Stores and the Community Centre, priced at about £2.00.


  1. How lovely that Mary has captured some of her memories in print. I'm sure life was very hard for crofters when she was a girl. The book must make fascinating reading.

    By the way - the Yeoman Bontrup passed through Orkney waters today. A photo of the ship from Kilchoan Diary made it onto the Radio Orkney Facebook page!

  2. Many thanks for the comment, Sian. We looked out for the Bontrup but I think she was taken round the western side of Mull - they had a lot of trouble early on in the tow as the weather was so bad.

  3. Thats my Auntie Mary, I'll need to get a Read of her Booklet next time I'm down.