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TITLE
Kyleakin
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_284
PLACENAME
Kyleakin
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Strath
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
13059
KEYWORDS
MV Loch Seaforth
mail
cargo
obbe
salt marshes
Kyleakin

This postcard shows Kyleakin and the slipway on a summer day. Two boats are at anchor sheltered behind the slipway, and low tide reveals the wetland of the Obbe. This salt water estuary provides habitat for an abundance of plants such as sea thrift and sea milkwort, as well as a rich feeding area for various waders and wildfowl. Buses are lined up on the slipway waiting for the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh, to transport passengers to various parts of Skye.

In 1811, landowner Lord Macdonald had plans to turn Kyleakin into a new town, to be renamed New Liverpool. James Gillespie Graham was commissioned to design this model town which would be an industrial and commercial centre for the north. The grand plans included spires, elegant houses and streets named Mews Lane and King Street. A handful of houses were built before the realization that people would not move to such a remote place, building stopped and investors lost their money on this scheme. Years later, Kyleakin became a busy fishing port, with herring boats landing their catch to the four curing sheds. The fish was processed, salted in barrels and sent to Glasgow and markets farther south.

The steamer in Loch Alsh is the MV Loch Seaforth, built by William Denny & Bros Ltd, launched in May 1947, and started on the Kyle of Lochalsh to Stornoway mail route in December that year. In 1949 she became the first MacBrayne's vessel to be fitted with radar. She stayed on that same route until 1972, when she was changed to the Oban, Coll, Tiree, Barra, Lochboisdale route. Unfortunately she didn't last long as in March 1973 she struck a rock in the Sound of Gunna between Coll and Tiree. She was holed below the engine room, and managed to limp into Gott Bay, but there a bulkhead collapsed, she flooded and sank. She was refloated and towed to Troon where she was scrapped.

The Loch Seaforth is pulling away from the pier at Kyle of Lochalsh. In 1897 the railway line, which had previously ended at Stromeferry, was extended to Kyle of Lochalsh, and the village grew quickly. The ferry crossing between Kyle and Kyleakin, linking the Isle of Skye with the mainland also increased the amount of traffic and support services in both places. With the opening of the Skye Bridge in 1995, the main route bypassed Kyleakin, and its direct link with tourism has affected the area. However the village has worked hard at marketing itself as a spot not to be missed, with commissioned artworks, walks and a pleasant harbour.


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Kyleakin

INVERNESS: Strath

1950s

MV Loch Seaforth; mail; cargo; obbe; salt marshes

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

This postcard shows Kyleakin and the slipway on a summer day. Two boats are at anchor sheltered behind the slipway, and low tide reveals the wetland of the Obbe. This salt water estuary provides habitat for an abundance of plants such as sea thrift and sea milkwort, as well as a rich feeding area for various waders and wildfowl. Buses are lined up on the slipway waiting for the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh, to transport passengers to various parts of Skye.<br /> <br /> In 1811, landowner Lord Macdonald had plans to turn Kyleakin into a new town, to be renamed New Liverpool. James Gillespie Graham was commissioned to design this model town which would be an industrial and commercial centre for the north. The grand plans included spires, elegant houses and streets named Mews Lane and King Street. A handful of houses were built before the realization that people would not move to such a remote place, building stopped and investors lost their money on this scheme. Years later, Kyleakin became a busy fishing port, with herring boats landing their catch to the four curing sheds. The fish was processed, salted in barrels and sent to Glasgow and markets farther south.<br /> <br /> The steamer in Loch Alsh is the MV Loch Seaforth, built by William Denny & Bros Ltd, launched in May 1947, and started on the Kyle of Lochalsh to Stornoway mail route in December that year. In 1949 she became the first MacBrayne's vessel to be fitted with radar. She stayed on that same route until 1972, when she was changed to the Oban, Coll, Tiree, Barra, Lochboisdale route. Unfortunately she didn't last long as in March 1973 she struck a rock in the Sound of Gunna between Coll and Tiree. She was holed below the engine room, and managed to limp into Gott Bay, but there a bulkhead collapsed, she flooded and sank. She was refloated and towed to Troon where she was scrapped.<br /> <br /> The Loch Seaforth is pulling away from the pier at Kyle of Lochalsh. In 1897 the railway line, which had previously ended at Stromeferry, was extended to Kyle of Lochalsh, and the village grew quickly. The ferry crossing between Kyle and Kyleakin, linking the Isle of Skye with the mainland also increased the amount of traffic and support services in both places. With the opening of the Skye Bridge in 1995, the main route bypassed Kyleakin, and its direct link with tourism has affected the area. However the village has worked hard at marketing itself as a spot not to be missed, with commissioned artworks, walks and a pleasant harbour. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />