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TITLE
Life in the Western Isles (3 of 3)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_FREDMACAULAY_03
PLACENAME
Sollas
DISTRICT
North Uist
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: North Uist
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Fred MacAulay
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1619
KEYWORDS
Outer Hebrides
crofters
crofts
crofting
broadcasting
audio

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Fred MacAulay was born in Sollas, North Uist, in 1925. Educated at Inverness Academy and Edinburgh University, he went on to become Senior Gaelic Producer of BBC Scotland in 1964, and Manager of BBC Highland in 1979. An active campaigner for the continuation of the Gaelic language, he was one of the most distinguished Gaels of his generation and made a lasting contribution to Gaelic culture. He died in Inverness in 2003, aged 78. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, Fred talks to Sam Marshall about life in the Western Isles.

Interviewer: Some other writers about life in the Western Isles have written about the fact that clothing was hard to come by, and boots, in particular; if you had a new pair of boots, it was an occasion.

Yes, certainly, again in my time, one of the joys of summer was to get your boots off actually, and go barefoot. And that was generally from, oh, I would think April till October, or as long as, as long as you could stand it. It was up to yourself to a large extent because boots, as you say, were expensive and one played football. Footballs weren't as readily come by either, so a tin can would do, and it's terribly wearing on the toe of the boot as you can imagine. So, yes.

Interviewer: Some people have said that it was because of the good summers that people went bare foot, but -

Oh no, it was a joy actually. I can still remember it as a child. You know, once your, once your soles toughened up, which they did very quickly, the joy of being able to go sploughtering through pools, and over the moors, and down by the seashore with the sand between your toes, it's a feeling that I can still recall and enjoy when I get the chance

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Life in the Western Isles (3 of 3)

INVERNESS: North Uist

1980s

Outer Hebrides; crofters; crofts; crofting; broadcasting; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Fred MacAulay

Fred MacAulay was born in Sollas, North Uist, in 1925. Educated at Inverness Academy and Edinburgh University, he went on to become Senior Gaelic Producer of BBC Scotland in 1964, and Manager of BBC Highland in 1979. An active campaigner for the continuation of the Gaelic language, he was one of the most distinguished Gaels of his generation and made a lasting contribution to Gaelic culture. He died in Inverness in 2003, aged 78. In this audio extract, originally recorded for 'Moray Firth People' in 1983, Fred talks to Sam Marshall about life in the Western Isles.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Some other writers about life in the Western Isles have written about the fact that clothing was hard to come by, and boots, in particular; if you had a new pair of boots, it was an occasion.<br /> <br /> Yes, certainly, again in my time, one of the joys of summer was to get your boots off actually, and go barefoot. And that was generally from, oh, I would think April till October, or as long as, as long as you could stand it. It was up to yourself to a large extent because boots, as you say, were expensive and one played football. Footballs weren't as readily come by either, so a tin can would do, and it's terribly wearing on the toe of the boot as you can imagine. So, yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Some people have said that it was because of the good summers that people went bare foot, but - <br /> <br /> Oh no, it was a joy actually. I can still remember it as a child. You know, once your, once your soles toughened up, which they did very quickly, the joy of being able to go sploughtering through pools, and over the moors, and down by the seashore with the sand between your toes, it's a feeling that I can still recall and enjoy when I get the chance