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TITLE
Fred MacAulay - Leaving North Uist
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_FREDMACAULAY_06
DISTRICT
North Uist
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: North Uist
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Fred MacAulay
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1624
KEYWORDS
Outer Hebrides
crofters
crofts
crofting
broadcasting
ceilidhs
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 leaving his home in North Uist.

Interviewer: When the time came for you to leave Uist, how did you feel about that?

Difficult to tell, actually. In retrospect, I feel badly about because I realise just how much I lost which was valuable to me in that community. You see, at that time it was still a highly traditional community, you see, where oral tradition still flourished; where you got literature practically at, at every meeting in the evening. You know, if there was a ceilidh house or that sort of thing, well you could be sure that there'd be stories, songs, poems, and the early Ossianic literature even; it was still, still there when I was a boy. And I've always felt deprived in that sense, that having left home at twelve, mind you, just to the other side of the island for the first three years because Uist at that time was a three-year secondary, and you then had to go to Inverness or Portree, but - so I really left at twelve, you could say, from home, and then came to Inverness, so -

Interviewer: Did you realise at the time - ?

That I was missing? No I didn't. I must be honest about that. It took me quite a few years more; I was in my twenties before I began to realise it and I realised it very simply because by then I was beginning to work in Gaelic, having come back from the war, and found myself time and again asking one of my older brothers, you see, 'Have you ever heard this word, or ever heard this fact, or something?' to which the answer invariably was, 'Yes. Haven't you?' and I hadn't. And there was this yawning gap in my, if you like, my oral background which I think is still there, sadly

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Fred MacAulay - Leaving North Uist

INVERNESS: North Uist

1980s

Outer Hebrides; crofters; crofts; crofting; broadcasting; ceilidhs; 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 leaving his home in North Uist.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: When the time came for you to leave Uist, how did you feel about that?<br /> <br /> Difficult to tell, actually. In retrospect, I feel badly about because I realise just how much I lost which was valuable to me in that community. You see, at that time it was still a highly traditional community, you see, where oral tradition still flourished; where you got literature practically at, at every meeting in the evening. You know, if there was a ceilidh house or that sort of thing, well you could be sure that there'd be stories, songs, poems, and the early Ossianic literature even; it was still, still there when I was a boy. And I've always felt deprived in that sense, that having left home at twelve, mind you, just to the other side of the island for the first three years because Uist at that time was a three-year secondary, and you then had to go to Inverness or Portree, but - so I really left at twelve, you could say, from home, and then came to Inverness, so -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did you realise at the time - ?<br /> <br /> That I was missing? No I didn't. I must be honest about that. It took me quite a few years more; I was in my twenties before I began to realise it and I realised it very simply because by then I was beginning to work in Gaelic, having come back from the war, and found myself time and again asking one of my older brothers, you see, 'Have you ever heard this word, or ever heard this fact, or something?' to which the answer invariably was, 'Yes. Haven't you?' and I hadn't. And there was this yawning gap in my, if you like, my oral background which I think is still there, sadly