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TITLE
Cattle Sale, Earlish, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
PC_HIGHLANDLIVESTOCK_022
PLACENAME
Earlish
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Snizort
PERIOD
1950s
CREATOR
Highland Livestock Heritage Society
SOURCE
Highland Livestock Heritage Society
ASSET ID
23476
KEYWORDS
cattle
droving
livestock
crofting
auctions
cattle markets
cattle sales
auctions
Cattle Sale, Earlish, Skye

This photograph shows a cattle sale in Earlish on Skye, probably in the late 1950s. The auctioneer is directing proceedings with his stick while local crofters and buyers from Stirling look on.

Among those present are Duncan Lamont from Staffin (at the back holding a walking stick), John Beaton from Uig (on the auctioneer's right), and buyers Mr Stark and Tom Adam (bottom-left with their backs to the camera). Also in the crowd is Mrs A. MacDonald of Earlish, Mrs Ross from Uig, Rod Maclean from Kilmuir and Alex Macleod from Staffin.

The purchased cattle were collected later and transported by lorry to the mainland. The buyers would move on to the next sale.

Selling a few cattle each year was a necessity for many Highland families. Not only was the income important but the relatively poor grazing ground could not sustain large herds. Small numbers of animals would be purchased from crofters in outlying areas and by doing this drovers would gradually accumulate a significant herd over the course of a few weeks.

At one time, cattle from the Outer Isles would be transferred by boat to Skye. There they would join livestock from that island and together these large herds would be driven down to the narrows at Glenelg where they were encouraged to swim across to the mainland. The cattle were then walked along traditional drove routes to the markets or trysts at Beauly, Crieff or Falkirk. This practise continued for nearly 200 years until the railway provided a faster alternative.

With advances in road and rail transport, small local sales of cattle took place in various parts of Skye and the animals were transported by lorry to the markets on the mainland. Cattle from the Outer Hebrides were shipped to the nearest railway station and then on to market.

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Cattle Sale, Earlish, Skye

INVERNESS: Snizort

1950s

cattle; droving; livestock; crofting; auctions; cattle markets; cattle sales; auctions

Highland Livestock Heritage Society

Highland Livestock Heritage Society photographs

This photograph shows a cattle sale in Earlish on Skye, probably in the late 1950s. The auctioneer is directing proceedings with his stick while local crofters and buyers from Stirling look on.<br /> <br /> Among those present are Duncan Lamont from Staffin (at the back holding a walking stick), John Beaton from Uig (on the auctioneer's right), and buyers Mr Stark and Tom Adam (bottom-left with their backs to the camera). Also in the crowd is Mrs A. MacDonald of Earlish, Mrs Ross from Uig, Rod Maclean from Kilmuir and Alex Macleod from Staffin. <br /> <br /> The purchased cattle were collected later and transported by lorry to the mainland. The buyers would move on to the next sale.<br /> <br /> Selling a few cattle each year was a necessity for many Highland families. Not only was the income important but the relatively poor grazing ground could not sustain large herds. Small numbers of animals would be purchased from crofters in outlying areas and by doing this drovers would gradually accumulate a significant herd over the course of a few weeks. <br /> <br /> At one time, cattle from the Outer Isles would be transferred by boat to Skye. There they would join livestock from that island and together these large herds would be driven down to the narrows at Glenelg where they were encouraged to swim across to the mainland. The cattle were then walked along traditional drove routes to the markets or trysts at Beauly, Crieff or Falkirk. This practise continued for nearly 200 years until the railway provided a faster alternative. <br /> <br /> With advances in road and rail transport, small local sales of cattle took place in various parts of Skye and the animals were transported by lorry to the markets on the mainland. Cattle from the Outer Hebrides were shipped to the nearest railway station and then on to market.