This postcard of Mallaig, a fishing village located on the western end of the North Morar peninsula, is dated 27 July 1904. The writer states emphatically, "Have spent a glorious day here lying on the grass doing nothing".
Mallaig became established as a village in the ten years between 1841 and 1851, its population rising from 24 to 134 during this period. The increase in Mallaig's population was due to the interventions of Lord Lovat, owner of the North Morar estate. Lord Lovat sought to create a fishing community at Mallaig and encouraged some of his tenants to move there. He financed the building of a pier at Mallaig and improved roads in the area.
Mallaig's fishing industry developed slowly over the course of the second half of the 19th century, and it wasn't until the extension of the West Highland Line to Mallaig in 1901 that the village really began to prosper. The railway meant that catches could now be quickly delivered to markets, and trade and population increased significantly. The shift from sail to steam within the fishing fleet during this period further contributed to Mallaig's growth, as vessels became less weather dependent and could travel greater distances. The harbour was extended and improved several times in the early part of the 20th century, and by the 1920s Mallaig had two boatyards and a number of kippering factories.
Up to, and especially during, the 1960s, Mallaig continued to prosper as a herring port. During the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s the decline of the herring industry caused a downturn in Mallaig's fortunes, but by the 1990s trade in the port had stabilised, shellfish, especially prawns, becoming the principal catch in the area.