Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ship Builders of Stornoway

We know that locally made that Sails and Ropes were available and it seems entirely reasonable to now turn to those who can construct our vessel itself.

These four fellows are the only Ship Builders listed although there are many Ship Carpenters (340) and Ship Joiners (24) plus Boat Builders (24) to be found.

Alexander Russel, 60, Ship Builder, Cromwell Street, b. Scotland

Alexander Russel, 71, Ship Builder, Cromwell Street, b. Duffus, Moray

William Cook, 43, Ship Builder (Employing 18 Men and 8 Boys), South Beach Street, b. Aberdeen

William Cook, 53, Ship Builder, 20 South Beach Street, b. Aberdeen

Donald Mackay Mackenzie, 26, Ship Builder, 25 South Beach Street, b. Stornoway

Murdo Mackenzie, 58, Ship Carpenter and Boat Builder, 58 Cromwell Street, b. Stornoway

So, our options are between Mr Russel from Duffus, Mr Cook from Aberdeen, or one of the local Mackenzies, the elder of whom is actually more of a Boat Builder.

Congratulations, Donald Mackenzie, we can discuss the details in the morning...


  1. I find it intriguing to see all the ship builders listed along Cromwell Street and South Beach. What are your findings on the Patent Slip on James Street / Shell Street?

  2. Bear in mind that these were their residences rather than their workplaces.

    Shell St's populace tended to be Coopers, Tailors/Dressmakers & Ropemakers.