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

Friday, 5 March 2010

SS Dunara Castle

The S.S. Dunara Castle, named after a ruined castle on the north west coast of Mull, was built by Martin Orme. Her maiden voyage was on 21st July 1875.


As well as carrying cargo the Dunara Castle had accommodation for 44 cabin class passengers.


She sailed weekly between Glasgow and the Hebrides in the summer months, and during the high season the trips were extended to St. Kilda.


She was used in the evacuation of St Kilda residents in 1930.


Most of the crew were Gaelic speakers from the highlands and islands, with three generations of one family serving on the steamer.

(Source: http://www.ambaile.org.uk/en/item/item_photograph.jsp?item_id=13917 )

On the evening of Sunday 3rd April 1881 she was docked in East Tarbert, Harris with the following crew and passengers aboard:

Archibald McEwen, 46, Master, b. Craignish, Arygll
Duncan Baxter, 47, Mate, b. Argyllshire
Dougald McQuicken, 29, Boatswain, b. Argyllshire

William Reid, 44, Chief Engineer, b. St Johnstone
William Galbraith, 23, 2nd Engineer, b. Stranraer

Malcolm Macfaden, 36, Seaman, b. Tiree
Donald Lamont, 32, Seaman, b. Skye
John Macarthur, 29, Seaman, b. Iona
Alexander Campbell, 29, Seaman, b. Bunessan(?), Argyll
Norman McCaskill, 32, Seaman, b. Durinish
Alexander Mcrae, 34, Seaman, b. South Uist
Donald Mcfaden, 28, Seaman, b. Tiree
Donald McArthur, 20, Seaman, b. Tiree

William Hazzeen, 45, Winchdriver, b. Holland

John Brown, 56, Fireman, b. Glasgow
John Dunlop, 28, Fireman, b. Ireland
William Beattie, 25, Fireman, b. Ireland
John Brown, 20, Fireman, b. Kirkintilloch

Alexander Kay, 44, Steward, b. Paisley
Charles Macintosh, 22, Steward, b. Portree
Alexander Smart 19, Steward, b. Glasgow
Alexander Roberts, 14, Steward, b. Port Glasgow
Agnes Donaldson, 22, Stewardess, b. Glasgow
John Mckinnon, 25, Cook, Oban
William Donald, 28, Clerk, Dalrymple

Angus Maclean, 41, Seaman Passenger, b. North Uist
Donald Nicolson, 35, Minister Free Church Passenger, b. Barras, Ross-shire
Mary Macaskill, 38, Servant Passenger, b. Durinish
Ann Campbell, 19, Servant Passenger, b. Durinish
Malcolm C Campbell, 21, Divinity Student Passenger, b. Durinish

(By chance, she was also in Harris at the time of the following two censuses in 1891 and 1901)

Actually, it transpires that her presence was a direct consequence of Sir E Scott's purchase of the north Harris Estate.

Update: A 14 minute film from 1937 of the ship visiting St Kilda may be watched here

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