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, 27 May 2010

Plumbers of Stornoway

I have separated those born on Lewis from those born elsewhere and emphasised those appearing more than once:

James Macdonald, 38, Plumber and Gas Fitter(Master) , Enaclete, b. Perth
We met James, and John (below) when exploring the Stornoway Gas Light Company

John Wilson, 18, Plumber and Tinsmith, Gas House, b. Fifeshire

Angus Clark, 30, Plumber, 31 Keith Street, b. Stornoway

Angus Clark, 36, Plumber, 31 Keith Street, b. Stornoway

Angus Clark, 50, Plumber, 43 Keith Street, b. Stornoway
James Clark, 17, Apprentice Plumber, Son, b. Stornoway
Murdo Maclennan, 21, Plumber, 22 Point Street, b. Stornoway

Andrew Law, 38, Plumber, 18 Bells Road, b. Forres, Morayshire
Robert Beaton, 36, Plumber, 16 Garden Road, b. Dingwall

Angus Clark, 59, Plumber and Gas Fitter, 43 Keith Street, b. Stornoway
James Clark, 27, Plumber and Gasfitter, Son, b. Stornoway
Murdo Maclennan, 28, Plumber and Gasfitter, No 7 Garden Road, b. Stornoway
Malcolm Macdonald, 24, Plumber, 4 Newton Street, b. Stornoway
John Macinnes, 24, Plumber, 13 Church Street, b. Stornoway
Angus Mackenzie, 14, Apprentice Plumber, 24 Bayhead Street, b. Stornoway
Aleck Maciver, 27, Plumber, 73 Keith Street, b. Lochs
Angus Maciver, 24, Apprentice Plumber, 34 Church Street Court, b. Lochs

Alexander Bain, 45, Plumber, 32 Keith Street, b. Gairloch
Robert Beaton, 45, Plumber, Caberfeidh house, b. Dingwall

It is not surprising that the early records relate to the Stornoway Gas Light Company but what is interesting is the doubling of the number of Plumbers in the final decade of the 19thC. Equally impressive is the fact that this increase took place from people born locally. The young men of Lewis were quick to spot the demand for this new skill and I think it reasonable to suggest that the 'elder statesman' of plumbing, Angus Clark, must have been mentor to many?

Obviously the growth of the town and the supply of water for domestic purposes were major factors at this time, but I have been unable to discover anything about the history of the Water Company in Stornoway so that remains to be explored...

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