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

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sir TOM Sopwith & Harris

In 1944 Sir TOM Sopwith purchased the North Harris Estate and in his book 'Discovering Lewis and Harris', James Shaw Grant writes '...whose yacht was crewed almost exclusively by Harrismen.'

It is not clear whether this referred to his yachts Endeavour and Endeavour II with which Sopwith challenged for the America's Cup in 1934 and 1937, his earlier motor yacht Vita (1927-1929), or the 1937 Philante that was requisitioned during WWII and sold in 1947 to become the Royal Yacht of Norway.

It would be good to discover more about this aspect of an estate owner who, alongside the Scotts before him, James Shaw Grant describes as 'good proprietors and were highly regarded'.


  1. Several men from the island of Berneray in the Sound of Harris crewed for Sopwith. They crewed on the Vita, and Angus MacLeod was one of the volunteer crew on the Endeavour when it challenged for the Americas Cup in 1934. Berneray Historical Society holds photos of some of the yachtsmen at the Visitor Centre on the island.

  2. Many thanks for your information, John and Sue.
    Finlay J Macdonald also states that amongst his relatives in Direcleit (his maternal grandparent's family) was one who sailed with Sopwith.
    Thanks again,