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

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A round-about technique for discovering cargoes

If you perform a search from the Google search box (other search engines are available!) using the text...

site:canmore.rcahms.gov.uk record loss whisky

...you will be rewarded by a list of Scottish shipwrecks that include the word 'Whisky'. You should see fairly high in the list the 'Politician', the vessel who's loss inspired the book 'Whisky Galore' by Compton Mackenzie.

However, if you replace 'whisky' in the search box with 'lime', or 'coal', or 'oats', or 'barley' (or whatever cargo you wish to discover) then opening each record will provide you with a range of information that may include dates, locations, weather conditions, personnel and details of the vessel and its loss.

The diligent researcher could use this method to estimate the proportion of each type cargo that was carried (or, at least, lost!) in particular periods but, as the number of records including the word 'loss' are in the tens of thousands (although some will be duplicates), I do not recommend you trying this at home...

...but the seven records for 'cured herring', including this one , are more manageable!

Note: It probably goes without saying that similar substitutions can be made using placenames, types of vessel, or whatever takes your fancy. If you replace the word 'loss' with 'wreck', or 'earthquake', 'storm', 'gale', etc then many other aspects may be researched.

I should point out that, in some cases, these losses were not only material but also included fatalities...

No comments:

Post a Comment