History Repeats?

letters to editor

Dear sir,
Further to the letter from Duncan Castling, he certainly paints an horrific picture. How much notice should we take? I have the advantage of being able to remember Tiree 70 years ago.

There were quite good roads, the RAF built many of them. I wonder if the building of an airfield, and Camps, and being overrun by workers brought many complaints about the destruction of an idyllic way of life. At that time to buy a stamp it was necessary to walk from my grandparents Croft in Ballevullin to Cornaig, there was no road. Incidentally my Mother and her siblings had to walk to Cornaig, every day, to go to School.

There was no electricity. That was finally acquired after the war when the RAF generators became available for the local population. There was no water supply other than from wells. The water had to wait until much later when, oddly enough, one of my friends from University, was the Engineer. It was about his first job after graduating. We graduated in 1962.

No doubt all of those developments reduced the desirability of Tiree as a place to stay, or did they? I could go on, but suffice it to point out that the window that Sorley MacLean used to look through, was boarded up, not because of development but because of the lack of it, the land was needed for sheep, and for outsiders to visit and enjoy the remoteness.

Change must happen, anywhere that is not changing is dead. we must be very careful about resisting while not rolling over and allowing developers a complete clear hand. Lets hope we can find a champion like the wee Town Clerk from Lerwick, I’m afraid I can’t remember his name, who got such a good deal from the Oil Companies. It is possible and can help the community.

from; Alasdair MacArthur

One comment

  • Duncan Castling

    Alasdair,
    I totally appreciate your views of what it used to be like. Sadly, I do feel that we have now moved into an era of mega-corporations that care very little about our insignificant island unless it brings profit to shareholders. The RAF were not interested in profit just national defence. Sadly also that was then, this is now. My dilemma is that I wholly support the need to find sustainable alternative energy sources. I actually have a turbine awaiting planning/installation. BUT, I am also sadly suspicious of any possible benefits to our community from the Tiree array. My dad use to say ‘No-body gives nowt for free’ there is a cost, we must know exactly what it is or our children will curse us for our naivety.
    I thought Sorley was feeling the pain from the destruction of a way of life by greedy landowners, Is that not where we are now, or am I missing something,,,, ;o)

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