Dalmore village is situated on the Atlantic coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides. It is known today for its picturesque tourist beach, but it has a rich history of its own and was once home to a vibrant village community. This book, containing many photographs, is a series of tales from that time; a time of black houses, great stories, ghost stories, war stories, stories of the hills and stories of the seas. It records the people of old who lived in this beautiful glen, people who were cleared from the land to make way for the "Big Sheep" during the infamous Clearances of the 1850s. It records the thriving rural life before the Cheviot sheep displaced the people and village life after the land reverted to the crofters in the 1920s. It records the characters, their lives and deaths, and pays tribute to the richness of their Gaelic language and heritage. We revisit the life of an old Lewis village, its food, its customs ,the heroes, the shepherds, the fishermen and the "herring" lassies. We cross the moors and fish the lochs; we can imagine the sweet smell of the peat fire and glory in the beauty all around. In telling their stories, we travel with them to far off places such as South Africa, Palestine, Turkey, Holland and France as well as Canada, the USA and the Argentine.
I was born in the black house at 5 Dalmore in 1941. I was raised in the town of Renfrew, near Glasgow and graduated from Glasgow University in 1963. I was married to a very fine lady known as Buntie for 42 years,but sadly she died in February 2005. Buntie rose to one of the highest positions in UK nursing. I have two children, Carolyn who is a consultant paediatrician in Australia and Alasdair,a computer software engineer working in Edinburgh. Each year until I was aged 18, I spent my 8 week summer vacation in Dalmore in the home of my maternal grandfather, and it was in these early days that I began to take in the stories relating to old Dalmore. I am now content that the history of Dalmore is secure for the future, and for that I have many people to thank.