Down Memory Lane, January 18 2018

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Notes from Kintyre Magazine

A current Kintyre publication is packed with more than a dozen fascinating stories many of which would make good entries in Down Memory Lane.

The latest issue of The Kintyre Magazine, edited by Angus Martin, opens with an eight-and-a-half page feature on the history of explorations into Beinn Ghuilean’s Piper’s Cave, by the editor.

Mr Martin has uncovered some gems from the Courier archive, including finding possible prehistoric animal bones, in the cave, which he states was in an over dramatised report – surely not.

‘The Road Surfacemen’ by Murdo MacDonald is particularly aposite given the huge number of potholes afflicting Kintyre roads.

When the first motor car arrived in Campbeltown finding any surface may have been a problem. The tale is recounted in ‘Early Motoring in Campbeltown’ by Angus Martin.

Elizabeth Marrison has investigated a ledger for a Muasdale shop dating from 1806 to 1810 in: ‘A Rural Shop in 19th Century Kintyre.’

Items purchased include a black silk hankerchief, half-a-pound of Spanish indigo, and a roll of 14lbs twist tobacco.

Methods of payment include nine carts of peet, for often bills were settled in kind.

Peter McIntosh delves into Irish history in: ‘The 1798 Rebellion and the Saddell Volunteers.’

‘A Case of Mutiny: The Strange Story of the Arriero,’ by Ian Wilson begins with a quote from Dr Johnson who said: ‘That being on a ship is like being in jail with the chance of drowning.’

The significance of that quotation is discovered on learning about the five mutineers’ appearance in front of Sheriff Gardiner.

Genetics and genealogy is the subject of Jerry Loynachan’s ‘Loynachan Family Y-DNA.’

Even non-Loynachan family will find interest in his explanation of the Y-chromosome in tracing male genetic roots.

Angus Martin’s regular item ‘By Hill and Shore,’ a diary of trips from February to August, last year, picks out his main subjects such as PRIMROSE, HERRING GULL AND OTTER in block capitals making them easy to spot in the text.

A Courier ‘From our Files’ tale of an adder bite, from last August, has prompted Sandy McMillan to write about his own meeting with Britain’s only venomous snake in: ‘An Encounter with an Adder.’

In advance of the Kintyre Antiquarians talk, by Ronald Togneri, featured in last week’s Courier, Mr Martin, in ‘Two Archibald MacKinnon Paintings’ tells the tale, from the Courier’s discovery, through to purchase, by the friends of Campbeltown Museum, of a pair of artworks.

It is not all praise though, and the Courier’s July 6 report, of the purchase, is corrected for stating that MacKinnon taught at the Grammar School, which he did not.

The Kintyre Magazine front cover featuring photographer Nellie Barnes. The publication is available from The Old Bookshelf in Cross Street. NO_c03kintyremag01_issue84