Golden images of 1960s haymaking in Staffin unearthed by Welsh visitor

A WELSH teenager who had a memorable holiday at a Staffin youth hostel in the early 1960s has uncovered images of Staffin’s crofting past.

Fifty four years later and David Evans is now able to share the pictures with the local community he took when he was only 17 in September 1962. 

It was the month that Ford launched the Cortina, the Glasgow Tramways ran its last normal service and Rangers had started their successful 1961/62 league campaign which would see them pip Kilmarnock to the title.

It was also the most popular month for hay making in townships across Staffin when practically every member of the family, young and old, male and female, would be out with a rake or pitch fork as they worked up the cnocan which allowed the cut grass to dry and were such a familar part of the landscape at that time of year. That sweet smelling meadow hay, and corn, was a integral part of livestock’s winter feeds but in recent decades has been replaced by silage bale making. 

David stayed in the former youth hostel at Quiraing Lodge in 1962. “My visit was with a school group and we stayed at the youth hostel in Staffin Bay,” he said. “I recall swimming in the bay. I’d been brought up in north Wales and felt sure I could cope with Scottish sea temperatures. I survived…

CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE THEM.

 “For a 17 year old it was a most exciting time and place. So good was the experience that in 1967 I revisited with my brother and two other chums. We stayed at the youth hostel again. At the time the youth hostel manager was on holiday but had left the place in the capable hands of his son and I am sure his name was Angus MacDonald. I recall he was studying at the University of Aberdeen. Apart from us four, I do not recall there being any other guests at the youth hostel. Angus was keen to show us the delights of Portree and we all set off in my car.” . If anybody can provide any further information about the pictures or the people in them you can e-mail David via dbevans@hotmail.co.uk

The Photos from the Past – Duilleag bhon an-dè – page will feature historic pictures from decades gone by in Staffin. https://staffin-trust.co.uk/photos-from-the-past-duilleag-bhon-an-de

Maybe you have a photograph in your house or attic but cannot name all the faces? Perhaps sharing it on the website could solve that mystery. We would particularly welcome pictures of local people, whether they are at work or play, from all seasons of the year. 

If you have a photograph(s) of Staffin and/or your family, friends and neighbours and would like to see it featured, please drop it off at the Staffin Trust office between Monday or Friday or alternatively, e-mail the development officer Hugh Ross staffin.ldo@gmail.com or phone him on 562 464.

All copies will of course be returned.