recorded by John
MacDonald, in later years Moidart's postman and also father
to Fergie MacDonald the musician, provided these random notes
to John Dye about life as a Postie.
from the Post Office
1 bag special for Lord Howard at Dorlin.
1947 storm: snowdrifts blocked road to Kinlochmoidart, drift in hollow
past kennels was 10 ft deep, Ton + 4 men, 11 am, to 9 pm. to get mails to Kinlochmoidart,
Ton also mentioned deep snow on the night of the Castle Cary railway crash,
this was in on this occasion, Ton said he had to open the windscreen because
the wipers couldn't cope, he got back to Acharacle with the car full of
snow and no tyre on one wheel.
High tide at Dorlin: Ton had to walk along wall to empty the box.
Old Postman - Alan Ruadh MacLean, later owned London House, which became
Strontian Hotel, Did Ardgour-Strontian mail run with a pony and trap.
Ton once got 13 parcels in one day - (WW1 ?).
All 4 Acharacle postmen were killed in the First World War. One of the
temporaries, Archie MacNaughton, was killed by being struck by lightning
while on his bike, After the war there was great competition for the vacant
positions and Ton always said he owed his job to the support he got from
the people of Kentra and Ardtoe, Ton started out with a bike, later being
upgraded to a motorcycle (with 'panniards') and finally to a van, He recounted
an episode where he actually drove back from Kinlochmoidart with the inspector
in the front and a half a hind in the back under a sack!
The biggest post Ton ever saw at Acharacle was one Christmas when there
were 60 bags at the Post office, weighing 30 cwt. These included mail
Postmen at Acharacle pre 1914 : John Mackay (lived in Pacey's house),
had the gig and collected mail from Strontian, Sandy MacMaster, Kinlochmoidart,
died at a dance in Kinlochmoidart; Hugh Cameron, son of the piermaster
at Acharacle, delivered to west Moidart, killed in the war; Archie MacNaughton,
delivered to Kentra and Ardtoe; Sandy Cameron, Shielfoot, delivered Salen
to Glenborrodale; Sandy MacPherson, Shielfoot, worked at Shielbridge House;
Donald MacDonald, Dorlin later Kinacara, delivered to Shona.
At one time the Post Office took the form of a small tin hut 'like a sentry
box' at the school.
(1976): Salen Post Office received mail at 6 p.m, transferring it to Strontian
at 8 p.m. Mail for Kilchoan was brought by steamer. Telegrams were taken
from Salen to Kilchoan for £1.
a great flood at Acharacle which was so high that they had to fetch the
mail from the field next to the Hall.
Ton recounted a story about delivering the mail to Ardtoe one foggy night
when he completely lost his bearings, he eventually was reduced to creeping
along with his arms outstretched. His fingers just knocked gently on the
tin wall of one of the houses and a voice immediately called out 'Come
on in, Post, and give yourself up,'
told me (August 2003) that Mima's grandfather, Hector Currie was also
employed by the postal service. He rowed across the sound of Mull three
times a week to fetch mail and delivered the mail to Kinlochaline, Claggan,
and Kingairloch on the alternate days, there was another postman for the