The Moidart Timewarp
by Tim Roberton

In which Wendy Woods passed the Second World War at Smirisary.

1928 Miss Lees took a tenancy of Glen Moidart and subsequently bought this part of the estate from the Stewarts at the end of the Second World War. Patrick Lees Millais.

Local school records from Kinlochmoidart show how life at the school at Brunery took place. Public Record Office, Inverness

1931 Jackie MacDonald inscribed his name on the underside of the archway at Kinlochmoidart Farm as did Colin Smart. Colin was one of the Smart Family who lived at West Lodge. His brother Neil was a piper who died in the First World War and is commemorated in a Plaque in St Finan’s Church. John Dye records

1932 Inverness County Council correspondence regarding school water supply and petition of protest from parents. Public Record Office, Inverness

1936 George V died, followed by Edward VIII, who abdicated before being crowned. George VI succeeded instead and ruled until 1952.

1937 Hugh MacDonald inscribed his name on the Kinlochmoidart Farm archway and gave his address as Low Farm. This is the name that Kinlochmoidart Farm had on the estate to distinguish it from High Farm at Brunery and Home Farm at the estate house. (According to Sir Nigel Vernon, Kinlochmoidart Farm was once called Kinacarra Farm)
Also inscribed upon the archway was D MacKinnon who lived at Brunery and had a brother Archie, who also worked at Kinlochmoidart Farm. John Dye records

1939 Second World War.

1940 During the Second World War, the realisation grew that there was a vital need for specially trained people if the tide was to be turned against the Germans. In June 1940 General Ironside authorised the use of Inverailort as the centre of special training of guerrilla tactics. The whole of the peninsula was sealed off by Lord Lovatt and access largely denied by the general public for the duration. By July 1940 the Special Operations Executive was set up at Inverailort - its headquarters were eventually moved to Arisaig House. Wartime in Moidart, Jean Bowker

1945 “There being no fences and the common grazings running for miles over the hills, it is the habit here to herd the beasts. Prior to this the shielings were in use in these glens. The walls of one bothan airigh are to be seen up in the hills above Smirisary beside a peat-bog, and two others were on the high plateau above Forsay and above Alissary. The stone walls were built only two feet in height, and then timbers, filled with sods, completed the building, while sods also formed the roof. There the lassies from Glen Uig, Roshven, and Smirisary spent the summer weeks, and the lads made frequent visits and brought down the butter and cheese. The small enclosures to be seen beside the huts were temporary sheds for young calves.” Mac’s Croft, Wendy Wood, page 97

1945 “…up the hill pass (from Glenuig, taking cattle to the sales) and along the bridle path through the woods to Moidart, and eight miles beyond that again before resting place for the night could be reached….Up and down the stony path through the woods wound the cavalcade; with the shimmer of Loch Moidart below and the trees making a pattern on its silver brocade. By evening we climbed over another hill and were slowly dropping down beside Loch Shiel, with the sharp-peaked hill of Resipol rising from the brown bogland on its shore.” Mac’s Croft, Wendy Wood, page56

1945 Glenmoidart sold by the Stewarts to “ a family from Northamptonshire” Kinlochmoidart House, Stephen Jefferson 1995

1948 The adjoining Glenmoidart Estate remained with the Stewart family until 1948. Kinlochmoidart House, Lochaber, Simon Green, Country Life August 1998.

1901 - 1925

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