View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thursday 6 September

Our autumn continues apace, with a very wet and windy morning, gradually calming down to a few glimpses of sunshine in the afternoon. We continue to experience the same temperatures as of late, around the 60F mark.

As you may remember, I called round the Butt of Lewis lighthouse on Monday, at the start of the gale. The lighthouse stands at the top of a 120 ft high cliff, and there is nothing to stop anyone falling off the edge. Recently, it was reported locally, someone was walking along the narrow path between the lighthouse wall and the cliff edge when they met a flock of sheep coming the other way. The walker, an elderly person, fell - against the wall. Just as easily, the person could have gone over the edge. What should authorities do in such a situation, was the question. Well, it is not practicable to fence off all the cliff edges in the island. All you can do is put up a prominent warning notice with the addition that everybody approaches the area at their own risk. In 1955, someone did fall to their death off the cliffs a little way west of the lighthouse. Common sense does help.

I had a nice time over the past hour and a half going through the blogs on my Google Reader, and through some of the resources for local history that it also contains. The Statistical Account for Scotland was the most remarkable. The Accounts were taken in the 1790s and 1830s and give an overview of life in Scotland's parishes at the time. I'll do some transcribing here and there as far as the Western Isles are concerned; the text is not easily read due to the presence of the lowercase letter S looking like the lowercase letter f, minus the cross-stroke.