Captain Benjamin Oliver

  “Skillful Seaman, Gallant Officer, Honest Man”. These descriptions on the gravestone of Captain Benjamin Oliver in Old Sandwick Cemetery sum up the life of one of Stornoway’s interesting characters who still lives on in the name...

Iolaire Disaster

1st January 1919 The loss of His Majesty’s Yacht Iolaire in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1919 is undoubtedly the most tragic single occurrence to befall the combined island of Lewis and Harris.   In all 174 Lewismen and seven Harrismen were drowned at the...

Work of the herring girls

Girls at their first year at the gutting were called cùibhlearan or coilers. They were paid less than the older girls due to their slowness and inexperience. They had to learn quickly. By the following season they would be fully proficient in the work and received the...

The Maritime Heritage of Stornoway

Background The Maritime Heritage project was undertaken in 2007, with the aim of illustrating the impact of Stornoway’s maritime heritage on the town, culturally, economically and socially through research, exhibition and collection, including the recording personal...

The Early Medical Men of Lewis 1700-1918

Few if any surviving historical records recall the names of the individuals who once administered to the medical needs of Lewis folk prior to the beginning of the 18th century. It is only from about 1700 onward that names and personalities emerge and the lives of the...

Endurance Bible

H.M. Queen Alexandra presented the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition with a bible in which she inscribed the words, “For the crew of the Endurance from Alexandra, May 31st, 1914. May the Lord help you to do your duty & guide you through all dangers by land and...