Sunday, 2 October 2011

Walking to School

This abandoned house at Loch Skipport could well have been the childhood home of a man, now in his early 60s, who each day walked to school in West Gernish on the other side of South Uist. There are still people alive who walked from Steimreway to Lemreway in the South Lochs, Isle of Lewis, to attend school. Their expenditure of energy on this activity was arduous and is thankfully no longer required by present generations. However, the prospect of a walk to school has an adventure that is missing from being taken by car or bus. Consider the issue facing councillors and parents on Lewis in this account.

Scottish Islands Explorer - likes to keep pace


Anonymous said...

These paths are beautifully made too and have stood the test of time really well. Some were funded by the Congested Districts Board, like The Scholar's Path in the Bays area of South Harris which is almost of work of art as it snakes across the slopes of Carnan Mor. There is also a small building which I understand was built as a shelter for the children in inclement weather.

David Hoult said...

There's plenty of evidence of how much education was valued in the Hebrides, and the long journeys that children undertook to receive it. Somewhere in one of my books on Rum I read of the young son of a shepherd and his wife, who walked along the coast path from Papadil or Dibidil to school in Kinloch every Monday morning, and returned on Friday afternoon, having lodged with the schoolteacher during the week. And of course, when he returned home, he would bring with him news of the outside world, from which those places were still completely cut off.