Wednesday, August 12, 2009

... for they belong to MacBraynes

The title of this blog combined with the title of this first post is the second half of a ditty which goes as follows:-

Unto the Lord belongs the Earth
And all that it contains
Except the Kyles and Western Isles
For they belong to MacBraynes

It's a parody on the opening verse of Psalm 24 and is said to be widely misquoted. But this is the version which scans the best, I think. (If anyone disagrees, please leave a comment.)

It's a reference to the west coast of Scotland and anyone who has holidayed there will be familiar with the black hulls and red funnels of the car ferries of Caledonian MacBrayne - "Calmac" - which serve the islands off the coast - Arran, Oban, Skye - places like that. The MacBraynes referred to in the ditty are one of the constituent companies which merged to form Calmac in 1973 and can trace their history all the way back to 1851.

This blog will not just be about Calmac car ferries though. Heavens, no. It will be about lots of things I'm interested in concerning Scotland's western seaboard - its economic history over the past 200 years. Transport - especially by sea - plays a huge part in that and will be a recurring theme, I suspect. We'll see how this develops but I'm anticpating posting on everything from lazy-beds to single track roads, through petrol pumps, fishing boats and village post offices and even - if I'm spared - Free Presbyterian churches.

Wooden fish boxes, lighthouses, Admiralty Charts, Ordnance Survey maps, piers ...


  1. A great start Neil. Looking forward to it expanding.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Rob. Don't promise every day but we'll see how it goes.

  3. 12th August 2009 - 12th August 2010. Happy First Birthday ETKAWI.

  4. The earth belongs unto the Lord
    and all that it contains
    Except the Western Highlands
    For they are David MacBrayne's