Archive for November 2011

New ferry for Easdale!

As recommended by the “Easdale Transport Links” STAG Appraisal a couple of years ago, here’s the proposed new eco-friendly ferry for Easdale, pictured at the low water slip at very low water.

Plenty of room for our shopping, house removals, coal and building material deliveries, rubbish removal, wheelchair access, stretcher cases, what you will. Brilliant! Well, at very high tides, perhaps.
Of course, we jest. Here’s what the STAG Appraisal actually suggested.

Just about as viable as the Jack Sparrow version, eh? Especially in strong winds. Oddly, despite the fact that there is a bow ramp, the STAG consultants didn’t include provision for rubbish removal by this strange vessel.

The really worrying thing is that the ferryman and second man are shown in their birthday suits (note shapely bottom on ferryman’s driving seat)!! Well, it could make travelling on the ferry more … er … interesting for the passengers. And, of course, the ferrymen wouldn’t have the problem of drying off their wet clothing between squalls. Just a quick towel down in the ferryshed and ready for duty again!

Do the kids want a dog for Christmas …

… but you don’t want one for life?

Here’s your answer! From the people that brought you “Knit your own Royal Wedding”, “Knit your own farmyard” etc., here’s … yes …








Get it from THE BOOK PEOPLE  for only £4.99. Poodle, bulldog, dalmation, pekinese, and more (that looks like a sealyham on the cover to me).

Ridiculous, or what??

Welcome …

…  to a new company on the island!

The Easdale Island Slate & Marble Co. Ltd. was incorporated on 1st November, with directors Keren Caffery, Iain Mitchell and Alan MacFadyen.

The company’s articles state its objectives to be:

a) to carry on business as a general commercial company; and

b) any other trade or business which may seem to the Company and its directors to be advantageous or to directly or indirectly enhance all or any of the business of the Company.

This is a most interesting development, and we all look forward to hearing more.

SECC meeting

The next Seil & Easdale Community Council meeting will be held in the hall on Easdale Island on Tuesday 22nd November at 7.30pm.

Come along. Hear what the latest issues are. Participate. It’s on your doorstep, after all!!

The big bang

If you didn’t manage to get to the Oban fireworks display on 4th November, or if you’d like to re-live the magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, have a look at the Oban Times video of the event posted on SEIL CHAT.

Comfort food


Serves 4

This is the lunch or dinner equivalent of your breakfast porage – comforting, filling, and keeps you going. “Sticks to your ribs” as old Granny Blanc used to say.

Put 4oz (125g) of wholemeal breadcrumbs into a large bowl.

Into your blender goblet put:

1 finely chopped onion

1 finely chopped garlic clove (if you like)

4oz (125g) grated Cheddar cheese

2 of Willie’s eggs

3/4 pint (426ml) milk

1 tsp mustard (made, not powder)

A good grinding of black pepper

Whizz until well blended, tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a greased shallow baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 200C/400F/Mark 6. Top with more grated cheese and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until beautifully risen and dark golden.

Excellent on its own with pickled baby beets or baked tomatoes. Also makes a good accompaniment to bacon, sausage and tomato for a satisfying Sunday brunch.


Coal lorry

Before the advent of the coal lorry, the puffer bringing the coal also brought on board a horse and cart to undertake the deliveries!

This lorry looks about the right vintage to be the one originally delivered to the island by barge in 1946, though it has the name of the Oban Transport & Trading Company Ltd. on its door, rather than Iain Smith, Coal Merchant, Balvicar.


Islanders’ loose coal was shovelled by hand from the boat into a container and tipped onto the back of the lorry, which then distributed it to the various households. Originally, the lorry was removed from the island after each delivery, but eventually one was left here permanently and only fired up again the following year for the next coal round.


The lorry finally met the same fate as other unwanted items used to do – but of course no-one would admit to knowing where it went!

(The photos were taken by George Anderson in 1960, and originally published in Easdale People issue no. 22, Spring/Summer 2005 with an article by Graham Anderson, from which the above information was extracted.)