Before the riot took place, people had started meeting. It seems that a famous meeting took place in the Eye church a night ot two before the raid itself. And people were beginning to feel so strong. Now, it was a tremendous step for people who had never broken the law to have to come to the stage where they knew that they had to break the law to acquire their rights. There are lots of stories about the riot itself, the day the big battle took place. A huge number of people met, not just from the villages round about, but from the whole of Point itself. And there is one story which I heard from my own father, that someone whose mother had been sick, a crofter from the other end of Point, I think from Portnaguran or Portvoller, was returning from Stornoway with medicines, some sort of medicine. And he was one of those who was caught and he was put into prison. But the strength in the community must have been amazing at that time in order to do that. And people from the community, from the area, from the islands, they were not - they were not the kind of people who would wish to break the law. But they had to do it that day because their situation was so desperate, the situation was so difficult. They had no other choice to take but to break the law. But the army was ready for them because they had heard that people had been having meetings and that they were speculating about retrieving the land from Newhall.

  • Alasdair Macleod
Location:
Stornoway
Date:
Monday 15th February 2010
Reference:
SWI2010/005