Yes. Unfortunately today and possibly because of the introduction of television to every household, and radio, the old ways have died out if you like. But the young ones don’t know the local history as my generation knew it and consequently very often when you ask somebody of the younger generation, and I’m not putting them down in any way for that, but when you ask them anything about the local history and dates of happenings they’ll look at you with a blank stare as much as ... You can almost see them going round and saying: “Well what television programme was that on?” (laughs) But again, Bernera’s not unique in that respect. It’s generally throughout the whole of the Highlands and Islands. There’s very little of the old traditions left now. When I was young there was no ... I think there was one radio in the whole village and nearly everybody would go out at sometime or another to hear what was going on in the outside world. And then somebody else got a radio and I remember one of them was the old ... one with the big trumpet loudspeaker on it like you used to see on gramophones. Changed days ... The housing has changed. Much more comfortable, bigger houses, piped water, electricity and every comfort. Some would say: “Oh, it’s a pity the old system and customs have died out,” but no, I don’t think so. People are a lot better off in every respect now than they were these days and I wouldn’t like to see these conditions coming back.

  • Donald MacAulay (Reddy)
Tuesday 16th February 2010