Oh yes, because the funny thing is that it’s, in many ways, a generational thing. When I was growing up, I wasn’t aware that Upper Coll was any different to any other village. I never heard anything about land raids. We weren’t taught anything about it in school; I never heard anything about it from my parents or grandparents. It was just the place we lived. Until we put up the cairn at the end of the road and we had people asking: “Why’s that there for?” I’m sure that my children didn’t have a clue that our village was different to any other village and they certainly didn’t associate the old people in the village with people who might’ve been called heroes to others, in the same way I hadn’t. But now I get an inkling that some of the younger people see that there is something of a value in this system that we have and that they want maybe to do something about it. So, maybe we’re at the end of one cycle and at the beginning of another cycle, where a new generation is coming to the forefront. Not in huge numbers but nevertheless coming to the forefront. They see that living here in this kind of system has something to offer that most other systems and other opportunities around the country don’t have to offer, and that being the case, we can actually see the communities remain the way they are as communities for young people to raise their families, not for old people to be retiring to. For young people to be contributing towards and increasing the general value of it in terms of culture and all the rest of it ... If that doesn’t happen there is a danger that our villages will be full of old people with nobody coming to follow them. I don’t know if that makes any sense but …

  • Kenny MacIver
Friday 19th February 2010