Hugh Smith’s let­ter from Is­lay

The Oban Times - - News -

Nail the toothache

IN BY­GONE days those suf­fer­ing from toothache on an is­land which had no res­i­dent den­tist had good rea­son to curse ‘ the hell of all dis­eases’, as our na­tional bard de­scribed it.

In ex­treme cir­cum­stances a lo­cal doc­tor might be pre­vailed upon to ex­tract the of­fend­ing mo­lar.

This was usu­ally done with­out the ben­e­fit of an anaes­thetic, re­sult­ing some­times in the cure be­ing al­most worse than the dis­ease.

Other suf­fer­ers would at­tempt to find ease through the ap­pli­ca­tion of home reme­dies, most of which proved quite in­ef­fec­tual. Cloves fea­tured high as a form of re­lief, as did lib­eral ap­pli­ca­tions of strong spir­its.

The lat­ter may have done lit­tle for the root cause of the trou­ble but it cer­tainly gave the suf­ferer a more be­nign at­ti­tude to life in gen­eral and his suf­fer­ing in par­tic­u­lar.

Toothache suf­fer­ers in the Rhinns of Is­lay had their own an­swer to the prob­lem in the shape of the toothache stone which can be found in a field on out­skirts of Port Char­lotte.

They made their way there, armed with a sturdy ham­mer and a sup­ply of nails which they drove into crevices in the rock in the firm con­vic­tion that this would ease their ail­ment.

It is highly un­likely that this sup­posed cure was in any way ef­fi­ca­cious but the sheer ef­fort in­volved in ham­mer­ing the nails into the stone must have taken their minds off the painful odon­tal­gia.

To­day the is­land en­joys ex­cel­lent den­tal ser­vices and many years have passed since the magic pow­ers of the tooth stone was called upon.

The amount of rusty nails still moul­der­ing in its crevices, how­ever, is ev­i­dence that there was a time when it was held in es­teem by those suf­fer­ers from the dis­ease that ‘mocked their groans’.

Hospi­tal bed push

PAR­TIC­I­PANTS in the char­ity bed push from Port Ellen to Bow­more fully flexed their mus­cles and pulled out all the stops to com­plete the course in good time in fairly am­i­ca­ble weather con­di­tions.

Their ef­forts greatly im­pressed the gen­er­ous Ilich, who dug deep into their pock­ets and, as a re­sult, those with push­ing ways raised well in ex­cess of £ 5,000 and are still count­ing.

This money will as­sist in the pur­chase of a new car­diac mon­i­tor for the lo­cal hospi­tal and will en­hance the care pro­vided.

Close on 30 health­care staff from the three is­land prac­tices took part in the char­ity event, which in­volved a 10- mile jour­ney. Medics ad­vised that an im­me­di­ate re­turn bed push to Port Ellen was not ad­vis­able.

Sports day

OR­GAN­IS­ERS prom­ise there will be some­thing to please all tastes at the Bow­more sports day, which takes place at the lo­cal play­ing fields on Satur­day (July 9).

The sports queen and princess will lead the pa­rade from the vil­lage square and the on-field ac­tiv­i­ties be­gin at 1pm.

Th­ese will in­clude field, track and heavy events, while trade stands and sideshows will also be points of in­ter­est. One of the main at­trac­tions will be the vis­it­ing ‘ We’re a Knock­out’ which is guar­an­teed to ap­peal to and cater for all ages.

On sports night those with en­ergy to spare can make their way to the vil­lage hall where Trail West will put them through their dancing paces.

Cath Craw­ford

ALL WERE sad­dened to learn of the death of Bow­more res­i­dent and Mòd en­thu­si­ast Cath Craw­ford on June 21.

She was 86 years of age and died in Royal Alexan­dra Hospi­tal in Pais­ley, where she had un­der­gone surgery.

She and her late hus­band Tom, a for­mer head­mas­ter of the then Bow­more Ju­nior Se­condary School, were heav­ily in­volved in the world of choral mu­sic and Gaelic singing, in­ter­ests that Cath con­tin­ued to pur­sue after Tom’s death in 1978.

A trib­ute to Cath will ap­pear in the next Is­lay Let­ter.

Hugh Smith, 4 Flora Street, Bow­more, Is­lay PA43 7JX. Tel: 01496 810 658.

The toothache stone, which res­i­dents are have no need for th­ese days.

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