THE PAST IN COLOUR

Evergreen - - Percy's Post Bag -

No prizes for guess­ing where this pic­ture was taken but how many of us can pin­point the ex­act lo­ca­tion of Tober­mory?

The sec­ond let­ter O has fallen off the pier of­fices and it looks like the first let­ter O is go­ing the same way! A sailor is read­ing a news­pa­per on the left while next to him is a man who ap­pears to be us­ing a mo­bile phone. How­ever, as the pho­to­graph dates from the early Six­ties it must be ei­ther a ship- to- shore ra­dio or he is sim­ply smok­ing a cig­a­rette!

A young man is lean­ing on the rails of a MacBrayne ferry, an old fam­ily com­pany which was ac­quired in 1973 by the Cale­do­nian Steam Packet Com­pany who re­named it Cale­do­nian MacBrayne. To­day it runs a large num­ber of fer­ries con­nect­ing sev­eral of the Western Isles of Scot­land to the main­land.

A jovial man in a kilt is ei­ther wel­com­ing or watch­ing the Oban ferry de­part, while be­hind him is a Bed­ford lorry loaded with what look like bags of gravel. Times change, how­ever, and the ferry now runs to Craignure leav­ing the Tober­mory pier to small fish­ing boats. The of­fice build­ings sur­vive, how­ever, oc­cu­pied by a well- known res­tau­rant called “Cafe Fish”, but where is it?

Tober­mory is Gaelic and means “Mary’s Well”. With a won­der­fully colourful seafront it is the cap­i­tal of the Isle of Mull and also in­spired a Womble name! Leg­end sug­gests a flee­ing Span­ish galleon sank in the har­bour in 1588 but no trace has ever been found. Look it up on a map!

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