District News 1922

Tolsta District News 1919 as reported in the Stornoway Gazette



Nurse Jessie Kelly, who started here at the end of last August, has resigned on account of ill-health. Mrs. Cameron, the new nurse, entered on duty on New Year's Day. Mrs. Cameron is a Queen's Nurse and prior to her marriage, was for some time in charge of a district in Argyllshire.


Whooping Cough has been raging in this district during the past six weeks. So far, with the exception of a few cases, the epidemic has been of a mild type. The last time Whooping Cough was in the district was eleven years ago. The School was opened last Monday, but only a few pupils were able to attend. The School has now been closed for a period of three weeks. There is also one case of measles in the district, one of the pupils attending the Nicolson Institute.



A Meeting of the people of the district was held in the Tolsta School on Wednesday, 25th January, Councillor John MacLennan, presiding. A deputation was appointed to meet with Mr. Thomson, the County Councillor for the district and the Engineer from the Board of Agriculture, now resident in Stornoway. Next day a communication was received from Mr. Armstrong and another Meeting was held, when a representative Committee was appointed to confer with the Engineer, when he visits the district. A list of Applicants for work under this Scheme was compiled and forwarded to Mr. Armstrong. It is hoped the work will be started soon.


On Thursday, 29th December, 1921, at 9 North Tolsta, Mr. John MacKenzie, Kishorn, was married to Miss Mary Nicolson, 9 North Tolsta. Rev. Neil MacIntyre, Stornoway, officiated. Also at 20 North Tolsta, on Thursday, 19th January, Mr. Donald Murray, 37 North Tolsta, was married to Miss Maggie MacLeod, daughter of Mr. John MacLeod, 20 North Tolsta. Rev. Roderick MacKenzie, Back, officiated. Recently in Glasgow, Mr. Malcolm Campbell, 2 North Tolsta, was married to Miss Isabella MacIver, eldest daughter of Mr.Angus MacIver, 17 North Tolsta and Mr. H. Walker, Neilston, was married to Miss Catherine Morrison, daughter of Mr. John Morrison, 31 North Tolsta. We wish all these couples long life, happiness and prosperity.



Whooping Cough is still raging in this district. Only very few families have escaped. Recently there have been some severe cases, but, so far, there has only been one death from this illness.


At 73 North Tolsta, on 2nd February, Mr. Roderick MacIver, 10 North Tolsta, was married to Catherine, eldest daughter of Mr. Donald MacKenzie (Junior), 73 North Tolsta. Rev. Neil MacIntyre, Stornoway, officiated. We wish the young couple much happiness, long life and prosperity.


People from this district have started resurfacing the local roads over a fortnight ago. There are over 100 men employed. We understand that the work of the section now completed, has been very satisfactorily carried out. We hope the people will be given enough work to keep them regularly employed at least till the Spring work begins.


The local boats during the past week have been going out with both the herring nets and the hand-lines, but so far the results have been only fair. The trawlers during the past six weeks have been constantly fishing in the vicinity of Tolsta Head, with the result that those who go out with the small lines now get nothing at all. This year, the trawlers have been very daring on the coast here.



The local unemployed have now started to resurface another section of the main road - about five furlongs. It is hoped that when this piece is completed they will be given some other sections to provide work for them throughout the Spring months. There never was a time when relief works were as necessary as they are now.


The local School was reopened on Monday, 17 February, after a closure of seven weeks. The attendance is not up to the normal as several of the younger children have not yet got over the after-effects of whooping cough. Miss Annie M. MacLean, who has been Infant Mistress in the School for two and a half years, has left the district and is now teaching in Lochalsh Public School.



An epidemic of measles has broken out in the district. Ten families are affected. The School is still kept open, but all the children from the north end of the village are excluded. So far the epidemic has been of a mild type.

The local people took a much greater interest in the recent Education Authority Election than they did in 1919. The fact that the two local candidates stood, viz., Mr. Cameron, J.P., North Tolsta and Rev. Mr. MacKenzie, Back, made the Electors more interested in the matter. It is reported that 55 per cent of the voters elected.
The pupils and teachers of Tolsta School have contributed over £4 to the Back Disaster Fund. Were it not that the people are so poorly off, the contribution would have been far more substantial. This sum was forwarded to Mr. John MacRae, Stornoway.



The weather, which was rather unfavourable during May and June, is now excellent. The crops were rather backward at first, but are now making very
good progress. The small line fishing which was very prosperous last year, has been this year very disappointing so far. The new landholders of the North Tolsta Farm have now started constructing a new road for their crofts, but that can provide employment only for a small portion of the unemployed people in the district.



This School reopened on Monday, 4th September, after the Summer holidays. Miss Margaret Ross, Portree and Miss Cathie MacKenzie, Burncrook, Bayble, the new assistants, entered on duty that day. The Headmaster, who has been off duty during the Summer months on account of illness, has now resumed work. This school has suffered much from epidemics during the past six years; but now it appears that diphtheria, which has been so long a source of trouble, has at last been got under control. Dr. Porter by the help of her bacteriological outfit, has been able to trace the operative source of this trouble and for this we are very much indebted to her.


Donald Murray, eldest son of Mr. Alexander Murray, 27 North Tolsta, died in the Lewis Hospital, on 2nd September. The deceased, who was 12 years of age, had been ill for only a few days. It seems that while he was herding cattle in the Ard of Tolsta, he was severely hurt and was removed to the Lewis Hospital. The pathetic circumstances under which he died has caused a great deal of stir and given rise to much comment in the district and the matter is being investigated by the Police authorities.



Sir William Cotts had a very enthusiastic reception on Saturday in the Back district, where he addressed several Meetings. The first was held at North Tolsta, with Mr. Angus MacLennan, Crofter, No. 36, in the Chair.

Dealing with local questions, Sir William referred to the unsuitability of the "Shiela" for the Stornoway mail route and promised if returned, to do his utmost to get a better boat. (Applause) Other local subjects touched on were roads, telephonic communication, fishing, trawling, the opening up of foreign markets upon which the herring fishing virtually depended and pensions. Speaking of Lord Leverhulme's Schemes, he expressed his great regret that they had stopped. For this he was blaming no-one, but he thought it was a great pity that these Schemes, which meant so much for the prosperity of the island, had had to be dropped.

Mr. John MacLennan, No.60, said that if Sir William Cotts went to Parliament, he would see to the grievances of the ex-Service men.
After questions were put and a speech by ex-Provost MacKenzie, Mr. John MacLennan moved and Mr. Donald MacIver, No. 32, seconded a vote of confidence in Sir William Cotts, as a fit and proper person to represent the constituency in Parliament, was enthusiasically carried.



At the forthcoming Parish and County Council elections, Mr. John MacLennan, 60 North Tolsta and Mr. Donald Cameron, J.P., are candidates for the former. If the local electors turn out with such enthusiasm as they did at the recent Parliamentary Elections, both candidates should fare well.


At the recent Parliamentary Election 72 per cent of the local electors recorded their votes. This is probably a record for this Constituency.

The harvest work is now finished. All the corn was secured under favourable conditions and the potato crop has been very satisfactory.

At the beginning of the month the local boats had several good shots of herrings, but recently the results have been rather disappointing.



A largely attended and an enthusiastic Meeting of he local electors was held in the Tolsta School on Monday, 4th December.Mr. D. MacDonald, presided. Mr. Donald Cameron, J.P., who was a candidate for both the Parish and the County and Mr. John MacLennan, 60 North Tolsta, who was a candidate for the Parish, addressed the Meeting. Several of those present, took part in the discussion that followed the candidates' speeches and urged upon all those who had votes to turn out the following day, to support the local candidates. The Meeting broke up with a hearty round of cheering for the candidates.


Miss M. R. Munro, of the Northern College of Agriculture, gave the first of a series of Lectures on poultry, in the Tolsta School, on Monday, 4th
December. There was a very large attendance of old and young. Mr. D. MacDonald, Teacher, presided. The Lecture was illustrated by lantern slides. At the close of the Lecture, Mr. D. Cameron, in moving a vote of thanks to the Lecturer, advised the people to attend the other Lectures of the series and he made a special appeal to the women of the district to come out. Miss Munro is also giving two Lectures to the Senior pupils of the local School.