copied with permission from author

My Late Uncle Iain Campbell farmed Muir of Auchnabreac - it was only ever referred to as "the Muir" in our family. Mum,Dad and I would travel to Inveraray every year for our summer holiday from Greenock -quite an epic trip in those days as it involved a bus ride to Gourock to catch the calmac ferry to Dunoon then a trip in Montgomery's bus to St Catherines where we boarded the wonderful wee ferry boat to Inveraray which was manned by Hope MacArthur.
Uncle Iain would meet us in whatever longsufferring vehicle he had at the time as the road up to the Muir was dire.
It was a 2 level house with a porch at each end -one leading into the scullery/kitchen and which was used all the time -and the other which led into the Parlour and was used rarely.
Layout was sculery/kitchen with bathroom at the back. Through from the scullery was the living room where the Raeburn was, there was always a kettle on the plate and I loved the shiny rails on which were kept clean tea.towels
I recall that the phone number for the Muir was" Inveraray 35" and that there was no electricity for a long time so there was the nightly ritual of lighting the Tilley lamps. Also I recall that the jar of meths in which the clamp for starting the Tilley lamp was kept and a box of matches were to be found in the same place in the scullery and NEVER to be put anywhere else-in order that these vital items could literally be found in the dark. Cooking was done on the Raeburn which always seemed to have a terrier lying as close to it as was possible. A short corridor led to the stairs and the Parlour.
Upstairs I think there were two good sized bedrooms with dormer windows. and a smaller one with a skylight window but am relying on memories from when I was 5 in the late 1950's!
Aunt Helen kept a nice garden at the front with some flower borders and there was a veg garden at the back with fruit bushes and strawberries.
The view across Loch Fyne was lovely-and the Fairy Ring on the opposite hills fascinated me-as did the submarines which would appear now and again in the Loch….the first time I saw a submarine going under the waves I got a real fright and ran screaming into the house that there was a boat sinking!
My cousins Donald and Iain would have rare times playing around the farm and watching the budgies in Uncle Iain's aviary-known as the budgie hut it was near the back of the house.
I know there were steadings but memories of them are sketchy-a barn and a byre certainly-and a tractor-a wee Fergie and also the term Fordson Major comes to mind.
There were a couple of big trees at the side of the yard and under these trees were hutches as Uncle had ferrets-I was transfixed by their ruby eyes which glowed like fire
Lots of memories of clippings and dippings of sheep-and of neighbouring where farmers from all around would come to assist with the Muir work and Uncle Iain would reciprocate when the neighbours' turn came round.
I also remember travellers-or Tinkers coming round to do turnip thinning or other farm jobs from time to time.I think their name was Townsley-and Williamspn perhaps? I remember Iain broadcasting seed from a tray-rhytmic stride and throw, and am nearly sure I saw him use a seed fiddle too.
Better stop now as these ramblings could turn into a wee book.

Innes Carmichael
Many happy memories. Uncle and Aunt and cousins went to NZ . Iain died some years ago but Helen and family are there still.