Return to Loch Fyne book

“Return To Loch Fyne (2nd Edition)”
Written by Eoin McArthur and republished by the Strachur & District Local History Society.

Eoin McArthur and his family spent their summer holidays at St. Catherine's on the eastern shore of upper Loch Fyne for many years in the 1920's and 1930's; it was the home of his father's parents. In 1962 he purchased a house at St. Catherine’s to be used as a holiday home, and in 1984 moved permanently to this house on retirement.

When he retired to live on the shores of Loch Fyne Eoin's interest grew, both in the surrounding area and in the wider history of the McArthur Clan and Argyll generally. He gathered information from many sources and recorded it, so that what emerged out of these notes was a kind of scrapbook of the district.

in 1990 Eoin learnt, from a letter in the Dunoon Observer, of a family of McArthurs in Australia who were looking for their relations. He wrote right away and discovered that the families out there were the descendants of his Grandfather's brother, Duncan, who had emigrated 130 years previously, and as far as is known there had been no contact between the families in the meantime.

He, himself, modestly said, “This little book is in no way intended to be a history of upper Loch Fyne; I am not qualified to undertake that task”; that it is not a complete history is true but he underrated his own skill and the appeal of the selective story he wrote. It really started out as a simple research into his own family history but it grew to be much more.

Eoin acknowledged his debt to the authors of the many books he read, as well as all the people he listened to over the years who had a personal knowledge of the district. But it was Eoin's gift of narrative that wove his collection of historical fact and whimsical anecdote into a coat of many colours. Each turn of the page, like a twist of the kaleidoscope, displays some new gem for our interest, amusement and delight.

Many rural communities, in times gone by, had a local history composed of colourful individuals and spirited interactions between them - but not every place had a bard to capture that history as Eoin did for the cradle of his youth and the armchair of his retirement. He is remembered with affection; his passing is mourned by his many friends and this wee book, his legacy to us all, ensures that he will not soon be forgotten.

The compilation of very human history and sometimes hilarious anecdote that Eoin achieved was so instructive, charming and amusing that the first edition which he himself had printed is long since out of print. Those who knew Eoin and treasured his work determined that it ought to be reprinted and his literary executors have given their consent and assistance to the Local History Society which has taken on this task. Readers who know and love upper Loch Fyne (and even those who don’t) will not be disappointed by the newly available 2nd Edition.