Visiting Tigh-an-Loan Hotel Fearnan in the 1920s & ’50s

This wonderful photo was sent to the FVA website by Andy Waugh.  It was taken by his grandfather James Waugh, who was a keen motorist and photographer, during a visit to the Tigh an Loan Hotel in Fearnan in the early 1920s.

The Waugh family at the Tigh-an-Loan Hotel, Fearnan, in the early 1920s (Photo courtesy of Andy Waugh)

James Waugh was a grain merchant from Edinburgh who loved to travel and record family life with his camera. His success in business enabled him to enjoy his interest in cars and travel at a time when such motor vehicles would have been something of a novelty in rural Scotland. The photo is thought to be from a trip that took him along Loch Tay, up Loch Ness and ending in Inverness for the Highland Show where he carried out business while the family enjoyed the Show.

The occupants of the car are Andy’s father, Jim Waugh (in the goggles) and his 3 siblings who were travelling with their parents. It’s not surprising that there is a travel bag stowed on the running board as there wouldn’t have been much room in the car once they all got in!  They must have had strong constitutions, given that the roads probably weren’t much more than tracks at the time, and the Scottish weather would no doubt have presented additional hazards.

For the car enthusiasts amongst us, the car is a Darracq. The Darracq car was originally French but in the early 1900s a British consortium bought it with the intention of lightening it, tuning it and going for the World Speed Record, which they won in 1905 on a flying kilometer run near Paris. They held the record for only two months, such was the number of cars making the attempt.

In the picture, there is a spare wheel and a spare tyre, as punctures were a frequent hazard in those days. The car has a permanent starting handle. Also of interest, although you can’t see it, is the fact that the car had a second windscreen fitted in front of the rear passengers, folded down for the picture.

Andy tells us that he has many photos that James Waugh took of his trips, including some taken driving the (now) NC500 in 1924! It is lucky for us that he was a keen photographer recording images for us to enjoy almost 100 years later.

By happy coincidence, we were also given a picture of another car-borne visitor to the Tigh-an-Loan Hotel, this time in May 1950 and in an Austin A40 (photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lindsay).

The lady in the picture is the mother of a friend of Linda Milne but we have no further information about the photo.

If you would like to read more about the Tigh-an-Loan Hotel, you can the story here: The Tigh-an-Loan Hotel, Fearnan

April Pop-Up Cafe

The Pop Up was open again in April offering freshly made coffee, a selection of home-made goodies and a chance to chat and exchange stories with friends and neighbours – Alistair’s story seems to be going down well (see picture!).

The Pop Up will be back on the 27th June at 10.30 in the hall, and in July we will be serving Strawberry Teas at 3pm on Saturday 22nd July.

Coronation Raffle

A special Coronation Raffle is being run as a fund-raiser for the McLean Hall. The 3 prizes (see below) have been generously donated by Kath Douthwaite and prepared by the Courtyard in Kenmore.

The prizes are on display in the hall and you can purchase tickets when the hall is open for classes and events.  It costs £1 per strip of tickets, and please do remember to put your name on the back of the strip, or you may miss out on a prize!

The raffle will be drawn at the Coronation Celebration on Monday 8th May.

Book Club Review

Linda writes:

 “A gripping historical thriller set in Inverness in the wake of the 1746 Battle of Culloden.”

We recently reviewed The Bookseller of Inverness by SG McLean which stimulated a lively, far-reaching discussion. It was a well written and well researched book with an interesting mix of both fact and fiction around the complex subject of the Battle of Culloden and its aftermath.

Most members liked the historical aspects of the book and learned from it. It was something that split families and communities and years later revenge was still being sought against those who had betrayed the Jacobite cause. This revenge was continued by the next generation and beyond. The real tragedy was of a fractured society, full of mistrust and hatred. 

The author painted a picture of a complicated web of mystery and included a few ‘heart in mouth’ moments. Iain, the bookseller, is secretly tasked with finding a book of names (in code) of traitors to the cause. 

Most found it captivating and well-paced. Some found it initially hard to get into but then found it gripping and fast moving. One of the group described it as a “rollicking good read” while one struggled to find a hero. 

Characterisation was strong with a wide range of well-drawn characters who came alive on the page. We particularly liked Hector, father of Iain, a loveable rogue, who livened up the action whenever he appeared. The plan to free him from imprisonment was well planned and ingenious. Mhairi, grandmother of Iain, was ruthless and brutal in her revenge, even her brother didn’t escape.  Effy the maid was straight speaking and grounded. Iain the bookseller was portrayed as scarred inside and out and we were glad he found romance in the end. 

We enjoyed the depictions of the settings which were familiar to many of us and the descriptions of the long journeys on foot over loch, mountain and moor with danger lurking round every corner.  

Frances brought a photo of a stone in Dunlichity church which still bears the marks of the swords which were sharpened here prior to the battle. 

We were intrigued by the links to slavery and the West Indies and impressed by the portrayal of the brave, strong women.

If you like an adventure story with lots of intrigue, murder, revenge, daring escapes and a touch of romance, this is a book for you.

Our next read is Glenlyon by Kenneth Steven.

What is the real story behind the young man who comes to Glen Lyon and begins building a house with his own hands?

About Fearnan Village Association

Fearnan Village Association was formed in 2007 to provide a means through which those who live in the village can come together to discuss and respond to issues of importance to the village, particularly those that will have an impact on our quality of life. We also organise social events, such as the very popular Pudding Night in February, Strawberry TeaZ in July, and other events and coffee mornings throughout the year.
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