History, Uncategorized

A lucky find

We visited George’s Aunt last week, and as so often happens the conversation turned to the past. We talked about George’s grandfather (who he never met) and in particular the two puffers he sailed around the West Coast of Scotland from the ’30s to the ’50s. They were called the StarFinch and the Narwhal.  Later we were helping to sort some old papers at her house and I came upon an envelope addressed to  George’s cousin once removed (his grandfather’s nephew) Inside we found a letter, and these.



Back home we did a little research and found a story here  about the Starfinch delivering coal along Loch Feochan.

Loch Feochan is close to Sheiling, we drive along it on our trips to Oban. So now when we do I have a little think about George’s grandfather delivering coal and other goods to the communities along our coast. And about my grandfather who mined coal in Wales.



A little dog named Dobhran*

Our dog Bramble has a Blog, lots of dogs do, and there are many thousands of  #dogsofinstagram  These are not new things though. Pets have been communicating their thoughts for years, predating the internet by decades. Last week we found some letters which a little dachshund called Dobhran* sent to his absent owner.

He's not too good at spelling, but then he's a dog!

He’s not too good at spelling, but then he’s a dog!

Dobhran lived in Jura in the 80s and early 90s. He seems to have been a prolific letter writer and liked to keep his owner in touch with events on Jura while she was away visiting friends and family. He wasn’t the first dachsie to live with the family. Here is one of his predecessors.


We don’t know this dog’s name

Why the interest in these dogs? Well were in Jura last week to remove personal items from a holiday house which is to become a permanent home. And Dobhran’s letters were among those things.  George’s family have strong links with Jura,his gran was born there, so packing up was a little sad. It’s the end of an era.  But we  took away momentos to remind ourselves of all the people who  enjoyed the house over the years.And so I have a new addition to my desk. In memory of Dobhran and his pals.

letter opener

dachshund letter opener

*Dobhran – means otter in Gaelic. See his own comments about spelling!