Louise Boulanger


criomagan, edition 42, comunn eachdraidh nis

Location: Lewis
ships and boats, shipwrecks

After the MV Clan Macquarrie grounded

In 1953 the cargo ship MV Clan Macquarrie ran aground at Borve. The coastguard and teams of local volunteers launched a rescue, and subsequently welcomed the shipwrecked sailors into their homes, feeding and giving them hospitality until they were able to travel to Stornoway.

In recognition the vice-chairman for Clan Line Steamers Ltd, who owned a vessel, sent the villagers a letter and cheque for £100. This was put on display in the Borve Post Office. Contemporary reports also reveal that the villagers had taken one of the crew to their hearts: “The Chief Officer lived in one of the houses in the village until a few days ago. He was very popular, and the village adopted him. He was only 28 years of age. He neither drank nor smoked and refused to eat his meals in a better room apart, but preferred to have them in the kitchen with the family. As he also holds a pilot's license, he promised to fly his plane over and bring his father with him, to show his dad where he wrecked.”

The money was later used to build the first community hall in the village- the existing hall is still called the Clan Macquarrie Community Centre.

More information on visiting the area can be found here.