Am Baile/Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

Location: Skye

Doing the washing in 1900s Kyleakin

"We used to take our washing over to the castle. I remember one day, Terry Munro’s mother and I went over in a boat and we took over the washing. She had to go back for something. I was going to light the fire. There was a big pot. I found that there was only one match left. I thought to myself “If this match goes out, I’ll have to go all the way home to get another box of matches.” The word that came into my mind so clearly was “Be still and know that I am God”, in the 46th Psalm. I lit the match and the fire went up, and it went alright.

"When the young girls, Annie Grant and Carrie, went over to wash then we all washed our hair and sometimes had a bath in the pool after we had finished the washing. There is a big pool there, a fresh water spring.

"We would wash blankets in the burn at the castle. We would bring sheets out over the hill and leave them out overnight to bleach. They bleached beautifully on the hill. We used to tramp the blankets. We used to go up with the hurley, the tubs and a big pot up to the burn.

"It was a hardship, and if there was dry weather and the wells got dried up it was very hard."

As told by Rebecca Matheson, Flora Reid and Mabel MacLean and contributed by Will Maclean, Emeritus Professor at the University of Dundee

More information on visiting the area can be found here.