Thursday 24 February 2011

Ruined buildings on Islay

There are far fewer ruined buildings on Islay today than there were fifteen years ago.  The majority have now been renovated and are full of happy holidaymakers for at least part of the year.  The old blacksmiths workshop near Springbank is an exception however.  It is still rather forlornly waiting for somebody to evict the Jackdaws. 
At the risk of sounding like an old codger, I remember when at least part of the building was a working smiddy, run by an elderly gentleman called John.  It was a remarkable throwback of a place, with a dark, slightly forbidding interior, piled high with generations of iron and steel.  John was very good to us.  He made the grate for the strange-shaped fire in the Port Charlotte Hotel, and also built us a spit on which we impaled a pig - roasting it whole over half an oil drum full of charcoal.  That pig fed around 250 folk the day the hotel opened.  I think I have a photo somewhere, but those days things were strictly analogue, and being an old codger I can't remember where anything is...

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