Associated People: Fletcher, Mr John, Balemartine


Photograph of a group of Balemartine folk, ca 1955

Black & white photograph of Dugald “the Tailor” MacArthur (Dughall Dhomhnaill an t-sleibh), with children Elizabeth Shepherd, and John and Jean Fletcher (L-R in front), around 1955.



John Fletcher talking about writing at school

Sound clip in English of John Fletcher of Balemartine talking about the writing materials he used at school in the late 1940s.

Courtesy of Mr John Fletcher

John Fletcher talks to Maggie Campbell in September 2005 about learning to count and write at Balemartine School in the late 1940s. There were around eighty children attending the school, which was one of five on the island.

At break-time the children were given hot reconstituted National Dried Milk in tin mugs. John drank it quite happily but some of the children hated the taste, comparing it with the fresh milk they got at home.

Toilet facilities at the school were basic: buckets with blue disinfectant, two for the boys and two for the girls. These were taken down to the shore by the cleaner at night and thrown into the sea.


1805 Irish penny found by John Fletcher in Balemartine in November 2004.

1805 Irish penny dug up by John Fletcher in ground around the shed opposite his house in Balemartine in November 2004 (see 2004.202.1 for letter dated 25/11/2004 from Nick Holmes, numismatics curator with the National Museums of Scotland, identifying and dating the coin).