Shearing sheep at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s
Photograph of sheep-shearing at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s.
Courtesy of Mrs Cathy Omand
From left to right, farm manager John Hume, factor Iain MacLaren, Lachie MacFarlane of Hynish and Neil MacLean of Heylipol are clipping black-faced sheep at Heylipol Farm using hand shears in the 1940s. Hogs are sheared at the end of May or the beginning of June. Sheep with lambs are sheared in July when the weather is warmer.
Crofters would send their best Cheviot fleeces to the Scottish Wool Growers mill in Brora on the Moray Firth to be made into blankets or spun into hanks known as ‘snath Gaidhealach’ (Highland wool). Wool prices plummeted in the 1980s coinciding with increasing use of feather duvets.
In Tiree nowadays, Suffolk tups (rams) are commonly put to ‘mule’ ewes, a black-face/Blue Leicester cross. The Blue Leicester input maintains the quality of the fleece and produces a larger lamb.
Black and white photograph of sheep-shearing at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s.
Sheep-shearing at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s. L-R: shepherd John Hume; factor Iain MacLaren; Lachie MacFarlane, Hynish; Neil MacLean, Heylipol Farm.