1999.110.4

Shearing sheep at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s

Photograph of sheep-shearing at Heylipol Farm in the 1940s.

v21.jpg

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.

Object Details

Other Number: V21

Shearing sheep at Heylipol in the 1940s

Before electric shearing equipment was invented, shearing was done using hand shears that resembled large-bladed scissors. A great deal of skill was required to ensure that the maximum amount of wool was removed without cutting the sheep`s skin. Pictured on the left is John Hume, the shepherd and farm manager of Heylipol Farm during the mid-1900s. The others are L-R: factor Iain MacLaren; Lachie MacFarlane, Hynish; Neil MacLean, Heylipol Farm.

Normal Location: Photograph Shelves: photographs – V
Current Location: normal location

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