‘Worth looking into’
Photograph taken at the old petrol pump at Scarinish in 1947.
Courtesy of Mrs Dolina MacDonald
The first petrol pump on the island was installed at the top of the pier by piermaster Kenneth MacKenzie in the late 1920s. This was removed either in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Around this time, the owner of the Scarinish Hotel, Johnny Brown, installed pumps in Scarinish village, as did the former post-mistress Maggie Robertson.
Johnny Brown sold petrol in two-gallon tins with a brass cap at a cost of 3/10½d (17p) for the petrol and tin. The pump was operated by turning a handle. The hotel was sold in 1950 to Donald Archie Cameron who installed new pumps which lasted until the late 1970s.
At first, petrol came in drums shaped like wooden barrels, as shown in this photograph. To remove dents in empty metal barrels, show-offs would ignite the petrol vapour inside by passing burning material at the end of a long stick over the bung-hole.
Black and white photograph of a man and a boy at the old petrol pump in Scarinish in 1947.
An unknown man and boy at the old petrol pump in Scarinish in 1947, titled `Worth looking into`. (Original in Filing Cabinet 8 drawer3)