Tag Archives: clothing and footwear


Goffering iron and poker.

Goffering iron and poker from Balevullin. The poker was made to fit the iron by Alan Reid of Kenovay. The iron was used for frills and lace on caps, aprons, nightgowns and underskirts. The poker would be heated until red-hot and inserted into the goffering iron. The moist starched fabric would be grasped in both hands and pressed over the heated tube of the iron.


Jean MacCallum talking about school clothes in the 1940s

Sound clip in English of Jean MacCallum talking about school clothes in the 1940s.

Courtesy of Mrs Jean MacCallum

In a recording made in August in 2005, Mrs Jean MacCallum of Balevullin talks to Maggie Campbell about the clothes she wore to school in the 1940s. At the age of two, Jean was sent by Glasgow Corporation to be fostered by Alexander and Catherine Kennedy of Balevullin.

When she was fifteen, Jean was taken from Tiree by Glasgow Corporation, very much against her own and her foster family’s wishes, and placed in a Salvation Army home in Pollockshields. She was only returned to the island after her foster family took the matter to court.

Growing up on a Tiree croft, Jean developed a life-long love of the outdoors and of cattle. She later discovered that crofting was in her blood; her paternal grandmother had farmed into her eighties.


Mini-disk recording of Janet Brown, Balephuil talking to Maggie Campbell in August 2005.

Seònaid Brown née MacArthur of Balephuil talks to Maggie Campbell in August 2005 about her schooling at Heylipol during World War II and afterwards at Cornaig, her school clothes, lunches, games, her classes and teachers, school discipline, evacuees and tinkers, Christmas parties, transport to school, ministers and childhood illnesses.


Invoice and label from Brora wool mill, 1936, found in the byres opposite Hynish House.

Invoice dated 1936 from T. M. Hunter of the Sutherland Wool Mills at Brora addressed to John Hume of Heylipol Farm for wool, plus a delivery label addressed to T. M. Hunter.


CD Pròiseact Thiriodh CD-SA1968-25.

Donald Sinclair (Dòmhnall Chaluim Bhàin) of Balephuil sings a song about the loss of a sailor, talks about the exploits of Donald Lamont of Ruaig, funeral customs, a type of kilt worn on Tiree, playing shinty on Sundays, whey-making, a well Tobar na Naoi Beò, sings three Gaelic songs, talks about games old men would play with young lads, recites a verse of a song about the Balephuil drowning, tells and anecdote about what his father believed, sings a humorous song about Calum MacArthur in Glasgow, talks about the Balemartine bard, gives a saying about guns, sings a Gaelic song and another by John MacLean, tells a story about a fool and his gold, a humorous anecdote about his great-grandmother, sings four more Gaelic songs, tells a story about sighting fairies and another about a sailing disaster and sings another Gaelic song.