Tag Archives: post offices and postmen

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2000.23.1

Balemartine Post Office in the 1920s

Postcard of Balemartine Post Office in the 1920s.

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Courtesy of Mr Neil MacArthur

This postcard of Balemartine shows the Post Office and surrounding houses as they were in the 1920s. Tiree’s first post office was established in 1802 in Scarinish. Originally spelled Tyree, the name was changed in 1889 to avoid confusion with Tyrie in Aberdeenshire.

There were no internal delivery services until the 1880s and these were by foot. In the following decade three sub-post offices were established at Balemartine, Cornaigmore and Ruaig. A fifth office was added in 1934 at Middleton.

At the beginning of World War II a civilian camp was built at Crossapol to house the thousand construction workers engaged in building the Coastal Command aerodrome. A sub-post office was opened at the camp which was later taken over by the RAF. This office closed around 1946.

Black and white postcard of Balemartine Post Office.

The Post Office and thatched houses at Cu’ Dheis in Balinoe, taken in the 1920s.

1997.148.3

Balck and white photograph of the postmistress and postmen at Scarinish Post Office in 1919.

The postmistress and postmen at Scarinish Post Office in 1919. L-R: (back) Margaret Robertson, Scarinish (postmistress); Lachland MacNeill; Donald MacKechnay; Hugh Lamont, Ruaig; (front) Archie MacLean, Scarinish; Donald MacDougall, Kilmoluaig; John Munn, Baugh.

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1997.148.6

Scarinish Post Office in 1919

Photograph of the postmistress and postmen at Scarinish Post Office in 1919.

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Courtesy of Mr Angus MacLean

The postmistress, Margaret Robertson (centre right), is pictured seated beside veterinary surgeon, John MacDougall, outside the old Post Office in Scarinish which was originally established in 1802

The postal service was extremely irregular and uncertain until 1863 when mail packets were conveyed to and from Tiree at public expense. Telegraphy arrived in Tiree two years too late for reporters covering the Crofters’ War in 1886. They had to resort to carrier pigeon to send urgent despatches.

The first telephones were installed in Tiree in the mid-1920s but were restricted to official use for the transmission of telegrams. In 1941 the first public call box was installed at Crossapol for the benefit of the airfield construction workers.

Black and white photograph of the postmistress and postmen at Scarinish Post Office in 1919.

The postmistress and postmen at Scarinish Post Office in 1919. L-R: (standing) Archibald MacLean, `Bayview`, Scarinish; Donald MacDougall, Kilmoluaig; (in carriages) Hugh Lamont, Ruaig; Mary MacNeill; Jack Munn, Heanish; John MacDougall, vet; Margaret Robertson, Scarinish (postmistres); unknown; unknown. (Original photograph – 1997.178.1)

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