Black & white photograph of Archie MacArthur, Barrapol (1923-1993) in around 1970. Archie ‘BEA’ was Tiree Airport Superintendent during 1961-1988.
Courtesy of Mrs Ishbel MacArthur
A former policeman with the Stirling and Clackmananshire Police Force, Archie MacArthur of Barrapol started work at Tiree airport in 1960 on the retirement of Colin MacPhail. Universally known as Archie BEA, he was a larger than life figure.
He welcomed everybody when the plane arrived, a different greeting to each person, and would remember the names of visitors. One day when he was sporting a new BEA tie he was asked what the letters stood for. ‘It’s Big Èairdsidh’s Airways,’ he replied, referring to the Gaelic spelling of his name.
Archie retired in 1988, a well-known figure to all those who passed through Tiree’s airport. When he died in 1993, his funeral was one of the largest in living memory.