Two old Islay videos (1973 and 1983)

They were filmed 10 years apart, but both are a bit older, showing Islay 33 and 43 years ago respectively. The first one seems to be some old TV footage filmed in 1983, showing Port Charlotte and a few other places on Islay in a short clip:

Going back a further decade to 1973 we can watch some fascinating old footage with some long gone history, starting with the MV Arran ferry (not to be confused with the MV Isle of Arran, which was much later) leaving from the old West Loch Tarbert pier:

The rest of the film shows a variety of familiar places, some in a way now gone: The Oa with the American Monument I believe before it became an RSPB reserve (not sure which year that happened?). Port Askaig long before it was redeveloped to what it is today. Ardbeg distillery with smoking pagodas. A brief glimpse of what I think is Western Ferries’ MV Sound of Jura. An excursion to Jura with of course plenty of deer.

The filmer seems to have also had some interest in birdwatching. I think there were a number of Whooper Swans (the quality of the footage isn’t great, making it difficult to see) and there’s some footage of the Barnacle Geese as well.

Author: Armin Grewe

I blog about Islay.

15 thoughts on “Two old Islay videos (1973 and 1983)”

  1. Thanks for those Armin.
    In the older one – that’s Port Askaig and the Jura ferry as I first saw it. I know we have to have progress but I think I preferred it that way.
    There are fewer wild goats on the Oa now and the main street in Bowmore was a lot quieter. Lovely memories. Thank you xx

  2. Yes, I’ve got mixed feelings about Port Askaig, having experienced it before and after the big excavation: On one hand the new waiting area, car park etc make it much more convenient and efficient. On the other hand it has lost some of its style and feeling, it’s mainly big now.
    I hadn’t realised the number of goats had gone down. I wonder if that’s due to farming practices or if there are natural reasons?

  3. Thanks for these. Too bad the old film is of such poor quality; I could make out some landmarks but others were too unfocused. Can anyone tell me what church and graveyard is shown near the end – with about 3:30min left?

    1. Hi Gloria, you mean at around 22:00 minutes I believe (in my settings I see the elapsed time)? That would be Kilnave Chapel and Kilnave Cross. It’s on the western side of Loch Gruinart, towards Ardnave.

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