|John Finlay and Sheila Roderick, Croft 37|
|When not working with the croft and animals, John is also a firefighter|
|4 horned Hebridean ram|
The sheep are kept at the croft during the winter, but in May are taken to the 400 acres of fenced moorland for common grazing over the summer. Coach A’s visit was on this special day. All the sheep owners on the island and their sheep dogs start in the community of Scalpay and herd the 6000 sheep of the island to summer pasture.The gate to which is just before John and Sheila's croft.
|The crofters start the sheep drive in the community of Scalpay|
|The gate to the common grazing pasture|
|Beth F. and Bramble after a morning's work|
|Warp wound on a horizontal warping reel|
|Flat folds of linen cloth woven by Sheila|
We journey to the Outer Hebrides because this is the land of Harris Tweed. The definition of Harris Tweed: made from the wool of Scottish sheep, spun in the Outer Hebrides, woven by hand, and finished in the Outer Hebrides. When the potato famine hit Scotland 1845-47, Lady Dunmore took the tweed the islanders were weaving, traveled the world, marked up the price twenty times and came back and gave the weaver all the profit.
Harris tweed became famous worldwide and the demand kept growing. Originally the tweed was naturally dyed. Crotal, a lichen, gave light to dark rusty color. Spinning mills came in 1907 and all the yarn was then aniline dyed.
|Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis|
|Roddy has been a weaver for 50 years|
Most of the 9 houses at Gearannen were built in the 1850’s. In 1989 a trust was formed to restore the houses and the village opened in 2000. When the blackhouses were built, they were long structures with an open plan. Animals lived and one end and people lived at the other. The roof was thatched. Blackhouses were very similar to the much earlier Viking long houses. Most had open fires in the middle of the living area.
|Isabel, our guide at the village|
|Peat covers the island but requires backbreaking labor to benefit from the glowing warmth it produces when burned|
|All the buildings in the village have thatched roofs|
|Evelyn S., Jere L., Judy L, and Elaine P.|
|Dun Carloway Broch|
|Margaret Curtis, local archeologist|
|Callenish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis|
Much of her research has involved the location of the moon on it’s yearly path and how the moon aligns with certain stones. The sun alignment also enters into the story of the stones on summer solstice and vernal equinox. However, Margaret doesn’t think the sun alignment was as important at this formation as the moon.
|A window created by the positioning of these two stones.|
|Gerry K. and Tammy P. captivated by Margaret's insights|
|Patrice H. and Maria L. ponder this unusually shaped stone|