Old Manor revisited

 Part 1

The first Manor Park housing scheme was completed in 1939. That is over 70 years ago. I am going to try and remember all of the original tenants who occupied the fifty six houses.  They were well constructed with real bricks – not cement blocks. The rooms were a good size but the kitchens were very small and basic. Everyone who got them was extremely pleased. The housing situation in the town then was grim, to say the least. In the beginning it was all called Manor Park. The various street names such as Assaye Place and Canada Crescent came later.  The original numbering was quite confusing. I am going to use the street names here. I will begin with Willowglen Road.

No 1 Willowglen Road

This was the home of Mr & Mrs Kenneth Macdonald, also known as Kenny  “Ulie”. His wife was a member of the Liddle family who occupied Gress Farm. Mrs Macdonald had a sister Ruby Liddle who lived in Bayhead.  They had three of a family. Cathie, the eldest girl, was a very attractive young lady. She married an American soldier during the war and went to live in America. Jean, the other daughter, was married after the war to Norman Macleod who had a business in Bayhead called the Fireside Shop. This shop was later known as Jenor Jewellery. Kenneth, the only son, went to work abroad many years ago.

No 3 Willowglen Road

This was the home of the Campbell family. They came from Newton Street. Mr Campbell was a widower. He had three daughters: Joey, who later married Calum Crockett of the well known Crockett family from Keith Street; Nanna, who kept house for her father; and there was another daughter who had gone to America earlier. I never knew her. The three sons were Murdo, Kenneth and Roderick. I can only remember one of them. He was a member of the lifeboat crew for many years. I think the other sons emigrated after the war.  I remember old Mr Campbell tending his garden. He had a very colourful garden with a great display of yellow and blue lupins each summer.

No 5 Willowglen Road

Mr & Mrs Macleod and their daughter Margaret Anne lived there. I can’t remember Mr Macleod’s first name but he was a plumber to trade. His wife was known as “Anna Mallaig”. She had a brother who was a minister, known as “Shonnie Mallaig”. They were from the Lochs district. The daughter Margaret Anne married Lt Michael Lloyd-Hirst during the war. After the war they lived abroad. Margaret Anne’s husband was said to be very well off. They had two children, a boy and a girl, called Anne and Noel. I remember them coming home on holiday. Mrs Macleod went abroad with them once on holiday. She visited my mother when she came back and she spoke of the great experience she had. I think it was South America she went to. She mentioned Montevideo and the poverty she witnessed there. I think it was very brave of her to go out there at that time.

No 7 Willowglen Road

That was the house of the Mackay family, Kenneth Mackay or “Kenny Spunyan” and his wife and two daughters, Mabba and Sandra. Mr Mackay was a brother of Mrs Barbara Bain who ran the Calor Gas business in town for many years. The daughter Sandra was married on the mainland. Mabba was married to a Mr Maclean from Leurbost. She had two daughters and a son; the latter is the present day “Kenny Spunyan”.

No 9 Willowglen Road

The Afrins, Norman and Joan, lived there with their family of three. There was Norman, Colin and one daughter Jessie. They all live locally. Colin is a committee member of the Stornoway Historical Society. Mrs Afrin came from Leurbost and had followed the fishing in her younger days.

No 11 Willowglen Road

This was the home of the Macarthurs. There were two daughters, Catherine and Chrissie, and three sons, Roddy, Duncan and Tommy, known as “Gedler”.  Roddy and Duncan were in the Navy during the War. “Gedler” worked as a handyman in the Royal Hotel for many years and latterly as a barman in the County Hotel. Catherine was in delicate health. She had been a patient in the Sanatorium at one time. She was a very attractive young woman. Chrissie was in the WRNS, and then operated the telephone switchboard in Newall’s Mill. She was married and had one son who now lives in the original home. Chrissie died in a tragic road accident on Macaulay Road near the newly built Western Isles Hospital. The family were from Carloway.

No 13 Willowglen Road

This was another Macarthur family, also originally from Carloway. Mr & Mrs Macarthur had one daughter and three sons. John and Donald were in the services during the war and afterwards lived on the mainland. Angus the youngest son was an electrician and a keen amateur photographer. His widow now lives in the original house. Nancy, the daughter, worked in a bank in Edinburgh and she died young.

No 15 Willowglen Road

Kenneth and Helena Maclennan and their three sons, Fred, Michael and John lived here. The family moved in later years to No 1 Willowglen when it became vacant. The Macdonald family who vacated that house coincidentally went to live at No 46 Bayhead Street, which was Mrs Helena Maclennan’s original family home. Helena was one of the well known Whitaker family. Her mother Mrs Isabella Whitaker was a Stornoway Town Councillor in years gone by. Kenneth (Booley) was the owner of the lorry that took home the Manor Park peats. The three Maclennan boys all live here in retirement. John and his  family now occupy the family home, No 1 Willowglen Road.

No 17 Willowglen Road

Mr & Mrs Kenneth Mackay and their only daughter Cathie lived at No 17. Kenneth was originally from Calbost and his wife Cathie was one of the Maclennan family who used to live on Plantation Road. Her father was Domhnuill Alasdair Maclennan, who had a grocery shop on Cromwell Street many years ago. The shop is now called Hebridean Jewellery and her brother Colin Alex Maclennan had a butcher van and latterly lived on Macaulay Road.

No 19 Willowglen Road

This was the home of Mrs Murdina Fulton, a widow, and her son Iain. Her husband had been named Robert. I believe she was a relative - perhaps an aunt - of Charles Macleod, Senior, Butcher. She was certainly born a Macleod. Iain was in the Nicolson, and I believe he settled on the mainland. John “The Chemist” Macdonald and his family were the next tenants in 1973.

No 21 Willowglen Road

Mr & Mrs Donald Angus Matheson lived here. Both Donald and Annie had returned home in the 1930s after emigrating to Detroit. He was known as “Domhnuill Angie Berry” and was adept at boat repairs. He was an uncle of Rev Calum Matheson from Torquil Terrace, who was the minister at Shawbost. The Mathesons had two daughters, Chrissie Mary and Barbara. Chrissie Mary now lives in Plasterfield and Barbara , known as “Babsie”, was a nurse before retiring in, I think, Inverness.

No 23 Willowglen Road

This is the last house on the street. The original tenants were Mr & Mrs John Campbell. John was the driver or operator of the Town Council steam roller. Of course, he was known as “Iain a’Roller”. I remember that steam roller well. The cast iron rollers seemed huge to me. There were no potholes in the road then. To be fair, we did not have a great volume of traffic then, either. Mr & Mrs Campbell had three daughters, Mary, Ishbel and Torquilina, who was called Lena in school. Mary was a Domestic Science teacher in the Nicolson, Ishbel was a nurse on the mainland and Lena was also a nurse. Mary was married and had three sons, one of whom became the Rev Robert Smith. The Campbells left Lewis many years ago and Angus "Boxer" Macleod was allocated the house.

There were no houses round the corner from here as there is now. The houses now facing the Cabarfeidh Hotel were built after the war.

That is Willowglen Road as I remember. I may have made some mistakes after all those years. If I have, someone will correct me – and please forgive the use of some nicknames. It is unavoidable as it is best that people can be more easily identified.

Now onto Canada Crescent.

No 2 Canada Crescent

Mr & Mrs Donald Macdonald and family of three sons and one daughter lived here. The family were from the Point District, originally the “Touchs”, renamed “Toe”. Their sons were Donald or “Dollan” who was in the Ross Battery and was a prisoner during the war. Johnnie was in the army stationed in England and Murdo or “Murtie” the youngest was at home being unfit for service. Ina, the daughter, lived on Macleod Road after the war. Her husband was from the east coast and her family are now there. Dollan worked on the street lights and his two brothers were in the mills post war.

No 4 Canada Crescent

Arthur and Effie Maciver lived here with their only daughter Katy Mary.  Arthur was from Breasclete and Katy Mary married Alex Macleod from Newvalley, a brother of “Dickie Medal”. Katy Mary died only in recent years.

No 6 Canada Crescent

Kenneth and Catherine Macleod lived here with Catherine’s mother Mrs Harris. Catherine was affectionately known as “Carrie Harry” in the SY fashion. Her husband Kenneth was from Sandwick and was a brother of Hector Macleod, the well known butcher in Iver Macaskill’s shop for many years. A daughter of Catherine and Kenneth now lives in the original home. Their three sons Hector (“Hecty”), Kenneth (“Wopty”) and Lewis all died in middle age.

No 8 Canada Crescent

A Nicolson family lived here. I remember old Mr Nicolson. His son Donald was in the army in the Far East, Angus was in the RNR and Murdoch in the Canadian Merchant Navy. Their sister Effie died on 21 September 1939 aged 21, and the mother Effie Nicolson (nee Smith) died suddenly on 13 March 1944 aged 52, while at Whitley Bay with the other daughter Morag, who was serving with the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Son Murdoch was lost at sea through enemy action in 1943. Angus was a geography teacher in the Nicolson in peacetime and married after the war a lady from Seaview Terrace. She was one of the “Murdo Him” family, a sister of Jackie Morrison the fishing skipper. They had one son Malcolm who left the island to go to university. Mrs Nicolson died in a tragic road accident at the Canada Crescent/Macaulay Road corner. Her friend Joan Afrin from 9 Willowglen Road was with her and was injured

No 10 Canada Crescent

Mr & Mrs Macleod lived here with their family of a son and a daughter. The son, Peter, was known as “Spockety”. He was in the Navy in the war and later emigrated to Australia where he died recently. I noticed his death notice in the Gazette. The daughter Anne was married to Murdo Macleod, a brother of Charles Macleod, Senior, or “Charley Barley”. They lived on the mainland. Old Mr Macleod was known as “Alasdair a’Bhaker”; he must have been a baker. His wife was a sister of Miss Christina, the well known primary teacher in the Nicolson.

No 12 Canada Crescent

This was the house of Mr & Mrs Malcolm Macdonald or “Callum an Portair”. He was a fisherman from Point. He had a son known as “Sal” (also Malcolm) who lived there during the war, but later married on the mainland. A married daughter and her family lived with them. The daughter’s husband was from Laxdale. There was another son named Ewan who lived on Seaforth Road. He was a fisherman like his father and was known as “Ewan Callum an Portair”. Another daughter was Mrs Christina Nicolson who lived in Maciver’s Buildings with her family. Some of the family still live in Stornoway.

Now I am going to Macaulay Road.

No 2 Macaulay Road

This is round the corner from 12 Canada Crescent. Chirsty and Donald Macleod lived here with their three sons and one daughter. The sons were Alasdair, an electrician who emigrated to Canada. Malcolm sadly died some years ago and his widow and daughter still live in this house. The other son Donald John, now a retired painter and decorator, lives on the other side of Macaulay Road. The daughter Margaret lives locally and is married to a member of the Bain, Morrison & Company family.

No 4 Macaulay Road

This was the home of the Mackay family, originally from Calbost, Lochs. Mr John Mackay was known as “Caoran” in Gaelic. His wife Peggy Mackenzie was from Cromore. I can’t remember them very well, but I know there were five daughters, Mary, Christina (“Chrissie”), Margaret (“Peggy”), Johanna (“Joey”) and Christina Margaret (“Chrissie Maggie”). Their son Kenneth lived at No 17 Willowglen Road at this time. The last tenant to occupy this house was Donald and Annie Macdonald, from the Macdonald family at No 2 Canada Crescent.

No 6 Macaulay Road

Jock and Annie Kerr lived here. Annie Kerr was one of the Macrae family or “Wilks” from Keith Street. Jock, who worked as a wool dyer in one of the mills, and Annie had a family of one son, John, and three daughters, Anne, Eleanor and Mary. John died recently.

No 8 Macaulay Road

Mrs Macdonald, a widow from Lochs, lived here with her family of three daughters Chrissie Maggie, Morag and Joey. Chrissie Maggie’s husband was from Harris and the family had a shop for some years on Cromwell Street. The shop later became DD Morrison’s. Joey was married to Jimmy Mackenzie, a fisherman from South Lochs and they lived on Kennedy Terrace. Morag lived at No 8 and was unmarried. She worked on tweed payments to weavers with Clansman Holdings.

No 10 Macaulay Road

This is another family I don’t know very much about. I remember they called the man “Ginger” and I believe that his name was Smith. “Ginger” was a Stornoway man from Kenneth Street I seem to remember.

No 12 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs Macleod and family lived here. There were three daughters and two sons. One son was John, or “Bunny Bear”, as he was known. He was in the Ross Battery and was a Prisoner of War. After the war I believe he went to Canada for a time but later returned to Stornoway. His brother was Donald or “Dollan”, a handyman in the old County Hospital. I don’t know if he was in the services. The daughters were Alina, a millworker, and Manna. I can’t remember what she worked at but she was married during the war to a Mr Harry Sykes and they lived in Stornoway. The third daughter lived in Carloway with the grandparents. I believe she still lives there.

No 14 Macaulay Road

This was where Mr & Mrs Dolly Angie Maclean lived. Their son Kenny still lives here, one of only a few original tenants who still live in the same house. Kenny lives there alone now. He is a widower and his family are grown up. The two daughters in this family were Anna, who was in the ATS during the war and then settled in England, and Margaret Ann who married an American and went over there years ago.

No 16 Macaulay Road

William and Annie Macdonald lived here. William was known as “Bill Bow” and of course his wife was “Annie Bill Bow”. They did not have a family. Bill worked for the Town Council Cleansing Department. Annie worked at the kippers I think. They were a nice cheery pair.

No 18 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs Angus Finlayson and their family lived here. I seem to remember a grandmother there too. The family were two daughters and one son. Both daughters now live locally, one is widowed, and the other, Crisybil, is married to Murdoch Macleod, a former chairman of Stornoway Historical Society. The son Alex is a doctor in Canada, I believe. Angus Finlayson was originally from Calbost.

No 20 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs John Maclennan lived here with their family of two daughters and one son. John was known as “Warrior” and his son Donald, known as Don, is married in Point. The daughters are Christine, now Mrs William Watson of Lewis Street, and Anna, the younger daughter lives at No 12 Macaulay Road. This was the house the family moved to when it became vacant some years later.

No 22 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs John Macritchie lived here. John was a fisherman from Point known as the “Posanoch” and he was the skipper of the Renown. They had one son Iain who was a builder in the town for many years. Mrs Effie Macritchie was a widow with three of a family when she married Mr Macritchie. Her family were Nan, Mima and William Scott. Nan and William Scott are no longer with us but Mima is now Mrs West and stays on Kennedy Terrace.

No 24 Macaulay Road

This was the home of Mr & Mrs Donald Matheson. The Mathesons had two sons, Murdo and Roddy. Mr Matheson was one of the large Matheson family from Seaview Terrace.  “Doya” Matheson, who worked in Burton’s, was a brother.

No 26 Macaulay Road

I think this family were Macleods but I’m not terribly sure. They were known as the “Geezers”. I remember old Mrs “Geezer” and her son Murdo.  Murdo was married to a woman from Lochs called Marion or Mor. He died when still relatively young soon after we came to Manor Park. His widow and his mother lived there for many years. He had a brother Johnny “Geezer” who was a butcher and lived on Seaforth Road.

No 28 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs John Campbell lived here. Mr Campbell was of course known as “Iveal” and I think he was a docker. He was in the Army during the war. The Campbells had three daughters, Cathie, Annie Mary and Greta. Cathie is the widow of John Murdo Maclennan, or John Murdo “Boar”, and lives in Point. Annie Mary, a widow, now lives in Melbost, and Greta lives in the original house in Macaulay Road. She is the widow of David Campbell, the haulier.

No 30 Macaulay Road

This was the home of the Macarthur family. I remember old Mrs Macarthur, I think she was a widow. There was one son in the home, Kenneth or “Coinneach Jonah”. He was in the Ross Battery and was a Prisoner of War. Another brother John was an ambulance driver pre-war and lived on Seaforth Road at this time. Later John and his family moved to Nicolson Road. A young daughter of John’s named Marie lived with the Granny on Macaulay Road at this time.

No 32 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs Campbell and their son Alex Murdo lived here. John Campbell was a fish worker known as “Plook” and his wife and son carried the family soubriquet as well. John and his wife Chirsty were from Ness. Alex Murdo the son was still at school when we went to Manor Park. When he grew up he joined the Seaforths and was later a piper in the Lewis Pipe Band. They were neighbours of mine in Bells Road before we all moved to Manor Park. I remember Chirsty Campbell as a very cheery person with a great sense of humour.

No 34 Macaulay Road

Mr & Mrs Angus Macleod or Angie and Etta “Medal” lived here with their family of five. The two girls were Mya, now Mrs Millar of Goathill Road and Nessie, who is now Mrs Macpherson and lives on the mainland. The sons were Angus, who is a retired postman, living with his wife on Nicolson Road. Alasdair, known as “Ali Ben” , lives in Macaulay Road in the houses on the opposite side of the road (in New Manor). The third son Donald died in a tragic accident at Kyleakin in January 1969 when the car he was in went off the slipway into the sea. The three occupants drowned - the others were a Macdonald from Stoneyfield Farm and his 8 year old son. I still remember the sadness at the time.

No 36 Macaulay Road

The Macdonald family lived here. Angus and Mary Macdonald were originally from Borve. Mr Macdonald was a painter and decorator and was a survivor of the Iolaire disaster. He had two sons, Charlie and John Murdo. Charlie worked with the Council Housing department for some years before his death. John Murdo was a shoemaker and died in England some years ago. There were three daughters. Cathie was in the ATs in the war and as Mrs Cochrane lived in England. Chrissie married George Macleman, who lived at the Peat House, Manor Farm. The third daughter, Peggy, was married to Archie Macleod from Glenelg. Prior to her death a year ago, Peggy lived in No 36 Macaulay Road. The family still have the original house. Archie, Peggy’s husband, was a crew member on the Lochness. He and Peggy got married during the war. The wedding celebration took place at No 36. I remember it well. I was there.

No 36 had a very big garden, a mini-croft which they cultivated very well. They had potatoes, vegetables and chickens. After the war another block of houses was built there facing Manor Farm (Perceval Road South). There was no Cabarfeidh Hotel then. Robert MacNinch worked the farm and one or two women from Manor Park helped in the dairy. Milk was sold round the town morning and evening. Peggy, No 26, was one of the milk girls and had a small horse and cart. Across the road at the corner, the shop there was run by Miss Annie Buchanan, who married sometime during the war Lewis Morison, a brother of the late Duncan “Major” Morison of Keith Street. It was a very busy shop after the houses in Manor were occupied.

That completes Macaulay Road. In the second part I will continue to Assaye Place. The twenty-six houses there complete the original Manor Park scheme.

To be continued......

Chrissie B. MacLean

This article first appeared in the Stornoway Historical Society Journal for December 2011, available in local shops, and from the Secretary.