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This photo really appeals to me.

It was taken on Eilean Èisdeal (Easdale Island). The island was famous for producing slate in huge quantities for hundreds of years, until flooding put most of the mines out of business in the mid 19th century. The dark stones in the photo may be slate residue.

The wheelbarrow must have a special purpose, but it is unknown to me. The wee girl looks like she is enjoying the ride.


Credit: Colin MacPherson

@fitheach That's a lovely island. I've stayed in a cottage at Eilean nam Beitheach, just across the water and looking across to it, and taken the boat over to walk round the island and explore.

There are no cars on the island which might explain the wheelbarrow - people probably use it to get their shopping from the boat to their house, etc.

@ak
Being used for wee girl transport in the photo. 😃

The wheelbarrow has a very solid looking construction, and therefore probably isn't lightweight. As it is an island I was thinking it could be used for transporting shellfish, which are relatively light but bulky. Wheelbarrows from hardware stores are pretty cheap. Making one yourself would likely cost much more.

Easdale is a lovely island, as is the whole Firth of Lorn.

@fitheach The wheelbarrows are for fetching things from the ferry. There's a line of them by the dock, along with (if I recall) an indication of the owner.

@fitheach And I just noticed, on close inspection I can see in my photos the one in your photo!

@AngharadHafod
I'm seeing one wheelbarrow with a similar design, but it has black handles. Is that the one?

@AngharadHafod
In a comment yesterday @ak got the transport from the ferry part absolutely right. I'm still mystified by the wheelbarrow design. It looks like it has a special purpose. I notice in your photo that in amongst the typical store bought wheelbarrows there is one other with a similar wooden design.

@fitheach @AngharadHafod I've seen similar wooden ones on the Isle of Muck which isn't that far away in the scheme of things, perhaps they were made locally by some talented craftsperson.

@ak @fitheach There are vehicles on Muck though. But I noticed at least one wheelbarrow there when I was on Muck last summer (yes I went there too!), which I assume was for the purpose of transporting things along a path, but not from the ferry - rather from the end of the road by the farmyard on the northwest side of the island. I didn't get a photo of the wheelbarrow, but I did get one of the track to the house I am referring to. I wonder is that the one you mean?

@ak @fitheach Well I didn't actually stay in that cottage. But that's quite a remarkable coincidence anyway.

@AngharadHafod @fitheach If you're staying in the cottage, they take you to the end of the road in a Land Rover with your stuff, and then you use the wheelbarrow to cart it up the path to the cottage.

When I was there, we ended up with a bunch of local kids helping us up the path with all the stuff!

@ak @fitheach I was just walking past on my way to Horse Island - or rather, not - because the tide was too high. But I noticed the wheelbarrow - now that's bizarre, isn't it? What is it about wheelbarrows? 🤔

@AngharadHafod @ak
Gosh! Isn't it a small world. As for small islands, Muck is particularly small.

Perhaps if you don't have cars, wheelbarrows are the status symbols.

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