Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Calum's Road by Roger Hutchinson

Calum Macleod lived at the very north end of the island of Raasay, next to Skye in the Hebrides. He was a crofter, postman and tended a lighthouse. He also spent many years building a road from the north of the island to the central area. He hoped that this road would help encourage people to return to the north of the island, which had become extremely depopulated. Calum's Road became much acclaimed and was considered to be a piece of landscape art, certainly at the point where Calum's work finished before the road was tarmac-ed as it needed to be to make it functional for most vehicles.

This book not only follows Calum's visionary and eccentric project, but also outlines the history of Raasay, particularly the population changes. The Highland Clearances saw people driven from the agriculturally productive south of the island to the barren north and then later they moved back again as the north was starved of services.

The book offers an insightful study of an island community and the inspired creative work of one man who had a dream and was prepared to do whatever was necessary to make that dream come true.

Calum's Road by Roger Hutchinson published by Birlinn.

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4 comments:

Caroline Gill said...

We also enjoyed the book - quite fascinating. You will find a few photos here.

gabriellebryden said...

wow, what a moving tale!

Rabbits' Guy said...

I am kind of backed up - book wise - but this one sounds like a great story and read.

A Cuban In London said...

Many thanks for the recommendation. I quite like the short blurb you posted. It sounds like Callum was not just a visionary but also a community person.

Greetings from London.