Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

Embo lifeboat - first Coxswain
Embo lifeboat - first Coxswain

Document, possibly taken from a book, with left hand side showing a monochrome photograph with inscription 'John Ross', the first coxswain of the Dornoch & Embo Lifeboat. The right hand side contains the wording ''Old Days in a Highland Fishing Village' and there is a hand-written annotation indicating that Eban MacKay shown in accounts of the launching of the lifeboat may have been coxswain for that event only. There are initials at the bottom of the note with date 'Feb 03' and at the top of the document another initialed annotation 'No 5 1945'
Picture added on 24 April 2008
"Old Days in a Highland Fishing Village" was RJ Mackay's anecdotal booklet on social and economic conditions during Embo's commercial fishing period. I believe that the book was published by the Northern Times, Golspie, possibly in the 1930s. This book was not well received by many Embo people as they felt that its author was giving ammunition to English speaking "Embo denigrators" in Dornoch and elsewhere. I think that the hand written comments on the book were made by someone not well versed with Embo personalities as Eban was a well known Embo byname to me when growing up there in the 1940s. The "Roys" were also a well known group of Mackay families in Embo. I suspect that the comments were made by a Golspie relative of the Katie Ross (nee MacDonald) mentioned. Katie was from Golspie and married Donald Ross from Embo in the 1930s and after which they both owned and managed the Embo Post Office, trading store and coal merchants, certainly into the mid 1960s. The photograph of Coxswain John Ross Snr shown in the book was taken outside the rather large double storied house attached to the then Post Office. This house faced onto Gate Street and the Post Office onto Hall Street, Embo.(House identity confirmed by checking the stone pattern of the house in the photograph with that of the old Ross residence as shown on Goggle Earth). Finally, the hand written note dated "FEB 03" must then refer to February 2003.
Added by Kenneth Mackay on 29 July 2010
The initials are "Dol" and I can confirm that these notes were written by Donald Macdonald, 5 Church Street, Golspie, a past Chairperson of Golspie Heritage Society.

Many thanks for the identification of 'Dol' - Administrator
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