Barbaraville My Childhood Home

A Memory of Barbaraville

I was born and brought up in Barbaraville, spending the first 27 years of my life there before moving to Culloden, near Inverness.

I will always remember it as an idyllic little place to grow up as a child. Many a happy hour was spent excavating the little sandbank just down from Sutor View in search of 'buried treasure' and fishing for sticklebacks in the burn at Delny.     

I remember well the Jackdaw Hotel (a wild place!) with its own real live Jackdaw in a cage by the reception desk. The hotel is no more as it is now Mull Hall Residential Home where my 100 year old granny, Mabel, now lives.   

I went to school at nearby Kilmuir Easter Primary which closed when I was in Primary 6 - it is now a furniture workshop and store. The late Miss Pirie was the formidable headmistress back then ... a brilliant teacher who drummed the importance of respect and decency into us ... I remember her wrath was something to behold, especially if during a rounders game, we inadvertantly batted the ball into the nearby Kilmuir Easter Cemetery.  The late Rhoda Ross taught the younger children back then.

Although I've been away for 15 years now, I guess I will always think of Barbaraville as 'home' and remember my childhood years growing up there ... years when it was safe for kids to go out alone. We never got up to any real mischief. There was only half a dozen village kids so were all well known by the residents. As sure as God made little green apples, our parents would have a full report about anything we'd been up to even before we got home!  

The only mischief we ever made was dismantling Mr Nicolson's straw bale stacks so we could use the bales to build castles, trains etc!  Great fun, but, looking back, a lot of work for him ... we always scarpered whenever we saw him running across the field towards us! Occasionally, we'd nick apples from the late Lolly Mackay's trees., or ring Alice Macleod's shop bell and run away ... no one would bat an eyelid now but back then such behaviour was a very risky business for naive village kids!  

I lived in Temperance House (a 'dry' hostelry of bygone years) on the main route through Barbaraville. The village shop was right next door but it's long closed and has been converted into a dwelling house.

Despite all the changes, whenever I drive through the village, it seems like only yesterday that I was bombing down Station Road it on my pink scooter (or bouncing about the village on my blue Space Hopper!). Later, as a teenager, I can still remember the draw of the 'bright lights' of the nearby metropoli of Tain and Invergordon!!

I'll end my memories of Barbaraville by sending kind regards to anyone still there who remembers me.

Avril Morrison (resident 1966 - 1993).

A memory shared by Avril Morrison , on Jan 10th, 2009.

Comments & feedback

Thu Sep 10th 2015, at 9:50 pm

sdaf9 commented:

Thank you for bringing back some vivid memories, Avril. I was one of those kids and I have thought of you and the others often over the years.
We spent many a day rearranging the straw bales into forts and playing out the ensuing battles, exploring streams and rivers to find their sources, wading in the sea, and attempting to build a raft that would float - to no avail, fortunately, as I've heard there is a tendency to be swept out between the sutors if you can stay afloat long enough!
I certainly remember the wrath of the formidable Miss Pirie and her exclamation of, "What a bourach!" in the school hallway as we lined up for class. Halcyon days, indeed.
Warm thoughts to anyone who was part of those indelible memories, and thank you for being a part of the rich fabric of that place.
slàinte mhath!

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