The Highland Clearances

People of the Highlands

Checking lobster-pots, Diabeg, Wester Ross

THESE PHOTOGRAPHS WERE TAKEN from the '70s to the '90s as I worked up north on a variety of projects,
including a book on the Hebrides which was commissioned in 1985. This never appeared, for a variety of reasons,
but many of the pictures I shot for it later did appear in my first book - The Scottish Highlands & Islands, published
by Mainstream and written by Dorothy and Alasdair Dunnet. Many of these photographs show people involved in
traditional Highland occupations, partly because this is where my interest lies, but also because all these things are
on the wane - across the whole region there is a slow dying of the old way of life. While some still existed, I wanted
to preserve a little of it, even if only in photographs. Today, there is still fishing and farming, crofting and weaving,
but it's good that the people of the Highlands also benefit from the coming of many new opportunities - in building,
construction and engineering, manufacturing, electronics, digital technology and communications - almost the
whole range of modern industry. While we might mourn the passing of the old ways, no-one could deny that just
making a living in the Highlands was always a desperately hard business, and anything that benefits the people
of the region can only be a good thing.


xxxxx The schoolroom, Vatersay xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Making sheaves by hand, Inverness-shire

xxxxxx Milking, Barra xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx MacLennan's Store, Raasay

In Scalpay harbour