Stuart McCalman, born in March 1873, (my great-grandfather-in-law) grew up in Tayvallach, in one of my favourite areas of Scotland. He was the youngest son of crofter and local schoolmaster Donald McCalman and his wife Margaret Turner, one of their 9 children (2 brothers, 6 sisters).
Tayvallich is in North Knapdale, Argyll, in the west of Scotland. It sits on the Loch a’ Bhealaich, an inlet on Loch Sween. Stuart spoke both Gaelic and English.
He married Christina McVicar aged 28 in December 1902, in Kames, Lochgair where Christina had grown up and where he’d been working as a ploughman.
The two of them moved through to Greenock where Stuart worked, again as a ploughman, on Fancy Farm until 1914 when the Land Army took it over. Later he worked as a carter for Greenock Council. At lunchtime he would take home his horse and cart, and ‘park’ the horse with its nosebag outside the house while he popped inside for his own lunch. Their house had a smart black phone, but it was for incoming calls only for Stuart’s work, as it was really an extension of his work phone. No escape!
Stuart died in 1951 in Greenock Infirmary.
© Text and photo copyright Lynne Black 2 July 2014