Category Archives: Uncategorized

He told us of a mule who had a spite against a man and waited patiently for an opportunity to pay him out [get revenge]. One day the man was grooming the third mule from his enemy. The watchful one saw his chance and laid the man out with a kick delivered below the bellies of the two intervening mules. What do you think of that? E. says they never forget anybody who has beaten them…Stornoway, 9th Feb. 1917

This week, a visit from a local man who is home on leave provides Mr Gibson with an insight into what it’s like to be officer in charge of horses and mules on the front. Mr Gibson also gives Jean … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on He told us of a mule who had a spite against a man and waited patiently for an opportunity to pay him out [get revenge]. One day the man was grooming the third mule from his enemy. The watchful one saw his chance and laid the man out with a kick delivered below the bellies of the two intervening mules. What do you think of that? E. says they never forget anybody who has beaten them…Stornoway, 9th Feb. 1917

Dr. Robertson is here just now and thinks more of the teachers will be called up soon. However we need not anticipate trouble and of course if necessary there can be nothing said. The successful prosecution of the war takes precedence of all else… Stornoway, 4th Feb. 1917

In her letter to Jean this week, Mrs Gibson has news of a local boy who has returned home from the Struma front on sick leave having had malaria, and the possibility of more teachers being called up hangs heavy … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dr. Robertson is here just now and thinks more of the teachers will be called up soon. However we need not anticipate trouble and of course if necessary there can be nothing said. The successful prosecution of the war takes precedence of all else… Stornoway, 4th Feb. 1917

The kipper girls are on strike this week for better wages. On Tuesday afternoon they marched in procession round the town with a union jack and singing. They passed down Francis St. while the wedding was on, and I was amused to see that even in strike time a wedding was too great a temptation to be resisted and their procession joined the crowd at the church door until the wedding party came out… Stornoway, 1st Feb. 1917

In Mr Gibson’s letter to Jean this week, he gives her the latest news from the local boys in the War and provides a report on a wedding at the Episcopal Church in Stornoway. The kipper girls are also on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The kipper girls are on strike this week for better wages. On Tuesday afternoon they marched in procession round the town with a union jack and singing. They passed down Francis St. while the wedding was on, and I was amused to see that even in strike time a wedding was too great a temptation to be resisted and their procession joined the crowd at the church door until the wedding party came out… Stornoway, 1st Feb. 1917

Speaking of study circles reminds me of Miss Angus… She is leaving she tells me at the end of this school year. She told her com’tee that she cannot continue at £80 per. an. + £5 bonus as it is not enough to be efficient on. They evidently cannot raise any more. She thinks of taking up work as welfare superintendent at a Munitions factory or something of that sort… Stornoway, 28th Jan. 1917

This week, Mrs Gibson tells Jean about a Nicolson teacher who is to leave at the end of the school year owing to, what she considers to be, her low salary. The big fishing week in Stornoway continues to be … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Speaking of study circles reminds me of Miss Angus… She is leaving she tells me at the end of this school year. She told her com’tee that she cannot continue at £80 per. an. + £5 bonus as it is not enough to be efficient on. They evidently cannot raise any more. She thinks of taking up work as welfare superintendent at a Munitions factory or something of that sort… Stornoway, 28th Jan. 1917

I don’t know whether Mamma told you of Matthew Russell’s visit… He was in one evening to see us, and has developed physically into quite a fine strapping lad. He has quite come out of his shell too. He has made an interesting generalisation from his experience when grooming and feeding horses – that the same horse will not try to bite and also to kick, that is, it will not be aggressive at both ends… Stornoway 24th Jan. 1917

In this week’s letter, Mr Gibson has news regarding some of the local boys serving in the War, there is mention of a big fishing week, and we find out what Jean thought about her recent theatre trip to see … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on I don’t know whether Mamma told you of Matthew Russell’s visit… He was in one evening to see us, and has developed physically into quite a fine strapping lad. He has quite come out of his shell too. He has made an interesting generalisation from his experience when grooming and feeding horses – that the same horse will not try to bite and also to kick, that is, it will not be aggressive at both ends… Stornoway 24th Jan. 1917

We have just had a visit from Duncan Macaskill, Tarbert. He is the son of the lady from whom we bought your tweed. He is home on leave from Salonika and leaves again on Monday… He was giving us all the news of the boys at the front line. He told us that Donald Mackay had got the gold medal of St. George from the King of Serbia… Stornoway, 21st Jan. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson, 21 Jan 1917 In this week’s letter to Jean, Mrs Gibson has news of two local engagements, and informs her of the presentation of a St George gold medal by the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on We have just had a visit from Duncan Macaskill, Tarbert. He is the son of the lady from whom we bought your tweed. He is home on leave from Salonika and leaves again on Monday… He was giving us all the news of the boys at the front line. He told us that Donald Mackay had got the gold medal of St. George from the King of Serbia… Stornoway, 21st Jan. 1917

The Literary had a good debate on Wednesday on Women Suffrage – the affirmation won: 39 votes to 23… Stornoway, 19th Jan 1917

Last week’s letter prompted an interesting enquiry in regard to NI teacher Mr AJ Tait who became the headteacher of Portree School in 1924. We are discovering so many interesting connections as a result of this project so please do … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Literary had a good debate on Wednesday on Women Suffrage – the affirmation won: 39 votes to 23… Stornoway, 19th Jan 1917

The chief event of interest here this week has been Miss Fraser’s farewell tea… It was a book tea which meant that each one had to go representing a book… Stornoway 14th January 1917

This week, Stornoway is still experiencing snow showers and Mrs Gibson’s letter explains what was meant by a ‘book tea’.  She uses the word ‘dull’ a couple of times in the letter where we would probably use the word ‘depressed’ … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The chief event of interest here this week has been Miss Fraser’s farewell tea… It was a book tea which meant that each one had to go representing a book… Stornoway 14th January 1917

The snow has lain (the hens have not!) thick… with frequent renewals. Mamma has been down the town only once during the week to hunt for meat, and, as I told you, she got none. Butter is all done, margarine unobtainable, and for two days we have had no milk. If ‘lil Lizzie’ had not obtained half a dozen herring for 10d. on Saturday there is no knowing what state of lowness we wd. now be reduced to… Stornoway, 14 Jan. 1917

Mr Gibson’s letter to Jean gives an insight into the difficulties of obtaining food supplies during the War. A combination of the German submarine blockade and an unusually heavy and prolonged snowfall was making life very difficult for Stornoway residents … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The snow has lain (the hens have not!) thick… with frequent renewals. Mamma has been down the town only once during the week to hunt for meat, and, as I told you, she got none. Butter is all done, margarine unobtainable, and for two days we have had no milk. If ‘lil Lizzie’ had not obtained half a dozen herring for 10d. on Saturday there is no knowing what state of lowness we wd. now be reduced to… Stornoway, 14 Jan. 1917

‘Every year on the first Tuesday of July, the town of Stornoway presents a very busy appearance, the bright coloured dresses of the girls and the more sober colours of the boys ‘bests’ help to give a gay festive air to the scene.’ Market Day, c.1905

This week’s gem from the Gibson Collection is a beautifully evocative essay by Doldina MacLeod of Secondary Class III. The collection contains not just family correspondence, but also examples of Nicolson Institute pupils’ work. The account is so well written … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ‘Every year on the first Tuesday of July, the town of Stornoway presents a very busy appearance, the bright coloured dresses of the girls and the more sober colours of the boys ‘bests’ help to give a gay festive air to the scene.’ Market Day, c.1905