A Croft in Caolas

(65 customer reviews)

A third printing of “A Croft in Caolas” is now in stock.  I am delighted that the book is selling well, and that customers are enjoying it.   Thank you very much for your continuing interest.

As a boy in the 1950s, Donald Meek lived in ‘Coll View’, Caolas, in the Hebridean island of Tiree, with his parents and elderly MacDonald aunts and uncles. He was enthralled by their experiences of life in Tiree, Falkirk, Africa and Canada. Here he brings the MacDonalds and Meeks to life, setting them in their contexts in Tiree and beyond.

Read the first 20 pages here 


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This book tells the story of one Tiree crofting family over 250 years.  In the 1770s, Donald’s ancestor, John MacDonald, lived in the joint-tenant farm of Caolas.  When crofts were created in 1804, the MacDonalds moved to their own croft in Àird Deas, Caolas, but economic difficulties in the 1840s compelled the senior members of the family to emigrate to Orillia, Canada, leaving behind two of their children, Hector and Christina.  Through the kindness of his MacLean relatives, Hector MacDonald, the writer’s great-grandfather, obtained the holding on which ‘Coll View’ stands to the present.  Hector and his wife Effie produced a family of ten, seven of whom had to seek employment on the Scottish mainland and across the Atlantic.  In 1913 Hector MacDonald Meek, their grandson and the writer’s father, was ‘orphaned’ by the emigration of his parents to Vancouver, and he too was brought up in ‘Coll View’ by Hector and Effie MacDonald. This alone ensured the continuation of the croft within the family.

Donald Meek reflects on the immense changes and challenges which he has witnessed in his family and community, and describes his own struggle to restore the family holding, now in the capable hands of his elder daughter, Rhoda Meek.

The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from the family archives and documentary sources.

Shipping Countries: United Kingdom (UK)

65 reviews for A Croft in Caolas

  1. Anonymous (verified owner)

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    Quick service; enjoying reading the book.

  2. Anne Macaulay (verified owner)

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    Chan eil mi ach air tòiseachadh air seo a leughadh, ach tha e a’ còrdadh rium gu mòr. Deagh sgeulachd air a deagh sgrìobhadh.

  3. Christine M. (verified owner)

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    Great service! My book arrived well packaged and quickly.

  4. Michael (verified owner)

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    A delightful book and a joy to read

  5. Myra MacDonald (verified owner)

    I enjoyed A Croft in Caolas very much – a beautifully written, meticulously researched history of a croft, family and community in Tiree. But it is much more than a record of times and places. The deep affection held by the author for the elderly relatives with whom he and his parents shared their lives shines through every chapter. There was obviously wit, fun and laughter in the home and wider township, and there was sorrow and sadness too. Reading about eggs, butter, cake and scones being send off to the Front in France during WW1 was so touching, and the loss of a dearly loved young man from that family in that conflict was deeply affecting. A wonderful book.

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