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Buth Choinnich a'Cheannaich, 20a Baile Ailean

Buth Choinnich a'Cheannaich, 20a Baile Ailean

When the croft at 20 Balallan was split in 1886, Malcolm Macleod became the first tenant. Malcolm had set up a grocery business at No 20 Buth a Cheannaich and his son Kenneth Macleod who was a student at Aberdeen University, gave up his studies to look after the business. The shop was attached to the Post Office run by Malcolm's son Kenneth. It was all one house called 'Glenmaviswhich was unique in rural Lewis in many ways.

On entering the shop, one faced a long L-shaped counter behind which was a shelf lined wall with only one small window. There was a small window and a large plate glass windown on the door side, looking on to the main Stornoway to Harris road. Between the counter and the door were boxes of various types and sizes, one which housed loaves from the twice weekly delivery from Stornoway.

In addition to the shop, Kenneth's brother Peter went round the villages delivering bags of flour, oatmeal, potatoes, feeding stuff, warp and weft for Harris Tweed weaving, etc. They also had a weaving shed employing six weavers and a lady filling bobbins on a machine, six days a week, even in wartime. Kenneth was also the postmaster. Friday was pension day and also the day the shop sold meat. Every Friday an invasion of women from Arivruach came on the morning bus from Harris. They would cash their pension at the Post Office, do their shopping next door and walk back leisurely with their load, visiting friends along the way, until somewhere en route, the bus from Stornoway would take them the rest of the way home. The customers from Habost and Kershader used to cross by boat and walk up the crofts nearest the shops.

Title: Buth Choinnich a'Cheannaich, 20a Baile Ailean
Record Type: Businesses
Gaelic Name: Buth Choinnich a'Cheannaich, 20a Baile Ailean
Type: Retail
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 37718