It’s very sad to see it go, but the old tin porch is finally on its way out. I feel privileged to have been its custodian for the past 8 years, but it’s no longer sustainable, in spite of its proud place in the local architectural vernacular of the West Highlands.
The corrugated iron which clads its exterior has rusted through in many places and the interior wood lining has rotted to such an extent over the years, that the weather outside may as well be inside! Yesterday, the inside’s tongue-and-groove lining was removed, in preparation for the whole thing being taken down. We’ll be recycling/re-using as much of it as possible in the new porch, not just for sentimental reasons, but for practical and environmental ones, too.
It has a distinctive history. We’ve been told by some of the older members of the community that it served the village/township as the local post office in the early years of the last century. Anyone wishing to make a phone-call would come in and dial the local operator in Gairloch from this humble little structure, with a request to put their call through to the Kyle of Lochalsh, Inverness, Edinburgh, or beyond.
During World War 2, apparently this was where everyone gathered to await the regular arrival of telegrams from the front… more often than not, bearing the worst possible news. The losses here were great and many cherished young local men died.
and in autumn 2013 (below)We also inherited the old Victorian hall stand which was inside it; I guess it must have served as the post office’s phone table… Once it had a lick of paint, it served us nicely these past few years and it was treasured even more, for us knowing its history.
As the interior tongue-and-groove paneling was removed yesterday, the original stone walls of the front of the house were revealed. Fingers crossed for some calm weather (wishful thinking, I know) as we take the rest down and put up the new structure over the next week or so.