Old cottage walls reveal paper from 1914

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Renovation works on a cottage in Barcaldine have uncovered a copy of The Oban Times dating back more than a century.

James Lennie and wife Kathleen discovered excerpts from the paper as they took down a wall at the property.

The theory is the paper was used for insulation to keep the historic cottage warm.

The faded newsprint, some of which is clearly dated January 3, 1914,  reveals a timetable for the Caledonian Railway for the Callandar to Oban Line.

It also gives times of sailing trips between Glasgow and the Hebrides, applicable from October 1913.

There is also a reference to ‘the steamers of David MacBrayne’ departing Oban for trips to Lismore, Tobermory, Salen and Loch Sunart.

The clippings also include a letter from a Mr Alex Campbell of Fort William, correcting a previously ‘unfair’ report in the paper of a Shinty Championship tussle between Ballachulish and Fort William. Mr Campbell points out the weather on the day of the match and reference to a substitution.

Adverts are also prominent for products such as Robertson’s Red Star ‘Cow Drench,’ hailed as a product to ‘prepare cows for calving’, while one of the adverts is for The Oban Times itself and its printing services.

Back in October 1913, Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States, and the month was marked by the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster. It remains the UK’s worst ever coal mining disaster when an explosion near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, claimed 439 lives.

A timetable for the Callander and Oban Line
An advert from the past
Effective printing by the Oban Times