Old cottage walls reveal paper from 1914

The Steamers of David MacBrayne

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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