15 – Sandy Brunton

In this episode I talk with Sandy Brunton of Fionnphort.

Sandy talked to me over Skype from his home in the Ross of Mull in the middle of December.

I’ve known Sandy and his wife Jane for a number of years, so it was great to get a chance to chat to him about his life and family history.  We talk about how his family lived and worked in Mull in the past, his training as a boat builder on the Clyde. We get into some detail about the process of Salmon netting, which has answered a lot of questions for me about how it was actually done, his work as shop keeper and postmaster at the Ferry Shop in Fionnphort, and his role in community development organisations.

Towards the end of the podcast we talk about his work with the Coast Guard, and I enthuse about how it sounds like a boy’s own adventure as a sombre thought hits Sandy and he remembers that it’s 20 years to the day, as we spoke, since the Iona tragedy, which marked the communities of Iona and Mull in such a profound way.  I was in two minds about whether to keep this section in this episode or not, but I feel it’s such a significant event that it should be marked with respect.

I’m so pleased to have talked to Sandy, as I really want to try and speak to more people in the Ross and Iona, but time and distance often keep me up in the North of the Island.

I’m delighted to say that this episode has been sponsored by www.islandholidaycottages.com
Thank you Hylda and team for your support!

If you have time and are so inclined, I’m running a short online survey that I’ll keep up until the first week of February to find out about how you engage with What We Do In The Winter.  I’m looking to build more of an audience for the podcast, and I’d like to know how you interact with it at present to allow me to understand how to grow it. It can be found here.  Thank you for your time!

Also, if you’re on twitter, I’ll be tweeting from the Highlands and Islands Voices account from the 6th of January for a week.  I’ll be sharing tales from the podcast, recommending books and other podcasts, and chatting to people about their communities, too.  Come and say hello if you like.  The account can be found on @HI_voices It’s always interesting to hear what people have to say on that account.

Episode Links:


Silver’s boat yard

Ocean Youth Trust


Fastnet race ’79 tragedy


Cycling Snipers

Salmon Fishing / Netting


George MacLeod

I know Where I’m Going


Creich School – now Creich Hall

The Ferry Shop, Fionnphort MICT – Mull & Iona Community Trust



The Iona tragedy – a report from the Herald at the time.
Photos of Camas, Salmon netting and family members from Sandy’s archive:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: