35 – Carol and Donald MacNeill – Colonsay

In this episode I talk with Carol and Donald (Peedie) MacNeill of Drumclach, on the Western Side of Colonsay.

I’m extremely pleased to be able to bring you this, the first of two episodes from Colonsay.

As you’ll hear, Carol is originally from Edinburgh and came to Colonsay as a young woman to work at the hotel for a summer job. It was there that she met Donald, who was born and raised on the island at Garvard, opposite Oransay.

Our conversation covers a wide range of topics.
Both Carol and Donald trained as teachers, and their life and work has taken them from Colonsay, to Thurso, back to Colonsay, Wick, and then back to Colonsay again.

We name-check characters from the past, talk about farming, the challenging nature of being the teacher in a small rural school, and Peedie’s musical career.
We also identify the harsh realities of life at Oban High, which include a particularly brutal form of punishment that many people from that generation will recall with a shocking degree of clarity.

You’ll hear quite a lot of background noise in this episode, for which I apologise. I’ve tried to tidy it up as best I can, but I didn’t want to push it too far, otherwise we sound like we’re inside a fish bowl.

Donald has very kindly provided the music for this episode. Throughout the main body of the interview you’ll hear instrumental sections from his song “My Mother Rode Her Motorbike” and then at the end of the episode you’ll hear the song “The Hall in ‘59” in its entirety.
You can purchase Donald’s music by following the link to his bandcamp site. His music is also available through iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Episode Links:


Colonsay Hotel





Donald MacNeill senior’s poetry: Moch is Anmoch

Colonsay Bookshop

Riasg Buidhe

Iain Crichton Smith

Iain MacCormick

Iain MacCormick’s parliamentary record in Hansard

Lord MacKay of Ardbrecknish



Zetor Tractor

Colonsay’s Festivals

Colonsay Honey

Black Bee Reserve


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