General Practice Kintyre
The Road To Muasdale, Kintyre
Leaving Rutherglen we join the M74 motorway to Glasgow, then join the M8, past Glasgow International Airport and cross the River Clyde on the Erskine Bridge. Driving along the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills we travel to the southern end of Loch Lomond. The bonny banks with Ben Lomond in view across the loch make the journey enjoyable and we stop at the village of Luss for a pleasant break. This was the location of 'Glendarroch' the fictional village of the Scottish soap, 'Take The High Road' which was very popular at that time. Our journey continues to Tarbet where we leave Loch Lomond and take the short land crossing to Arrochar on Loch Long. Our journey then takes us round the head of the loch on the A83 where we climb away from sea level and up the 'Rest and be Thankful', a steep mountain pass which is notorious for getting blocked by snow or land slips in winter. Having negotiated this we pause at the Rest and be Thankful Viewpoint to admire the mountains and valleys then descend again to sea level and round the head of Loch Fyne. This is the most northerly part of our journey and we now travel south along its western shore to Inveraray, a popular tourist destination and the approximate halfway point on our journey. Here we pause again for a briel look at Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbel. Visiting the castle would have to wait for another day. Our journey takes us next to Lochgilphead then continuing south we arrive at Tarbert, Loch Fyne. The road leaves Loch Fyne and we make the short westward crossing to West Loch Tarbert where we continue south past Kennacraig, terminal for the Islay ferry. Once past West Loch Tarbert we see the shore on the western side of the Kintyre peninsula with beautiful views across the sea to the islands of Jura and Islay, then a little further south, Gigha and Cara when we arrive at our destination, Muasdale, 15 miles north of Campbeltown.
People tend to think of Muasdale and Campbeltown as being up north, but although the journey involves going north, they are well south of Glasgow. In fact they lie south of the most northerly part of England on the coast of Northumberland.
Aerial photo of Greenhill, Muasdale. House on the right with garage and outhouses behind. Surgery is wooden building on the left.
Islay ferry, West Loch Tarbert
Views across the sea from front garden
Bruernish ferry leaving Tayinloan for Gigha
Dr Julian Thoms, my immediate predecessor
Dr Bill MacDonald, my predecessor once removed. Image courtesy of his daughter, Isabel Melville of Campbeltown.
The small vessel on the left (Cara Lass) was the ferry before Bruernish. It was in use during part of Dr Thoms' time and all of Dr MacDonald's time. Mainland Kintyre in background.
Ferry has been called out at dusk to bring a patient over for me to examine then decide on next action - send to Cottage Hospital, Campbeltown where I wll be responsible for their care, or send to hospital in Oban or Glasgow for specialist care.
Loganair aircraft Campbeltown Airport.
Laird Jock Maxwell MacDonald of Largie and his wife Dame Anne BTss. On the death of her father, Sir John Stirling-Maxwell, Anne inherited Pollock Estate, and in an amazing act of generosity donated her ancestral home, art collection and most of the estate to the City of Glasgow.
Young Mary, Old Mary and Agnes Townsley beside their tent in a wood between clachan and Whitehouse.
Agnes Townsley with sleeve rolled up for her 'flu jab.
John Townsley, son of old Mary and brother of young Mary and Agnes, beside the tent. ( Not to be confused with John Townley, Shoogly, who lived in a caravan in the grounds of a bungalow in Clachan).
Glenbarr Abbey was the home of widowed Angus Macalister 5th Laird of Glenbarr and his mother. After the death of his mother, Angus went off to America and came back with a new wife, Jeanne, who now had the title Lady Macalister. Together they set up the Macalister Clan Visitor Centre in the Abbey
Friends and family visited from time to time. Above: the author with Mary and Norman, and the Whittet family, Robert, Audrey, Colin, Paul and Andrew.
Mary and Eunice with Mary's Aunt Helen (Reid) and her cousin Mary Cloggie. Norman is just visible in the background.
House Martins were regular summer visitors. They came back to the same nests every year. Here a parent is feeding hungry youngsters.
Tav An Taggart, home of Mr & Mrs MacKinnon who had a small holding. They were very hospitable and held a weekly Bible study evening with tea and snacks for all comers.
Ronachan House, Church of Scotland rehabiliation centre for alcoholics. Drug addicts were also admitted for a time.
Our friend Jack Connelly visited regularly when passing on his way to business in Campbeltown. Right: Jack with Mary having a cup of tea in the back garden.
Coran Farm, Clachan overlooking West Loch Tarbert with Islay ferry sailing towards Kennacraig.
There were occasional road accidents, sometimes serious. The doctor was always called, often without calling an ambulance and I had always to make sure an ambulance had been called, or call one myself. On other occasions an ambulance or the police would be called first and they then called me. This was before the days of paramedics.