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Eilean nan Ron - Island of the Seals: 700 acres of heather and rock poised atop 200 ft high cliffs, one mile offshore from Skerray and Tongue. Inhabited since the late 1700s, this small island group supported over 70 people in 1900 - fishing & farming in a hardy, close-knit community. Sadly, as herring stocks declined and World War I took its toll, the population fell and the island life was no longer sustainable. The last 4 families (12 people in all) departed in 1938 in a storm on December 6th. In the right part of the double cottage pictured lived Chrissie Dolina with her older brothers, Hector and John-George, children of George & Barbara Mackay. Just next door lived Chrissie’s aunt, Christabel (widow of George’s brother, Hugh), with her children: Jessie Ann, Willie John and Hugh. Christabel was the mother figure for all after Chrissie Dolina’s own mother died in 1910, and her father in 1937. The house ruins stand today as a crumbling testimony to a hard but happy life.
Painting No. 112a
Original painting commissioned by Neil Dykes in memory of his grandmother, Chrissie Dolina Mackay, one of the last inhabitants of Eilean nan Ron.