This is the last film for this week and it is something really special. Posted on the “Isle of Islay” YouTube channel this is a documentary which was originally shot in the 1960’s.
The island was under going a lot of change and investment at the time with airplanes bringing people to the island something which was very new. The film is full of amazing footage of a time gone by where there was full employment from agriculture, whisky production, estate management and a small tourism industry as well. All this beyond the usual trades and services a relatively self sufficient island community would need.
There is loads of interesting things to spot like Port Ellen distillery, the strand, the airport, Bowmore high street to name but a few. Special points for spotting Bettie Williamson’s husband who features separately from his wife who asserts Islay whisky is too intense on its own. How times have changed!
The interesting things for me is the social history and the complaints and worries of the councils and islanders. Depopulation is the worry on the island today and it is interesting to see it was just as talked about 60 years ago as well. The solution in this film was tourism and today I bet they didn’t expect tourism to be so successful as it is now where actually tourism is perhaps beginning to kill what makes island life so special. Although to be fair a number of voices did see this coming and worried about the future.
The film is only 25 minutes long but the quality of camera work to my untrained eye seems very good. Give it a watch and if you like that check out the only YouTube based video I found a while ago and see if you can pick our a young Jim McEwan at Bowmore 1964: New Boiler delivery