Southend down the decades

he memories and traditions of the village of Southend in Argyll have been saved for future generations in a recently published book

Capturing the past on the printed page is something of a passion for author Avril Stone. ‘So many memories are lost from generation to generation because nobody records them’ said Avril, who moved with her husband Eric to Kintyre from North Devon. Having embarked on a writing career in which she wrote books on High Bickington and Barnstaple in Devon, her latest incursion into the publishing world is titled ‘Southend Mull of Kintyre Reunited’ for Halsgrove’s acclaimed ‘Reunited ‘ series.

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John Sutherland with family friend, Jean Budge, pictured in the 1920s when Sutherland was Keeper of Sanda Lighthouse.

The village of Southend lies at the southernmost tip – the Mull – of the Kintyre peninsula on the far western side of mainland Scotland. From the hilltops of Southend the ferry can be seen leaving Larne in Northern Ireland and its passage can be followed to Stranraer on the Galloway peninsula.

high profile

Kintyre was given a high profile in more recent times by Paul McCartney and his band Wings with their song ‘Mull of Kintyre’. The lyrics aptly describe the misty weather which sometimes envelops the area in minutes and then clears just as quickly. The village of Southend is sheltered from the westerly winds by the Mull, and it is with the help of local families that Avril Stone has succeeded in bringing together the memories of days gone by in this part of Argyll. Packed with more than 350 nostalgic photographs, featuring the people, places, events, groups and personalities of Southend over the last century, this book will reunite many people who have an affinity with and a love of this beautiful part of south Argyll. And for those that don’t know the area, this book is a fascinating microcosm of one small village’s long history.

Pupils of Southend Primary School pictures in 1910.

The book draws you in, the faces leaping out of the pages until you find yourself drawn to this way of life, far indeed from the madding crowd but yet a life full of the struggles of the past, the friendships of decades and the entrepreneurship of its doughty residents. Life in this remote part of Scotland is vividly bought to life here, and I defy any reader not to feel a longing to visit after you put this book down.

Fieldfacts

‘Southend Mull of Kintyre Reunited’ by Avril Stone is available from local stockists throughout the area or, in case of difficulty, from Halsgrove Tel: 01823 653777 or visit www.halsgrove.com Price £19.99.

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