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Extract from "A History of Kirkibost. The Neighbours" by CB (Morrison) Maclean, Stornoway.
When I went to the loch (Loch Mharcol) with the Macaulay sisters on washing day I remember they built a big fire to boil water in a huge pot. They had a large wooden tub and a washing board; the clothes were thoroughly turned and stamped in the tub by the women who went at it barefoot. They seemed to enjoy the experience and it was a happy day out. The blankets were stretched on the green to dry. Washing machines were in the distant future.
In the summer before the peats were taken home supplies were running short and Catherine No 17 often went out to the moor for a creel of peats. This was a distance of about a mile and a half and she walked there and back, often barefoot. Most of us went barefoot in the summer. Catherine's creel of peats would be piled high. She had a dronnag or a woollen shawl or cardigan tied round her waist to take the weight of the creel. We often went with her on these lovely summer evenings. She stopped halfway at Leathad na Clarich for a rest at the clach ultich - that is a large stone on a raised piece of ground beside the road. Its height was just right to take the weight of the creel from her back. No one would do that work today but I can't remember hearing of sore backs or slipped discs either.
Catherine was a very interesting person and full of stories.