Bha mi Latha Samhraidh/When Stornoway was Dancing


I recently watched an enthralling Gaelic documentary (with subtitles) about my home town, focusing on the lives of those born and brought up in Stornoway in the 1950’s. For some, it will be a trip down memory lane, whereas for others of us, it is a fascinating look into the distant past and how the older generation lived their lives in their formative years.

Interviews of those looking back on their youth, many years later, describe some hilarious incidents, as they bring you into the Stornoway of days gone by. The video footage of a busy town centre, somehow familiar, yet different to what we know now, was well worth the watch alone.

For anyone with any connection to or interest in the Islands, you will find this an hour well spent.

Programme Synopsis

A warm-hearted look back at aspects of the social life of Stornoway in the decades that followed World War II. The baby-boomers, born in the years that followed the war, were born into a community still reeling from the effects of war and the poverty that followed it. However, the next three decades saw steady improvement in their circumstances with a building boom and tweed industries providing jobs a plenty.

It was a time of great cultural change, with a new order emerging through the increasing influence of cinema and pop music. But for a time, the baby-boomers seem to enjoy the best of both worlds – the strength of community bonds begotten in war and economic progress. Presented by Ceitlin L R Smith, Bha mi Latha Samhraidh is packed with warm, entertaining anecdotes about a halcyon period in Stornoway’s history.

To watch on iPlayer, click below…

Bha mi Latha Samhraidh/When Stornoway was Dancing