Along Calum’s Road – September 2015
Early in 1975, my mother saw in London an exhibition about the Highlands, there was a newspaper article about ‘Calum Road’ profiling Calum Macleod the man who built the road mostly on his own by hand. This endevour made such an impression, that after I was born later that year she named me ‘Calum’ after him.
Malcolm (Calum) Macleod (1911-1988) was a crofter, lighthouse-keeper and Gaelic poet. He built the 1.5 mile road in Arnish at the northern part of the Isle of Raasay in the Inner Hebrides. Most of this road was built was between 1964 – 1974. It was to unite parts of the island that had been long neglected by the Highland Council and island landowners.
There is an excellent account of his life in Roger Hutchinson’s book ‘Calum’s Road’ (2006) – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1083545.Calum_s_Road
In 2015 as my 40th birthday approached I wanted to experience ‘Calum’s Road’ first hand, preferably on the day itself, so arranged to visit the Island of Raasay the week before with my partner, the artist Miyuki Kasahara.
Isle of Raasay, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
I travelled to the road on 19th and 20th September partly bicyling across the island from South to North. As had been noted the tarmac over the original road was in some disrepear. The films and field recordings made along it’s length are now to be developed along with those taken in the upcoming Japanese part of the journey in April 2017.
Below is a slide show of photographs taken along Calum’s Road on 19th/20th September 2015