Easdale Primary School in Ellenabeich

In the earliest days of the slate company all members of the family were expected to take part in the winning of the slate. Children wheeled barrows or carried baskets of finished slate or waste, away from the work face.

By around 1790 mechanisation of the quarries meant that children were no longer required and subsequently schools were established by the Breadalbane Estate for the children of Easdale. Today the island school is long closed and the children now attend the primary school in Ellenabeich, going on to the high school in Oban.

Although life was hard and money scarce the community never lacked entertainment. Social life centred mainly around the various churches in the parish. A woman’s guild, several friendly societies and the volunteers provided not only there specific functions but also through their fund raising activities a continuous source of entertainment such as Sales of work, soirees, ceilidhs, musical concerts, balls, regattas and Highland games were held regularly at Dunmore farm as they are today.

The Friendly Societies were mainly temperance groups formed to combat the rising problems of alcohol consumption. Their other important function was to provide sickness benefit and assistance with funeral expenses.

Picnics were arranged during the good weather and photographs show us that these were attended in splendid garb and the ladies are to be admired for their ability to wear such large hats on Easdale.

Politics engendered little excitement. The Breadalbanes were Whigs and in the later part of the 19th century supported the Liberal Party. The men of Easdale tended to support the Marquis’s party even though, strictly speaking, they were not his employees. At a meeting on the 14th May 1887 they voted in support of Home Rule for Scotland and Ireland. In at least one household there was a supporter of woman’s franchisement leaving to us a badge "VOTES FOR WOMEN".

Today the refurbished Volunteers Drill hall, now Easdale Island Community Hall, and the Puffer Bar and Restaurant are the main centres of activity. The hall has a thriving arts program that caters for all tastes while keep fit activities, childrens parties, community meetings being just a taste of other pursuits the hall caters for. The Puffer provides food and drink to a very high standard, impromptu music sessions, a darts venue, again are just a small sample of the activities that this small but growing vibrant community indulge in.

Easdale Island Folk Museum is open daily from 1 April to Mid October

     11.00am - 4.00pm

Open during the winter by arrangement