Friday, 3 February 2012

Malcolm (Calum) Smith Centenary, 29th May 2012. About "As ‘Safety’ Saw It".

Between 4 October 1955 and 7 September 1956 a weekly column appeared on page 3 of the Stornoway Gazette, under the heading “As I See It: M,S.”
This is an annotated (or pedant’s) edition of all the articles, reproduced with some notes by the author himself (e.g. on Gaelic terms) and identifying many literary allusions, along with extracts from reactions to ‘M.S.’ in the same newspaper.
 "Around the Peat-fire", by Calum Smith (“M.S.”) was published by Birlinn (Edinburgh) , in  November2001. A new  ‘Anthology’ edition including a selection from ‘As I See It’ appeared in September 2010 (Birlinn) and is still available.
Further details and/or extracts could be posted here if requested by email or via a comment.
The range of the articles is show by this Rough Guide to Topics:-
Automation, expectation of benefits from
Bothans (drinking dens); vs. village halls; and Daily Herald reporter
Bridge, in need of repair
Burns, Robert: Burns Night
Camouflage, nature vs. artifice
Capital punishment, case against
Christmas, commercialisation of
Corporal punishment in schools (Essex, Lewis)
Crofting: proposed Crofters' Society; viability of; Crofting Commission
Deadline-meeting, early morning, seagull
Economy: egg-scheme, argument over; fish, price for varied catch
Food: kippers (and jam); herring, school canteen, spam
Gaelic language: erosion of; used in advertising
Gambling, football pools: advantages of nationalising
Graffiti and desk-carving, suggested remedy for
Harris, distinct from Lewis; Harris Tweed, rapid production of
Highlanders, fighting spirit
Lewis: as ‘abroad’; criticised; holidays in; need for (social) history of 
Moon, in poetry and space race
National Service, criticism of in Economic Research Council report
Newspapers, falling circulation
Peat-cutting, experience of
Registrar-General for Scotland, Annual Report 1955
Religion, requirement to profess, in Navy
Reputations, posthumous: Henry VIII, Richard III, Stalin
Rivers, falling in
Robeson, Paul, appreciation
Royal tour, unreliable reporting
Rubbish: bins; dumping, litter
Segregation, racial (USA), iniquity of
Smith, Roderick, ex-Provost of Stornoway, appreciation of
Smoking, and lung cancer risk
South Uist Rocket Range, local reactions to
Speech, articulacy, elocution
Sports, value of participation in
Squatters, on land, and plot-holders
Stone-throwing, dangers of
Stornoway Trust
Stornoway: sheep wandering in; municipal improvements ahead of royal visit
Story-telling: a Lewis ‘character’
Street-lighting, benefits of
Subsidies, public spending: opera compared with local needs
Sunday trading (London)
Supernatural: fairies; ghost-stories
Superstition: prevalence of; detrimental effects
Teachers: Superannuation Bill; political vetting (Renfrewshire)
Temperament, `artistic', flaws in
Tinkers: attitudes to, changing way of life
Trees, protection of (firewood in Castle Grounds)
Wind: hurricane names; unseasonal May weather
Youth, attitudes to; swimming, boys

Photo: E. A. Smith
Stornoway c1959

Booklet as a pdf here.

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