top of page

Childhood Leanabachd

Enjoying our pop-up? Read on to explore and learn more!

Can you imagine life without the internet? It wasn’t available to the public until the 1990s and there were no laptops or mobile phones for online games. Children played outside a lot more in the past. How do you think children entertained themselves?

“Come the summer, every child learned to swim by teaching themselves, up the river or into the Loch. You took some biscuits with you. You stayed up until the midges got you. There was a girls’ pool and a boys’ pool. Never monitored, it was that kind of freedom that we had.” – Susan Kemp, local teacher




barbara fairweather in the museum, 1970s.jpg

Oral history recording of Mhairi Doogan, local resident

00:00 / 02:07

Listen to the fond childhood memories of growing up in Glencoe in the 1970s.

In the photograph, one of our founders, Barbara Fairweather, is inside Glencoe Folk Museum. This was taken during the 1970s. She was very active in the community and worked with local children and schools to share her vast knowledge of Highland history and heritage.


Fun and Games: Playing

In the top photograph is Christina aged 6 and her dog Cona outside her parents' shop - Glencoe Tweed and Knitwear House - in Tigh Phuirt in 1961.​ A huge part of growing up is playing games and having toys. What were your favourites? Pets can have profound impacts on us, especially during our childhood. Did you have any childhood pets?

Childhoods have changed dramatically over the years, for various reasons, but one is the advancements made in technology and the wide accessibility to it...

"It was such a lovely time. It really was. Then in my childhood in 1962, maybe 1963. Television came in. And I can assure you that did a lot for the social life in the community. It killed it, really, because on a Sunday as a child, the majority of people used to walk from here up to the crossroads, and there was a wee tearoom there called Chris's tearoom. And I used to walk up there, and if I was with my parents and my granny would, they'd get a cup of tea and maybe get an ice cream.

And then we walk back down later on and meet people and, you know, especially on a nice sunny afternoon and that would be sort of like your Sunday afternoon taking care. But when the television came in, I always remembered my granny. She loved to watch the films and 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon was the film matinee. So you could still go and go for your walk on the Sunday, but you always had to be back for the television at 3:00. And to be honest with you, it started to rule people's lives, you know." - Diana MacAskill

Scroll through the gallery of photos to see children from the past in the area.

CHILDHOOD Christina and Cona.jpg
CHILDHOOD Circus Ballachulish.JPG


Let's Go to the Circus

Before 1960, a trip to the circus was still an eagerly anticipated treat for millions of British schoolchildren.

In the 1960s and 70s television began to show natural history programmes and people began to question the use of animals in the circus. 

Nowadays, clowns are more likely to feature in horror movies as creepy characters rather than funny child-friendly entertainment, reflecting how societies ideas have changed over time. What do you think of circuses?

In the photograph, the circus had visited Ballachulish, we think the photo was taken during the 1890s/early 1900s.


Childhood during the Pandemic 

This epic photograph was taken by Ally Campbell during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. She was travelling the A82 road to Skye because she was an essential worker and captured this image of the iconic Buachaille Etive Mor with a rainbow sign in front of it.

“I was worried people wouldn’t see my rainbow in Glen Etive so we put it at the side of the road. I made it for all the people that were angry there was a pandemic and they couldn’t do stuff they wanted to do so it would cheer them up if they drove past." - Emily, aged 6 at the time, created the sign.

Did you create and display a rainbow sign during the Covid-19 lockdowns? What else did you do to occupy your time when you couldn't go to school, see friends or family? Remembering how we felt, and how we overcame the ups and downs of that strange period of our lives, can be helpful when dealing with challenges today.

CHILDHOOD Rainbow Buachaille covid-19.jpg
bottom of page