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Postcards

In the age of the camera-phones, disposable cameras, and digital compacts, it is easy to forget that photography was beyond of reach of many visitors to the Island of Skye until as recently as 40 years ago. Primitive cameras and primitive access made the capturing of images challenging.

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A randomly selected monochrome postcard. You can find out more about this and other postcards shown below by visiting the Extended Gallery at the end of this page.
A randomly selected monochrome postcard. You can find out more about this and other postcards shown below by visiting the Extended Gallery at the end of this page.

In those simpler times visitors depended on the picture postcard. Visitors bought postcards as mementoes of their holiday. These were stored away in drawers and albums, and when discovered often years later, provoked pleasant memories of times past. Of course the postcards could also to be posted to friends and family with complaints about the weather and midges; a tradition that continues to this day.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the hardy photographers like Duncan Macpherson, M.E.M. Donaldson and Alex H. Hamilton who ventured out to some of the remotest parts of the highlands and islands with bulky cameras, heavy tripods and fragile glass photographic plates.

Origin of the Picture Postcard

Postcards first arrived in the United Kingdom around 1870. These were plain cards produced by the Post Office with pre-paid postage. The price of sending a postcard was below that of sending a letter so the card became a popular method of sending short messages. Unlike modern cards, the recipients address was written on one side of the card and the message on the other.

In 1894 the Post Office allowed other companies to produce postcards but illustrations were rare because of the continued need to keep one side plain for the recipients address. The postcard we recognise today dates from 1902 when the Post Office introduced illustrated cards with the message and address on the same side, divided by a vertical line.

Scotland and the Picture Postcard

Scotland had a part to play in the history and development of the picture postcard and not just as a rich source of raw material and sales; Scotland was home to Valentines of Dundee.

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This Valentines postcard of Blaven dates from around 1890. It is an example from their hand coloured "colourtone" series that was popular before the advent of affordable colour photography. It is also a bad example of the genre with splodges of green clinging unnaturally to rock.
This Valentines postcard of Blaven dates from around 1890. It is an example from their hand coloured "colourtone" series that was popular before the advent of affordable colour photography. It is also a bad example of the genre with splodges of green clinging unnaturally to rock.

By the 1930s, operating from their brand new Kingsway factory, Valentines had grown to become one of the largest publishers of picture postcards in the world. The decline started in the 1960s with Valentines focusing increasing on their greetings card business. In 1984, having recently been taken over by Hallmark Cards, the Dundee factory was closed and subsequently demolished.

Fortunately in 1971 around 120,000 of Valentines monochrome photography collection was passed to the University of St. Andrews where today over 3,000 images from the collection can be accessed via the Library Photographic Archive website. Unfortunately, because of Valentines policy of discarding negatives it is estimated that a further 800,000 or more images have been lost.

J. B. White of Dundee was established by James Bain White (1865-1947) in 1892. In 1907 they started producing small numbers of colour postcards until 1918 and the outbreak of World War I. Production restarted in 1922 with their 'Real Photo' series, many of the photographs having been taken by James' son, Thomas. The "Best of all" series first appeared in 1926 and continued to be used on their cards until 1966. In 1963 the company was sold to the first of many new owners who included Photo Precision and Colourmaster amongst others. The current owner of J. B. White's assets is Judges Postcards Ltd.

Isle of Wight based J Arthur Dixon also had a factory in Scotland at Longman, Inverness. Established in 1956 by Alex H. Hamilton, the factory lasted until the late 1970s.

Gallery

In the 'summary' postcard gallery below there are approximately 50 assorted black and white and colour picture postcards of the area around Blaven and Torrin.

A six-page gallery of information, observations, history and commentary on each of the postcards below and their history can be found in the extended postcard gallery.

Postcards are rarely dated so it has not been possible to accurately determine the age of the individual images. If you have any additional information about the photographer, publisher or date, please contact me.

"Across the Loch Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Across the Loch Torrin, Isle of Skye"

The caption on this card is missing a full stop between the words "Loch" and "Torrin." Torrin Public School in the foreground closed in 1961 and is now an outdoor activity centre. Click here to compare this card with a more recent photograph.

"Tuck's post card." Published Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd., reference "Skye 27", date unknown. Raphael Tuck was born in East Prussia in 1821. He moved to London in 1865, opening a shop selling pictures the following year. Three of his sons worked in the business and by 1904 the company offered over 15,000 designs. Most of the company’s records were lost in an air raid during World War II.
"Blaven and Loch Slapin from Torrin village, Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch Slapin from Torrin village, Skye"

The building in the foreground is Torrin Post Office. Now closed, the building was converted in a private house during 1998, appropriately called "The Old Post Office."

"The best of all" series. Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "6863", date is between 1931 and 1937.
"Blaven and Torran (sic) Post Office, Skye"

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"Blaven and Torran (sic) Post Office, Skye"

Another postcard showing the former Post Office.

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "21649", date unknown.
"Torrin, Broadford, Isle of Skye"

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"Torrin, Broadford, Isle of Skye"

New houses and trees have subtly changed this view today.

Publisher unknown, reference "E1614", date unknown.
"Blaven from Torran (sic), Skye"

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"Blaven from Torran (sic), Skye"

Just behind the rightmost cottage there is a small corrugated iron hut with the words "Torrin Shop" painted on the roof. After the shop closed around 1940 the hut was moved 30 metres (100 feet) to the right and continues to serve as a domestic shed and garage.

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "19227", date is between 1937 when the cottage on the far side of Loch Slapin was built and 1940 when the rightmost cottage was rebuilt.

Click here to compare this postcard with the same scene in 2009.
"Blaven from Torrin, Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Skye"

Published by The "Philco" Publishing Co., London WC1 for H. and J. Munro, Kyleakin, Isle of Skye, reference "3529", date unknown.

The Philco Publishing Co. produced cards between 1906 and 1934. Many of their Scottish cards had "distinctive" tartan borders.
"Blaven, Marsco and Glamaig, from Torrin"

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"Blaven, Marsco and Glamaig, from Torrin"

Notice that the original caption "Blaven and Loch Slapin, Skye" is still visible behind the new caption. This new caption is misleading because Marsco is obscured behind Sgurr nan Each whilst Marsco is out of shot to the right.

Published by Kyle Pharmacy, reference "348", date unknown but the absence of the distinctive white house on the far shore of Loch Slapin dates this as pre-1935.

Click here to compare this postcard with the same scene in 2011.
"Blaven from Torren (sic), Skye"

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"Blaven from Torren (sic), Skye"

Notice that the caption on the front of this postcard misspells Torrin.

"Real Photo Series." Publisher unknown, date unknown.
"Torrin village, Skye, looking to Blaven"

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"Torrin village, Skye, looking to Blaven"

Published by Wm. S. Thomson, Fort William, date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

The same image as the previous postcard.

"Real Photo Series." Publisher is possibly J. B. White of Dundee, date unknown.
"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Skye"

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"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven from Loch Slapin - This 3,000 foot giant of the Cuillin rises nobly from the shores of Loch Slapin. And, as the road from Broadford to Elgol skirts Loch Slapin, this excursion should not be omitted."

Published by Valentines, reference "A G 208", 1930s onwards.
"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

"The best of all" series. Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "6896", date believed to be 1933.

The same photograph appears on an earlier, rarer, postcard published by a H J Munro of Kyleakin, possibly the original photographer. The front of the earlier card is captioned "Ben Blaven." Perhaps the use of "Ben" was a ploy to convince readers that they were looking at a card of a Scottish mountain and not one of the smaller lumps elsewhere in the United Kingdom!
"Mist on Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Mist on Blaven, Isle of Skye"

"Real Photo Series." Published by F. Hard, London, reference "No. 10", date unknown.
"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "18744", date unknown.
"Blaven, Clach Glas and Lochan Athaine"

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"Blaven, Clach Glas and Lochan Athaine"

Published by Abrahams, Keswick, printed in Germany, reference "211787", date unknown.
"Blaven, Clach Glas and Lochan Athaine"

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"Blaven, Clach Glas and Lochan Athaine"

This card is the same image as shown in the previous card.

Publisher and date unknown.
"In cool waters, Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"In cool waters, Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

"The best of all" series. Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "A. 1093", date between 1948 and 1955.
"A summer day. Loch Slapin and Blaven"

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"A summer day. Loch Slapin and Blaven"

Published by Abrahams, Keswick, reference "432413", date unknown.

My thanks to Alan Stockdale for identifying the publisher.
"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven from Loch Slapin, Skye - A fine view of the magnificent Blaven (3,042 feet), one of the grandest of all the Mountains of Skye, and part of the Sea-Loch Slapin."

Published by Valentines, reference "A G 19", 1930s onwards.
"Uncaptioned postcard"

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"Uncaptioned postcard"

More grazing, gazing cows on the shore of Loch Slapin. Untypically this postcard of Blaven has neither caption nor descriptive text to aid the sender and recipient in identifying the location. The printed wording on the reverse is limited to little more than the mandatory "post card."

Publisher and date unknown.
"The Red Hills from Loch Slapin, Skye"

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"The Red Hills from Loch Slapin, Skye"

This card is looking east across Loch Slapin to the village of Torrin and the two red granite hills. To the left is Beinn Dearg Mhor, literally "the big red hill" at 709m (2,326 feet). To the right is Beinn Dearg Bheag, "the small red hill", 584m (1,916 feet) high.

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "21651", date thought to be around 1920.
"Blaven from Torrin, Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Skye"

This card is printed on photographic paper. The printed wording on the reverse is little more than the obligatory "post card." The publisher and date is not stated but it is a monochrome print of the colour "ox-eye daises" postcard found here. The photographer is therefore assumed to be W. S. Thomson.

A "2d. postage revenue" stamp dates this card to 1957 or earlier.
"Broadford Hotel and Beinn-na-Cailleach, Skye"

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"Broadford Hotel and Beinn-na-Cailleach, Skye"

It was on the site of the Broadford Hotel that the Drambuie liqueur was first produced, the recipe having been gifted to the owner by Bonnie Prince Charlie as a reward for assisting in his escape from the evil English. The single track road to Elgol, Torrin and Blaven is to the left of the hotel. Click here to compare this card with a recent photograph or here to see a later colour postcard.

Published by Valentines, reference "214968 J V", 1890s onwards.
"Blaven and Loch-An-Athain, Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch-An-Athain, Skye"

This view from the southern end of Glen Slighachan looks down through Glen na Crèitheach, towards Loch an Athain and the back of Blaven. The base of Ruadh Stac 150m (493 feet) is to the middle left. The photograph has been taken near the 9 metre (30 feet) tall "Bloody Stone", site of the last clan battle between the MacDonalds and MacLeods in 1601.

Published by Valentines, "Bromotype" series, reference "21928 J V" 1890s onwards.
"Blaven from Ord, Skye"

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"Blaven from Ord, Skye"

View from Ord on the Sleat peninsula. Looking to the north west across Loch Eishort.

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "19225", date unknown.
"The Coolin (sic) and Blaven from Tarskavaig, Skye"

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"The Coolin (sic) and Blaven from Tarskavaig, Skye"

A view of the Cuillin ridge and Blaven from Tarskavaig on the Sleat peninsula.

Publisher unknown, date unknown but postmarked Portree 1951."
"The winding road by Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"The winding road by Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

This view from Faoilean has changed little in 70 years. Today the road remains as the single track B8083 though with the addition of passing places. The telephone poles and their fragile, whistling wires have gone, replace by miles of snaking armoured grey cable laid on the ground. New poles now carry electricity to the Elgol and the Strathaird peninsula.

An edition of this postcard carries the misspelling "Syke" on the front. "The best of all" series. Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "6922", dated by postmark to 1933 or earlier.
"On the shores of Loch Slapin, Skye"

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"On the shores of Loch Slapin, Skye"

Sheep on the west bank of Loch Slapin. Looking north with Beinn na Cro 572m (1,878 feet) to the right. The background is similar to "The Winding Road" postcard from the same company. Were these two photographs taken on the same day?

Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "A9355", date between 1948 and 1955.
"Reflections. Loch Slapin and the Red Hills of Skye"

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"Reflections. Loch Slapin and the Red Hills of Skye"

Another view of the Red Hills taken J. B. White Ltd. The location is close to the location of the two previous postcards.

Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "A. 1090", date between 1931 and 1944.
"The Red Hills from Loch Slapin. Isle of Skye"

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"The Red Hills from Loch Slapin. Isle of Skye"

Slightly further south than the previous three postcards and looking back at Faoilean with Torrin on the other side of the loch. Today there is a lochan in the foreground with buildings just beyond it associated with a fish farm.

Publisher unknown, reference "E. 1613", date unknown but probably pre-1951 (when the old Torrin marble quarry started operations).
"Spring snow on Blaven and Clach Glas as seen from Loch Slapin"

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"Spring snow on Blaven and Clach Glas as seen from Loch Slapin"

Another postcard variation of the classic view of Blaven from the Torrin side of Loch Slapin.

Publisher unknown, no reference, dated by postmark to 1953 or earlier.
"Broadford Old Church and Blaven"

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"Broadford Old Church and Blaven"

Also known as Cill Chriosd, literally Christ’s Church. This church served as the Parish Church of Strath until 1843 when the congregation moved to a new church in the nearby Broadford. More information on the history of the church can be found here. The peak of Blaven is just visible in the far distance to the right of the ruin.

Publisher unknown, no reference, date unknown.
"Loch Cill-Chriosd and Blaven, Skye"

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"Loch Cill-Chriosd and Blaven, Skye"

Publisher and date unknown.
"Blaven and Coruisk from Sgurr-nam-Eag, Skye"

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"Blaven and Coruisk from Sgurr-nam-Eag, Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven and Coruisk from Sgurr-nan-Eag, Skye - On the right the stately, double-peaked Blaven (3,024 feet) dominates the scene, while far below lies the dark Loch Coruisk."

Published by Valentines, reference "AG 17", 1930s onwards.
"Blavan (sic) and Loch Slapin, Skye"

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"Blavan (sic) and Loch Slapin, Skye"

Yet another postcard showing the familiar shape of Blaven across Loch Slapin. Notice the misspelling on the front of the card.

"Herald Series", published by Holmes, no reference, exact date unknown however the presence of a now extant cottage on the far shore suggests pre-1935.
"The white mists of morning sweep over Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"The white mists of morning sweep over Blaven, Isle of Skye"

"The best of all" series. Published by J. B. White Ltd., Dundee, reference "6862", date is between 1931 and 1944.
"Blaven from the end of Lock (sic) Kilchrist"

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"Blaven from the end of Lock (sic) Kilchrist"

Underneath the title it reads "Real photograph by M.E.M. Donaldson. Croydon." Mary Ethel Muir Donaldson was born in Croydon, England in 1876 but spent a lot of her time travelling to the Western Highlands and Islands. In 1908 she moved to a house that she built on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula so the Croydon reference on this card dates the photograph to before then.

"Jacobite Series." Publisher unknown, date prior to 1908.
"Blaven from Hart o' Corry"

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"Blaven from Hart o' Corry"

The "J. R. R., E." at the left hand edge identifies the publisher of this postcard as John R. Russell of Edinburgh. He is listed in local trade directories published between 1908 and 1929 as a wholesale stationer and photographer although this card dates from earlier.

Published J. R. Russell of Edinburgh, no reference, date unknown but postmarked 1904.
"Marsco and Blaven from Loch Dubh, Skye"

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"Marsco and Blaven from Loch Dubh, Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Marsco and Blaven from Loch Dubh, Skye - Marsco (2,414 feet) and Blaven (3,042 feet), two prominent examples of Skye's wonderful mountains."

Published by Valentines, reference "206214 J V", 1890s onwards.
"Blaven from Sgurr-nan-Gillean, Skye"

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"Blaven from Sgurr-nan-Gillean, Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven from Sgurr-nan-Gillean, Skye - A striking view of the majestic Blaven (Blabhein) (3,042 feet), whose massive bulk invests it with a singular dignity and beauty."

Published by Valentines, reference "A G 8", 1930s onwards.
"Loch Ainort and Blaven, Skye"

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"Loch Ainort and Blaven, Skye"

Published by Judges Ltd., Hastings, reference "19226", date unknown.
"Loch Slapin, Blaven and Clach Glas"

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"Loch Slapin, Blaven and Clach Glas"

This postcard was published by brothers George and Ashley Abraham. Both were climbers and photographers who worked in their father's photographic shop in their home town of Keswick in the Lake District. In 1967 the business was acquired by mountaineer George Fisher and today continues to trade under this name as an outdoor equipment specialist. The present shop includes photographs and memorabilia from the Abraham's era and a tearoom appropriately called "Abrahams."

Published by Abrahams, Keswick, reference "211786", printed in Germany, dated between 1890 and 1920.
"Blaven from Sgurr Tearlach"

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"Blaven from Sgurr Tearlach"

This photograph was taken from Sgurr Thearlaich, one of the Munros of the Cuillin Ridge. Sgurr Thearlaich translates as Charlie's Peak in honour of Charles Pilkington who led the first ascent in 1887.

Publisher and date unknown but this example is postmarked 1910.
"Mallaig & the Coolin Hills of Skye"

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"Mallaig & the Coolin Hills of Skye"

Blaven is visible in the distance, slightly left of centre. This postcard shows what was at the time the main road from Fort William and the south. The present day main road follows a new route along the foreshore on land once occupied by the railway locomotive shed and fish sidings that are just visible on this card.

Publisher and date unknown.
"Skye Ferry at Mallaig harbour"

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"Skye Ferry at Mallaig harbour"

When is a mountain not a mountain? When it's a boat!

29km (18 miles) from the its namesake, the Skye ferry "Blaven" bobs in Mallaig harbour. A handbill for this service may be found on the Skye page here along with a picture of the slightly larger ferry that plies the same Mallaig to Armadale route today.

Published by Valentines, reference "D 2108", date unknown.
"Skye hills on the road to Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Skye hills on the road to Torrin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Skye hills on the road to Torrin, Isle of Skye. This is a view of the Blaven ridge (highest point 3,042 feet) from a point on the road about a mile from Loch Slapin."

Photograph by Ernest J. Cooke, FRSA, ARPS. The Inverness Camera Club award an annual trophy in his honour to their photographer of the year.

Published by The Medici Society Ltd., London, reference "1222", date unknown.
"Ox-eye daisies at Torrin in the Isle of Skye. Blaven (3,042 ft.) in the distance"

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"Ox-eye daisies at Torrin in the Isle of Skye. Blaven (3,042 ft.) in the distance"

Photographer W. S. Thomson. Published by G. & G. Ponton Ltd., Glasgow, reference "4", date unknown.

A black and white version of this postcard appears here.

W. S. Thomson ran a photographic studio at 8b St. Vincent Street, Edinburgh between 1963 and 1967.
"The Cuillin Hills showing Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"The Cuillin Hills showing Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

Printed and published by Jarrold & Sons Ltd., Norwich, date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye. A dramatic aspect of this familiar view"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye. A dramatic aspect of this familiar view"

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Scotland, reference "22832", date unknown.
"The Cuillin Hills, showing Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"The Cuillin Hills, showing Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

A more distant view of the cottage that appears in the previous postcard.

A Cotman-Color Series Postcard. Printed and published in Great Britain by Jarrold & Sons Ltd, Norwich, England.
"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

That red-roofed cottage again! It still looks the same today. The rear of this card reads "The view of the magnificent Blaven has for a foreground the little crofting fields of Torrin village. The view is seen from the Broadford-Elgol road."

Also added in pencil some Robert Burns prose;

"Ask why God made the GEM so small
And why so huge the granite?
Because, God meant mankind should set
That higher value on it."

Photograph by D. J. Elphee, published by J. Arthur Dixon, reference "4247", date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "This view of the magnificent Blaven is from the little crofting village of Torrin, which is on the road from Broadford to Elgol. On the right is a glimpse of Loch Slapin."

Published by J. Arthur Dixon Ltd., reference "4667", printed in Scotland, date unknown.
"Cutting the corn of Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Cutting the corn of Torrin, Isle of Skye"

This postcard of the back-breaking cutting and gathering of corn is believed to date from the 1950s.

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Inverness, reference "85876", date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin, near Broadford, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, near Broadford, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven from Torrin, near Broadford, Isle of Skye. This impressive mountain, with its serrated rocks, rises 3,042 feet from sea-level, on the shores of Loch Slapin. This view is seen on the road to Elgol and Loch Coruisk."

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Inverness, reference "3594", date thought to be around 1950.
"Blaven, 3,042 feet and Loch Slapin from Torrin"

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"Blaven, 3,042 feet and Loch Slapin from Torrin"

More sheep in roughly the same location as the previous postcard. The reverse of this card reads "Blaven, 3,042 feet and Loch Slapin from Torrin, Isle of Skye, Scotland."

Photograph by W. S. Thomson. Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Inverness, reference "3315", pre 1955, exact date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin near Broadford, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin near Broadford, Isle of Skye"

Yet more sheep.

Published by Colourmaster International and Photo Precision Ltd. of St. Ives, reference "PT37299", date unknown.

Photo Precision acquired postcard publisher J. B. White of Dundee in 1963. Photo Precision was itself subsequently acquired by Colourmaster in 1969.
"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

Even more sheep. The rear of this card reads "The rugged summits of Blaven in the early spring still carrying a mantle of snow. The native black-face sheep are extremely hardy and roam freely on the shores and hillsides."

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Inverness, reference "4917", pre 1955, exact date unknown.
"A view of Blaven"

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"A view of Blaven"

Are you sheeped out yet? The reverse of this card reads "A view of Blaven - one the magnificent beauty spots on the Isle of Skye. (A881)." The A881 is probably a reference to the previous number of the road from Broadford to Elgol that is today known as the B8083.

Published by Braemar Films Limited, Duns, Berwickshire, reference "4143", date unknown.
"Isle of Skye - Blaven (3,024 feet) dominates the Shores of Loch Slapin"

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"Isle of Skye - Blaven (3,024 feet) dominates the Shores of Loch Slapin"

The publisher of this card, Whiteholme (Publishers) Ltd. of Dundee, has a colourful history. Established by Alastair White, grandson of the founder of J. B. White & Co., they acquired the assets and stock of other Scottish publishers including in 1974, Charles Skilton, who had in turn acquired the remaining stock of Valentines when they ceased publishing postcards. Whiteholme also acquired the assets of Millar & Lang Ltd. of Glasgow in 1982 and David Whyte Ltd. in 1994. Whiteholme went in to liquidation in 2005 but have since re-emerged and continue to produce postcards, calendars and gifts in association with Judges Ltd.

"A 'Hail Caledonia' product." Published by Whiteholme (Publishers) Ltd., Dundee, reference "4985W", date unknown.
"Blaven and Loch Slapin - Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch Slapin - Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Clouds appear over Skye even on clear Spring days. Here they cover the summit of Blaven which is 3,042 ft. above sea level. This view was taken from the banks of Loch Slapin."

Published by Valentines, reference "C. 317", date unknown.
"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Torrin, Isle of Skye"

Photograph by Mike Guy. Published by J. Arthur Dixon, reference "PIS 27713", date unknown.
"At Torrin, Isle of Skye"

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"At Torrin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "At Torrin, Isle of Skye. Situated on the shores of Loch Slapin, between Broadford and Elgol, Torrin offers this fine view of the Eastern face of Blaven which is 3,042 feet high."

"Jumbo Print" published by A. D. Henderson, Maybole, Ayrshire, reference "LC 345", date unknown.
"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven from Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye. The rugged grandeur of Blaven rising from the shores of Loch Slapin is one of the scenic gems of Scotland. Highland cattle roam freely on loch shores and roadsides in Skye adding a picturesque touch. This view is just below Torrin village, a few miles by road branching from the Kyleakin-Portree road at Broadford Hotel."

Published by J. Arthur Dixon Studios, reference "3776", date unknown, postmarked 1974.
"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

The rear of this card reads "Blaven, Isle of Skye. The dark, rugged peaks of this famous mountain, an out-lier of the ’Black Cuillins’, are here seen beyond the shoulder of Beinn Dearg in the ’Red Hills’, providing an interesting contrast. The view is looking across Loch Cill Chriosd from the Elgol Road, near Broadford."

Photograph by Alex H. Hamilton ARPS. Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Inverness, reference "3683", date unknown.

Read about landscape photographer Alex H. Hamilton and his fine work here.
"Loch Slapin and Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Loch Slapin and Blaven, Isle of Skye"

Photo Precision Ltd. St. Ives. Published by Colourmaster International, reference "PT34640", date unknown, postmarked 1973.
"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven, Isle of Skye"

Photograph by Jim Nicholson. Published by Stirling Gallery Publications, reference "SP114", exact date unknown.
"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

The reverse of this card reads "Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye. From a colour photograph by W. S. Thomson."

Photograph by W. S. Thomson. Published by Millar & Lang, Glasgow, reference "152", date unknown.
"The misty Isle of Skye, Blaven and Loch Slapin from above Torrin"

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"The misty Isle of Skye, Blaven and Loch Slapin from above Torrin"

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, reference "L6/S161/Skye", date unknown.
"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

Published by W. S. Thomson, Edinburgh, reference "632", date unknown.
"Loch Slapin and Blaven, Isle of Skye"

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"Loch Slapin and Blaven, Isle of Skye"

Published by Valentines, reference "PT35979", date unknown.
"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Blaven and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

Published by Wm. S. Thomson, Fort William, date unknown.
"Blaven and Clach Ghlas overlooking Loch Slapin"

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"Blaven and Clach Ghlas overlooking Loch Slapin"

The caption on the front of this postcard contains a curious mix of almost Gaelic, not quite English.

Photographed and published by Skye Photographic, Broadford, date unknown.
"Blaven seen from the shores of Loch Slapin"

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"Blaven seen from the shores of Loch Slapin"

The full caption on the front of this card reads "Isle of Skye; Blaven (3,042 feet) seen from the shores of Loch Slapin. One of the nesting places of the Golden Eagle."

"A 'Hail Caledonia' product." Published by Whiteholme (Publishers) Ltd., Dundee, reference "4401W", date unknown.
"Blaven from Loch Eishort"

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"Blaven from Loch Eishort"

The rear of this card reads "Sunsets are a constant source of pleasure to visitors to the West Highlands. The numerous islands and the broken coastline make for an infinite variety of effects, as in this fine study of the track of the setting sun across Loch Eishort."

Photograph by D. R. MacAlpine, published by J. Arthur Dixon, Scotland, reference "4755", published by Arthur Dixon, date unknown.
"Loch Eishort from Ord, Skye"

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"Loch Eishort from Ord, Skye"

The back of this card reads "Blaven with the Cuillins beyond as seen across Loch Eishort from Ord on the western coast of the Sleat peninsula."

The photograph is by Douglas Scott (1911-2008). Scott was a renowned mountaineer as well as photographer. He was a member of the 1950 Scottish Himalayan expedition, three years before the conquest of Everest. He is also one of a handful of people to receive a John Muir Trust Lifetime Achievement Award.

Published by J. Arthur Dixon, Scotland, reference "3805", date unknown.
"Beinn Dearg Mhor, Beinn Dearg Beag and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

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"Beinn Dearg Mhor, Beinn Dearg Beag and Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye"

Publisher is unknown but possibily Valentines because it carries a reference of "PT36386", date unknown.
"Broadford Hotel, Isle of Skye"

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"Broadford Hotel, Isle of Skye"

The rear of this card reads "In the Inn established by Sir Lauchlin MacKinnon in 1611, a descendant first prepared for his Prince, to Charles Edward's own secret recipe, the Drambuie liqueur now famous throughout the world as a symbol of Highland hospitality." Compared to a much earlier postcard here the motor vehicles are of a more modern design whilst the facade of the hotel has changed only slightly.

A colour transparency by John Woolverton. Published by The White Heather Publishing Co. Ltd. reference "334". Date unknown.
"Blaven, Skye"

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"Blaven, Skye"

And finally... a shocking example of colour toning carried out by somebody who was clearly in a hurry to go home! They even managed to splodge that horrible green on to the lettering.

"Colourtone." Published by Valentines, reference "PT37299", 1890s onwards.

Copyright: All of the postcards reproduced on blaven.com are believed to be in excess of 50 years old and out of copyright. Due credit is given to the photographer and publisher where this known or shown on the original card. Please do not reproduce any of these postcards without acknowledging the photographer or publisher.

Extended Gallery

An eight-page gallery of information, observations, history and commentary on each of the postcards above can be found in the extended postcard gallery.

Then and Now

This section allows the easy comparison of a view shown in one of the postcards above with how that same view appears today. The then and now views are overlaid and can be seamlessly faded between the two. A great deal of care has been taken to ensure that the present day now photograph is taken from the same location, using a similar lens focal length and in similar lighting conditions to that of the original photographer.

Torrin Public School, then and now.

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Broadford Hotel, then and now.

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Blaven from Torrin, then and now.

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Broadford Old Church and Blaven, then and now.

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Torrin Barns, then and now.

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