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Retired Lighthouse Keeper
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Retired Lighthouse Keeper

Can anyone recognise or give any information regarding this gentleman. As you can see the pic is from an old newspaper.
I received it from a grand-daughter of Margaret Urquhart (nee) Stewart who I believe came from South Ronaldsay
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Picture added on 11 February 2009
This is an interesting picture in that it shows an elderly lightkeeper, presumably Charles McNish. The accompanying newspaper article states he was a principal lightkeeper. However, the badge on his hat is that of an assistant lightkeeper. The assistant's badge has a rope surrounding the lighthouse on the badge, whereas that of a principal lightkeeper has a thistle wreath around the lighthouse. Also very interesting is the statement that he "over ten years principal of Ailsa Craig". Lightkeepers were usually moved from one lighthouse to another every three - five years.

Added by Colin Corse on 18 February 2009
I received info from a very reliable source with a very long NLB family history that at one time PLKs were initially provided with a VC (Velvet Collar) and some years later this was withdrawn and 2 lapel badges were on the PLKs uniform.
The cap badge with thistle came some years later. Also at one time a PLK could apply to remain on the same station for an extended period, some stayed for into the teens of years on one station.
Added by Stewart Taylor on 14 March 2009
Some keepers did longer stints of nine or ten years - sometimes if there was a health concern. But not very common.
Added by Matt on 25 January 2012
This is my Great Grandfathers Brother amazing to see a picture of him. Not sure about the date of the article but it must have been taken before 25/03/1947 as that was when he died.

Added by John Macnish on 08 May 2012
Thanks for the identification John, I will inform the owner of the photo.
Added by Stewart Taylor on 10 May 2012
Charles McNish was appointed Principal Keeper at Little Ross, Kirkcudbright, on 13th October 1933. He served there for one year and eleven months, then retired. The assistant keeper during the same period at Little Ross was Robert Thomson. Can anyone let me have a high resolution copy of Charles McNish's photograph?
Added by David R Collin on 03 September 2014
This image is the spit of my grandfather Neil Macnish who was in the lighthouse service and his father before him. My grandfather was born on the Isle of Man and had a sister Elisabeth ( betty ) and other siblings that I never met. My great grandfather was on Ailsa Craig and was at Buchan when he retired. Neil Macnish called his first child Charles, and was at Mull of Kintyre lighthouse when my Father was born in 1929. He then was moved to Holy Isle off of Arran and left the service in the mid 1930's and took up the position of Superintendent of Penwhappal Waterworks,Girvan until retiring in the mid 1960's. This Charles could have been his brother! Sadly my Father John McGill Macnish passed away in 2009, but his elder brother Charles is still alive and living in Glasgow.
I will try and find out more from the surviving family. The resemblance is so obvious it took my breath away, so hopefully we can progress with a connection.
Added by Moira Gail Breach ( Nee Macnish) on 27 September 2015
This is really interesting Moira. The research I have done on the Macnish family tree confirms what you have said exactly. Charles had a son called Neil b. 1902 d. 1930 he had two siblings, Elizabeth & Archibald. I'm sure we must be related as Charles the elder has the same father as my Great Grandfather Robert Mclean Macnish, Archibald Macnish. Perhaps we can exchange details, my email is [email protected]
Added by John Macnish on 01 October 2015
I've done some more research and discovered two more articles about Charles Macnish's retirement both dated October 1933. So this should date this article to 1933 as well rather than the 1950's
Added by John Macnish on 16 September 2017
I confirm the details in my earlier message, and have again checked the register of keepers at Little Ross, which records Charles McNish being appointed on 13th October 1933, and not retiring until one year and eleven months later.
Added by David R. Collin on 04 October 2017
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