A Sunday Morning, Campbeltown Harbour

This is a fairly early watercolour of Dad’s, which used to hang in the hallway in the Dell Rd apartment in Campbeltown where he lived latterly. I think Dad had a special affection for it, and as the view was pretty much the one from our gallery, I recall that beautiful summer evening light in the harbour with similar appreciation.

The harbour at Campbeltown is an obvious subject for a painting; but in expert hands it reveals the heart of the place. Campbeltown’s history; its peaks and troughs, have the harbour as the focus of the community. The Wee Toon has had more than its share of poverty and difficulty and decline. Conversely, it has in its day had periods of tremendous success; even if the riches have been concentrated in the hands of only a few.

For the most part, Campbeltown’s successes have been found in other parts of the world. A familiar story for Scotsmen generally, but this one small town has produced a wealth of talent, even if that talent found its outlet elsewhere. Men like Sir William McKinnon, William Mactaggart, James Gulliver among them. Angus MacVicar, the author was one of the few who returned to Kintyre and Southend, finding there his best work.

But the harbour is the centre, and many are the happy hours spent on its quays.


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