Ian inspires with tales of Arran

Author Ian McMurdo spoke to Historical Society members about the background to his book and some of the stories in it.

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The guest speaker at the February meeting of the Arran Historical Society was Kildonan author Ian McMurdo.

Ian and his family were frequent holiday visitors to Arran and when he retired from his position as director of education for West Dunbartonshire, he and his wife Nan moved to Kildonan, as it is their favourite place on the planet.

Ian is the author of five books and his talk to the society was about his latest book, ‘Arran, Travels, Treasures and Tales’, which was published last year. Ian described his book as a lighthearted, whimsical work which before publication had the working title ‘It could only happen on Arran!’


Ian interviewed many well-kent Arran characters who were willing to share stories, anecdotes and life experiences for publication in the book, and it also includes tales of his own experiences walking the hills and glens with his two dogs.

The book is set out as a form of travelogue with six sections. They are: Over the sea to Arran, The Metropolis, The North Face, The Wild West, The Deep South and The Far East. From these titles it is easy to ascertain that Ian travelled anti-clockwise around the island. Each section contains many chapters including A Life on the Ocean Waves, Fisherman’s Walk and Flying Projectiles, The Dark Side of The Moon, Into the Soup, The Big Yellow Bus and Crime, What Crime?.

Ian kept the audience well entertained with a mixture of laughter and nostalgia and signed copies of his book for the many members who purchased one on the day.

The next meeting for the Historical Society will take place on Monday March 16 in Brodick Hall. The speaker will be Jim Henderson from Lamlash giving a talk on the 18th century Clearances, including the effects on the lowlands of Scotland.