Life at the end of the road

January 19, 2008

The Raasay pig signs (and others)

Filed under: Raasay road signs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:09 pm

Now as you may have gathered we keep ‘free range’ pigs not just a bit free range but seriously free range, our pigs can roam over a good few square miles. They have in fact been spotted almost as far south as the beginning of ‘Calum’s road at Brochel where our common grazing ends. With the increasing popularity of this part of the island due in a great part to Roger Hutchinsons most excellent book I felt it only fair that people should be warned. It’s not every day that you come across a pig on the road!


Being a public spirited sort of chap and not wanting to be sued by anyone I spent a couple of days making a most excellent sign to warn people of the danger.


Not being able to get a post into the solid rock I must confess to using the councils pole but both I and the pigs were well pleased with the result.


This was a good informative sign, the only problem being that it was as you can see at the end of the road. Having a couple of the stickers left over I felt it my duty to place one at the beginning of ‘Calum’s road’ just to prepare people. Living as we do in times of litigation and a compensation culture the last thing I wanted was for someone to damage there car on one of our very solid pigs. So being unable to find anywhere suitable I stuck it on the only flat surface for miles.


This particular sign seemed to attract allot of attention and comment appearing on ‘you tube’ and other internet sites. It also got a mention in the ‘Times’, ‘Glasgow Herald’ and several other newspapers. Such was the interest that one day the ‘Sunday Mail’ phoned me asking about it and 3 days later it appeared as a full page article (there must not have been much news that week!) As all the many comments had been positive and I had a sticker or two left I placed one a mile further down the road (just in case people forgot).


However some extremely sad individual was not amused and sent a letter of complaint along with photos into the council! so they came over and pulled off the stickers (if they’d phoned me I would have saved them the ferry fare and done it myself) . Though I was a little annoyed that they had defaced my very own sign.


I did speak to the workers that had removed them and they had done it reluctantly, acting only because they had had an official complaint, the sad person had even complained about another sign which is on my driveway.

I find it quite incredible ( and sad ) that with all the pot holes in ‘Calums road’ the scrap cars at the end of it and all the broken passing place signs that someone should take the trouble to complain about such informative signs. Being somewhat worried about public safety I set about making another and this time placed it on my own pole and land.


So the council better not deface this one! If they are set on removing any signs on Raasay they could do worse than to remove this abomination and affront to the human rights of the islands children.


There is another marvelous sign on the island which I hasten to add is 10 miles from my house and has nothing whatsoever to do with me or our pigs. It does however make me smile every day as I drive past it on my way home.


I do hope the council don’t vandalize this wonderful tourist attraction.


  1. Just a wee comment on the playing field signage. I for one am in total agreement with the sign. Historically this is an island of deeply religious people and as a sign (no pun intended) of the utmost respect for those beliefs, I feel that those who choose to live and visit here now, should respect the ways of the past and indeed the wishes of our native elders. I am not a religious person myself but, I respected my now deceased Grandmother’s beliefs and I will continue to honour those beliefs out of the deepest respect for my elderly neighbours.

    Comment by Shelagh Taylor — July 2, 2008 @ 5:49 am

  2. Fair comment Shelagh and I for one respect all peoples religious beliefs but if Raasay is to thrive it needs youngsters to stay here and that particular sign doesn’t help. The Church here has a lot going for it and I’m sure it played a big part in keeping the present congregation and no doubt your grandmother fit and healthy well into their nineties. Sadly though there are no young people going anymore, personally I think that’s a shame and I think that sign has a lot to do with it. Hope I didn’t offend with my comments I certainly never meant to.

    Regards, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 2, 2008 @ 8:02 pm

  3. No offense taken but I think as long as there is a congregation (even if it is only one!) at both of the churches then their beliefs should be taken into consideration. After all, it was their island long before ours. I think we as a society have to re-think the respect that we show to our elders and their beliefs and those that do wish to come and stay here should heed to the saying “when in Rome”. If you were going to a country that had a particular set of beliefs and customs, would you not adhere to their ways out of respect?

    Comment by Shelagh Taylor — July 3, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  4. I can’t argue with that Shelagh and neither me or my boy have ever used the play park on a Sunday out of respect.

    Regards, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

  5. Thanks for the discussion, Paul. I enjoyed it!

    Comment by Shelagh Taylor — July 4, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  6. Any time Shelagh, to be honest if I’d realised that anyone was actually going to read my ramblings I’d have posted the picture but kept the comments to myself. I’d probably had a few glasses of red wine at the time which always gets me on my soap box.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 4, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

  7. Hi, You would be supprised who reads this! I have “Raasay” set up as a Google alert, everytime you post, it picks it up and sends me an email.

    Barry (Dornoch).

    Comment by Barry — July 10, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  8. Cheers Baz, I’m flattered, hope you enjoy my ramblings and can understand the grammer ( or lack of it! )


    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 10, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

  9. Hi, My family and I are seriously considering moving to Raasay but I must admit have been put off considerably by the play park sign because it give the impression of an unwelcoming community, which I know not to be the case. Knowing its the custom and respecting others beliefs we would of course not use the park on a Sunday but there has to be a nicer way of commincating that it would be respectful not to use it. Maybe a less agressive sign with an educational plaque next to it explaining why.Regards J

    Comment by Jade — July 18, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  10. Hi Jade,

    Love your blog and will keep an eye out for Ruby. Good point about the sign, perhaps it should also be in Gaelic.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  11. Our small party of three spent New Year’s on Skye and we decided to go to Raasay, since several of us had never been before.

    We were driving around and spotted your signs. Beware of the pig??? What’s THAT all about! lol We wanted to ask someone about the signs, but didn’t see anyone to ask. So…when I got home I decided to try to find out something about the signs. I Googled “pig signs on Raasay” and Bingo! Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!

    I thought the signs were great…I took pictures of all of them. The polka dot sign was my favorite. We never saw any pigs though. lol

    And on a serious note, we were so sad to hear about Raasay House.

    When you put these signs up I know your intention was to help visitors to Raasay, and in the process you also added another great memory to an already memorial vacation!

    Many thanks,
    Jackie in
    San Antonio, Texas
    Home of the Alamo

    Comment by Jackie — January 27, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    • Hi Jackie,

      most of the wee darlings went away just before Christmas leaving only Rory and Ruby on the hill, just as well you didn’t meet them cos they’re nuts!

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 27, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  12. Hi Paul,

    My friends and I recently came to Raasay for Easter so we could play the tune Calum’s Road on Calum’s Road which we did at the sign, the cairn and the end of the road and we all loved your signs!
    We didn’t know they were yours or why they were there but one friend was researching pig farms for work and your site came up, so now we know!
    Thanks for that,

    Comment by Lin Sanderson — April 27, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

    • Hi Lin,

      You came all this way to play a beautiful tune and our pigs did not even come and listen to you, I can’t apologize enough for their bad manners 🙂

      Cheers, paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 27, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

  13. Hi – Will be visiting Raasay for one day sometime in the middle of March, very impressed by your pig transfers- any chance of obtaining one for my car? It would be a long lasting souvenir.
    Thanks Joe

    Comment by Joe Byrne — February 25, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    • Hi Joe,

      I’m afraid I only had a couple made up and the council nabbed those, but you have given me an idea 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  14. I have searched websites and maps for a photo of the Memorial looking over the sea at Suisnish, Isle of Raasay but to no avail. All I know is that the Grid Ref. is NG.553.353 or thereabouts. Can you help please?

    Comment by Tim Hepworth — February 26, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    • Hi Frank,

      I’ll email you some picture’s that I took today as soon as I download them.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  15. A late comment but needs to be given.

    I really don’t accept Shelagh points on respect for the church. In actual fact the sign disrespects people of other faith or no faith. It is one thing to respect a persons right to believe what they want it is quite another thing to impose through force those beliefs, totems and taboos. We have all seen where that has gone. So if the church wants to stop their kids playing on the swings on the Sabbath it is absolutely their right to choose but not their right to choose for everyone else.

    I suspect legally the sign would be classified as discriminatory if the play park is on public land but I suspect that the play area is on private land and in this case the owner could demand any condition of use.

    Comment by Dawei — July 2, 2010 @ 5:57 am

    • Morning Dawei,

      you are of course probably right, in this world where litigation is everything and ‘prisoners’ have more ‘human rights’ than their victims. Don’t get me wrong, I’m big on human rights being a member of Amnesty but I mean ‘real’ human rights. I personally think the sign is an abomination but it was there long before I and it was myself that chose to live here. I did it willingly despite the sign, the lack of a Sunday ferry and being frowned upon for doing anything on the Sabbath.

      As I’ve said before ‘when in Rome’ and had I known that almost half a million people would read this blog I’d have kept my comments to myself 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 3, 2010 @ 5:29 am

  16. If individuals dont want to use a playpark on a Sunday because of their religious beliefs, fine. Dont force your views on others however! Christianity took over from older religions which it demonised, and is responsible for destroying ancient sites, burning people alive, wars etc etc. I for one do not respect forcing views onto others. Live and let live!

    Comment by Helen McBrearty — September 6, 2016 @ 11:28 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: