Life at the end of the road

January 18, 2009

Raasay House is ablaze

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:44 am

That’s what my skipper said when he awoke me from a deep sleep at 2:00am this morning. This was the last thing I had been expecting, a shout in the teeth of a gale. However the depression was now well to the north of Lewis so the wind had gone to the west and moderated somewhat.

synoptic chart for midnight on  17/1/09

synoptic chart for midnight on 17/1/09

Though when he phoned I had my doubts, especially when I opened the front door to be confronted by hailstones that were lying thick on the ground. Nevertheless I jumped in the Land Rover with my overalls covering my wacky Skye Batik trousers and rushed southwards down a VERY slippery ‘Calum’s road’. Although I had to lock the center diff to get up a couple of hills and had to drive on the verge whilst descending one I made it. Taking the low road to avoid any fallen trees I almost hit a large wooden pallet that had been blown into the road at Oscaig, all the while the glow from the sky to the south was getting brighter. As I drove past the rear of the house the flames were already through the roof and it did not look good. The rest of the crew had the Loch Striven already warmed up and we let go the ropes and headed for a very dark Sconser, the weather had obviously taken it’s toll as there was no power on there! Which was a bizarre contrast to the now raging inferno that was Raasay house and all the floodlights at the new ferry terminal. Whilst on the way over the Portree lifeboat came speeding south with additional personnel and landed them at the pier. Despite a tricky landing in the dark with squalls racing down loch Sligachan we berthed safely and took on board two fire appliances and an ambulance, as no one knew for certain if it was unoccupied at the time as I think the alarm had been raised by somebody from the new harbour works. After discharging our traffic and tying up I took a drive along to take some photo’s and it really was quite depressing. The last time I’d seen any kind of fire at Raasay House was 8 years ago tomorrow and that was from the fire eater, bonfire and fireworks from my wedding there. I stayed just long enough to get a few pictures then left as it really was quite sad to see all that work go up in flames.

Sunday 18th

Didn’t get much in the way of sleep last night as I was half expecting to be called out again so stayed on board. The Portree lifeboat arrived alongside the ferry and I get the feeling it was around 5:30am though I couldn’t swear to it. The wind over here had died away but Davie Urquhart the coxswain reported it as being pretty gusty at Sconser. The ‘Corinne Whiteley’ which is not the regular Portree boat dropped off more fire hoses and crew though by now it was clear that the hoses would not be needed and at 6:00am the lifeboat headed for home.

We did the regular run at 10:00am taking back the ambulance ( which wasn’t fortunately needed ) and the Portree fire crew who were ‘stood down’. At Sconser we picked up the Kyle crew and a crew from Inverness that would relieve the Broadford crew that were still on site. We also brought back police and a contractors representative. Doing an extra run at around 10:50 to take back the Broadford crew and pick up a lucky car that was waiting for the 16:30 ferry!

Home at last

Finally made back home despite the snow and as promised here’s some pic’s


Rear of Raasay house 2:30am

That was taken on my way to the ferry and as you can see the fire is well established


Raasay house fire 2:30am

This was taken a few moments earlier.


Ambulance and first appliance 3:08am

Here’s the emergency vehicles boarding the ferry at a very dark Sconser.


Raasay house at 4:10am

This was taken after we’d tied up and the fire appliances were on scene

Water from the sea!

Water from the sea!

There wasn’t enough water so they took it from the sea!

Portree Lifeboat

Portree Lifeboat

The Portree relief lifeboat ‘Corinne Whiteley’ arrived for the second time around 5:30am with more men and hoses.

Coxawain Davy Urquhart

Coxswain Davy Urquhart

Skillfully berthed alongside by a rather cold looking David Urquhart on the flying bridge.

The aftermath

After ‘Corinne Whiteley’ departed I’d an attempt at sleep and all too soon it was time for the 10:00am sailing, arriving at Sconser to find that Raasay House was not the only casualty of the night.

Parked upside down!

Parked upside down!

With the extra run out of the way and the Loch Striven once again fastened to Scotland I went to look at the smouldering ruins.

What can I say

What can I say

It was a sad sight indeed, summed up better by all the comments left on here by visitors, workers, former employee’s, contractors and even total strangers from the other side of  the world than anything I could say. A controvertial building at the best of times in it’s 200 odd year history it has in some way touched all who have a connection with Raasay. I for one will be shedding a tear for it and everyone who put so much effort into it of late. I didn’t stay long and headed back to the Loch Striven for a well earned sleep.

Job done

Job done

At 4:00pm the Portree and Broadford tenders left along with the Kyle and Inverness crews, leaving the Raasay crew to watch the ruins.

Going home

Going home


  1. Hi, obviously we are gutted to hear the news about Raasay House this morning. I am interested in seeing your pictures of the fire. Would it be possible for you to get in touch.



    Comment by Neil Duncan — January 18, 2009 @ 10:34 am

    • Hi Neil,

      I’ll be on the ferry all day and I can’t download them here but I’ll get some off to you ASAP.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 18, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  2. That is incredibly sad news about Raasay House. I hope it isnt too bad, i am sure a lot of local jobs depend on the old place.

    Comment by Simon — January 18, 2009 @ 10:47 am

  3. What terrible news it’s difficult to know what to say… we’re feeling shocked and sad. It is an awful loss for the whole island especially the team at Raasay house who worked so hard to get the refurbishment off the ground. We’re thinking of you all.

    Comment by jo ben, juno and reuben — January 18, 2009 @ 11:14 am

  4. Hi Paul,

    What terrible news, don’t know what to say. I just hope it can be repaired.


    Comment by barrydornoch — January 18, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  5. What a terrible loss, so sad to hear the news. We were looking forward to the cafe being open again. Surely it will be rebuilt, we really hope so.

    Comment by Carole & Finn — January 18, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  6. Hope they had good insurance, I know it’s never enough, but its better than starting over from scratch.

    Comment by C — January 18, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  7. A sad loss of a historic building. I was looking forward to seeing returned to its former glory.

    Comment by Phil — January 18, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  8. We were really sorry to hear about Raasay House. A real loss for all of you on the island. We were looking forward to seeing it restored when we visit again this year but hopefully it won’t be too long till it is rebuilt – once again.

    Comment by Eleanor and Dave (Bury) — January 18, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  9. I’ll be interested in seeing the pics too, sounds like you had quite a night!

    btw, why not get yourself a card reader, it saves having to keep plugging the camera in!

    Comment by Zak — January 18, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  10. Desperately sad news

    A little bit of Raasay House stayed with all who ever lived and worked there.

    Without exception, the happiest days of my life were spent working and indeed playing round Raasay House.

    Try and keep positive seem woefully inadequate

    Comment by Jackie Mac — January 18, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  11. Desperately sad news for everyone. Hope it can be rebuilt.

    Comment by Robin and Liz Millar — January 18, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

  12. Have been glued to your site since Matthew rang me at 10.00am Really sorry to read about the fire, and have been thinking of everyone all day. Have also seen John A Gillies pictures and am glad to catch up with yours. Have spoken to one or two people and can tell how sad they all are, Helen

    Comment by Helen Millward — January 18, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

  13. Everyone before me has said it all. My goodness what a tragedy to all concerned. Hope and pray that it can and will be rebuilt.

    Comment by Rienza — January 18, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

  14. Hi again Paul,

    Just seen your pictures, it looks as bad as it could possibly be. As I think I told you I am writing a book about Dr Green, so I’ve unearthed 1000’s documents about Raasay House over the last six months and I feel really close to the house. Its ironic that 19 years of neglect by Dr Green never got near to the devestation of last night.

    I’ve spent months digging into what happened during Dr Green’s ownership, it really feels a little strange to think that at the worst he was responsible for some wet rot and a bit of damage!


    Comment by barrydornoch — January 18, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    • I would be most grateful to make contact with you about Dr John Green of Cooden Sussex because of his earlier involvement with the anortive purchase and the subsequent 1960 auction of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in Cumbria.

      Comment by Peter van Zeller — August 15, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  15. such sad news been working there over a year with macleod roofing a beautiful building wasted

    Comment by rab and james — January 18, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  16. Just miserable to hear about the house. I was looking forward to coming back again for a visit someday soon with some of my students.

    Isn’t the place still owned by HIE? if so, it should be well insured. I hope so, for everyone’s sake.

    Comment by Mick Womersley — January 18, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  17. Sorry to hear of this tragedy. Our family have been phoning each other to pass on the news. Hope it can be rebuilt.

    Comment by Ian & Madge Mackenzie — January 18, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

  18. Hi Paul, you must be knackered after a busy 24 hours. Thanks for keeping everyone informed, your blog is really important to those of us who don’t make it to the island as often as we’d like. Our thoughts are with everyone. Such a lovely building. Mhairi Mackenzie

    Comment by puddlemonster — January 18, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

  19. Hello Paul

    Can’t believe what has happened. Thank goodness no-one was hurt. Our thoughts are with everyone there. Many thanks for keeping us all informed.


    Comment by yestosh — January 18, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  20. Hi Paul,
    What devastating news and so terribly sad for all concerned. Our thoughts are with Lyn, the team and naturally all at home. We are returning home in Feb and were so looking forward to seeing the new ‘House’.

    Best wishes


    Comment by iain Macleod — January 18, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  21. Hi Paul

    Thanks for the bad news, we just hope it can all be rebuilt again.
    One request, can you take some more pics for everyone when you have time??


    Comment by claire & Dick palmer — January 18, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  22. Just lost for words.

    I own a holiday cottage on Inverarish Terrace and my neighbours called me this am. My heart goes out to everybody on Raasay as I know the house meant so much to so many people.

    I was due to take a music course at the house at the end of march and we have people all over the UK coming up.

    I hope that Raasay House will one day be rebuilt to how it should be.


    Comment by Sarah Watts — January 18, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  23. Really really sad news, having only visited the house a few times its made me feel incredibly sad so I can’t imagine how everyone on the island is feeling. Lets hope it can be rebuilt in the future

    Comment by Trusty — January 18, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  24. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for keeping everyone posted.
    What a sad day right enough, can’t believe how bad it looks. We were so looking forward to seeing the finished building when we come up at easter. Hope it can be saved.

    James & Fiona

    Comment by James & Fiona (oscaig) — January 18, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  25. A sad sad sight from over here. Gutted like the House. Hoping for a happy future for the building and the Centre.

    Comment by Nick at Braes — January 18, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  26. Ooooooohhhhhh – could anything else possibly happen? Thanks for pics and hope to still see you very soon. love to all, Kyla

    Comment by Kyla — January 18, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  27. Paul,

    what sad sad news – it was so hard to look at the photos of her burning, this is a terrible tragedy for the island and my heart goes out to Lynn and all the raasay house people there. I hope the house was heavily insured and it can be rebuilt and she can restored to her former splendour.

    Margaret Maclean ( of Oscaig)

    Comment by Margaret Maclean — January 18, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

  28. Having only just connected up with Dave Croy after 22 years of being on Expedition with him to NZ with Operation raleigh i came home to this news tonight. Such devestating loss for the community at the minute. Im sure like the Phoenix it will rise from the ashes and flourish once more. Timing just couldnt be worse with it being handed over tomorrow!

    Chin up all involved my thought s are with you

    Comment by Nic B-C — January 18, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

  29. Oh Paul, I am in tears sitting here looking at your photos of this amazing old building up in flames, Bradan rang me this morning to tell me, ….sentimental yes, I am but one of so many with such wonderful memories of Raasay House, good times, tough times, learning times, and maybe, just maybe, a few bevvy’s tucked away there too… my heart feels sad, a loss of a chunk of history, generations of history, MY memories of a couple of fabulous summers with a bunch of wonderful people, both my fellow instructors and the clients who, as I did, fell in love with the house and the Island. I am just so so sad…and yes I KNOW no one was hurt, but am very aware of all the hard work which has taken years of alot of folks time to ge the place to the condition it was in. only to see it in ashes. It can be rebuilt, of course, but it cannot be the same..guess change comes to us all in different guises. I am so sorry for everyone closely involved with the house, my thoughts love and hugs go out to everyone particularly Lyn, David and Freya. No I havn’t changed, still a soft dope, AnnieXXXXXX

    Comment by anniehorse — January 19, 2009 @ 12:52 am

  30. That’s terrible news. I had a feeling that if I popped over to your blog I’d find something had happened as we had our own incident here yesterday and you know what our synchronicity is like. We didn’t have a fire, we had a passing horse rider thrown onto one of our gates and suffer spinal injuries. As with you, all the neighbours turn out and do what they can, so good does come from he bad. Keep us informed, won’t you.

    Comment by Stonehead — January 19, 2009 @ 7:07 am

  31. such sad news. We watched the work progress on our visits over the past year and the house was so beutiful.
    phil sarah ailsa & roisin

    Comment by Phil — January 19, 2009 @ 8:41 am

  32. Paul we were really sorry to hear the News about Raasay House. Although we haven’t seen the house we did walk past the grounds last year, seeing the pics and especially reading the messages it brought tears and a lump to the throat.

    The pictures on the Raasay House website show what a fantastic job had been done of the Renovation.

    Thanks for keeping the World informed via your Blog of Life on Raasay. You’re a Living Legend.

    Comment by chrisb — January 19, 2009 @ 9:19 am

  33. Hi, I was heartbroken to hear about Raasay House from Christine yesterday morning. I know what hard work has been put in to making this project a sucess.

    Comment by Sarah, Phil Ailsa and Roisin — January 19, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  34. devastating news. …and after so much work as well.

    Comment by andybleaden — January 19, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  35. As a former headteacher at Raasay school who holidayed with my children for many happy years this is dreadful news. So many happy memories, dances, fun days, get togethers etc. At the school where we had such limited space and facilities we looked forward to what a refurbished Raasay house would mean for all the children. Let this not be an end to that dream. Kind regards and sincere sympathy to all those who worked so hard to achieve what has been tragically lost.
    Ishbel Kerr- Madeira /Carbost

    Comment by Ishbel Kerr — January 19, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  36. What devastating and terrible news regarding fire at Raasay House. So many people have worked so hard to maintain and improve this building over the past few years. We can only hope that finance will be found somehow to rebuild as the Centre has become such an important part of the island community – to say nothing of the service it offered to the many hundreds of young people who have visited over the years. Thank you for your pictures Paul as we are away at the moment and therefore have no access to the local press.

    Comment by Neil and Joy Oscaig — January 19, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  37. Thank’s guys for all your comments and support. I know the management and contractors that have put so much effort into the project over the years really appreciate them. Sorry I’ve not been replying to your comments individually but I don’t want to clutter up the blog with my witterings when you people do it so much better. Whilst the enormity of this calamity has finally sunk in I do sense a positive mood emerging from the staff that worked so hard and not the ‘green shoots of recovery’ that the politicians talk about but the phoenix rising from the ashes that the Greeks and Egyptians talked about.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 19, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  38. I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. I hope like everyone else the building can rise again from the ashes. My thoughts are with all the staff and everyone who worked there. This must be totally devastating for them.

    Comment by Gordon Willoughby — January 19, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  39. What a tragic loss of a wonderful old house.
    My mother couldn’t believe it had burnt down, especially after spending 4m pounds. Thanks for keeping everyone informed, especially the foto’s.
    I’m pleased to read you took over Calums croft.

    Comment by Donald Cameron (Tasmania) — January 19, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  40. Hi Paul (& all connected with Raasay Hse) – heard about your website/photos from AnnieHorse and was really saddened by the news of the fire. Can’t claim to know the folk at the house well but when we HAVE met they were always wonderfully hospitable. My first time on Raasay was for a daytrip when my son was in nappies – we arrived early morning, planning to go back on the last ferry but then the fog rolled in and suddenly we were stranded. The folks at the house offered us a place to stay and then went one better by organising a fishing boat which bravely inched through the fog (accompanied by curious seals) and got us back home. Its one of my favourite memories of kindness from strangers and I really hope Raasay house will be able to rise again, even better than before. So, so glad no one was hurt!

    Comment by webideir — January 19, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  41. It is so sad that this could happen to the beautiful, magical place that I remember when visiting Maurizio when he worked there. I can’t begin to imagine how Dave, Freya and Lynn must be feeling as well as all the other people who are connected to the house.
    Julie Bonifacino

    Comment by Julie - Maurizio's mum — January 19, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

  42. I feel numb. As an ex-Portobello high school member I spent a few brilliant weeks here over the years..including a few special birthdays…with magical memories…

    Comment by Gemma Stuart — January 19, 2009 @ 11:13 pm

  43. Linked on to your site from a friends Isles of Scilly site. I know from my experience how difficult life in a remote location can be. Just sending my heartfelt best wishes to all those affected by this sad occurence. Your island borne resilience will doubtlessly allow you to forge ahead.
    All the very best from Boscastle – North Cornwall

    Comment by Alan — January 20, 2009 @ 1:13 am

  44. I am sure that many of us who have connections with the island (and others who don’t) will be able to give support. Raasay without the Outdoor Centre would be a far poorer less diverse place. Fewer people would go there; fewer types of people will go; fewer children will have the opportunity to experience a completely different environment to what they know.
    The most difficult thing will, I think, be energy – and maintaining hope. We can help with this – by letting everyone know of our support – and by maintaining interest and encouragement. It is not much but it is something.

    Comment by Roger Stewart — January 20, 2009 @ 6:02 am

  45. We are overwhelmed by the generosity of support that has been shown, from all over the world, to our little setback. We are still in a bit of shock, as you are, but, we have every intention of overcoming this and in due course will be back welcoming people to the house and island.
    David,Freya, Lyn and the team.

    Comment by David,Freya,Lyn and all the team — January 20, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  46. I am thinking of all my friends and memories from that wonderful place right now- gone, but definitely not forgotten.
    Take care, and best wishes to everyone on the island,
    John Highmore

    Comment by John H — January 20, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  47. Dear Lyn and everyone

    We were devastated to hear the news about Raasay House on the BBC Scotland news. It was indeed a tragedy and we are thinking of you. However, we are in no doubt that, with Raasay’s indomitable spirit of optimism, that the house will be restored to it’s former glory before too long. KBO (ask James)

    Comment by GISS — January 20, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

  48. Jesus H F**** i’m speechless, I heard yesterday what happend and I just had to sit down for a while. Some of the best days of my life were spent on raasay and this just breakes my heart. I hope everyone is holding out and doing ok. And of course lots of love and support to everyone involved with raasay house.
    Kindest regards from Magnus lassila (sweden)

    Comment by Magnus Lassila — January 20, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

  49. A big thank you to everyone for their support, sympathy, and encouragement at this tragic time. It is hugely appreciated and gives an even greater incentive to help us in our determination to carry on the work and rebuild to bring the house back to life as soon as possible.The Community Company together with the Outdoor Centre are already developing a joint strategy to achieve yet another new phase for this important historic house. currently we are ensuring we have the support we need from all the relevent authorities and of course our funders and the signs are very encouraging. Once we have gone through all the necesary searches, surveys etc. and dealt with insurers,loss adjusters et al we will be in a position to steam ahead with our joint plans. Our priorities are simply to rebuild the House and to get the Outdoor Centre back in business.

    Comment by David W. on behalf of the Community Co. — January 20, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  50. Hi

    This truly is a tragedy. I have been coming to Raasay all my life (we own the cottage at 1 Mill place) and I can’t believe this has happened. I am so glad no-one was hurt but can’t help thinking of all that history up in smoke – tragic.

    Comment by Derek Peakman — January 20, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

  51. Happy Anniversary to Paul and Swineherd/Postie. Have a good one, all three of you.

    Comment by lloyd — January 21, 2009 @ 12:09 am

  52. oh goodness me…. i must stop looking at these photos at work… i get all teary and its probably not a good look! (although paul, i do enjoy having a wee sneaky peak at your blogg every now and then – i just skip all the mechanical bits and look at the scenery shots :))
    you know, likewise above, we all had some very happy times in and around that house and its a really empty feeling to know that the house is no longer what it was.
    Big loves to you all on the island and know that all over the world people are sending the very warmest and heartfelt wishes xx

    Comment by Clowance — January 21, 2009 @ 3:51 am

  53. Hello Paul, Just googled up your blog in the wake of the Raasay blaze and thank you for filling in the gaps left by the reportage.
    I’ve been holidaying on Raasay for years and my ashes will be scattered there at the appropriate time [your end of the island!] in memory of my favourite place of all time. I did meet you years ago when you were diving for scallops, but you won’t remember me.
    Everyone else has expressed how I feel about the tragedy, but I was so looking forward to the opening of the house this year that I feel devastated to think I may not see it up and running before I drop off my perch!
    I’ll certainly be following your interesting blog.

    Comment by Carolyn Scott — January 22, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  54. Oh, I am heartbroken. My aunt, Morag Grant, just sent me an e-mail letting me know. It’s nearly 20years ago that I worked at the outdoor center but I remember it all like it was yesterday. I truly loved it and the people who made the center a home for me.
    Lyn, David, and Freya, my love to you and if you need help rebuilding the house I will come.

    Fiona Macdonald (Toronto,ON)

    Comment by Fiona Macdonald — January 22, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  55. Hello
    Very sad to hear about Raasay House, we live in Canada and have great memories of eating in the cafe. My Grandpa lives on the island and we always take a walk up there every visit. Glad to hear that no one was hurt in the fire!

    Comment by Karlin — January 23, 2009 @ 4:07 am

  56. What a tragedy to happen to Raasay House when it was almost at the end of it’s refurbishment! I fell in love with the island the first time I visited in 2001, and have returned several times since then, as a volunteer manager of the Youth Hostel, and have visited Raasay House for coffee, music, and kayaking for my son. I’m sure the determination of all involved will one day get it back to working order, well I hope so, and wish you all the best in achieving this. Glad to hear no-one was hurt!
    And thanks to Paul for his news of what goes on on Raasay.


    Comment by Frances — January 24, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

  57. hello
    I couldn’t believe this, I have such good memories of the big house when i was younger visiting family in Clachan. These are the only pictures that show the true nature of it. The Rathairseach spirit will win through though im sure and something good can come out of it all.


    Comment by Ceitidh — January 25, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

    • Hi Ceitidh,
      I’m sure your right, I was speaking to someone involved with the project today and that’s exactly what he said.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 25, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  58. Dear David, Lyn and Freya,
    Just wanted to add my support and let you know I’m thinking of you all.
    Believe in the future and all will be well!
    Love from Sheila

    Comment by sheila mackenzie — January 26, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

  59. Sorry to hear about the House. We’ve visited Raasay for the last two summers with our children and watched the house regrow…how sad that there has been such a setback.
    Mairi Watson

    Comment by Mairi Watson — January 30, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

    • Hi Mairi,

      I’m sure Lyn and all the Raasay house team appreciate your comments, the mood is positive and it’ll be up and running again before long I’m sure.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

      • Hi paul, im so sorry to hear about Raasay house its absolutly devastating news! I dont know if you remember me but I worked for annie for a while when she first set up the heavy horse centre. Its thanks to you that I met a great bunch of friends through the highlands including fred and irene etc. I strongly remember the bbq you had in honor of me leaving the island and the many nights spent at Raasay house pub lol. I hope you are well and again please let me send my heart felt sorrow for the islands loss and I look forward to visiting soon seeing a refurbished working house. If you all need a bit of man power to help I would be more than happy to oblige. take care Lucie shanks

        Comment by Lucie shanks — August 25, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

      • Lucie, how could I ever forget you! anyway you’ll be pleased to learn that Raasay House is going to rise from the ashes.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 26, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

      • Hi Paul,i will be sure to pop by and see you the next time i’m visiting raasay…I look forward to seeing the old house up and running!! lou

        Comment by lucie shanks — September 22, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

  60. We are so sorry to hear about Raasay House. We hope it is only a setback and that all will be full steam ahead soon. Keep in touch with your American family.
    Joseph and Sharon McLeod

    Comment by Sharon McLeod — February 2, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  61. I have known Raasay since i was a boy -my grandmother came from there and have spent many summers there. What sad sad news about Raasay House – I do hope that they rebuild the grand old lady. Truly a sad day for the island but from the ashes maybe good will come – I hope so.


    Comment by Iain Morrison — March 22, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    • Hi Iain,

      I’m sure it will be re built, after all it’s not the first time it’s been burned down. Hopefully when it is it will a warmer and more efficient building,

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 23, 2009 @ 6:21 am

  62. Hi David and Freya,
    Finn’s first nanny, I had the best summer of my life with you at Raasay House, It was like a spiritual home, it has stayed with me and changed me. My heart like so many others broke on jan 18. Please keep going.

    Comment by Heather Grenfell — March 31, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  63. Have only just found out about the fire from the website and am devastated. The island has been a much loved refuge nearly every year for nearly 30 years and the impact of this on Raasay and its community really gets to me. We were so looking forward to seeing the renovated house this summer but know that it will rise again. Very glad that the hotel will act as a temporary centre for the activities and the cafe.
    Hold fast to that which is good and keep on with determination.
    Will be back in a few weeks.

    Comment by Sue — April 10, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  64. i realise that i’m a bit behind the times but i’ve just found out about the fire. It came as a shock…. I worked as a chef there I was on a course with major lidden and before that I played for years in the garden and the boarded up house. I was so happy that lynne roe and david managed to bring new life to the place and i hope that they can do the same thing again. I’m coming home this year with my family and I wanted to show them raasay house as it was such an important part of my childhood and adolesence…… so much has changed in the last 10 years, I don’t know if i’ll recognise the place P.S if you could take a picture of 9 clachan i’d love to see the old house

    Comment by norman macleod macdonald — June 2, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    • Good Morning Norman,

      I think Raasay house has had a big influence on many live’s, indeed my wife came indirectly via the Outdoor Centre :-), photo on the way.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 4, 2009 @ 5:42 am

  65. just read about the fire at raasay house, i stayed in the house in the mid 80s when it was the adventure school trust,it would be a travesty not to rebuild this piece of scottish heritage,i do hope our goverment dig deep to restore it(maybe one can claim it on their expense account)i would like to hear from anyone who stayed there in march 83/84..riles..(crowbar)

    Comment by ian reilly — June 11, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

    • I was on the course with you “Crowbar” then and I remember you showing me a card trick, which I try out on people now and again…badly!
      I’m still here on Raasay as the taxi from Orkney took me back in 1984 and never returned for me!
      A lot of changes over the years.
      Would be good to welcome you back sometime
      All the best David

      Comment by David Croy — June 22, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  66. That was a shame i hope it can be sorted what a good job the lifeboat done hope it does not cost a lot of money to get it sorted

    Comment by Ross Martin — July 26, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

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