Township: Sandaig

Map Reference: Sandaig e

Name Type: house

Meaning: The house of John MacDonald (known as 'Beegee').

Other Forms: Taigh Iain Dhòmhnallaich - DMcK

Taigh an Fhìdhleir - Willie MacLean, Balinoe, 9/2006

Related Places:

Information:Bailtean is Ath-Ghairmean, Townships and Echoes by Niall M Brownlie, Argyll Publishing, 1995, p 64:
Sandaig had a famous seer by the name of John MacKinnon. Stories of his premonitions are still told on the island. He had a son Donald who was an exceptionally fine fiddle player and who was referred to on the island as 'am Fidhlear' ('the Fiddler).

Four men set out from Port na Luinge in Balemartine for the Ross of Mull to collect peats in a smack. They were there for five days but wanted to return to Tiree for a wedding to have a dram. The day they wanted to return there was a stoirm dearg and they looked out to sea realising that they were not going to get back for the celebrations. A man came up to them on the quay and said he was from Tiree too and wanted to get back to Tiree as well. None of the crew recognised him. “It doesn’t look good but why don’t we go out of the bay to have a look at the weather,” proposed the stranger. The crew agreed to this and the mysterious stranger went to get his oilskins. The man was very particular about where the crew was to sit and took all but three ballast sacks out. The crew looked at each other and whispered “Who is this man?” but he had an authority about him and they went along with him. He set two reefs in the sail and set out from the quay. When they had gone out a short distance the stranger said, “I think we’ll make it to Tiree today” and they set off with the stranger at the helm. The boat was riding the sea so well that the crew were completely dry and were even able to light their pipes! The stranger looked around and said that the tide would start to ebb (sruth traghaidh) which would take them straight to Tiree in a quarter of an hour. 15 minutes later he released one of the reefs and the boat creamed through the water on a beeline course for Balemartine. The stranger said he didn’t know the harbour at Port na Luinge and asked one of the crew to take the boat in. As soon as the boat slid up onto the sand the stranger hopped over the side and strode away up the bank and away without a word. Eoghann Lang was on the beach and the crew asked him who the man was. “That was Fidhlear Sanndaig, one of the most famous sailors on the island.” And that night they saw him playing the fiddle at the wedding. Willie MacLean, Balinoe, 4/06

Fidhlear Shanndaig was the father of 'Beegee' - WMcL.

Later became the Thatched House Museum.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Donald MacKinnon (Donald the Plumber), Sandaig.

Informant 2: Willie MacLean, Balinoe, 9/2006