The Wee Mad Road
by Jack and Barbara Maloney

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From Those Who know
We’re always eager to hear from readers-and especially treasure these e-mails from the few who really know the little world at the end of The Wee Mad Road:
Dear Jack & Barbara-
Do not know when I last enjoyed a book so much, the local characters were all known to me. I owned the newsagents at the pierhead in Ullapool, also the hardware store. Both Alasdair West and Ian Roll were well known to me and were good customers over the years. Memory tells me that there was a saying: "There was many a more enjoyable funeral in Achiltibuie than a wedding in Ullapool" !!!
You mentioned Ian varnishing his boat. He came to me for advice on which brand of varnish to purchase. I recommended Spinnaker or Blue Peter and told him they were pretty equal in popularity but I used Spinnaker on my yacht "Silvander" – so-o-o-o he settled on Spinnaker and ordered some gallons. When I checked stocks I found I was short on the chosen brand so sent him Blue Peter. Account was rendered after normal 30 days and again after 60 days, with no reply!!! Ian came into the hardware some time later and I brought up the subject of the long overdue account. He replied that he was pleased with the result but I had not sent him the recommended brand! That was Ian in his droll quiet way. He did of course pay up eventually.
I sincerely hope I was not the driver of the Bentley in your story on the Achilitbuie road, as I at one time owned a Bentley in Ullapool Thanks for a wonderful book of youthful memories for an expat born in 1929 at the head of Lochbroom son of a Crofter/fisherman. Slainte mha!
Angus Mackenzie, Upstate NY

Dear Maloneys-
I loved it! I knew so many of the people you wrote about (and now so many of them are gone). Donnie Roll was in school with me on the same class in Ullapool and now Donnie and Hilary are both gone (and Ian Roll). I was born and brought up in Strathkanaird, went to Ullapool school and now live and work in Inverness. But I get back to Coigach a few times a year and I know ‘The Manager’ well. There are so few of the original natives left that it is difficult to remember just who is who in going about Coigach. But your pen portraits have brought memories back of a way of life that is fast fading. I do thank you for the photographic 'fixer' which you have used - which will endure.
Regards, Kenneth J B S MacLeod, Inverness, Scotland

Dear Jack & Barbara-
We've never met but I 've heard a lot about you and was thrilled to be given your book to look at while I was in Polbain last week. My granny's house is the one beautifully illustrated on the back cover of your Wee Mad Road book, two doors down from Castlehill. I've spent the last 10 years doing it up and return as often as I can and let it to visitors all round the year. Your book brought back so many memories of people that I knew so well, having spent all my summers there for the last 54 years. Many thanks for such a great read .You truly built a picture of the place and it's people.
Joyce Ingledew, U.K

Dear Jack & Barbara-
Having recently returned from Altandhu where Mrs Muir and others told me of your book, I ordered a copy. I don’t often read an entire book in one sitting but with recent memories still in my mind, I sat up well into the wee hours, enjoying hearing of your adventures and perspective.
My husband Tim’s parents bought a croft in Altandhu in 1978, Simon Mackenzie’s original home, with wonderful views over Ristol and the Summer Isles. Fortunately the family have held on to the croft and we have all enjoyed many happy times spent there. I recognized many of the people and places you refer to. Altandhu and surrounds have and always will be the special place we go to, take off our watches, and enjoy the everchanging scenery in that magical place where time stands still.
Kind regards, Sheena High (nee Mackenzie), Minnesota

Dear Barbara and Jack-
We really enjoyed reading it, the illustrations are fantastic, everyone extremely recognizable. You are both still household names in Achiltibuie, remembered by many of the local people, our children have very fond memories of you both. Many thanks for the book, we will treasure it, pass it on to our children and grandchildren.
Love, Anne & Iain Campbell, Polglass, Scotland

Life in Coigach  •   Why the Wee Mad Road?  •   About Us  •   Send A Comment  •   Coigach Website
A Story from Coigach  •   A Lost Story  •   WMR Blog  •   Coigach People  •   Buy the Book!