.jump-link{ display:none }

Friday, 6 May 2016

Sepia Saturday - One Lost Sheep

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories  through photographs.

I live in the Scottish Borders. a rural area of rolling hills and  where there are said to be 14 sheep for every person. 

Here is a mixture  of thoughts and memories  about this week's prompt.  

One lost sheep - photographed on holiday on the Isle of Mull
Mull like many parts of the Scottish Highlands.  suffered in the 18th and 19th centuries under the major movement known as  The Highland Clearances, when families were forcibly evicted from their tenant property to make way for sheep rearing - acts largely carried out by  aristocratic, often absentee,  landowners. 

The Clearances were a complex series of events and remain an emotive and controversial subject still today. They resulted in significant emigration.  On Mull the population was reduced by two thirds , with  the collapse of the island economy.   

 A romantic view of a Highland sheep farmer, painted by Rosa Bonheur c.1860

Back to the south of Scotland, and (below) The Ram Statue in the High Street of  Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.   It was presented to the town in 1875  by local businessman  William Colvin,  as a symbol of  the town's links with  sheep farming.

 Product Details
This sign is a familiar one in rural Scotland, especially on single track roads, where sheep graze by the roadside  and wander at will.  

Finally,  sheep remind me of an anthem I first sang in the  school choir:  "All in the April Evening".  The words were written by Katherine Tynan (1861-1931)  and set to music by Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952), a Scottish composer and leading choral director, who founded  the Glasgow Orpheus Choir. The choir's  recording of the work remained popular for many years and was frequently played on the radio.  Perhaps the words do not echo today's sentiments, but the music  is beautiful and moving to sing. 
All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road.

The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road;
All in the April evening
I thought on the Lamb of God.

The lambs were weary and crying
With a weak, human cry.
I thought on the Lamb of God
Going meekly to die.

Up in the blue, blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet;
Rest for the little bodies,
Rest for the little feet. 

Below another musical  link with "Sheep May Safely Graze" by J. S. Bach and happy memories of  a weekend break at this hotel on the banks of Loch Awe  near Oban in the west  of Scotland, where sheep roamed in the grounds   

Click HERE to discover more sheep stories from fellow Sepia Saturday bloggers.


  1. The sheep sign made me smile and reminded me of similar signs in Australia, although they portray kangaroos and koalas! There are plenty of sheep in Somerset (where I live), but they are all fenced in hence no need for signs.
    Thank you for the link to the music, I have it playing as I type this comment it is very beautiful.

    1. Thank you for such a quick response, Barbara. I am pleased that, like me, you enjoy the recording.

  2. There are a few sheep farmers in Canada. In Banff National Park there are wild mountain sheep. People started feeding them now they block the roads and go up to cars looking for food. Why do people not heed the signs that say no feeding??
    In Arizona where we go in the winter there are some wild mountain sheep too. A place where we used to like to go with the jeep in the washes was taken over by the sheep for lambing - so that area was closed to jeepers (you could say it was a clearance of sorts haha) and now we have to go miles around and in the back way. Once in a while we see the on the hills over the rv park.

  3. Thanks for the link to the Glasgow Orpheus Choir - what a peaceful and calming piece of music. I have to read more about the Highland Clearances.
    14 sheep for every person sounds about right!

  4. Nicely done - tying such appropriate music to the prompt, you clever girl. ;)

  5. I see we have similar photos of sheep/goat statues.

  6. "All in the April Evening" is lovely--not only as music, but as a turn of phrase. And Sheep May Safely Graze is one of my long-time favorites...great post.

  7. I love the Bach "And Sheep May Safely Graze". It looks a lovely hotel on the banks of Loch Awe.

  8. Two beautiful pieces of music and a reminder how important those sheep were to the livelihood of many towns.

  9. I have read about the evictions of the people to make room for sheep grazing. Such cruel, selfish decisions to make,the people had no say. Not the good old times!

  10. I like the "bookend" photos of the sheep on the rocks and the statue of the ram on the rocks. Actually, I really liked everything about this post. Nicely done.

  11. Thank you to everyone for your kind comments.

  12. Very interesting post! The music was beautiful, but it sure was sad!
    Barbara Finwall

  13. Sheep wander the roads through the North Yorkshire Moors although I've never seen a warning sign - or a dead sheep for that matter.


Thank you for your comment which will appear on screen after moderation.