Old Part - 99 >
In Memory Of
29th August 1900 37 years
9th June 1935 70 years
9th July 1946 81 years
The following is an extract from Scottish Country Life regarding John Lindsay - known locally as Old Lindsay.
SCOTTISH COUNTRY LIFE (Extract from February 1929)
A RURAL CRAFTSMAN AND SCIENTIST
Some of the finest traditions of the type of character of which perhaps the most famous example has been Hugh Miller, the Cromarty mason, geologist, and author, are represented at the present hour in the person of a craftsman who plies his trade in the village of Arroquhar under the shadow of The Cobbler, at the head of Loch Long. John Lindsay is the local soutar or shoemaker, who, with all the pride of his craft, may be found any day waxing his thread and hammering good cow-hide in his workshop in that lovely little Highland village.
As he adjusts his last and grasps his awl and thumbs the edge of the honest leather, Lindsay may be envied for his real satisfaction in turning out a bit of genuine work. But this village shoemaker has many other interests besides those of the craft by which he mainly makes his livelihood. In his youth he was a noted athlete, and as a distance runner more than held his own with the other strapping fellows of a wide region among those Highland lochs and glens. Today, among interests of the open air, he keeps a good strain of Cairn terriers, is a breeder of prize hens, and a noted pigeon fancier, being in frequent request as a judge at pigeon shows. He is also a musician of no little attainment, playing both the bagpipes and the violin with something more than ordinary credit, and he has written both pipe and violin music that carries on not a little of the tradition of the MacCrimmons and the Gows of former centuries in the Highlands. His enthusiasm for music has even led to his taking up the making of violins. These are the product of the small hours, for he starts on the hobby after his day’s work is over, and handles knife and plane and file in the vein of Stradivarius, sometimes till sunrise strikes the steep slopes of The Cobbler across the loch.
To science as well he is a devotee, and as a student of astronomy, botany, and zoology he could give points to not a few more pretentious experts. In this connection he has made with his own hands several telescopes and at least one microscope, with which to explore in turn the marvels of limitless space and the secrets of the minutest organisms. As a naturalist he has made himself an authority on the flora and fauna of a wide region round his home, and is a noted expert in the art of taxidermy and the preserving of collections of butterflies and moths.
Besides all this, in the region of pure literature Lindsay has made research into the Gaelic origins of the place names of the Arrochar district, and has many interesting facts to detail in this connection.
With a record of such varied interests and achievements the Soutar of Arrochar must be held to have lived a life as full and interesting and satisfactory as that of many who have had all the advantages of university training and the resources of costly laboratories to assist them. He must be accorded a place among the men, of whom Scotland has been proud to own a number, who, with the slenderest and most primitive resources, have made themselves masters of the wonders of life, the seers of their districts, and the inspirers of their fellows.
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