Street Names of Stornoway (part 2 of many)

13 03 2009

Churchill Drive: Named, as you would expect, after Winston Churchill, Britain’s famous wartime Prime Minister. Churchill also had a strong connection with Stornoway and was a familiar face in the pubs of the town.

Shortly after Churchill retired from the army (where he served as a Cavalry officer), he moved to Stornoway to take up a job on a fishing boat. Churchill had his sights set firmly on becoming First Lord of the Admiralty and felt that a few years working on a Stornoway trawler would provide him with the necessary experience. His Cavalry officer training also came in very handy when he helped out in his spare time with Kenny Henderson (a local coach-hire) as a coachman and stable hand.

His famous wartime statement was also developed in Stornoway following a fracas outside the Star Inn, where the crew of his trawler fell out with the crew of a boat from Fraserburgh. ‘We will fight them on South Beach!’ he was said to have exclaimed, whilst running out of the Star with a pint glass.

Queensland Road: This street was given an Australian sounding name as it was originally a penal colony for wrong doers from the town.

Kennedy Terrace: Named after well known Gaelic singer Calum Kennedy, although many people think it was named after his first cousin, John F. Kennedy, one time President of the United States.

JFK used to come over to Lewis regularly to visit cousin Calum and, unknown to many, was a fluent Gaelic speaker. JFK even sang with the Lochs Gaelic Choir at the 1955 Mod. Rumours persist to this day that he was assassinated by members of the Point Gaelic Choir for criticising their winning ‘puirt a beal’ Calum Kennedy himself used to have a loom-shed at the weavers colony at Kennedy Terrace, where JFK would help fill the bobbans.

Readers will no doubt recall Calum Kennedy’s world famous song ‘Lovely Stornoway’. We are privileged to be able to bring you a translation of the long lost ‘final verse’ which may or may not have contributed to the JFK ‘Rudhach hitman’ conspiracy theory.

‘Make your way to Stornoway,but don’t go further than Broadbay, the Point Choir just cause dismay, in lovely Stornoway’