Weaving through history at Cairnbaan camp

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A postcard dating from around 80 years ago continues to generate interest among readers of the Argyllshire Advertiser.

Published earlier this month in the paper, Lochgilphead’s Archie McAllister brought in the postcard showing Cairnbaan labour camp.  Originally owned by Archie’s father, the postcard is believed to date from the late 1930s, shortly before the start of the Second World War when it was converted to a Prisoner of War camp.

The photograph last week prompted memories for Inveraray man Niall Iain MacLean, who told the Advertiser tales of his Kilmartin childhood and an escaped Italian prisoner who evaded the Home Guard only to be defeated by the Argyll weather.

Since then another reader, Dai West of Ardrishaig, has called into the Argyllshire Advertiser offices with another postcard – this time featuring a scene from the inside of the camp.

Cairnbaan Camp in the 1930s
Archie McAllister’s postcard of Cairnbaan camp

A collector of postcards since he was a child, Mr West these days focuses on cards with scenes from Ardrishaig and the Crinan Canal. This particular example was found on Ebay a number of years back and has the title ‘Handloom weaving Cairnbaan’ on the front.

‘I don’t know when the picture would have been taken, but I believe it’s the camp at Cairnbaan,’ explained Mr West.

Can you shed any more light on the story behind this photograph?

Let us know at the Argyllshire Advertiser using the contact details on this page.