The following poem was written to commemorate the flitting of the last person to leave Auchtachoan – a small settlement in the hills behind Carry Farm which can be reached from a woodland path at the end of Carry Woods running up the side of the burn. Make sure you find time to explore the ruins in May when the bluebells are out and the walk up the hill at the side of the gorge is a stunning carpet of flowers. The ‘flitting’ from Auchtachoan took place around 100 years ago, relatively recently despite the state of the ruins, and is described brilliantly in this poem.
The Queen’s flitting from Auchtachoan
The little croft of Auchtachoan sits snugly in the hills
Quite beautiful in summer time but bleak in winter chills
The house is damp and draughty and the roof lets in the rain
Which hurts Queen Nelly sorely for she gets rheumatic pains.
She has a talk with second son, the mighty Kaiser King
Who says they’ll get another home, and move out in the spring.
So to Millhouse first Lairdy’s sent on his good old trusty bike
Where he finds an empty cottage, with toilet behind a dyke.
He cycles back to his mother Queen , and says the rent is low.
So there and then she makes up her mind to have a party before they go.
Prince Donald known as Bullover asked all their friends to come
At 2 o’clock the very next day as a send off for his Mum.
Gracie Whyte the Princess had prepared some rabbit stew
To feed the crowd when they arrived washed down with Barley Brew.
They came along from the Camp and Point and some too from the Ferry,
From Glenachoul and Kildavaig, just to make the party merry.
They brought the Queen so many gifts to celebrate the flitting
Some home made wine, some potted heads and lots of lovely knitting.
Nelly thanked them for the gifts and for their kindly wishes.
And when the guests had all gone home made Kaiser wash the dishes.
Next day the Queen told all her brood, we don’t want to tarry
See Jimmy Fletcher from the farm, get a horse and cart from Carry.
Then they travelled past Blair’s Ferry and up across the Moss
To reach the house that Lairdy found a few yards from the Cross.
The Millhouse folk, now Nelly’s here, know her as Mrs Whyte
But that is during daytime and never late at night
For when they are sitting round the fire and in the house alone
She’s know as she has always been
THE QUEEN OF AUCHTACHOAN.
Auchtachoan is spelt Achadachoun on modern OS maps, Achaldachoun or Achadlakennon on older maps and variations on Achetychuin on old charters etc.