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31 August 2022

The local beach alongside the main settlement of Eriskay, Balla (Am Baile) beach is small but interesting, and on this calm summer evening it was the perfect spot to end my beach-hopping … not least because it sits just in front of Balla’s iconic pub, Am Politician. The SS Politician was a cargo ship which ran aground off Eriskay in 1941, prompting local fisherman to ‘salvage’ (or ‘acquire’!) its load of 22,000 bottles of malt whisky and distribute them across the island. The event inspired Compton Mackenzie’s book Whisky Galore!, which was later made into a film of the same name. Many of the artefacts from the ship are on display in the pub. After a stroll along the beach, notable for its tiny pink shells, I popped in for a shandy and a pack of scampi fries in the pub’s garden looking out to sea.