In the next 10 pages – including 9 antique photographs - we reproduce a fascinating booklet published by The Members of The Tayvallich S.W.R.I. (Scottish Women’s Rural Institute) in 1989.
It is remarkable how much has changed in a little more than a decade since the History was first published when it was recorded that the primary school role had been reduced to only twelve and “We are, alas, not only a declining but ageing population.” We are glad to report that as at Christmas 2000, the school role has increased to twenty-five in our very excellent village school.
Over the last decade there has been a significant expansion in the housing stock, notably on the site of the former Caravan Park on the road from Tayvallich to Carsaig and in the redevelopment of the former ‘Carsaig Farm’. New families with young children have moved to the village able to continue their professions in an area no longer so remote thanks to the much-improved road from Lochgilphead to Glasgow and the introduction of The Internet. With an easy 2 hours drive to Glasgow Airport and instant worldwide communications, residents can enjoy an idyllic lifestyle fully connected to the global economy. Over this last decade other families have bought properties in the area as holiday homes and many have become very regular visitors indeed, and have themselves become part of the now vibrant community: some of these are actively planning to move here on a permanent basis. This has all helped to move the Community from a situation of long-term decline to one of sustainable prosperity – and explains the doubling of the school role.
The downside to these favourable developments is that the demand for permanent accommodation in Tayvallich and Carsaig has outstripped the supply, and the price of property has increased very significantly since 1996/97 so that good properties in Tayvallich and Carsaig have almost become a fashion icon which is already making it very difficult for the young people of the village to stay here when they finish their studies. Perhaps they will have to make their own way in the cities of the world before they return.
Farming, fishing and forestry remain important but are outweighed by the attraction of Tayvallich as a dormitory village to local government jobs in Lochgilphead, a practical base for artists, businessmen, and probably above all, tourism.