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Fortrose & Rosemarkie Image Library

Cairds Cave c1920?
The Fortrose & Rosemarkie Image Library
Cairds Cave c1920?

This picture is often wrongly described as 'Captain' & Mrs Devine at Cairds Cave.
Picture added on 24 February 2013 at 00:10
Comments:
COPYRIGHT GROAM HOUSE MUSEUM. This picture does not show Cairds Cave or, I believe, 'Captain' Devine. He was considered a tinker but also wrote verse (would love to read some!) and may have had a military past in his youth - but why the inverted commas around Captain?

The small figure on the left is described as 'The Maid at Kincurdie' on one print of this picture. The seated figure is I think Mrs Devine. Look at her legs and you will not see any divide into breeks. She is sitting on a lot of surplus fabric so this is much more likely to be a skirt. Something shiny - brooch or button - at her throat is catching the light, she has a waist and her striped blouse has gathered sleeves. She is sitting awkwardly, with one hand gently placed on her knee and the other on the handle of a tool. Men of the time tended to stand up and stare into the lense. The hat may be mannish but appears to be tied on with a scarf and could have been worn by either gender.

The dark space between the figures is a bender built opposite or near Cairds Cave with its back to the sea to keep out the weather. It slopes round to the right and ends with a pole to give height within.

In the picture there is much to show how they lived: pots and pans (for mending or for use - they also sharpened knives), tools with perhaps new hazel handles, a primitive wheelbarrow made from a bike wheel, coppiced hazel logs under the old lady's seat to dry out. There is also a big double twist of hazel, perhaps the start of another structure or a repair. The hazel on the slopes near Cairds Cave shows signs of coppicing from about 100 years ago.

Could 'Captain' Devine have camped at Cairds Cave as he had something to do with the 'wee ferry' - ferrying the summer salmon fishers heading for Hillockhead and Eathie around Skart Craig when the tide was up? His home would have been within hailing distance of the cliffs. Hypothesis - but the beach was much more of a thoroughfare than it is now and it would explain the inverted commas. More thoughts welcome!
Added by Verity Walker on 24 February 2013
MY MOTHER TOLD ME HIS FULL NAME WAS;HUGH DIVINE DIVANNIE.Lots of stories circulate of these folks exisistance in the cave but does anyone really know?Added by J.REDDIGAN 4/4/13/.
Added by JOHNREDDIGAN on 04 April 2013
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