Polly: The True Story Behind 'Whisky Galore'

Paperback Published on: 07/03/2024
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Early on a wartime winter’s morning in 1941, the 8,000-ton cargo ship SS Politician ran aground in the beautiful but treacherous seas of Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Among its cargo were 260,000 bottles of whisky destined for the American market – a godsend to the local Eriskay islanders whose home-grown supply had dried up due to wartime rationing.

News quickly spread and boats came from as far as Lewis, and before local excise officer Charles McColl could intervene, more than 24,000 bottles had been 'rescued'. Villages were raided as bottles of whisky were hidden in the most ingenious ways – or simply drunk to get rid of the evidence. Meanwhile, official salvage operations foundered, and in order to pre-vent what the islanders themselves regarded as legitimate salvage, the hull of the Politician was dynamited.

The story is well known through Compton Mackenzie’s bestselling book Whisky Galore and the famous 1949 Ealing comedy of the same name. In this book, acclaimed journalist and Hebridean expert Roger Hutchinson tells the true story of one of the most bizarre events ever to have happened in Scottish waters.

  • Publisher: Birlinn General
  • ISBN: 9781780278506
  • Number of pages: 176
  • Weight: 173g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 10 mm

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