In addition to jerseys, ponies and Bonnie Prince Charlie, Eriskay’s other claim to fame came in 1941 when the 8000-ton SS Politician or Polly as it’s fondly known, sank on its way from Liverpool to Jamaica, along with its cargo of bicycle parts, £3 million in Jamaican currency and 264,000 bottles of whisky, inspiring Compton MacKenzie’s book – and the Ealing comedy (filmed here in 1948) – Whisky Galore! (released in the US as Tight Little Island). The real story was somewhat less romantic, especially for the nineteen islanders imprisoned in Inverness for helping themselves to the whisky. The ship’s stern can still be seen to the northwest of Calvey Island at low tide, and one of the original bottles (and lots of other related memorabilia) is on show in the island’s modern pub, Am Politician, on the west coast.

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