He has previously framed the derelict beauty of abandoned crofts in the Outer Hebrides. Now John Maher has turned his camera on another aspect of the islands’ past – the lost post offices.
Maher, 61, who lives on Harris, said: “The recent demolition of the old post office in Ardhasaig on Harris prompted me to look back at some of the other post offices I’ve photographed in Harris and Lewis.”
He started photographing the old post offices in 2009 and the following year he took a picture of the Scarista post office while it was still operating on a part-time basis – opening a few hours a day, two or three days a week.
Maher, the former drummer with punk legends Buzzcocks, said: “I have photographed about a dozen of these old post offices now – but sadly some are no longer there. So the photographs have become historical records.
“These little old post offices provided vital services to their local communities. It was a big day out for children to be taken to their postie to get sweets once-a-week for instance. They were also surprising in what they sold. One old post office I photographed on Harris even had hundreds of pairs of black shoelaces still left in it.
“Another used the slogan ‘everything from nylons to barbed wire!
“They were social meeting places and so many have now disappeared. I am glad that I managed to photograph them before they were demolished.”
Maher said he hoped that many would feature in a future themed exhibition. The Ardhasaig post office was a local landmark.
“Unfortunately the cute little former post office in Amhuinnsuidhe is no more too,” he said.
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