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Whisky Island (clip)

The present and future of Islay and its people

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We see a cargo boat, and barrels being loaded on board. We see a distillery, and bricks of dried peat. We see Mrs Bessie Campbell, Islay's only female distiller, and general shots of the distillery and barrels. We see the town of Bowmore, with shots of young people and he harbour. We see a tractor work the field, and a man explains the growing problem of depopulation on the island. Cows are moved down the street, and there is a montage of vacant homes across the island. An elderly woman explains the lack of work on the island. Men cut peat. We see tourists arrive on the island, and shots of houses occupied only as second homes. There are general shots of the coast and shore, and of the town from the beach. Sheep walk in the middle of the road, and a MacBraynes bus passes. An elderly man walks his dog on the beach. Shots of landscape, of boats at harbour, of a man fishing and a farmer travelling down the road on horse and trap.

Questions & Activities


  • How many people lived on the island?
  • How much is the whisky collectively sold for around the world?
  • What is the secret to Islay Whisky's unique taste?
  • Why do people chose to leave the island of Islay?
  • What does the film suggest is one of the main solutions to depopulation?


Moving Image Education / Tourism: Download and select clips from the film to illustrate the rural life and nature of Islay.

Maths: You have a budget of £250,000 to run a hotel on Islay. Research an income and expenditure cashflow for the business.

Art Design / Moving Image Education: Create a print advert or brochure or TV advert to promote the island of Islay.

Social Studies: Research whether the solutions suggested in the film have worked to combat depopulation in the Highlands.

Science: Research the process and chemistry of how whisky is made.

Creative Writing: Write the story of a child whose family is forced to leave the island to find work.

Creative Writing: Write a dialogue between two characters - one an island dweller and one a city dweller - comparing island and city life.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-573-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T2239
Date 1963
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where Islay
Event Distilling
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 7:00
Film Length 25:09