High Tide has been in the Duncan family since 1937, when it was built by Thomas George McGill Duncan, aka ‘Grandpa Duncan’, or ‘Tiger’. His bust currently sits on the shelf just inside the main door of the hut. He was a gifted amateur artist and is responsible for many of the paintings on the walls at High Tide.
During a holiday at Carrick Shore in 1937, Grandpa Duncan applied to the local estate owner, Mrs Murray-Usher, to erect a holiday hut at the other end of the beach from The Square Hut, where the family were having their holiday.
Permission was granted, and a lease was organised, but the site was challenging, virtually a large hole at the other end of the beach between Truda and Square Hut.
Nothing daunted, Grandpa Duncan found a suitable building, the office from an old joiners yard. But how to get it to Carrick shore? The building was cut into three pieces and made ready for transport by lorry.
A local carrier was employed to move the sections from the yard to Carrick. However upon arrival at Carrick the driver refused to cross the little bridge across the Trout Burn, fearing the combined weight of the lorry and the building would collapse the bridge.
Each section had to be carried by Grandpa and his two elder sons (Alastair and Graeme) from the lorry over the bridge and over the 150 yards or so to the site. Foundations (railway sleepers set in concrete) were already in place and the building was then erected on them. This building forms the main central area of the hut to this date.
Originally High Tide was a single room with a ¾ partition at one end screening off a sleeping area. There was a small cooking area with Primus stoves. Lighting was by means of an Aladdin lamp which gave a brilliant light.
It’s hard to imagine perhaps that there used to be no inside toilet; no shower; no running water even (water was collected from the stream at the next bay along, initially in pails with a yoke, then with a roly-poly). No electricity; no gas. Food was kept in a wire safe outside; Aladdin lamps provided the light, and a woodburning stove the heat.
During the 1940’s the first extension was made, a lean-to addition to the landward side of the hut to create a separate bedroom (now the kitchen). Later the bathroom and a second bedroom were added and finally a sunroom (now the main bedroom) was added in the 1960’s.
Over the years many improvements and additions have been made by various members of the Duncan family to give what is now a very comfortable and attractive building with a superb view through a real picture window over Fleet Bay to Murray’s Isles.
In recent years, Adam (married to Anna, one of Tiger’s 4 grandchildren) has significantly improved the structure of the hut.
Tiger and his wife Chris left the hut to their 3 surviving sons, Graeme, Roderick and Niall, and Roderick, the only one to have children, passed it on to his children, Jane, Alastair, Simon and Anna. Currently now owned by Anna and her husband Adam, the whole family still uses it regularly and are delighted to be able to share it with others.