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When the Three-Wheeled Morgan Made Its Debut in Berneray
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When the Three-Wheeled Morgan Made Its Debut in Berneray

The Hebridean Island of Berneray experienced quite a stir in the year 1993, when a never before seen three-wheeled Morgan appeared there for the first time. Although the island of Berneray is today a tourist hub, with the most eye-catching sights being found there, back in the day, this was the first motor car to make a debut in this quaint island.

Going back through time

The first records of this three-wheeled Morgan actually show that it first made its appearance in the city of Glasgow in 1923. It would be two years later when someone would buy it in Inverness.

The original owner was a man named James Donald Scoular, who would go on to sell the vehicle to Finlay Patterson in 1931. This would be when the three-wheeled Morgan would finally come to make its debut in Berneray.

How did the scene unfold?

Well-known merchant, Finlay Patterson, became the owner of this fine machine. He was a JP from Berneray, who was also known for bringing the first motorised boat to the island. Although the Morgan was just a Runabout model, it did not take long to turn it into the most sought- after thing in the region. Soon, prospective brides were getting in touch with Patterson to hire his car for their weddings.

After the death of Finlay Patterson, his daughter, Bessie, left the car in a wooden shed, not wanting it any longer. It was only when Lawrie Sutherland, an officer from Edinburgh, was informed about the vehicle by a fellow officer that the restoration process began.

The shed that has housed the vehicle had blown away, making Sutherland travel way up North to find it. The wooden garage that had housed the car had been on the edge of the Atlantic. On reaching the shed, Lawrie found that the garage had collapsed long ago and the classic two-seater had been exposed to the elements of nature.

Digging the car free took Sutherland about two hours. He realised that the car was in a bad state, but after going over it, he decided to restore it and told Bessie that if he ever managed to do so, he would bring it back to show her.

Bessie not being a big fan of cars told Sutherland that he could have the car if he managed to restore it. The papers were handed over to him and in March 2000 the car was finally given over to the National Museums Scotland.

The current scenario

It was only after it was restored and brought back to shape by Sutherland, that the car was sent back to its first home in the Hebrides. Now, so many years down the line, this classic beauty is now nesting at the Lews Castle Museum, located in Stornoway.

Thus, this three-wheeled Morgan that made its debut in Berneray, way back in 1993, now occupies a place of honour in the Lews Castle Museum. It is placed in an exhibit that was recently graced by the presence of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and it continues to catch the eye of every visitor that passes by.

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