< Salt and Light Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Echoes of the past in Glebe House, Tarbet

The ‘Story on Bikes’ reached Tarbet, Loch Lomond on a sunny Sunday, after a morning cycling up the western side of Loch Lomond. Glebe House is a beautiful guest house now, sitting up the hill in Tarbet looking over the loch to Ben Lomond. In Mamie’s day, it was the manse, occupied by her family while her father was the local minister, and in her letters she describes the frequent visitors. It’s a warm and welcoming house and Bernadette Rainey, the owner, made sure the cyclists were comfortable for their picnic lunch.

Mary Haggerty from the local heritage group, called in for a short visit . She had encouraged Margaret Sinclair in her last writing project, towards the end of her life, a short history of Mamie’s family in the manse. As the sun sparkled on the loch, it was easy to imagine how Mamie and Jack loved the Lake in Malawi . This was a very special lunch stop for the Mamie Martin ‘Story on Bikes’.

Looking backwards and forwards

The Mamie Martin Fund Trustees are using their unexpected spare time in sharing more parts of Salt and Light. Salt and Light, written by Margaret Sinclair, Jack and Mamie’s daughter, tells the story of their time in Malawi in the 1920s through their diaries and letters home to Scotland. In the third extract to be recorded, Mariot Dallas, one of Mamie’s granddaughters, reads an extract from 1922 when Mamie reflects on being made matron of a boys’ school. She was to use that experience later in her work for girls’ education, for which she saw a great need early on in her time in Malawi. 

The other extracts are on this site under ‘Stories‘ on our menu. We will be adding to them, using our ‘lockdown’ time productively. We are also using that time to complete a booklet with some extracts from Salt and Light and offering corresponding information about the present-day situation between Scotland and Malawi. This booklet will be ready for Story on Bikes, a cycling project that we hope can go ahead in early August. We all need to bide our time just now, thanks for reading our posts in the meantime. Stay safe!

Forth Valley Trefoil

On March 6th Mariot was invited to speak to the Girlguiding Forth Valley East Trefoil Guild about Mamie Martin’s history and work in Malawi. The members of this group, which is a branch of Girlguiding, support the Guide ethos, including the pledge to help others. There were about twenty women at the meeting – several already had a Malawi connection and the theme of empowering women and girls is close to their hearts.


Mariot spoke about Mamie Martin Then and Now, starting from the story of Mamie and Jack in the 1920s, illustrated by extracts from ‘Salt and Light’, then moving on to Margaret and John starting the fund and our present day work. The Trefoilers were an attentive audience and there were interesting questions and discussions over a cup of tea. There was an opportunity for the ladies to take away our leaflet and bookmark or to buy some Scotland Street coffee.