With the 30th anniversary of John Lorne Campbell’s gift of the Isle of Canna to the National Trust for Scotland approaching and the opening of Canna House for the first time to visitors, how privileged we were to hear Frances Faux playing Margaret Fay Shaw’s Steinway piano.

Margaret bought the instrument with money she received on her wedding to John in 1935 and it first graced the living room of the corregated iron house, their first married home,  at Northbay, Barra, before making the trip to Canna in 1938.

Magda brought Frances Margaret’s Folksong and Folklore of South Uist and from it she played one of Margaret’s favourites, An Gille Donn, first taken down by Margaret in the 1920s from Peigi MacRae and Angus John Campbell. It is a haunting air, a lament by a girl for a brown-haired youth with smiling eyes drowned in the Sound of Canna.

Afterwards Fay Young read Kathleen Raine’s A Valentine for John and Margaret, which describes the room, little changed since she sat there waiting to play her card in 1978:

The newspapers and magazines have long since yellowed, the ash trays have been emptied and cleaned and the bottles cleared away. And, of course, John and Margaret are not there to hold it all together, but if you visit Canna House this summer, you’ll recognise the room they left – as if only yesterday.