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TITLE
Highland Railway memories
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_SANDYMCBEY_01
PLACENAME
Keith
DATE OF RECORDING
1991
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Sandy McBey
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1786
KEYWORDS
railways
engines
audio

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The Highland Railway company provided services between Perth, Inverness, Elgin, Keith, Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso, and Wick. It was officially formed in 1865 by a series of amalgamations with smaller, local lines. In this audio extract, a former Highland Railway employee recalls his duties as a cleaner. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.

Well, I started the 31st July in 1917, an I started as a cleaner in Keith, an wur hours were twelve hours a day; Sunday, Monday, every day o the week, for twelve shillins a week. Every driver there hid their own engine; the oldest cleaner used to clean the engine for the oldest driver. Oh, yes, ye'd to clean them ye know, there's the footplates; they used to wash them wi water before the men would dirty their clothes. Ye'd to buy your own clothes, ye know? Ye never got any dungarees or anythin, ye'd to buy your own.

Interviewer: I remember the cleaners used to do patterns on the tenders with the oil rags.

Aye, but it was the tallow. It was tallow they used to do, an then they worked it round, round an, all over the engine an I'll tell ye one thing, it kept them clean too. Then, when I got a fireman's job, I was twelve hours a day an was eighteen shillins a week an any engine that we got with a bogie tender, which meant four wheeled ye see, we used to have to look after that tender an I got a shillin a week extra

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Highland Railway memories

1990s

railways; engines; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Highland Railway

The Highland Railway company provided services between Perth, Inverness, Elgin, Keith, Kyle of Lochalsh, Thurso, and Wick. It was officially formed in 1865 by a series of amalgamations with smaller, local lines. In this audio extract, a former Highland Railway employee recalls his duties as a cleaner. The extract is from Moray Firth Radio's 'Recollections' series, transmitted in 1991.<br /> <br /> Well, I started the 31st July in 1917, an I started as a cleaner in Keith, an wur hours were twelve hours a day; Sunday, Monday, every day o the week, for twelve shillins a week. Every driver there hid their own engine; the oldest cleaner used to clean the engine for the oldest driver. Oh, yes, ye'd to clean them ye know, there's the footplates; they used to wash them wi water before the men would dirty their clothes. Ye'd to buy your own clothes, ye know? Ye never got any dungarees or anythin, ye'd to buy your own. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: I remember the cleaners used to do patterns on the tenders with the oil rags.<br /> <br /> Aye, but it was the tallow. It was tallow they used to do, an then they worked it round, round an, all over the engine an I'll tell ye one thing, it kept them clean too. Then, when I got a fireman's job, I was twelve hours a day an was eighteen shillins a week an any engine that we got with a bogie tender, which meant four wheeled ye see, we used to have to look after that tender an I got a shillin a week extra