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TITLE
Memories of Corran Ferry (5 of 6)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_ANNEMACKINTOSH_05
PLACENAME
Corran
DISTRICT
Ardnamurchan
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ARGYLL: Ardgour
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Anne Mackintosh
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
1838
KEYWORDS
ferries
markets
droving
inns
audio

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The Corran Ferry crosses the Corran Narrows in Loch Linnhe, nine miles south of Fort William. The eastern slipway at Nether Lochaber links with the A82 north to Fort William, or south to Ballachulish and Glencoe. The western slipway at Ardgour provides direct access to Ardnamurchan, Morvern and Moidart. The ferry is on an ancient drove route to Central Scotland and is one of the few crossings still in operation today.

In this audio extract, Anne Mackintosh, daughter of former Corran Ferry operator, Jimmy Mackintosh, talks to Bill Sinclair about the importance of the ferry - both past and present.

This little inn where we live was a coaching inn and the stables are still here; the stables are still intact. And we also have an old letter box which is fixed in our kitchen wall, where the mail was posted in the old days.

Interviewer: What date would that be roughly, would you say?

Well, I'm not very sure. It must have been late 19th century when post- when the postal service came to the area. The coaches came down Glencoe and stopped here, changed horses, collected the local mail, and then went on towards Kingussie. They probably had several other changing posts in between. But I should imagine that all the mail from the Ardnamurchan area would come across the ferry in those days.

Interviewer: And it's still coming across. I noticed the postman just today taking the -

Yes.

Interviewer: - bags of mail down to the boat.

This is one of the services of the ferry, the - All the mail goes across here every day and comes from the Ardnamurchan side as well. Just post war I can remember it was a very busy day if there was about nineteen or twenty cars crossed the ferry, and nowadays, in the summer season, it can be up to nearly a thousand in a day. In the summer time the queue for the ferry is up to the main road and causes quite a bit of congestion about here.

Interviewer: Yes, I'm sure it will.

Yes. And it now runs from oh, before eight in the morning till after nine at night in the height of the summer, but in the winter time it's really from dawn till dusk unless, of course, it gets very stormy and then I've seen the ferry boat leaving Ardgour, with cars on, and a gale getting up, and the ferry couldn't land on the Corran side, and it had to go the narrows, and ride out the gale in the mouth of a river round the point, and stayed there for two whole days.

Interviewer: Golly, that was - must have been quite a experience. Could the passengers not even get off without - ?

Oh yes, they got them off in the - when they got round to this river.

Interviewer: The cars would have had to stay on?

The cars had to stay on and the people just waited until the storm abated and they could get back in again. But you can also get a very fast current here, which can be quite dangerous. They haven't had any major accidents at all; they've been very fortunate. And most of the crew on the ferry started with my father - not as far back as 1935 - but the longest serving member of the ferry crew came to work for us in 1945 and he is now the manager, but - And most of the crewmen have been on the ferry for many, many years

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Memories of Corran Ferry (5 of 6)

ARGYLL: Ardgour

1980s; 1990s

ferries; markets; droving; inns; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Corran Ferry

The Corran Ferry crosses the Corran Narrows in Loch Linnhe, nine miles south of Fort William. The eastern slipway at Nether Lochaber links with the A82 north to Fort William, or south to Ballachulish and Glencoe. The western slipway at Ardgour provides direct access to Ardnamurchan, Morvern and Moidart. The ferry is on an ancient drove route to Central Scotland and is one of the few crossings still in operation today. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, Anne Mackintosh, daughter of former Corran Ferry operator, Jimmy Mackintosh, talks to Bill Sinclair about the importance of the ferry - both past and present.<br /> <br /> This little inn where we live was a coaching inn and the stables are still here; the stables are still intact. And we also have an old letter box which is fixed in our kitchen wall, where the mail was posted in the old days. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: What date would that be roughly, would you say?<br /> <br /> Well, I'm not very sure. It must have been late 19th century when post- when the postal service came to the area. The coaches came down Glencoe and stopped here, changed horses, collected the local mail, and then went on towards Kingussie. They probably had several other changing posts in between. But I should imagine that all the mail from the Ardnamurchan area would come across the ferry in those days.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And it's still coming across. I noticed the postman just today taking the -<br /> <br /> Yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: - bags of mail down to the boat.<br /> <br /> This is one of the services of the ferry, the - All the mail goes across here every day and comes from the Ardnamurchan side as well. Just post war I can remember it was a very busy day if there was about nineteen or twenty cars crossed the ferry, and nowadays, in the summer season, it can be up to nearly a thousand in a day. In the summer time the queue for the ferry is up to the main road and causes quite a bit of congestion about here.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes, I'm sure it will.<br /> <br /> Yes. And it now runs from oh, before eight in the morning till after nine at night in the height of the summer, but in the winter time it's really from dawn till dusk unless, of course, it gets very stormy and then I've seen the ferry boat leaving Ardgour, with cars on, and a gale getting up, and the ferry couldn't land on the Corran side, and it had to go the narrows, and ride out the gale in the mouth of a river round the point, and stayed there for two whole days. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Golly, that was - must have been quite a experience. Could the passengers not even get off without - ?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, they got them off in the - when they got round to this river.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: The cars would have had to stay on?<br /> <br /> The cars had to stay on and the people just waited until the storm abated and they could get back in again. But you can also get a very fast current here, which can be quite dangerous. They haven't had any major accidents at all; they've been very fortunate. And most of the crew on the ferry started with my father - not as far back as 1935 - but the longest serving member of the ferry crew came to work for us in 1945 and he is now the manager, but - And most of the crewmen have been on the ferry for many, many years