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TITLE
Former railway employee, Harry Norman Alderman, 2002
EXTERNAL ID
NRM_NBNW_HML_DS050477
PLACENAME
Dalnaspidal
DISTRICT
Perthshire - Highland
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
PERTH: Blair Atholl
DATE OF IMAGE
20 August 2002
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Lynn Patrick
SOURCE
National Railway Museum, York
ASSET ID
19998
KEYWORDS
railway
railways
Former railway employee, Harry Norman Alderman, 2002

The late Mr Harry Norman Alderman (known as Norrie), was the former signalman at Dalnaspidal. He was photographed on 20 August 2002 standing in front of his home which he built himself in 1950. The house is constructed from railway sleepers. The practice of constructing dwellings and sheds using sleepers was common to the area and many remain standing alongside the Highland main line. They either appear in their natural state or have been what are termed 'rough cast'.

Norman was also a keen gardener and grew a vivid display of foxgloves behind his house and begonias in his greenhouse. Norman worked for the railway for 43 years starting at Dalraddy as a crossing keeper before transferring to Dalnaspidal as the signalman. Originally from Hampshire and a joiner by trade, he served in the Army prior to working on the railway. His Army career ended in Southampton during World War II when the pub he was in was hit by a bomb. Norman was blown clean out of the building and was badly injured, which found him invalided out of the Army.

Dalnaspidal station, goods yard and signal box are closed, and the station buildings derelict. The station footbridge had already been removed and re-erected at Aviemore on the Strathspey Railway. Today, the station buildings have been restored and are in private ownership. Across the tracks the redundant signal box still stands where Norman, the last signalman at Dalnaspidal, worked.

Background
Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.

'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.

We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:

Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.

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Former railway employee, Harry Norman Alderman, 2002

PERTH: Blair Atholl

2000s

railway; railways

National Railway Museum, York

North by Northwest - The Highland Line

The late Mr Harry Norman Alderman (known as Norrie), was the former signalman at Dalnaspidal. He was photographed on 20 August 2002 standing in front of his home which he built himself in 1950. The house is constructed from railway sleepers. The practice of constructing dwellings and sheds using sleepers was common to the area and many remain standing alongside the Highland main line. They either appear in their natural state or have been what are termed 'rough cast'. <br /> <br /> Norman was also a keen gardener and grew a vivid display of foxgloves behind his house and begonias in his greenhouse. Norman worked for the railway for 43 years starting at Dalraddy as a crossing keeper before transferring to Dalnaspidal as the signalman. Originally from Hampshire and a joiner by trade, he served in the Army prior to working on the railway. His Army career ended in Southampton during World War II when the pub he was in was hit by a bomb. Norman was blown clean out of the building and was badly injured, which found him invalided out of the Army.<br /> <br /> Dalnaspidal station, goods yard and signal box are closed, and the station buildings derelict. The station footbridge had already been removed and re-erected at Aviemore on the Strathspey Railway. Today, the station buildings have been restored and are in private ownership. Across the tracks the redundant signal box still stands where Norman, the last signalman at Dalnaspidal, worked. <br /> <br /> Background<br /> Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.<br /> <br /> 'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.<br /> <br /> We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:<br /> <br /> Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.