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TITLE
Schoolboy pranks at Helmsdale during the war
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_HELMSDALE_01
PLACENAME
Helmsdale
DISTRICT
Kildonan, Loth and Clyne
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Kildonan
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2000
KEYWORDS
Second World War
radar stations
prank
audio

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Helmsdale is a village on the east coast of Sutherland. During World War II the R.A.F. built a radar station at Crakaig, in the parish of Loth, a few miles southwest of Helmsdale; there was another radar station at Navidale, about one mile northeast of Helmsdale. In this audio extract, a resident of Helmsdale remembers a war-time incident in the school gym.

'I was in a class of five; there was three girls and two boys. First period in the morning was Latin and we had it in the gymnasium which was the big, big place. We only had the table beside the fire, and the five of us around the table, plus the teacher who used to come in the last minutes. We got in this morning; right at the bottom of the gymnasium was this great big box with sand in it. The army officers apparently had been in the night before and they'd made out this plan of the ridge, all in detail, all to scale, and it was sitting in the sand. So we were all very interested, standing round about having a look into it. And this other lad in the class, he got behind one of the girls and gave her a push and she landed smack bang in the middle of the lot and scattered the lot. About a few minutes later, another of the Home Guard officers, he came in. And when he saw just five of us in this great big gymnasium he said, 'Aw, is this a punishment?' And the other boy said, 'No, but it soon will be.' [Laughter] So then the headmaster, he arrived in and saw this mess in the bottom of the gymnasium. And needless to say, the two boys - the girls weren't called in question - but the two boys were. So we got, we both got thumped for it. And they must have spent hours doing this the night before'

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Schoolboy pranks at Helmsdale during the war

SUTHERLAND: Kildonan

1980s

Second World War; radar stations; prank; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Helmsdale Memories

Helmsdale is a village on the east coast of Sutherland. During World War II the R.A.F. built a radar station at Crakaig, in the parish of Loth, a few miles southwest of Helmsdale; there was another radar station at Navidale, about one mile northeast of Helmsdale. In this audio extract, a resident of Helmsdale remembers a war-time incident in the school gym.<br /> <br /> 'I was in a class of five; there was three girls and two boys. First period in the morning was Latin and we had it in the gymnasium which was the big, big place. We only had the table beside the fire, and the five of us around the table, plus the teacher who used to come in the last minutes. We got in this morning; right at the bottom of the gymnasium was this great big box with sand in it. The army officers apparently had been in the night before and they'd made out this plan of the ridge, all in detail, all to scale, and it was sitting in the sand. So we were all very interested, standing round about having a look into it. And this other lad in the class, he got behind one of the girls and gave her a push and she landed smack bang in the middle of the lot and scattered the lot. About a few minutes later, another of the Home Guard officers, he came in. And when he saw just five of us in this great big gymnasium he said, 'Aw, is this a punishment?' And the other boy said, 'No, but it soon will be.' [Laughter] So then the headmaster, he arrived in and saw this mess in the bottom of the gymnasium. And needless to say, the two boys - the girls weren't called in question - but the two boys were. So we got, we both got thumped for it. And they must have spent hours doing this the night before'