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TITLE
Decline of Helmsdale after World War II
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_HELMSDALE_07
PLACENAME
Helmsdale
DISTRICT
Kildonan, Loth and Clyne
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Kildonan
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2009
KEYWORDS
Second World War
radar stations
curing
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 Helmsdale resident recalls how the area went into decline in the post-war period.

'Before the war it was completely different, ye know? There was, there was three tailors - full-time work - three bake houses. There was twenty-two boats went to sea, and that included drifters as well. They used to make the barrels outwith the herring season. They used to catch the herring, put them in barrels, and the Russian ships used to come in and take them away, ye know? When the fishing finished, Helmsdale went dead, ye know, because there was locally owned steam drifters as well, ye know, the fisherman, locally owned. And, there was a firm there that used to cure the herring, Cooper. They had carver ships as well. And they were all, the name was all finished in Dale - it was Helmsdale, Lochdale, Berriedale, Navidale'

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Decline of Helmsdale after World War II

SUTHERLAND: Kildonan

1980s

Second World War; radar stations; curing; 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 Helmsdale resident recalls how the area went into decline in the post-war period.<br /> <br /> 'Before the war it was completely different, ye know? There was, there was three tailors - full-time work - three bake houses. There was twenty-two boats went to sea, and that included drifters as well. They used to make the barrels outwith the herring season. They used to catch the herring, put them in barrels, and the Russian ships used to come in and take them away, ye know? When the fishing finished, Helmsdale went dead, ye know, because there was locally owned steam drifters as well, ye know, the fisherman, locally owned. And, there was a firm there that used to cure the herring, Cooper. They had carver ships as well. And they were all, the name was all finished in Dale - it was Helmsdale, Lochdale, Berriedale, Navidale'