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TITLE
Finding accommodation during the war
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_HIGHRAILWAY_08
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2019
KEYWORDS
Second World War
digs
transportation
audio

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During World War II the Highland railways played an important role, transporting freight and troops to and from the naval bases, airfields, coastal defences, and supply bases throughout the region. In this audio extract, three former Highland railway employees remember the difficulties in finding local accommodation during the war years.

'I left Warton just when I was seventeen, and went to Alness; naval, R.A.F., army, you name it, all forces were there. Oh, the accommodation was just out of the question in that area. Very often they had their wives up to spend the weekends and what have you, and you couldn't get accommodation. And fortunately I had friends in Inverness, which is a distance of twenty-eight miles, so I travelled daily to and from Inverness. I had to leave Inverness at seven o'clock in the morning. Normally I would get home about six o'clock at night. That was for six days in the week.

I was living in Forres and I had to travel to Inverness, which was - meant that extra hours on to you because you couldn't get buses or trains during the night from Forres. You had to go in hours before you were due to start work and there was - houses weren't available in Inverness at the time; they weren't building any houses.

Well, I was on holiday for a fortnight; I came back on the Monday and on the Wednesday afternoon I was handed a letter instructing me to go to Invergordon on Friday. And I was in Invergordon on the Friday. I had to find lodgings and it was very difficult to find them in Invergordon at that time, I can assure you'

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Finding accommodation during the war

1980s

Second World War; digs; transportation; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Highland Railways

During World War II the Highland railways played an important role, transporting freight and troops to and from the naval bases, airfields, coastal defences, and supply bases throughout the region. In this audio extract, three former Highland railway employees remember the difficulties in finding local accommodation during the war years.<br /> <br /> 'I left Warton just when I was seventeen, and went to Alness; naval, R.A.F., army, you name it, all forces were there. Oh, the accommodation was just out of the question in that area. Very often they had their wives up to spend the weekends and what have you, and you couldn't get accommodation. And fortunately I had friends in Inverness, which is a distance of twenty-eight miles, so I travelled daily to and from Inverness. I had to leave Inverness at seven o'clock in the morning. Normally I would get home about six o'clock at night. That was for six days in the week. <br /> <br /> I was living in Forres and I had to travel to Inverness, which was - meant that extra hours on to you because you couldn't get buses or trains during the night from Forres. You had to go in hours before you were due to start work and there was - houses weren't available in Inverness at the time; they weren't building any houses. <br /> <br /> Well, I was on holiday for a fortnight; I came back on the Monday and on the Wednesday afternoon I was handed a letter instructing me to go to Invergordon on Friday. And I was in Invergordon on the Friday. I had to find lodgings and it was very difficult to find them in Invergordon at that time, I can assure you'