Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Navvies on the Dingwall & Skye Railway
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_14
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2078
KEYWORDS
Highland Railway
railways
transport
audio

Get Adobe Flash player

The Dingwall and Skye Railway was opened in 1870 but only went as far as Strome Ferry on Loch Carron. It would be another twenty-seven years before the railway reached the terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh. In this audio extract, John Thomas (1914-1982), one of Britain's leading railway historians, talks about the navvies employed to build the line. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

Most of them, I believe, were West Highlanders and Islanders. They had worked on the West Highland Railway, on the main line of the West Highland Railway, and - I'm speaking now about the extension from Strome to Kyleakin, the workers for that, which was the really tough part to do - some of the workers who had been specially trained for that job definitely came on to the job here and I have read that they also had some Scandinavian navvies. I don't - I haven't seen any note or any mention of Irish navvies but they usually got everywhere so no doubt they were around in this area too. The main base camp for the construction of the original line was at Dingwall and they had another camp at Strome which, of course, was served from the sea, and quite a lot of material was brought in from the Clyde area to Strome by sea. Also, a great deal of material - the rails particularly - came from the east coast of England, from round about Darlington and these came by sea. And there's a rather plaintive note in one of the minute books in which the contractor excuses the lack of progress on the line with the fact that the rails have been delayed from four to seven months on passage, by 'contrary winds'. Of course, this meant that the rails were coming up in sailing ships and they had been delayed all that time on the relatively short journey

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Navvies on the Dingwall & Skye Railway

ROSS

1980s; 1990s

Highland Railway; railways; transport; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Dingwall & Skye Railway

The Dingwall and Skye Railway was opened in 1870 but only went as far as Strome Ferry on Loch Carron. It would be another twenty-seven years before the railway reached the terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh. In this audio extract, John Thomas (1914-1982), one of Britain's leading railway historians, talks about the navvies employed to build the line. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> Most of them, I believe, were West Highlanders and Islanders. They had worked on the West Highland Railway, on the main line of the West Highland Railway, and - I'm speaking now about the extension from Strome to Kyleakin, the workers for that, which was the really tough part to do - some of the workers who had been specially trained for that job definitely came on to the job here and I have read that they also had some Scandinavian navvies. I don't - I haven't seen any note or any mention of Irish navvies but they usually got everywhere so no doubt they were around in this area too. The main base camp for the construction of the original line was at Dingwall and they had another camp at Strome which, of course, was served from the sea, and quite a lot of material was brought in from the Clyde area to Strome by sea. Also, a great deal of material - the rails particularly - came from the east coast of England, from round about Darlington and these came by sea. And there's a rather plaintive note in one of the minute books in which the contractor excuses the lack of progress on the line with the fact that the rails have been delayed from four to seven months on passage, by 'contrary winds'. Of course, this meant that the rails were coming up in sailing ships and they had been delayed all that time on the relatively short journey