Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Working Conditions on the West Highland Line
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNTHOMAS_15
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
John Thomas
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2080
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 conditions that faced the navvies. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.

The conditions on the West Highland, apart from the weather hazards, of course, were fairly good for navvies of that time. The various welfare organisations, the Church of Scotland, for instance, had hostels all up and down the route and the navvies were pretty well looked after. On the Mallaig extension they had a very good system of provisions. They had the - Coopers, the Glasgow grocers, had a chain of seventeen provision shops from which they served the navvies with basic provisions. They lived in hutted camps. Very often these hutted camps had their own bakehouse because the normal supplies of bread were so far away. Indeed, the conditions had to be reasonably good to keep the navvies here, once they came here, because if they had been dissatisfied with conditions they simply would have gone to more attractive construction sites in other parts of the country

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

Working Conditions on the West Highland Line

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 conditions that faced the navvies. The recording was made on board a special excursion train to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1973.<br /> <br /> The conditions on the West Highland, apart from the weather hazards, of course, were fairly good for navvies of that time. The various welfare organisations, the Church of Scotland, for instance, had hostels all up and down the route and the navvies were pretty well looked after. On the Mallaig extension they had a very good system of provisions. They had the - Coopers, the Glasgow grocers, had a chain of seventeen provision shops from which they served the navvies with basic provisions. They lived in hutted camps. Very often these hutted camps had their own bakehouse because the normal supplies of bread were so far away. Indeed, the conditions had to be reasonably good to keep the navvies here, once they came here, because if they had been dissatisfied with conditions they simply would have gone to more attractive construction sites in other parts of the country