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TITLE
Inverness Memories - working for the Highland Railway
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_MRSROLLO_07
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1970s
CREATOR
Mrs Rollo
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2120
KEYWORDS
night shift
nightshift
audio

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In the late 1970s, Mrs Rollo, an elderly resident of Friars Street, Inverness, shared her memories of old Inverness with a Mrs. Sneddon. Mrs. Rollo had lived as a child in Shore Street and moved to Friars Street in the early 1920s. She had five of a family; three boys and two girls. Her husband worked for the Highland Railway. In this audio extract, Mrs. Rollo talks about her husband's work.

The photograph is of Mrs Rosie Rollo, her husband John (in his army uniform), and one of the couple's children. It was taken around 1918.

Interviewer: Did ye do a lot a knitting, ye know, in the 1920s?

Well, I did their socks an the boys' jumpers, but we hadna time to knit. We wis kept going wi other things.

Interviewer: What sort o other things?

Well, when my husband was in the railway we'd the different shifts, ye see an we'd - I'd to be either out wi the children to give him a chance to sleep. 'Yer father's sleeping, yer father's sleeping', that's what ah used to mean. When they come home from school, ye see, they were just running up the stair an, 'Yer father's sleeping, yer father's sleeping.' Do a signal. So then they would be quiet. An they would just come down the stair an give them a - if it wasn't their tea time - I would give them a snack - a piece and jam or something to keep them going til it was near tea time. So ye see he had to have his sleep. But likely he would sleep through anything.

Interviewer: He worked for the railway all the time you were married?

Oh yes. It was the only job he ever had. He was forty odd years in the railway.

Interviewer: An there was different shifts he had to work?

Yes, he'd two to te-, six to two, two to ten, an ten, nightshift, ten to six in the morning.

Interviewer: Did he get lot of pay for that?

Oh, pay. Ah think three pound odds was the highest ever he had. Ah tell him now Ah'm better off on a pension ever Ah was on a pay.

Interviewer: And that was Highland Railway he worked for?

Aye, Highland Railway he joined. Yes. He joined as a bar boy, an then he was a cleaner, an then he was a driver.

Interviewer: An he went wi the first oil engine, didn't he?

Oh yes, he went wi the oil engine an then he used to run the 'Ghost Train' in the wartime, to Wick. An he went -

Interviewer: What was the 'Ghost Train'?

That was a secret. [Laughter]. Well, I wasn't supposed to know. But he took the troops, back an forth. Ye know, when there was Scapa Flow, an the sailors, an all the boys on guard up there. They took the troop train up there, ye see, they got - it was the troop train. We called it the 'Ghost Train'. For they went - were in Scapa Flow an all round there, guarding the coast. They used to go on that

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Inverness Memories - working for the Highland Railway

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1970s

night shift; nightshift; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Inverness Recollections

In the late 1970s, Mrs Rollo, an elderly resident of Friars Street, Inverness, shared her memories of old Inverness with a Mrs. Sneddon. Mrs. Rollo had lived as a child in Shore Street and moved to Friars Street in the early 1920s. She had five of a family; three boys and two girls. Her husband worked for the Highland Railway. In this audio extract, Mrs. Rollo talks about her husband's work. <br /> <br /> The photograph is of Mrs Rosie Rollo, her husband John (in his army uniform), and one of the couple's children. It was taken around 1918.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did ye do a lot a knitting, ye know, in the 1920s?<br /> <br /> Well, I did their socks an the boys' jumpers, but we hadna time to knit. We wis kept going wi other things. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: What sort o other things?<br /> <br /> Well, when my husband was in the railway we'd the different shifts, ye see an we'd - I'd to be either out wi the children to give him a chance to sleep. 'Yer father's sleeping, yer father's sleeping', that's what ah used to mean. When they come home from school, ye see, they were just running up the stair an, 'Yer father's sleeping, yer father's sleeping.' Do a signal. So then they would be quiet. An they would just come down the stair an give them a - if it wasn't their tea time - I would give them a snack - a piece and jam or something to keep them going til it was near tea time. So ye see he had to have his sleep. But likely he would sleep through anything. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: He worked for the railway all the time you were married?<br /> <br /> Oh yes. It was the only job he ever had. He was forty odd years in the railway.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: An there was different shifts he had to work?<br /> <br /> Yes, he'd two to te-, six to two, two to ten, an ten, nightshift, ten to six in the morning. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did he get lot of pay for that?<br /> <br /> Oh, pay. Ah think three pound odds was the highest ever he had. Ah tell him now Ah'm better off on a pension ever Ah was on a pay. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: And that was Highland Railway he worked for?<br /> <br /> Aye, Highland Railway he joined. Yes. He joined as a bar boy, an then he was a cleaner, an then he was a driver.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: An he went wi the first oil engine, didn't he?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, he went wi the oil engine an then he used to run the 'Ghost Train' in the wartime, to Wick. An he went - <br /> <br /> Interviewer: What was the 'Ghost Train'?<br /> <br /> That was a secret. [Laughter]. Well, I wasn't supposed to know. But he took the troops, back an forth. Ye know, when there was Scapa Flow, an the sailors, an all the boys on guard up there. They took the troop train up there, ye see, they got - it was the troop train. We called it the 'Ghost Train'. For they went - were in Scapa Flow an all round there, guarding the coast. They used to go on that