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TITLE
From Sea to Sea (3 of 19)
EXTERNAL ID
HC_STS_FROMSEATOSEA_03
DATE OF RECORDING
2001
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bob Pegg & Anne Philips
SOURCE
The Highland Council
ASSET ID
2399
KEYWORDS
canals
waterways
audio

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The following extract is taken from 'From Sea to Sea', an audio celebration of the history, people, landscape and culture of the Great Glen waterway - The Caledonian Canal. The project was created in 2001 by Bob Pegg and funded by Highland Council through the British Waterways 'Living Waterways Programme'.

'On the banks o' the Caley Canal
There you'll find me an my little gal
On a moonlight night when the stars shine bright
That's where we long to roam

Oh, I love Inverness an I love ma wee Jess
An from them I'll never stray
When I'm roamin in the gloaming
On the banks o' the Caley Canal'

'Oh, you can tell an Inverness girl
She's got everything
That funny little way of talking (right enough)
The funny little way of walking
When parked on a bench with that little wench
You'll thrill to her very touch
Oh you can tell an Inverness girl
But you can't tell her much (ask your father)
You can't tell her much'

Narrator: Strolling the towpaths of the Caley Canal is still a favourite pastime for Invernesians of all ages. And for those who still live alongside it, daily witnessing the bustle around the locks, knowing the boats and the people involved, there are special, lifelong memories.

Anne Phillips: Having lived most of my life beside the Caledonian Canal I can think of nowhere else I would rather live. During the early thirties, when my dad, Albert Gibson, started work as a lockkeeper, the Caledonian Canal had all its own tradesmen: Dan the blacksmith; Jock the joiner; Jock the painter; Duncan the mason; Finlay the plumber; Alex the gardener; Kenny and Albert the divers; Bill the bargemaster; Houston the shipwright. Then, of course, there were all the lockkeepers.

It never fails but to fill me with pride when I look at the wonderful feat of engineering. And as I think of the men, who built the canal, what would they have given for some of today's wonderful machinery? The gatelifter [barge] the 'Jail', was a local landmark when it was moored in the Muirtown Basin; she is with us no more. The 'Scot II' was the icebreaker when the canal was frozen over. The paddle steamer, the 'Gondolier', was berthed at the top locks at Muirtown. Her last trip, during the war, was to be sunk to form part of the Churchill Barriers at Scapa Flow.

Things changed once the Second World War started and how busy with ammunition boats loading up at Muirtown Basin on their way to Scapa Flow. Also oil tankers and the Royal Navy MTBs [Missile Torpedo Boats]. The crews used to love pushing the capstan bars and to get their feet onto dry land. Another exciting and busy time for the lockkeepers, when they worked day and night, when the Lord Lovat and his brave Commandoes came through the canal from Invergarry in their landing crafts. It was a sight to behold, as they were on their way to D-Day landings. Now when I look out my living room window and see passing all the yachts flying flags of all different nations, and as they head for Loch Ness I think, 'What a wonderful part of the world we live in. Maybe Nessie will pop up and say hello.'

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From Sea to Sea (3 of 19)

2000s

canals; waterways; audio

The Highland Council

The Highland Council: From Sea to Sea

The following extract is taken from 'From Sea to Sea', an audio celebration of the history, people, landscape and culture of the Great Glen waterway - The Caledonian Canal. The project was created in 2001 by Bob Pegg and funded by Highland Council through the British Waterways 'Living Waterways Programme'. <br /> <br /> 'On the banks o' the Caley Canal<br /> There you'll find me an my little gal<br /> On a moonlight night when the stars shine bright<br /> That's where we long to roam<br /> <br /> Oh, I love Inverness an I love ma wee Jess <br /> An from them I'll never stray <br /> When I'm roamin in the gloaming <br /> On the banks o' the Caley Canal'<br /> <br /> 'Oh, you can tell an Inverness girl<br /> She's got everything<br /> That funny little way of talking (right enough)<br /> The funny little way of walking <br /> When parked on a bench with that little wench<br /> You'll thrill to her very touch<br /> Oh you can tell an Inverness girl<br /> But you can't tell her much (ask your father)<br /> You can't tell her much'<br /> <br /> Narrator: Strolling the towpaths of the Caley Canal is still a favourite pastime for Invernesians of all ages. And for those who still live alongside it, daily witnessing the bustle around the locks, knowing the boats and the people involved, there are special, lifelong memories.<br /> <br /> Anne Phillips: Having lived most of my life beside the Caledonian Canal I can think of nowhere else I would rather live. During the early thirties, when my dad, Albert Gibson, started work as a lockkeeper, the Caledonian Canal had all its own tradesmen: Dan the blacksmith; Jock the joiner; Jock the painter; Duncan the mason; Finlay the plumber; Alex the gardener; Kenny and Albert the divers; Bill the bargemaster; Houston the shipwright. Then, of course, there were all the lockkeepers.<br /> <br /> It never fails but to fill me with pride when I look at the wonderful feat of engineering. And as I think of the men, who built the canal, what would they have given for some of today's wonderful machinery? The gatelifter [barge] the 'Jail', was a local landmark when it was moored in the Muirtown Basin; she is with us no more. The 'Scot II' was the icebreaker when the canal was frozen over. The paddle steamer, the 'Gondolier', was berthed at the top locks at Muirtown. Her last trip, during the war, was to be sunk to form part of the Churchill Barriers at Scapa Flow. <br /> <br /> Things changed once the Second World War started and how busy with ammunition boats loading up at Muirtown Basin on their way to Scapa Flow. Also oil tankers and the Royal Navy MTBs [Missile Torpedo Boats]. The crews used to love pushing the capstan bars and to get their feet onto dry land. Another exciting and busy time for the lockkeepers, when they worked day and night, when the Lord Lovat and his brave Commandoes came through the canal from Invergarry in their landing crafts. It was a sight to behold, as they were on their way to D-Day landings. Now when I look out my living room window and see passing all the yachts flying flags of all different nations, and as they head for Loch Ness I think, 'What a wonderful part of the world we live in. Maybe Nessie will pop up and say hello.'