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TITLE
From Sea to Sea (5 of 19)
EXTERNAL ID
HC_STS_FROMSEATOSEA_05
DATE OF RECORDING
2001
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bob Pegg & Willie Batchen
SOURCE
The Highland Council
ASSET ID
2402
KEYWORDS
canals
waterways
paddle steamers
Caledonian MacBrayne
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'.

Narrator: Someone else whose early days were closely bound up with the canal is Willie Batchen, from Foyers. From the age of fourteen he spent three years as pantry boy on the 'Gondolier', perhaps the best loved ship that ever sailed the waterways. Life aboard and the characters he encountered are still vivid in his memory.

'Ah can mind coming - Ah was hardly three, so Ah expect Ah can myself local, an like everybody else I went to the local primary school. And I left on a Friday night, came home here, and everything was as usual. An on Saturday night, at nine o'clock, MacBrayne's bus stopped, an this man - his name was Murd Stewart - an he was the chief steward on the 'Gondolier'. An he stopped an came down the path, an he said to ma father an mother that he had a job for me in the 'Gondolier' - as a pantry boy. So, my father an mother immediately, oh thought this was tremendous. He said, 'Ye get fifteen shillings a week.' Ma mother says, 'Ye're a bigger wage than yer father has, an yer keep.' So ma father went away up to the school to see the schoolmaster, if he could get me out of school before the summer holidays, which he did. I've a feeling he was quite glad to get rid of me in any case. So, away I went on Sunday and joined the 'Gondolier', an Ah think of all the boats that ye can look in MacBrayne's fleet, on the canal, the 'Gondolier' was a name by itself.'

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From Sea to Sea (5 of 19)

2000s

canals; waterways; paddle steamers; Caledonian MacBrayne; 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 /> Narrator: Someone else whose early days were closely bound up with the canal is Willie Batchen, from Foyers. From the age of fourteen he spent three years as pantry boy on the 'Gondolier', perhaps the best loved ship that ever sailed the waterways. Life aboard and the characters he encountered are still vivid in his memory.<br /> <br /> 'Ah can mind coming - Ah was hardly three, so Ah expect Ah can myself local, an like everybody else I went to the local primary school. And I left on a Friday night, came home here, and everything was as usual. An on Saturday night, at nine o'clock, MacBrayne's bus stopped, an this man - his name was Murd Stewart - an he was the chief steward on the 'Gondolier'. An he stopped an came down the path, an he said to ma father an mother that he had a job for me in the 'Gondolier' - as a pantry boy. So, my father an mother immediately, oh thought this was tremendous. He said, 'Ye get fifteen shillings a week.' Ma mother says, 'Ye're a bigger wage than yer father has, an yer keep.' So ma father went away up to the school to see the schoolmaster, if he could get me out of school before the summer holidays, which he did. I've a feeling he was quite glad to get rid of me in any case. So, away I went on Sunday and joined the 'Gondolier', an Ah think of all the boats that ye can look in MacBrayne's fleet, on the canal, the 'Gondolier' was a name by itself.'