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TITLE
From Sea to Sea (10 of 19)
EXTERNAL ID
HC_STS_FROMSEATOSEA_10
DATE OF RECORDING
2001
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Bob Pegg & Angus Grant
SOURCE
The Highland Council
ASSET ID
2409
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'.

Narrator: The stretch of canal linking Loch Ness with Loch Oich lies more or less at the centre of the waterway. For Angus Grant, brought up in Fort Augustus, the canal was a source of endless fascination.

'Well the canal was, when we were a boy, it was a very interesting place. We were always - all the boys particularly - Ah don't remember so much about the girls but all the boys were always around it. And the various things we were always doing - one of the things we'd take our life in our hands wi the hooks for hookin the boat, an we used to, when we'd graduate onto bikes, we used to charge down an the hook was - ye'd about three inches between the edge o the canal an the hook, an this was a great bravado thing to run on yer bike an go on the inside o the hook. One or two of us missed an disappeared in the canal an most of us mercifully could swim, an we used to climb back out an somebody would throw a rope. There was always - we'd have a devil of a job then wi a three hooks, goin about there, tryin to get the bike back out. An Ah remember, after the first time, Ah remember it being empty, just before the war, about 1939, there was two or three bikes an things found in the mud that had gone in. Ye know ye look back on these risky things how ye could've got drowned, ye know, if ye got tangled in the bike an never got up? An then another period we used to do - there was a lot o pike used to come in, little pike - they'd be aboot six to eight inches long - an this was great. We'd be lying flat wi the sneckin hooks an catch them, an there was a great thing how many ye could catch. Ah mean, they were no use to eat or anything but there was great fun catching them.

Of course, another great thing was giving the men a hand to turn the capstan to open the locks. And big Rory Mackenzie, he used to always say, 'Come on, boys. We'll never manage it without you.' An we used to think - we'd go home and say, 'Well, they were lucky we were there. Rory, Big Rory said they would never have managed without us', ye know? We were thinking it was mainly us that was pushing the thing round an - There was another character from Fort Augustus - Ah don't know what his right name, he was known as 'Jimmy the Dolphin' - and he used to, now an again, he was a kind of a, bit of a religious fanatic an he'd be - charge down the village now an again, shoutin, 'Christ walked on the water an he let me walk on the water' an he'd just run right onto the canal. An of course, all the lockkeepers heard him coming; they were waitin there wi boathooks an that, an Jimmy would disappear an they would pull him up an say, 'Let ye down again, Jimmy?' This was a yearly or a couple o yearly occurrence.

[Accordion]

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From Sea to Sea (10 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 /> Narrator: The stretch of canal linking Loch Ness with Loch Oich lies more or less at the centre of the waterway. For Angus Grant, brought up in Fort Augustus, the canal was a source of endless fascination.<br /> <br /> 'Well the canal was, when we were a boy, it was a very interesting place. We were always - all the boys particularly - Ah don't remember so much about the girls but all the boys were always around it. And the various things we were always doing - one of the things we'd take our life in our hands wi the hooks for hookin the boat, an we used to, when we'd graduate onto bikes, we used to charge down an the hook was - ye'd about three inches between the edge o the canal an the hook, an this was a great bravado thing to run on yer bike an go on the inside o the hook. One or two of us missed an disappeared in the canal an most of us mercifully could swim, an we used to climb back out an somebody would throw a rope. There was always - we'd have a devil of a job then wi a three hooks, goin about there, tryin to get the bike back out. An Ah remember, after the first time, Ah remember it being empty, just before the war, about 1939, there was two or three bikes an things found in the mud that had gone in. Ye know ye look back on these risky things how ye could've got drowned, ye know, if ye got tangled in the bike an never got up? An then another period we used to do - there was a lot o pike used to come in, little pike - they'd be aboot six to eight inches long - an this was great. We'd be lying flat wi the sneckin hooks an catch them, an there was a great thing how many ye could catch. Ah mean, they were no use to eat or anything but there was great fun catching them.<br /> <br /> Of course, another great thing was giving the men a hand to turn the capstan to open the locks. And big Rory Mackenzie, he used to always say, 'Come on, boys. We'll never manage it without you.' An we used to think - we'd go home and say, 'Well, they were lucky we were there. Rory, Big Rory said they would never have managed without us', ye know? We were thinking it was mainly us that was pushing the thing round an - There was another character from Fort Augustus - Ah don't know what his right name, he was known as 'Jimmy the Dolphin' - and he used to, now an again, he was a kind of a, bit of a religious fanatic an he'd be - charge down the village now an again, shoutin, 'Christ walked on the water an he let me walk on the water' an he'd just run right onto the canal. An of course, all the lockkeepers heard him coming; they were waitin there wi boathooks an that, an Jimmy would disappear an they would pull him up an say, 'Let ye down again, Jimmy?' This was a yearly or a couple o yearly occurrence.<br /> <br /> [Accordion]