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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (1 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_01_01
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41066
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
villages
dwellings
houses
quarries
farms
agriculture
built environment

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about his family background. He also describes in detail the area around Munlochy Bay, including the quarry.

The audio recording was carried out as part of the Black Isle Heritage Memories Project, undertaken in 2009/2010 by ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands). To find out more about the project, follow the link towards the foot of the page.

Transcription: (Interviewer: Cait McCullagh)

CM: So, Alasdair, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself, and your family, and your background, and the Black Isle?

AC: Right, family are scattered around the Black Isle. I was born at Corntown and eventually moved to Wellhouse which had been where my grandfather was farming. My other grandfather was Postmaster and Stationmaster at Redcastle Station so there's quite a lot of local connections and family scattered throughout the area.

CM: And, and, your family are Camerons? Is that right?

AC: Cameron yes, and the, my mother's side was Home, and then going back to grandmothers it's in MacLeays, and the MacLeay family were in the Balnabeen area which is fairly close to where we are today.

CM: Yes, here we are in Brae of Kinkell, recording here today, but, so a bit away from Wellhouse today because of the ice on the roads [laughs] a hazard of the winter on the Black Isle [laughs].

AC: Yes, yes still quite a bit of ice around.

CM: And, you were saying, you were born at Corntown, em, when was that?

AC: That's 1944.

CM: OK.

AC: And my schooling was in Conon Bridge and Dingwall Academy, and the experts in dialect tell me that my dialect is very close to Dingwall which makes sense.

CM: Uh-huh, u-huh. Well, I have to say thank you very much for coming and agreeing to being interviewed this afternoon and, and, you're going to take us through a few, em, notable areas of the Black Isle, notably the Rosehaugh Estate but we'll also be looking, hopefully we'll have some time to look at some of the significant features, well, I think, significant features, of forestry and World War Two Black Isle as well, so, but, let's start, let's start here looking at the map of Munlochy, there.

AC: Well, we've got a map of Munlochy Bay which has fascinated me, it's the 1872 survey and I've got a lot of interest in Munlochy Bay with its quarry which was significant in supplying a lot of the stone to Fort George. It was also, I believe, worked by Napoleonic Prisoners of War who were referred to by the Avoch people as 'Frenchies.'

CM: [laughs]

AC: It was probably the industrial hub of the Highlands at its time because of the quantity of stone that came out of that quarry. It's got a mini canal that was used to take the stone out basically in every state of the, of the tide. It's a big hole, very dangerous if you approach it from the top, but you can see it if you go along the shore preferably when there's no leaves on the trees.

The other feature that I was interested in, in the Munlochy Bay, and is nicely coloured in on this map, is a building called the 'Scope'. And there's no trace of it today. I asked various local farmers about it, this is probably about twenty years ago, nobody seemed to know anything about it until, one of the workers at the Drum Farm, which is not far away, said, 'Oh yes, I used to hear people talking about the 'Scope Field' and then I found the farmer who had been on that farm. He had no knowledge of it, but when I showed him the map he said, 'Yes, there's something strange there. The last time I tried to plough it that bit is very, very hard and there's a lot of stones.' So that's as far as I've got. I wonder if you can find something when you're talking to folks in the Avoch area itself, if there's any recollections of it, or whether it just remains one of the lost houses. The layout would suggest that it was a traditional U-shaped farm steading and house. It's a wonderful location; people would kill to get a house built there nowadays. The view is fantastic.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (1 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

audios; farmers; farming; villages; dwellings; houses; quarries; farms; agriculture; built environment;

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about his family background. He also describes in detail the area around Munlochy Bay, including the quarry.<br /> <br /> The audio recording was carried out as part of the Black Isle Heritage Memories Project, undertaken in 2009/2010 by ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands). To find out more about the project, follow the link towards the foot of the page.<br /> <br /> Transcription: (Interviewer: Cait McCullagh)<br /> <br /> CM: So, Alasdair, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself, and your family, and your background, and the Black Isle?<br /> <br /> AC: Right, family are scattered around the Black Isle. I was born at Corntown and eventually moved to Wellhouse which had been where my grandfather was farming. My other grandfather was Postmaster and Stationmaster at Redcastle Station so there's quite a lot of local connections and family scattered throughout the area.<br /> <br /> CM: And, and, your family are Camerons? Is that right?<br /> <br /> AC: Cameron yes, and the, my mother's side was Home, and then going back to grandmothers it's in MacLeays, and the MacLeay family were in the Balnabeen area which is fairly close to where we are today.<br /> <br /> CM: Yes, here we are in Brae of Kinkell, recording here today, but, so a bit away from Wellhouse today because of the ice on the roads [laughs] a hazard of the winter on the Black Isle [laughs].<br /> <br /> AC: Yes, yes still quite a bit of ice around.<br /> <br /> CM: And, you were saying, you were born at Corntown, em, when was that?<br /> <br /> AC: That's 1944.<br /> <br /> CM: OK.<br /> <br /> AC: And my schooling was in Conon Bridge and Dingwall Academy, and the experts in dialect tell me that my dialect is very close to Dingwall which makes sense.<br /> <br /> CM: Uh-huh, u-huh. Well, I have to say thank you very much for coming and agreeing to being interviewed this afternoon and, and, you're going to take us through a few, em, notable areas of the Black Isle, notably the Rosehaugh Estate but we'll also be looking, hopefully we'll have some time to look at some of the significant features, well, I think, significant features, of forestry and World War Two Black Isle as well, so, but, let's start, let's start here looking at the map of Munlochy, there.<br /> <br /> AC: Well, we've got a map of Munlochy Bay which has fascinated me, it's the 1872 survey and I've got a lot of interest in Munlochy Bay with its quarry which was significant in supplying a lot of the stone to Fort George. It was also, I believe, worked by Napoleonic Prisoners of War who were referred to by the Avoch people as 'Frenchies.' <br /> <br /> CM: [laughs]<br /> <br /> AC: It was probably the industrial hub of the Highlands at its time because of the quantity of stone that came out of that quarry. It's got a mini canal that was used to take the stone out basically in every state of the, of the tide. It's a big hole, very dangerous if you approach it from the top, but you can see it if you go along the shore preferably when there's no leaves on the trees.<br /> <br /> The other feature that I was interested in, in the Munlochy Bay, and is nicely coloured in on this map, is a building called the 'Scope'. And there's no trace of it today. I asked various local farmers about it, this is probably about twenty years ago, nobody seemed to know anything about it until, one of the workers at the Drum Farm, which is not far away, said, 'Oh yes, I used to hear people talking about the 'Scope Field' and then I found the farmer who had been on that farm. He had no knowledge of it, but when I showed him the map he said, 'Yes, there's something strange there. The last time I tried to plough it that bit is very, very hard and there's a lot of stones.' So that's as far as I've got. I wonder if you can find something when you're talking to folks in the Avoch area itself, if there's any recollections of it, or whether it just remains one of the lost houses. The layout would suggest that it was a traditional U-shaped farm steading and house. It's a wonderful location; people would kill to get a house built there nowadays. The view is fantastic.