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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (5 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_01_05
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41070
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
villages
dwellings
houses
farms
agriculture
built environment
grain silos

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about tower silos on the Rosehaugh Estate.

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)

AC: There is a group of them [tower silos] on the Rosehaugh Estate. Mr Fletcher of Rosehaugh was a keen agriculturalist and was anxious that his tenants were up to date with the latest practice so he selected some of his tenants to be given tower silos and they seemed to have been built by a company - Scots from Aberdeen - who were specialists in silo construction. They were, they had problems which Mr Fletcher didn't really appreciate at the time. Sadly he was to die before they came into use. I think that was probably about 1927 or '28. One of the problems was getting enough horse power to drive the blower to get the grass up the top and that the tractors of the day just didn't have enough power to operate them. And it's said that a lot of tractors were, really met their end through being overloaded and trying to drive the blowers. The only thing that could succeed in driving the blowers apparently was the steam traction engines which the local contractors had for pulling and driving the mobile thrashing mills and that steam power was the only thing that could give sufficient horsepower to blow the material up into the top. It was not a pleasant job getting it out again because someone had to climb up the outside on a cold and frosty morning and throw it down a chute. So, lots of snags, but they're still very much a feature on the landscape in the area around Killen to Avoch.

CM: So in addition to, you said that indeed there are a number of these concrete silos on the estate from Killen to Avoch. Can you tell us of the location of some of the others?

AC: Right, I'll have to think about that.

CM: OK.

AC: Yes, I've to think about this. Certainly Killen, and visible from the main road as you drive into Avoch is Muiralehouse, and the other one was at the farm we looked at before of Suddie. There is, there's another one at Scatwell which is outwith our main area but it's still very much to the fore. Another one in the area is in the Cannich district which has got a roof, and that there was a scout camp there a few years ago and they were rained out so they moved into the tower silo and had a great time and the acoustics apparently are tremendous, in the concrete roof, and that they were a singing group so they'd a good time.

CM: Good [laughs]

AC: Some of the, some of the features that you can see in the photograph, I'm looking at the one of Rhives, because you can detect on the skyline the peaks of the stacks made out of the sheaves of corn of the day, probably oats at that period so that certainly dates it if you didn't have more information.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (5 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

audios; farmers; farming; villages; dwellings; houses; farms; agriculture; built environment; grain silos;

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about tower silos on the Rosehaugh Estate.<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 /> AC: There is a group of them [tower silos] on the Rosehaugh Estate. Mr Fletcher of Rosehaugh was a keen agriculturalist and was anxious that his tenants were up to date with the latest practice so he selected some of his tenants to be given tower silos and they seemed to have been built by a company - Scots from Aberdeen - who were specialists in silo construction. They were, they had problems which Mr Fletcher didn't really appreciate at the time. Sadly he was to die before they came into use. I think that was probably about 1927 or '28. One of the problems was getting enough horse power to drive the blower to get the grass up the top and that the tractors of the day just didn't have enough power to operate them. And it's said that a lot of tractors were, really met their end through being overloaded and trying to drive the blowers. The only thing that could succeed in driving the blowers apparently was the steam traction engines which the local contractors had for pulling and driving the mobile thrashing mills and that steam power was the only thing that could give sufficient horsepower to blow the material up into the top. It was not a pleasant job getting it out again because someone had to climb up the outside on a cold and frosty morning and throw it down a chute. So, lots of snags, but they're still very much a feature on the landscape in the area around Killen to Avoch.<br /> <br /> CM: So in addition to, you said that indeed there are a number of these concrete silos on the estate from Killen to Avoch. Can you tell us of the location of some of the others?<br /> <br /> AC: Right, I'll have to think about that.<br /> <br /> CM: OK.<br /> <br /> AC: Yes, I've to think about this. Certainly Killen, and visible from the main road as you drive into Avoch is Muiralehouse, and the other one was at the farm we looked at before of Suddie. There is, there's another one at Scatwell which is outwith our main area but it's still very much to the fore. Another one in the area is in the Cannich district which has got a roof, and that there was a scout camp there a few years ago and they were rained out so they moved into the tower silo and had a great time and the acoustics apparently are tremendous, in the concrete roof, and that they were a singing group so they'd a good time.<br /> <br /> CM: Good [laughs]<br /> <br /> AC: Some of the, some of the features that you can see in the photograph, I'm looking at the one of Rhives, because you can detect on the skyline the peaks of the stacks made out of the sheaves of corn of the day, probably oats at that period so that certainly dates it if you didn't have more information.