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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (15 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_01_15
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41080
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
agriculture
built environment
villages
dwellings
houses
farms
mills
lades

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about the mill lade at Avoch. He also recalls an interesting story about the renovations at Bay Farm, Munlochy.

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: The lade at Avoch, coming down to the mill and then going down the lade, still there's some signs of that feature in the landscape isn't there?

AC: Right, yes, very often they do linger on, again depending on material but often the water course is still quite visible.

CM: And often it would be a straightened course?

AC: A straightened course and you had to get your levels right otherwise the water would tell you so, that you had to get the right slope. You may have to build it up with either stone or wooden pillars. You tried to make it waterproof and to get a good fast flow to get the maximum out of your waterwheel, so quite a skilled job to get it right and to have a sufficient reserve of water, and also not to waste water.

CM: And that mill and its lade, it's, it's clear on the first edition map, which was surveyed in 1872. What's not clear for me from the estate catalogue is if the mill is still, do you know if the mill was still operational at this time? Maybe presume not, in the forties.

AC: The mill lands - don't see the mill listed on its own but I know when the estate was offered for sale, probably about fifteen years ago, I was surprised to find that there were still mill dues incorporated in the legal paper work which surprised me at being still there at that period.

CM: So that would've been people ...?

AC: That was a cash payment rather than you using the mill ...

CM: OK, OK.

AC: ... which the estate became entitled to because I don't think there was a mill at that period, not a working mill anyway.

Yes, we looked at the Bay Farm in relation to Munlochy Bay and that right next door to it is the Bay quarry. The Bay Farm itself is an example of, it's a lovely location and the farm buildings have been converted into very nice self-catering accommodation. I think, I'm suspicious they might've been one additional unit added to it. I know when the renovations were taking place that one of the joiners working on it picked up something on the top of the wall and said 'oh, this looks like an old hand grenade' and someone else said 'Well, it may not be an old hand grenade, put it down very carefully' so eventually it was discovered that it was left over from war time and that had been one of the training bases for the Home Guard and that the, when bomb disposal came along there was an almighty bang when they had to get rid of everything so, a wartime relic there. It's a lovely location; totally different climate from everything else round about, it's such a cosy little corner. Very steep land but great livestock grazing because it's just so mild and sheltered in there.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (15 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

audios; farmers; farming; agriculture; built environment; villages; dwellings; houses; farms; mills; lades;

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about the mill lade at Avoch. He also recalls an interesting story about the renovations at Bay Farm, Munlochy.<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: The lade at Avoch, coming down to the mill and then going down the lade, still there's some signs of that feature in the landscape isn't there?<br /> <br /> AC: Right, yes, very often they do linger on, again depending on material but often the water course is still quite visible.<br /> <br /> CM: And often it would be a straightened course?<br /> <br /> AC: A straightened course and you had to get your levels right otherwise the water would tell you so, that you had to get the right slope. You may have to build it up with either stone or wooden pillars. You tried to make it waterproof and to get a good fast flow to get the maximum out of your waterwheel, so quite a skilled job to get it right and to have a sufficient reserve of water, and also not to waste water.<br /> <br /> CM: And that mill and its lade, it's, it's clear on the first edition map, which was surveyed in 1872. What's not clear for me from the estate catalogue is if the mill is still, do you know if the mill was still operational at this time? Maybe presume not, in the forties.<br /> <br /> AC: The mill lands - don't see the mill listed on its own but I know when the estate was offered for sale, probably about fifteen years ago, I was surprised to find that there were still mill dues incorporated in the legal paper work which surprised me at being still there at that period.<br /> <br /> CM: So that would've been people ...?<br /> <br /> AC: That was a cash payment rather than you using the mill ...<br /> <br /> CM: OK, OK.<br /> <br /> AC: ... which the estate became entitled to because I don't think there was a mill at that period, not a working mill anyway.<br /> <br /> Yes, we looked at the Bay Farm in relation to Munlochy Bay and that right next door to it is the Bay quarry. The Bay Farm itself is an example of, it's a lovely location and the farm buildings have been converted into very nice self-catering accommodation. I think, I'm suspicious they might've been one additional unit added to it. I know when the renovations were taking place that one of the joiners working on it picked up something on the top of the wall and said 'oh, this looks like an old hand grenade' and someone else said 'Well, it may not be an old hand grenade, put it down very carefully' so eventually it was discovered that it was left over from war time and that had been one of the training bases for the Home Guard and that the, when bomb disposal came along there was an almighty bang when they had to get rid of everything so, a wartime relic there. It's a lovely location; totally different climate from everything else round about, it's such a cosy little corner. Very steep land but great livestock grazing because it's just so mild and sheltered in there.