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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (20 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_02_05
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41085
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
agriculture
built environment
villages
dwellings
houses
farms
airstrips
quarries

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about the aerodrome at Blackstand, on the road between Resolis and Rosemarkie.

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: When was the, when was the quarry established, the Forestry Commission quarry?

AC: I'm not sure but I think it probably dates to the Forestry Commission doing extensive works on the Black Isle, that would be the logical thing because they bought a lot of land on the Black Isle, mostly land that was formerly the Mulbuie Common, but some other bits as well, and then they set up a lot of nurseries on the Black Isle so it was a very, very busy hub of forestry activity on the Black Isle.

CM: And what period would that be, Alasdair?

AC: Probably after Second World War that the major developments took place. And that they actually, they used a lot of ex-war material, such as a lot of their vehicles were ex-war department, and they took over the, what was the Black Isle's only airport. It was Blackstand which was a, really a dispersal aerodrome for other aerodromes in the area and that the Forestry Commission had their workshops there and some of their nurseries. But they'd a lot of nurseries and employed a lot of people, and they sent their tree plants all over Scotland and into the north of England and even the north of Wales, so it was quite a significant production facility.

CM: And Blackstand? That's in the Muir of Ord area?

AC: No, no, it's on the road between, basically Resolis and Rosemarkie. It's, it became Forestry Commission. There was no, there was no significant area of hard standing, it was grass runways. They spread welded, heavy welded netting onto the grass and put a lot of phosphate in the form of basic slag to get the strongest possible root structure for the grass that would carry the planes, and the netting was spiked down by giant staples that were hammered in. It was a bit of an art form because it was a sloping runway and that experienced pilots approached it diagonally to land uphill, if at all possible. But it's, it was a difficult task to find a suitable location for such a facility on the Black Isle. They required woodland to try and get some camouflage cover to basically hide planes in the wood as much as anything else. The first choice was actually very near here; it was the very top of Kilcoy Farm I believe that was looked at, at one stage but it had a bit of a slope as well, but didn't have enough woodland for cover, I gather.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (20 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

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

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about the aerodrome at Blackstand, on the road between Resolis and Rosemarkie.<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: When was the, when was the quarry established, the Forestry Commission quarry?<br /> <br /> AC: I'm not sure but I think it probably dates to the Forestry Commission doing extensive works on the Black Isle, that would be the logical thing because they bought a lot of land on the Black Isle, mostly land that was formerly the Mulbuie Common, but some other bits as well, and then they set up a lot of nurseries on the Black Isle so it was a very, very busy hub of forestry activity on the Black Isle.<br /> <br /> CM: And what period would that be, Alasdair?<br /> <br /> AC: Probably after Second World War that the major developments took place. And that they actually, they used a lot of ex-war material, such as a lot of their vehicles were ex-war department, and they took over the, what was the Black Isle's only airport. It was Blackstand which was a, really a dispersal aerodrome for other aerodromes in the area and that the Forestry Commission had their workshops there and some of their nurseries. But they'd a lot of nurseries and employed a lot of people, and they sent their tree plants all over Scotland and into the north of England and even the north of Wales, so it was quite a significant production facility.<br /> <br /> CM: And Blackstand? That's in the Muir of Ord area?<br /> <br /> AC: No, no, it's on the road between, basically Resolis and Rosemarkie. It's, it became Forestry Commission. There was no, there was no significant area of hard standing, it was grass runways. They spread welded, heavy welded netting onto the grass and put a lot of phosphate in the form of basic slag to get the strongest possible root structure for the grass that would carry the planes, and the netting was spiked down by giant staples that were hammered in. It was a bit of an art form because it was a sloping runway and that experienced pilots approached it diagonally to land uphill, if at all possible. But it's, it was a difficult task to find a suitable location for such a facility on the Black Isle. They required woodland to try and get some camouflage cover to basically hide planes in the wood as much as anything else. The first choice was actually very near here; it was the very top of Kilcoy Farm I believe that was looked at, at one stage but it had a bit of a slope as well, but didn't have enough woodland for cover, I gather.