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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (26 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_03_02
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41091
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
agriculture
built environment
villages
dwellings
houses
farms

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about water turbines and steam-powered mills on the Black Isle.

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: The other interesting ones with water turbines was at the farm of Drummondreach where there was a water turbine driving the thrashing mill, the roller mill for grinding the grain, or rather, flaking the grain, known as a bruiser, and the remnants of the steel pipe that provided water to that can be found in Drummondreach Woods. Move along to Findon, there's records that suggest there were probably two turbines in the Findon barn and we learnt from the group at Culbokie that the turbine was set up to provide electricity for the steading to begin with and then, at a later period, the luxury of electricity was extended to the farmhouse. There's no records of wind power in the Black Isle although there was a windmill across from Kessock, at Inverness, which, I suddenly realise is marked on this map, I see, 'Old Windmill', but there may have been one or two windmills in Easter Ross area to the north of the Black Isle, but no remnants of these.

Later, the source of power was the steam engine and that the, well the remnants of these were very visible from afar with brick chimneys, and that one that I was particularly aware of was at Alcaig Farm because I could see it from where I was born and brought up at Corntown, and it was a very distinctive feature on the landscape. It disappeared, I think probably in the mid 50s but strangely enough another one appeared at the old meal mill at Alcaig where they established a knackery and a boiling down works and that it had a tall brick chimney which helped to get the smell up into the upper atmosphere. We've still got one today in the Resolis area at Kirkton Farm and that Kirkton Farm is a very interesting example of ancient and modern. And I looked at it recently and took a photograph of it with the huge satellite dish on one of the houses, the steam engine chimney behind, and across the water, on the hillside, is all the wind turbines of the Novar Estate. So lurking in the middle of it is a drilling rig parked up in the Firth, so you have the different sources of power, almost in a straight line there.

The other one that has disappeared was at Udale Farm which is just up the hill from Resolis and that it was probably the last farm in the Black Isle to have a working steam engine. And that Mr Chapman at Udale Farm was very traditional; he had horses at quite a late period, and he also had a crawler-type caterpillar tractor at an early period, because it was quite heavy land there, but his steam-powered mill was quite a historic sight. The engine was removed in the 1960s and is with the Agricultural Museum. It was in Edinburgh, I'm not sure if it's relocated to their new museum near East Kilbride.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (26 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

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

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about water turbines and steam-powered mills on the Black Isle.<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: The other interesting ones with water turbines was at the farm of Drummondreach where there was a water turbine driving the thrashing mill, the roller mill for grinding the grain, or rather, flaking the grain, known as a bruiser, and the remnants of the steel pipe that provided water to that can be found in Drummondreach Woods. Move along to Findon, there's records that suggest there were probably two turbines in the Findon barn and we learnt from the group at Culbokie that the turbine was set up to provide electricity for the steading to begin with and then, at a later period, the luxury of electricity was extended to the farmhouse. There's no records of wind power in the Black Isle although there was a windmill across from Kessock, at Inverness, which, I suddenly realise is marked on this map, I see, 'Old Windmill', but there may have been one or two windmills in Easter Ross area to the north of the Black Isle, but no remnants of these.<br /> <br /> Later, the source of power was the steam engine and that the, well the remnants of these were very visible from afar with brick chimneys, and that one that I was particularly aware of was at Alcaig Farm because I could see it from where I was born and brought up at Corntown, and it was a very distinctive feature on the landscape. It disappeared, I think probably in the mid 50s but strangely enough another one appeared at the old meal mill at Alcaig where they established a knackery and a boiling down works and that it had a tall brick chimney which helped to get the smell up into the upper atmosphere. We've still got one today in the Resolis area at Kirkton Farm and that Kirkton Farm is a very interesting example of ancient and modern. And I looked at it recently and took a photograph of it with the huge satellite dish on one of the houses, the steam engine chimney behind, and across the water, on the hillside, is all the wind turbines of the Novar Estate. So lurking in the middle of it is a drilling rig parked up in the Firth, so you have the different sources of power, almost in a straight line there.<br /> <br /> The other one that has disappeared was at Udale Farm which is just up the hill from Resolis and that it was probably the last farm in the Black Isle to have a working steam engine. And that Mr Chapman at Udale Farm was very traditional; he had horses at quite a late period, and he also had a crawler-type caterpillar tractor at an early period, because it was quite heavy land there, but his steam-powered mill was quite a historic sight. The engine was removed in the 1960s and is with the Agricultural Museum. It was in Edinburgh, I'm not sure if it's relocated to their new museum near East Kilbride.