Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Evanton Oral History Project - Sandy Bethune (2 of 9)
EXTERNAL ID
EOHP_SANDY_BETHUNE_02
PLACENAME
Evanton
DISTRICT
Dingwall
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Kiltearn
DATE OF RECORDING
1991; 1992
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Sandy Bethune
SOURCE
Evanton Oral History Project
ASSET ID
41151
KEYWORDS
audios
recollections
oral histories
oral history

Get Adobe Flash player

This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark. In this extract, former sawmill worker, Sandy Bethune, talks about his life as a sawmill worker.


Interviewer: Did your father encourage you to go into the sawmill?

Well, the sawmiller himself, or the, Mr Munro that had the timber merchant -

Interviewer: Yes.

They came and - well they asked him first, like, then they came to me and asked, aye.

Interviewer: Had you spent time around the sawmill before and shown an interest?

Yes I was always in the, back and fore in the sawmills when my father was in it. It was the old steam engine then.

Interviewer: Mmm-hmm?

Aye. It was, you know, it was something to go and see.

Interviewer: What was your first job at the sawmill?

Eh, what they call 'tailing'. That's picking behind the, the saw, you know?

Interviewer: Ah, yes.

The stuff coming, the wood coming through, you were picking off the sawn wood, stacking it out, and, aye.

Interviewer: Do you remember what your first pay was?

Eighteen shillings a week.

Interviewer: Yes?

Aye. Eighteen shillings a week. And that run - paid by the month - three pound twelve a month, is that? Aye. And I think then it went up, it went up I think then to a pound a week. That was well on though. I mean we were - aye. [?]

Interviewer: How many were working in the sawmills?

Well we had, five I think it was. That's when I started. Five or six, aye. Aye, aye. There were two - what they call the double end, you see - you had a - what they call the big end for cutting the big stuff and then you had a small end for cutting the small stuff; staves and all these - staves for making the barrels.

Interviewer: What were the safety arrangements like?

They were quite good, aye. Oh yes, they used to come round regular, like, the factory inspectors and round regular. Oh yes, you had to be safety.

Interviewer: So were there any serious accidents while you were there?

Oh well, a few cuts, like. There were one chappie - Manson - from Alness, he got cut when I was there. Cut the two fingers off. But not badly. Oh, there were a few cuts and fingers off, you know?

Interviewer: So you used to go up to Multovie as well?

Yes. Aye. Mmm-hmm. Aye.

Interviewer: How would get up there?

Cycle. A bicycle. Up there by seven o'clock in the morning. The whistle would go.

Interviewer: The whistle would go?

Aye. Oh yes.

Interviewer: Where?

In the, on the engine, you see. There were a whistle, there a steam whistle on the engine, you see, and that would go at seven o'clock. My father was on the engine.

Interviewer: Yes.

He was what they call fireman on the engines, aye. Och, he use to leave - well, he used to leave here about five o'clock in the morning, some mornings. He had to get steam up, you see, before seven o'clock.

Interviewer: And your father worked there until he retired?

Yes, yes. Oh, aye, he was there till he retired, yes.

Interviewer: And he went to live in the village?

In the village, aye. Happily, aye. Oh, was living here, in the top house here, a good while after he retired and then he went along to the village.

Interviewer: And do you know what sort of pension he got from the estate?

Mmm?

Interviewer: His pension.

Oh, no pension.

Interviewer: There was no pension?

No. No pension, no.

Interviewer: But he had the house here for some years?

Oh yes, aye. Aye, he still had the house free, a free house, you see?

Interviewer: He had the free house in the village?

No, no. He hasn't got a -

Interviewer: Here, on the estate?

Aye. Here, aye, on the estate. Aye. Oh yes, he had the house here. Och, they were very good here.

Interviewer: Yes.

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Evanton Oral History Project - Sandy Bethune (2 of 9)

ROSS: Kiltearn

1990s

audios; recollections; oral histories; oral history

Evanton Oral History Project

Evanton Oral History Project

This audio extract is from the Evanton Oral History Project, a project undertaken in 1991-92 by Adrian Clark. In this extract, former sawmill worker, Sandy Bethune, talks about his life as a sawmill worker.<br /> <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Did your father encourage you to go into the sawmill?<br /> <br /> Well, the sawmiller himself, or the, Mr Munro that had the timber merchant - <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> They came and - well they asked him first, like, then they came to me and asked, aye.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Had you spent time around the sawmill before and shown an interest?<br /> <br /> Yes I was always in the, back and fore in the sawmills when my father was in it. It was the old steam engine then.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Mmm-hmm?<br /> <br /> Aye. It was, you know, it was something to go and see.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What was your first job at the sawmill?<br /> <br /> Eh, what they call 'tailing'. That's picking behind the, the saw, you know?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Ah, yes.<br /> <br /> The stuff coming, the wood coming through, you were picking off the sawn wood, stacking it out, and, aye.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Do you remember what your first pay was?<br /> <br /> Eighteen shillings a week. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes?<br /> <br /> Aye. Eighteen shillings a week. And that run - paid by the month - three pound twelve a month, is that? Aye. And I think then it went up, it went up I think then to a pound a week. That was well on though. I mean we were - aye. [?]<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How many were working in the sawmills?<br /> <br /> Well we had, five I think it was. That's when I started. Five or six, aye. Aye, aye. There were two - what they call the double end, you see - you had a - what they call the big end for cutting the big stuff and then you had a small end for cutting the small stuff; staves and all these - staves for making the barrels.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What were the safety arrangements like?<br /> <br /> They were quite good, aye. Oh yes, they used to come round regular, like, the factory inspectors and round regular. Oh yes, you had to be safety.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So were there any serious accidents while you were there?<br /> <br /> Oh well, a few cuts, like. There were one chappie - Manson - from Alness, he got cut when I was there. Cut the two fingers off. But not badly. Oh, there were a few cuts and fingers off, you know?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: So you used to go up to Multovie as well?<br /> <br /> Yes. Aye. Mmm-hmm. Aye.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How would get up there?<br /> <br /> Cycle. A bicycle. Up there by seven o'clock in the morning. The whistle would go.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: The whistle would go?<br /> <br /> Aye. Oh yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Where?<br /> <br /> In the, on the engine, you see. There were a whistle, there a steam whistle on the engine, you see, and that would go at seven o'clock. My father was on the engine.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.<br /> <br /> He was what they call fireman on the engines, aye. Och, he use to leave - well, he used to leave here about five o'clock in the morning, some mornings. He had to get steam up, you see, before seven o'clock.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And your father worked there until he retired?<br /> <br /> Yes, yes. Oh, aye, he was there till he retired, yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And he went to live in the village?<br /> <br /> In the village, aye. Happily, aye. Oh, was living here, in the top house here, a good while after he retired and then he went along to the village.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And do you know what sort of pension he got from the estate?<br /> <br /> Mmm?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: His pension.<br /> <br /> Oh, no pension.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: There was no pension?<br /> <br /> No. No pension, no.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: But he had the house here for some years?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, aye. Aye, he still had the house free, a free house, you see?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: He had the free house in the village?<br /> <br /> No, no. He hasn't got a - <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Here, on the estate?<br /> <br /> Aye. Here, aye, on the estate. Aye. Oh yes, he had the house here. Och, they were very good here.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Yes.