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TITLE
Memories of Corran Ferry (1 of 6)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_ANNEMACKINTOSH_01
PLACENAME
Corran
DISTRICT
Ardnamurchan
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ARGYLL: Ardgour
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Anne Mackintosh
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
41179
KEYWORDS
ferries
markets
droving
audio

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The Corran Ferry crosses the Corran Narrows in Loch Linnhe, nine miles south of Fort William. The eastern slipway at Nether Lochaber links with the A82 north to Fort William, or south to Ballachulish and Glencoe. The western slipway at Ardgour provides direct access to Ardnamurchan, Morvern and Moidart. The ferry is on an ancient drove route to Central Scotland and is one of the few crossings still in operation today.

In this audio extract, Anne Mackintosh, daughter of former Corran Ferry operator, Jimmy Mackintosh, recalls life at the ferry prior to 1934, before the advent of the car ferry.

Well, when I remember Corran Ferry first, I was a very small child, and in those days the ferry was run by a man by the name of Donald Buchanan and he - originally it was a rowing boat he had going across - and to call the ferryman there was a bell hanging on an iron post at the ferry here, and a rope on it, and the passengers came along and rang the bell at the ferry and Donald just came across when it suited himself; there was no great hurry at all. Of course, people didn't rush around in those days at all. And eventually he managed to get a motor launch and things were a wee bit easier for him and, of course, the service improved with a motor launch. But with a hotel on both sides Donald was inclined to get lost now and again, and sometimes forget that the boat was tied up at the jetty. And the tide would go out, and, of course, the ferry had to be off until the tide came in and lifted it off the shore again.

In those days, too, there was a lot of cattle and sheep coming from the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, going to the auction marts in Fort William, and they used to take the cattle and the sheep across in a large rowing boat. And, of course, in those days, Donald had to have assistance to row this big boat and I've even seen them swimming horses across behind the boat. And sometimes the cattle got landed in the sea as well, but it would have to be a calm day to get them over. And these beasts would be grazed near the ferry and, in the old days, the farmers and the shepherds stayed overnight in the little hotel which we have here, and then get up at about four in the morning and walk the cattle or the sheep into Fort William where they would be sold at a local market.

Things have improved so much nowadays, of course, that they now have the cattle floats and they're back and forward several times in a day, and people don't have to undergo the hazards and unpleasantness of bad weather as they did in the old days

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Memories of Corran Ferry (1 of 6)

ARGYLL: Ardgour

1980s; 1990s

ferries; markets; droving; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Corran Ferry

The Corran Ferry crosses the Corran Narrows in Loch Linnhe, nine miles south of Fort William. The eastern slipway at Nether Lochaber links with the A82 north to Fort William, or south to Ballachulish and Glencoe. The western slipway at Ardgour provides direct access to Ardnamurchan, Morvern and Moidart. The ferry is on an ancient drove route to Central Scotland and is one of the few crossings still in operation today. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, Anne Mackintosh, daughter of former Corran Ferry operator, Jimmy Mackintosh, recalls life at the ferry prior to 1934, before the advent of the car ferry.<br /> <br /> Well, when I remember Corran Ferry first, I was a very small child, and in those days the ferry was run by a man by the name of Donald Buchanan and he - originally it was a rowing boat he had going across - and to call the ferryman there was a bell hanging on an iron post at the ferry here, and a rope on it, and the passengers came along and rang the bell at the ferry and Donald just came across when it suited himself; there was no great hurry at all. Of course, people didn't rush around in those days at all. And eventually he managed to get a motor launch and things were a wee bit easier for him and, of course, the service improved with a motor launch. But with a hotel on both sides Donald was inclined to get lost now and again, and sometimes forget that the boat was tied up at the jetty. And the tide would go out, and, of course, the ferry had to be off until the tide came in and lifted it off the shore again. <br /> <br /> In those days, too, there was a lot of cattle and sheep coming from the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, going to the auction marts in Fort William, and they used to take the cattle and the sheep across in a large rowing boat. And, of course, in those days, Donald had to have assistance to row this big boat and I've even seen them swimming horses across behind the boat. And sometimes the cattle got landed in the sea as well, but it would have to be a calm day to get them over. And these beasts would be grazed near the ferry and, in the old days, the farmers and the shepherds stayed overnight in the little hotel which we have here, and then get up at about four in the morning and walk the cattle or the sheep into Fort William where they would be sold at a local market. <br /> <br /> Things have improved so much nowadays, of course, that they now have the cattle floats and they're back and forward several times in a day, and people don't have to undergo the hazards and unpleasantness of bad weather as they did in the old days