BNC Text HE9

Orkney Sound Archive tape OSA 337: interview for oral history project. Sample containing about 6196 words speech recorded in leisure context

5 speakers recorded by respondent number C358

PS2US Ag1 f (No name, age 20+, historian, Interviewer) unspecified
PS2UT Ag5 m (Davie, age 75+, retired surveyor, Interviewee.) unspecified
PS2UU Ag5 m (Walter, age 72, retired surveyor, Interviewee.) unspecified
HE9PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HE9PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 102901 recorded on 1993-03-17. LocationOrkneys () Activity: Interview for oral history project Interview/reminiscences

Undivided text

(PS2US) [1] Okay.
[2] [...] recording is that?
[3] Now if you jut want to say your name or something, just to [...] check check that's re it's recording.
[4] If you just give me your name or say hello or something .
Davie (PS2UT) [5] Dave .
(PS2US) [6] No say say it towards [...] the [...] [laugh] .
Davie (PS2UT) [7] Oh Dave .
(PS2US) [8] Er do you want to say it now?
Davie (PS2UT) [9] David .
(PS2US) [10] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [11] Walter .
(PS2US) [12] Okay right that's not bad.
[13] That's just
Davie (PS2UT) [14] Is that working?
(PS2US) [15] That's working fine.
[16] Okay, well we'll just we'll just start then.
[17] I mean
Davie (PS2UT) [18] Mhm.
(PS2US) [19] don't be frightened to speak loud. [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [20] No no [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
(PS2US) [21] See the clearer you speak the clearer it'll be on here .
Davie (PS2UT) [22] [laugh] Ah yes.
(PS2US) [23] Okay.
Davie (PS2UT) [24] Mhm.
(PS2US) [25] So then and er is that a bit uncomfy
Davie (PS2UT) [26] No it's fine.
(PS2US) [27] for your [...] there ?
Davie (PS2UT) [28] It's fine it's fine.
(PS2US) [29] Is that is that okay?
Davie (PS2UT) [30] Fine.
(PS2US) [31] But Okay then So I'm here speaking to Walter and David and you've both worked at Lyness during the second war.
[32] No the first [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [33] No the second war .
Davie (PS2UT) [34] No no.
(PS2US) [35] It's both it's the second.
[36] Right you are.
[37] Well I was just actually gonna ask you about about what you did afore it.
[38] How you got into this work.
[39] So I'll start with you Walter.
Walter (PS2UU) [40] Well [laugh] when I left school I stayed in the island of Hoy to [...] Lyness.
(PS2US) [41] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [42] And er my first job I had at Lyness was working for William on the tanks outside, tarmacadam under the tanks.
(PS2US) [43] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [44] And then when I finished there, came and I was employ employed number one by them.
(PS2US) [45] [...] So your first job was was working with the tarmacadam.
Walter (PS2UU) [46] Yeah, with William .
(PS2US) [47] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [48] Doing it under the tanks.
(PS2US) [49] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [50] And then when that job finished I started with .
[51] And they were the firm that were [...] make a tunnel up the hill.
[52] But first they had to look for a camp site so Mr was the chief engineer I was employed by him, to have a look round and we discovered Lyness farm to be a suitable place.
(PS2US) [53] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [54] So they decided to build the camp there.
[55] They bought the farm from the late William Wards and built the camp there.
(PS2US) [56] And would that be the first camp buildings on Hoy or
Walter (PS2UU) [57] Oh no there was more camps afore that.
[58] There would have been Sir William before that.
(PS2US) [59] Mhm.
[60] And er so what er what er sort of era was when about was this still right at the beginning of the war when you were doing this or
Walter (PS2UU) [61] That would have been I would say maybe August nineteen thirty eight.
(PS2US) [62] Nineteen thirty eight.
Walter (PS2UU) [63] Mhm.
(PS2US) [64] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [65] Mhm.
[66] Mhm.
(PS2US) [67] Cos I was reading in Hugh [...] 's book that the very first sort of work was in surveys done in thirty seven.
Walter (PS2UU) [68] That's right and [...] testing the heathers for the tunnel.
Davie (PS2UT) [69] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [70] They did drill holes up the hill.
Davie (PS2UT) [71] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [72] But before that was working there on the tanks digging out the tank farms.
[73] And their amp was the Fleet Canteen.
(PS2US) [74] I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [75] Yeah.
[76] Mhm.
(PS2US) [77] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [78] Mhm.
(PS2US) [79] And while while the while they were testing, did they employ any of the local folk for this [...] ?
Walter (PS2UU) [80] I think there was somebody employed dragging the stuff up the hill.
[81] I don't know how many how many were employed.
[82] There wasn't many men there was just a company come up and test bored in the hill.
(PS2US) [83] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [84] Mm.
(PS2US) [85] And was this testing for possible underground fuel tanks?
Walter (PS2UU) [86] That's what it was testing for.
[87] Yeah.
(PS2US) [88] [...] And did you know that on Hoy?
Walter (PS2UU) [89] No Well [...]
(PS2US) [90] Were you to told that this is what they were planning ?
Walter (PS2UU) [91] Nobody knew they they they said it was something to do with tanks but nobody knew
Davie (PS2UT) [92] [...] Rumours. [laugh]
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [93] Yeah.
[94] Mhm.
(PS2US) [95] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [96] Mhm.
(PS2US) [97] That would kind of be kept a bit quiet was it?
[98] The
Walter (PS2UU) [99] Well not in that base no, but
(PS2US) [100] Not in that base, no.
Walter (PS2UU) [101] there were quite a bit Lyness, because I remember once the Hoy Head coming down from Stromness with a lot of party makers aboard it and cameras out and afore they knew where they were the admiralty men was there whipping the films out of the cameras.
(PS2US) [102] Is that right?
Walter (PS2UU) [103] [laugh] Mhm.
[104] Mhm.
[105] Mhm.
(PS2US) [106] Mhm and this was just an innocent party [...] [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [107] [...] party [laugh] Mhm.
[108] Mhm.
[109] Mhm.
[110] Mhm.
[111] Mhm.
(PS2US) [112] So they they do they test [...] for the for the hill would be the first thing.
Walter (PS2UU) [113] Yeah.
(PS2US) [114] What can you mind what was the first sort of action on Hoy that impressed you cos Well you'd been there all your life you would have really seen the whole process happening.
Walter (PS2UU) [115] Well the first would have been the building of the tanks, the outside tanks.
(PS2US) [116] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [117] When came to dig out the foundations and like the buildings round the tanks.
(PS2US) [118] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [119] That was the first [...] .
(PS2US) [120] Mhm.
[121] And did you go straight to school?
[122] From school to doing that?
Walter (PS2UU) [123] No I was working various small jobs before that.
(PS2US) [124] Mhm that on Hoy [...] ?
Walter (PS2UU) [125] On Hoy yeah.
[126] Mhm.
(PS2US) [127] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [128] Mhm.
(PS2US) [129] Mhm.
[130] So did they just have you on right away?
Walter (PS2UU) [131] Oh yes.
(PS2US) [132] Full time?
Walter (PS2UU) [133] There was no trouble to get work then.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [134] There was no shortage of work. [laugh]
(PS2US) [135] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [136] Yeah.
[137] Mhm.
(PS2US) [138] [...] And and what about you Davie?
[139] You wouldn't have
Davie (PS2UT) [140] Well I started on farm work.
Walter (PS2UU) [141] Mhm.
(PS2US) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [142] [...] I started on farm work and then er we left that and we started with the County Council.
[143] On the
(PS2US) [144] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [145] roads and quarries and
(PS2US) [146] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [147] one thing and another.
[148] And then we decided that me and me brother would go chance our hand at Lyness.
(PS2US) [149] Ah.
Davie (PS2UT) [150] So the camps was up then of course when we came down.
Walter (PS2UU) [151] Yeah.
(PS2US) [152] Mhm.
[153] What
Davie (PS2UT) [154] So.
(PS2US) [155] time would that be about that you started [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [156] I think about the same time as Walter for the war was declared when we were down there on the third of September.
Walter (PS2UU) [157] Aye you'd have been there in thirty nine. ... [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [158] No the war was declared in thirty eight.
Walter (PS2UU) [159] Aye well that was the that was
(PS2US) [160] [...] thirty nine.
Davie (PS2UT) [161] Thirty nine was it?
Walter (PS2UU) [162] That was the crisis thirty eight.
Davie (PS2UT) [163] Ah.
[164] Ah it was thirty nine.
Walter (PS2UU) [165] Yeah that's the [...] crisis.
[166] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [167] Ah yes.
Walter (PS2UU) [168] Yeah.
(PS2US) [169] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [170] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [171] So I mind [...] war was declared then.
(PS2US) [172] Oh right.
Davie (PS2UT) [173] Frightened the life out of us altogether. [laugh]
(PS2US) [174] [laugh] And where are you from yourself?
[175] Are you from the mainland?
Davie (PS2UT) [176] Yes just here I belong I belong here .
(PS2US) [177] Oh I see Mhm.
[178] Right.
[179] So it wouldn't be too big a step just to go to Lyness really it was kind of a natural thing [...] ?
Davie (PS2UT) [180] No no just just caught the boat at Stromness and old Hoy Head and [...] down there and Took a bit
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [181] One and six it cost on the ferry [laugh]
(PS2US) [182] Mm.
[183] [...] And and why did you go there?
[184] It was
Davie (PS2UT) [185] Well for better money that's Better prospects, that's why
(PS2US) [186] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [187] we went there.
(PS2US) [188] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [189] Erm
(PS2US) [190] Yes that really would be where the employment was.
Davie (PS2UT) [191] Yes yeah.
(PS2US) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [192] We were working with the council at ten pence and hour so we thought we were going to improve on that a wee bit.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [laugh]
(PS2US) [193] Right I'll stick it atween you again now.
[194] Er ... Now [...] and I'll sit in front of you listening.
Davie (PS2UT) [195] Would you like a table to sit [...] ?
(PS2US) [196] Mm.
[197] Mm.
[198] I'm dead right with this [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [199] Ah.
(PS2US) [200] [...] .
[201] Okay.
[202] [...] . [clears throat] So what would your first job be then when you actually
Davie (PS2UT) [203] Working in the quarries er loading the lorries with a hand shovel.
(PS2US) [204] Hand shovel.
Davie (PS2UT) [205] Yeah.
(PS2US) [206] Is that all the equipment they gave you ?
Davie (PS2UT) [207] That's that's all we got.
[208] And they was high sided lorries it was a quite a a throw up .
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [209] Jesus.
Davie (PS2UT) [210] And old boss old West, Do you mind old West?
Walter (PS2UU) [211] Tom West and John West.
Davie (PS2UT) [212] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [213] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [214] He always said, Chuck it well over, chuck it well over .
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [215] All blooming right for him when he was six feet in the air.
Walter (PS2UU) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [laugh]
(PS2US) [216] Is this the lorries ?
Davie (PS2UT) [217] So Yes that's the Burn Transit lorries that were loaded .
Walter (PS2UU) [218] They were Dodge lorries.
Davie (PS2UT) [219] Aye [...] Dodge.
Walter (PS2UU) [220] Yeah.
(PS2US) [221] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [222] Mhm.
(PS2US) [223] And were they did you see them coming up?
[224] Were they transported specially up?
Davie (PS2UT) [225] Well Yes from London.
[226] It was a London firm .
Walter (PS2UU) [227] Mhm.
[228] Mhm.
[229] Yeah.
(PS2US) [230] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [231] But they all didn't come at one time, they were always had [...] new ones coming again .
Walter (PS2UU) [232] Yeah.
(PS2US) [233] Mhm.
[234] And and was i how did you work it, was it like a certain amount of men per lorry or did they just come in convoy ?
Davie (PS2UT) [235] Ah well they d Well as you see it's three or four lorries there [...] so many men at each lorry .
Walter (PS2UU) [236] Mhm.
[237] Yes.
(PS2US) [238] Mhm.
[239] And was it continual like, as soon as one lorry drove away did you get an empty in ?
Davie (PS2UT) [240] Oh the the lorries were standing waiting for you. [laugh]
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [241] Worse luck. [laugh]
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [242] Mhm.
[243] Mhm.
(PS2US) [244] About how can you mind how many of you there would have been?
[245] Roughly?
Davie (PS2UT) [246] Er in the camp?
[247] Well
(PS2US) [248] Working in the quarry.
Davie (PS2UT) [249] Oh my goodness [...] .
Walter (PS2UU) [250] Be twenty would there ?
Davie (PS2UT) [251] Aye it'd been about twenty or thirty .
Walter (PS2UU) [252] Yeah.
[253] Mhm.
(PS2US) [254] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [255] Mhm.
(PS2US) [256] Twenty or thirty.
Walter (PS2UU) [257] Mhm.
(PS2US) [258] Mhm.
[259] And and where where would you have stayed?
Davie (PS2UT) [260] In the camp.
[261] It was all camp.
(PS2US) [262] Mhm.
[263] Mhm.
[264] And that was was that was the camp just right on the Lyness Fell.
Walter (PS2UU) [265] The Lyness Fell [...] right on the point yeah .
Davie (PS2UT) [266] Aye right down to the shore there.
Walter (PS2UU) [267] Yeah the shore.
Davie (PS2UT) [268] In the middle of a turnip field.
[269] [...] there was
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [270] turnips underneath.
Walter (PS2UU) [271] They were building the camp on the top of the tatties and crop and turnips .
Davie (PS2UT) [272] It was turnips underneath the huts .
Walter (PS2UU) [273] Yeah.
[274] Yeah.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [275] And er put the huts up.
[276] Of Paisley.
(PS2US) [277] Is that right?
Walter (PS2UU) [278] They employed a lot of local labour of course too.
Davie (PS2UT) [279] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [280] They had a lot of joiners up from Paisley and they employed a lot of local labour as well.
(PS2US) [281] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [282] Mhm.
(PS2US) [283] But despite that it wasn't the first camp up.
[284] There was camps up for the tank workers [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [285] No er they had tanks up for their men yeah.
[286] They had huts up for their men.
(PS2US) [287] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [288] And did not?
Walter (PS2UU) [289] they had the Fleet Canteen.
Davie (PS2UT) [290] Ah.
(PS2US) [291] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [292] They had the whole Fleet Canteen,.
[293] They maybe had a a few huts for their bosses or [...] huts round it.
(PS2US) [294] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [295] But they used the Fleet Canteen which was there in the first war. [...]
(PS2US) [296] And it was right near the pier was it ?
Walter (PS2UU) [297] In the centre of the tanks.
(PS2US) [298] In the centre
Walter (PS2UU) [299] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [300] Mhm.
(PS2US) [301] of the tanks.
Walter (PS2UU) [302] Mhm.
[303] Mhm.
(PS2US) [304] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [305] Mhm.
[306] Mhm.
(PS2US) [307] And then later of course you'd get all the the rest of the camps.
[308] Was this was still fairly
Walter (PS2UU) [309] Oh yeah.
(PS2US) [310] early on in what nineteen thirty eight, thirty nine ?
Walter (PS2UU) [311] Thirty eight thirty nine yeah .
Davie (PS2UT) [312] Mhm.
[313] Mhm.
(PS2US) [314] Mhm.
[315] And then it would er at that time you would just have the tank workers and the quarry workers.
Walter (PS2UU) [316] Yeah.
(PS2US) [317] Is that right.
Davie (PS2UT) [318] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [319] And the ones up the hill.
Davie (PS2UT) [320] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [321] Digging the road up to Wee Fea.
(PS2US) [322] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [323] And trying to get the light poles up.
[324] There's a London firm did the light poles,.
Davie (PS2UT) [325] That's right [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [326] From London , they did the poles up from the Lyness up to the hill.
Davie (PS2UT) [327] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [328] For the lights.
[329] And right over the hill from North [...] to South [...] .
[330] Yeah.
(PS2US) [331] Was that lighting inside?
Walter (PS2UU) [332] Lighting inside yeah .
(PS2US) [333] Ah.
Walter (PS2UU) [334] But the lights [...] to keep power [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [335] Mhm.
[336] Mhm.
(PS2US) [337] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [338] Mhm.
(PS2US) [339] So you changed jobs then really did you both you both kind of started out in the quarries [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [340] Yes as labour for [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [341] Oh no.
[342] I actually started with eng civil engineer, going round looking for the camp site and then we did tramp the hills .
(PS2US) [343] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [344] And lay off were the tunnel was going to go and the road up to the hill and lay off the power station and
Davie (PS2UT) [345] Mhm .
(PS2US) [346] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [347] All that on the hill and then go down to the [...] and measure from there to the top of the hill to see how much pipe [...] for the
Davie (PS2UT) [348] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [349] for the [...] to pump water to the hill.
(PS2US) [350] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [351] Mhm.
[352] Yeah.
(PS2US) [353] So how many folk would you be working with?
Walter (PS2UU) [354] It was just two of us along with the surveyor.
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [355] That would be kind of the cushy job [laughing] [...] []
Davie (PS2UT) [356] Yes.
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [357] [...] carrying that theodolite and labelling [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [358] I mind [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [359] Yeah [...]
(PS2US) [360] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [361] Mhm.
(PS2US) [362] Mm that would that would still be seen as likely a better job that [laughing] [...] []
Davie (PS2UT) [363] Oh yeah
Walter (PS2UU) [364] Yeah yeah
Davie (PS2UT) [365] It certainly was.
Walter (PS2UU) [366] Yeah.
[367] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [368] But I got promoted to the road roller and then into the power station so
Walter (PS2UU) [369] Mm.
[370] Mm.
[371] Mhm.
[372] Yeah.
(PS2US) [373] Mhm you you [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [374] It was a different outfit altogether.
Walter (PS2UU) [375] Then I left the surveying surveyor [...] civil engineering I went in the black gang.
[376] Along with the fitters at the tunnel, looking after the locos and slushers in the tunnel and all the rest of the
(PS2US) [377] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [378] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [379] tunnel gear.
(PS2US) [380] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [381] Mhm.
(PS2US) [382] Can you mind roughly h how long it would have taken you to get the rough survey.
[383] How long
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [384] was that done?
Walter (PS2UU) [385] Oh there was weeks of it.
(PS2US) [386] Weeks of it?
Walter (PS2UU) [387] Weeks of it because the after the put in all his markings the admiralty came and checked the whole thing then.
[388] To see if it was right
Davie (PS2UT) [389] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [390] before they was allowed to go ahead.
(PS2US) [391] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [392] And e every week the admiralty had a clerk of works going round watching the progress.
[393] And er they had a surveyor gang checking all the lines in the tunnel that the surveyors put up to keep the men driving the right tunnel it shouldn't go p one past the other.
(PS2US) [394] Oh I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [395] Yeah.
[396] Mhm.
(PS2US) [397] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [398] They were working with both ends.
Walter (PS2UU) [399] Both ends you see.
[400] They were working from both ends. [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [401] They had so many men they had to start at the other end and
Walter (PS2UU) [402] [...] Aye [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [403] [...] to the other side so as they
Walter (PS2UU) [404] Met in the middle.
[405] And
Davie (PS2UT) [406] And they did meet.
Walter (PS2UU) [407] Did meet yeah.
[408] And then they
Davie (PS2UT) [409] Just a few inches.
Walter (PS2UU) [410] And then they had the adits coming down from the top.
[411] The two adits coming down as well the
(PS2US) [412] What's adits?
Walter (PS2UU) [413] Well they were tunnels too.
Davie (PS2UT) [414] It's just a vent-hole really for [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [415] And they they [...] they chaps down [...] to the pumps.
[416] The [...] pumps was at the bottom of the adit.
[417] The pumping for the tunnel.
(PS2US) [418] Mm.
Davie (PS2UT) [419] [...] pumping they'd a [...] pump away along [...] used to pump it along [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [420] Aye but they had two at the bottom.
[421] One in each [...] down at the bottom yeah .
Davie (PS2UT) [422] Oh it could've been.
[423] Yeah.
[424] Yeah.
(PS2US) [425] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [426] And [...] and they pumped in there.
Davie (PS2UT) [427] Mhm.
[428] Mhm.
(PS2US) [429] Right.
Davie (PS2UT) [430] Mhm.
(PS2US) [431] So you would wait till did did you ken what you were doing, did they explain it to you?
Walter (PS2UU) [432] The surveyors?
(PS2US) [433] What was happening [...] .
[434] Aha .
Walter (PS2UU) [435] Oh yes they told us it was to be underground oil storage.
[436] Yeah.
(PS2US) [437] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [438] They had three surveyors there.
(PS2US) [439] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [440] And they finished .
[441] And they had an [...] , an assistant [...] ,
(PS2US) [442] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [443] A chief engineer, Edward .
[444] And
Davie (PS2UT) [445] Aye they had plenty of bosses.
Walter (PS2UU) [446] ,
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [447] he was a local, he was the engineer up the hill.
(PS2US) [448] Mm.
Davie (PS2UT) [449] At that was [...] boss [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [450] Aye Magnus, yeah.
[451] Yeah.
(PS2US) [452] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [453] mhm.
(PS2US) [454] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [455] Mhm.
[456] Mhm.
(PS2US) [457] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [458] Mhm.
(PS2US) [459] Oh well I'm going back in time to catch up with [laughing] your side [] .
[460] Wh did the when you were erm still shovelling, did they ever provide you with better equipment?
[461] Than just your shovels ?
Davie (PS2UT) [462] No you just had your shovel.
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [463] [...] it going. [laugh]
(PS2US) [464] Oh I see [laugh] .
[465] And was it all.
Davie (PS2UT) [466] [...] down at the survey I wasn't very long there, I was only about
(PS2US) [467] Mm
Walter (PS2UU) [468] Mm Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [469] three or four weeks.
Walter (PS2UU) [470] Mm.
(PS2US) [471] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [472] On that kind of work and then
Walter (PS2UU) [473] Mhm.
[474] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [475] then I was on this roller and then we got er started up at the power station with the
(PS2US) [476] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [477] with the engines.
(PS2US) [478] mhm.
[479] And your your roller, that would all be shipped from down South as well was it?
Davie (PS2UT) [480] Well it was there when I came I don't know where it [...] Yes.
[481] Mm .
Walter (PS2UU) [482] Yes.
[483] It come up on the boats.
[484] Yeah.
(PS2US) [485] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [486] All the machinery come up from wherever the headquarters was.
(PS2US) [487] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [488] Mm.
(PS2US) [489] And could you drive already or did they
Davie (PS2UT) [490] Oh land rollers is no bother to drive [...]
(PS2US) [491] No [...] [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [492] Just one lever.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [493] Forward and start.
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS2US) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [494] And the biggest job was keeping the water in the boiler and keeping the You had to get steam.
Walter (PS2UU) [495] Mhm.
(PS2US) [496] Oh of course.
Walter (PS2UU) [497] Mhm yeah yeah.
[498] Mhm.
(PS2US) [499] Steam roller. [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [500] Mhm.
[501] Mhm.
(PS2US) [502] Aha.
[503] Right.
[504] Yeah.
[505] And and to get the stones, you would be working with just explosives?
[506] To start [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [507] Aye you you'd be blast it down It was drilled and blasted.
Walter (PS2UU) [508] Mhm.
[509] Mhm.
(PS2US) [510] Yeah.
[511] And then the road roller.
[512] So once you were road rolling, was you still on that job when you started to make the road up to up Wee Fea?
Davie (PS2UT) [513] Yes.
[514] Yeah.
[515] Yeah.
(PS2US) [516] Mhm.
[517] Mhm.
[518] That would be another major operation.
Davie (PS2UT) [519] It [...] it certainly was.
(PS2US) [520] Getting a road up that [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [521] [...] A lot of it was done by hand.
Davie (PS2UT) [522] It would have been mostly done by hand.
Walter (PS2UU) [523] There were some bits the digger was in, but mostly by hand.
Davie (PS2UT) [524] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [525] Yeah.
[526] And then it was all [...] with stones and
Davie (PS2UT) [527] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [528] and pitched and tarred.
[529] It's still standing good yet.
Davie (PS2UT) [530] But all the machinery was put up before the road was
Walter (PS2UU) [531] Yes.
(PS2US) [532] Afore the road?
Walter (PS2UU) [533] Yes yes.
Davie (PS2UT) [534] Afore the road, yes they just towed through the mud and
Walter (PS2UU) [535] Yeah.
[536] Mhm.
[537] Mhm.
(PS2US) [538] [...] Was that because they were so desperate for it?
Walter (PS2UU) [539] Yeah [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [540] Yes they had to get lights for for working .
Walter (PS2UU) [541] Mhm.
[542] Yeah.
(PS2US) [543] Mhm.
[544] And I suppose that would have been this
Davie (PS2UT) [545] Aye that's the
Walter (PS2UU) [546] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [547] the Blackstone.
[548] Six cylinder er four er six cylinder Blackstone.
Walter (PS2UU) [549] Mhm.
(PS2US) [550] And and what were they?
[551] Just g g generators?
[552] No?
Davie (PS2UT) [553] They they drove generators?
(PS2US) [554] They drove generators .
Davie (PS2UT) [555] Aye That's
Walter (PS2UU) [556] Yeah.
[557] Mhm.
[558] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [559] fixed down on a concrete bed and then your generator goes on the end on
Walter (PS2UU) [560] Mhm.
[561] Mhm.
[562] Mhm.
[563] Mhm
(PS2US) [564] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [565] Coupled.
Walter (PS2UU) [566] Mhm.
(PS2US) [567] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [568] Its flywheel and all this are going [...] after it's [...] .
(PS2US) [569] [...] what would you call one of them then?
Davie (PS2UT) [570] A six cylinder Blackstone.
(PS2US) [571] Ah right.
[572] Never heard of one of those .
Davie (PS2UT) [573] That's what it is.
[574] Mhm.
(PS2US) [575] Oh.
[576] So would you mind describing how you got it up there again cos I thought it was quite a good story. [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [577] Well they set off they towed it up and then they had at least six six of them Burn Transit lorries all towing it up.
Walter (PS2UU) [578] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [579] And er our road roller was pulling too.
[580] And we got half up and stuck.
[581] [laugh] And then er
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [582] they put a [...] pulley away up the hill.
[583] That was kind of a massive pulley in concrete.
[584] And then put the ropes round the pulley and pulled down the hill instead of pulling up.
Walter (PS2UU) [585] Mhm.
(PS2US) [586] Right.
Davie (PS2UT) [587] So we got it up that way.
(PS2US) [588] Mhm.
[589] That's quite clever, use gravity to help you along .
Davie (PS2UT) [590] Er yeah.
[591] Yes [...] downhill .
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [592] And
Davie (PS2UT) [593] See the roller [...] smooth tyres [...] wheels that could pull nothing up there.
Walter (PS2UU) [594] No.
Davie (PS2UT) [595] But with its own weight going down you could er Oh we got it up.
(PS2US) [596] You would need steep rope for your pulleys? [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [597] Oh yes.
[598] Oh yes.
(PS2US) [599] Aha.
[600] Can you imagine [...] down a hill in road [laughing] roller [] .
Davie (PS2UT) [laugh]
(PS2US) [601] It's just a nightmare.
[602] Yeah.
[603] So there was there was no accidents caused by all that going up ?
Davie (PS2UT) [604] No it all went
Walter (PS2UU) [605] Mhm.
[606] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [607] [...] sticking here and there but er
(PS2US) [608] Aha.
Davie (PS2UT) [609] we got it there.
(PS2US) [610] Mhm.
[611] And then once she was up, you did you have your power station already built?
Davie (PS2UT) [612] No oh well the floor was there.
[613] It was what the I think [...]
(PS2US) [614] [...] What was the station?
Walter (PS2UU) [615] That's part of the station.
(PS2US) [616] Is that?
Davie (PS2UT) [617] That is.
[618] That's the station.
Walter (PS2UU) [619] Yeah.
[620] It's a it was a
(PS2US) [621] Oh right.
Walter (PS2UU) [622] corrugated iron building.
Davie (PS2UT) [623] It's corrugated iron building, that's the station .
Walter (PS2UU) [624] Yeah.
[625] Yeah.
(PS2US) [626] Oh right.
[627] Of of course it's just quite a peedie building isn't it.
[628] It's not a great big [...] .
Walter (PS2UU) [629] [...] Oh it's not [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [630] No no.
[631] It's not very
Walter (PS2UU) [632] No.
Davie (PS2UT) [633] not very big but my [...] there was some noise inside there [...]
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [634] When that big er belt [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [635] Yeah [...] Yeah.
(PS2US) [636] [laugh] er and what was actually inside it then?
Davie (PS2UT) [637] Well there was nothing in it but the engines and and the
Walter (PS2UU) [638] And
Davie (PS2UT) [639] generators.
Walter (PS2UU) [640] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [641] And compressors.
(PS2US) [642] And and how many engines would there be?
Davie (PS2UT) [643] Er
Walter (PS2UU) [644] Five was it?
Davie (PS2UT) [645] It was er three, two hundred and forty horse Blackstones ,
Walter (PS2UU) [646] Yeah.
[647] One small one.
Davie (PS2UT) [648] On hundred and forty horse.
Walter (PS2UU) [649] Ah and a Crossley.
Davie (PS2UT) [650] And a Crossley was three hundred and fifty, it was the biggest one of the lot .
Walter (PS2UU) [651] Yeah.
[652] Yeah.
[653] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [654] There'd gave been five five engines [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [655] Five engines yes.
(PS2US) [656] [...] And how many generators would that run?
Walter (PS2UU) [657] Five generators [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [658] All the all the generators.
Walter (PS2UU) [659] [...] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [660] Five.
Walter (PS2UU) [661] So you had to have an engine for each generator?
(PS2US) [662] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [663] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [664] Mhm.
(PS2US) [665] Mhm.
[666] And then that was all erm giving light to the tunnel?
Davie (PS2UT) [667] Light and power yes.
(PS2US) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [668] In fact, Lyness got light off it to begin with.
Davie (PS2UT) [669] Aye.
(PS2US) [670] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [671] Because they had no power station at Lyness.
(PS2US) [672] Of course
Walter (PS2UU) [673] Un until the admiralty put in two stations later on.
[674] A and B station.
(PS2US) [675] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [676] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [677] mhm.
(PS2US) [678] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [679] It was the Blackstones [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [680] Mhm.
[681] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [682] Mhm.
(PS2US) [683] [...] your compressors, was that for air?
[684] Were
Davie (PS2UT) [685] Yeah.
(PS2US) [686] you feeding air
Walter (PS2UU) [687] Yeah.
(PS2US) [688] into the tunnel?
Walter (PS2UU) [689] For the drilling.
Davie (PS2UT) [690] Aye the
(PS2US) [691] Ah.
Walter (PS2UU) [692] And for the mechanical shovels, the slushers.
Davie (PS2UT) [693] Aye it was all compressed air.
Walter (PS2UU) [694] Compressed air.
[695] Mhm.
[696] Mhm.
(PS2US) [697] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [698] Mhm.
(PS2US) [699] What about the folk working in the tunnel, would they need air at all?
Walter (PS2UU) [700] Yeah.
[701] No no there was plenty of fresh air.
(PS2US) [702] Plenty of fresh air.
Davie (PS2UT) [703] Ah but they had a vent-line [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [704] They they had they had [...] round to suck out the
Davie (PS2UT) [705] A big
Walter (PS2UU) [706] the gelignite fumes and the diesel fumes yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [707] It was a fan blowing it out.
Walter (PS2UU) [708] Flan blowing it out yeah.
(PS2US) [709] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [710] Mhm.
[711] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [712] And if you went past the end of it with your hat on and you're whoof
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [713] You'd [...] a bald head.
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [714] The fans are still in it yet, for the
Davie (PS2UT) [715] Oh.
Walter (PS2UU) [716] for the admiralty [...] the fans in it yet but they're
(PS2US) [717] Oh right.
Walter (PS2UU) [718] not wired up [...] of course. [...]
(PS2US) [719] Aha.
[720] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [721] no lights.
(PS2US) [722] And what was your day to day job then?
[723] In in
Davie (PS2UT) [724] Oh well worked in shifts .
(PS2US) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [725] Three shifts right round the clock.
Walter (PS2UU) [726] Mhm.
(PS2US) [727] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [728] Seven to three and three to eleven and eleven to seven.
(PS2US) [729] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [730] One week about.
(PS2US) [731] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [732] And you were supposed to work half past seven to half past five.
Davie (PS2UT) [733] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [734] But there was no limit to working time, [...] four to ten at night if they wanted you.
Davie (PS2UT) [735] Mm.
(PS2US) [736] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [737] There was no hours worried about.
(PS2US) [738] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [739] Work on work on.
(PS2US) [740] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [741] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [742] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [743] Mhm.
(PS2US) [744] mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [745] Mhm.
(PS2US) [746] And once your surveying was done, did they actually put you inside the tunnel?
Walter (PS2UU) [747] Oh you [...] the whole time
(PS2US) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [748] with the surveyors.
(PS2US) [749] Oh right.
Walter (PS2UU) [750] Because you had to put in the level plugs for them to keep the level and the centre lines to keep the centre.
(PS2US) [751] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [752] Every day you were in with the [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
(PS2US) [753] Of course you would survey the outside
Walter (PS2UU) [754] Yeah.
(PS2US) [755] And then you would just need to be b used to build the whole of the inside then .
Walter (PS2UU) [756] Yeah.
[757] Yeah.
[758] They surveyed the whole hill, right over the top.
(PS2US) [759] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [760] And then er decided where the entrance was to go in.
(PS2US) [761] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [762] And then er kept the centre line then.
(PS2US) [763] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [764] Mhm.
(PS2US) [765] So d you had a North South [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [766] Aye North South, yeah yeah.
(PS2US) [767] East West [...] ?
Walter (PS2UU) [768] No.
Davie (PS2UT) [769] No No.
[770] Just right through .
(PS2US) [771] No just North South .
Walter (PS2UU) [772] Right through.
Davie (PS2UT) [773] Right through.
Walter (PS2UU) [774] That was right through and then once they got it right through, they cut the big chamber then.
[775] They drove a ten by eight tunnel on that side.
(PS2US) [776] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [777] To the right and a ten by eight to the left and then they went up a grade and they drove up same on both.
[778] Till they got a good piece through.
(PS2US) [779] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [780] And then they came back and they drove shafts down to the bottom.
(PS2US) [781] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [782] And once they got that down th cut the arches then, the wide arch.
[783] And they 'creted then As they took the big piece out, they kept pumping concrete and shifting then pumping again.
[784] So as the roof was all secure before they blasted the centre out.
(PS2US) [785] Oh I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [786] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [787] And it was on rails that [...]
(PS2US) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [788] On rails [...] Yeah.
[789] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [790] And then pumped the concrete in at the back.
Walter (PS2UU) [791] Section at a time.
[792] And once they got that section all set, they started to cut the next in.
[793] And then they shift again.
[794] Pump that one in and kept moving on.
(PS2US) [795] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [796] They got the roof secure, cos it was a wide
Davie (PS2UT) [797] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [798] hole then.
Davie (PS2UT) [799] It was a massive job.
Walter (PS2UU) [800] Yeah.
[801] Mhm.
[802] And then they blasted the centre out.
Davie (PS2UT) [803] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [804] The side and the b floor put in then. [...]
(PS2US) [805] Oh right.
Walter (PS2UU) [806] Mhm.
(PS2US) [807] And was it off this one central chamber that you took the tank chambers round?
Davie (PS2UT) [808] Yeah off the first one,
(PS2US) [809] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [810] and then you drove another tunnel out to the right
(PS2US) [811] Right.
Davie (PS2UT) [812] and you so far out and then you drove another one in to the next chamber.
(PS2US) [813] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [814] Same again to the next until you got your six chambers.
(PS2US) [815] I see.
Davie (PS2UT) [816] And then they drove another tunnel out, an access tunnel which
(PS2US) [817] mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [818] Once they were concreting the pipe tunnel as they called it.
Walter (PS2UU) [819] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [820] They used that to take all the muck out then.
(PS2US) [821] Ah I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [822] Yeah.
[823] Yeah.
[824] Mhm.
(PS2US) [825] And how were your six chambers arranged?
[826] Was it in a circle like that? [...] a central one [...] No.
[827] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [828] No.
[829] No no.
[830] One l one like that and then the entrance into it.
(PS2US) [831] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [832] The next in like that.
(PS2US) [833] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [834] And the next and the next [...] just the same.
(PS2US) [835] Ah I see .
Walter (PS2UU) [836] Yeah.
[837] Mhm.
[838] Mhm.
(PS2US) [839] And the same off this side then ?
Walter (PS2UU) [840] No.
(PS2US) [841] No?
[842] Just all the one.
Walter (PS2UU) [843] Just this one.
Davie (PS2UT) [844] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [845] Six on the one side.
(PS2US) [846] Ah I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [847] Mhm.
[848] Mhm.
[849] Mhm.
(PS2US) [850] So you would like come in to the main entrance and then
Walter (PS2UU) [851] Come into
(PS2US) [852] you'd have all the tanks right
Walter (PS2UU) [853] Yeah.
(PS2US) [854] to one side and then your exit.
Walter (PS2UU) [855] Yeah.
[856] Mhm.
(PS2US) [857] Ah.
Walter (PS2UU) [858] Mhm.
[859] Mhm.
(PS2US) [860] I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [861] Mhm.
(PS2US) [862] [...] like I imagined it at all.
Walter (PS2UU) [863] Mhm.
[864] Mhm.
(PS2US) [865] And where did the expertise for this job come from?
[866] They would all be folk engineers for South [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [867] Engineers for South yeah.
(PS2US) [868] Aha.
[869] And was that 's job?
Walter (PS2UU) [870] 's job yeah.
(PS2US) [871] Mhm.
[872] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [873] Mhm.
[874] Mhm.
[875] Course checked the whole time by the admiralty.
(PS2US) [876] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [877] They were there checking the whole time.
(PS2US) [878] mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [879] See that nothing was
(PS2US) [880] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [881] faulty or out of place.
(PS2US) [882] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [883] Condemning if it was wrong.
(PS2US) [884] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [885] Yeah.
(PS2US) [886] Were they pretty careful then?
Walter (PS2UU) [887] Oh they were.
[888] Yes.
(PS2US) [889] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [890] Mhm.
(PS2US) [891] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [892] They watched everything closely.
(PS2US) [893] And what about your your workmates?
[894] Were there any other local fellas on it or
Walter (PS2UU) [895] Oh yes, a lot of local fellas [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [896] Oh yes, yeah.
[897] Everyone who was spare was [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [898] Everybody as they left their school got a job doing something.
(PS2US) [899] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [900] They [...] worked in the kitchen or or huts
Davie (PS2UT) [901] Yeah.
[902] Working in the huts.
Walter (PS2UU) [903] or running in the running [...] to the [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [904] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [905] Yeah.
(PS2US) [906] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [907] Mhm.
(PS2US) [908] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [909] Mhm.
[910] Mhm.
[911] And you see a great lot of the people stayed locally [...] Well they had their wives up.
Davie (PS2UT) [912] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [913] Yeah and they stayed in local houses.
Davie (PS2UT) [914] Mhm.
(PS2US) [915] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [916] And of course had their own camp and their own agent's bungalow [...] Lyness, down on the point.
[917] Where the Gord
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [918] Gordon stayed and
Davie (PS2UT) [919] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [920] Ian and Jimmy and Bert and er Tom and all that ones.
[921] Tom and and John [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [922] John John both of then stayed there.
Davie (PS2UT) [923] All the gentry was down there.
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [924] And if it if it came an air raid you started [...] scurrying to the hill to get in the tunnel.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [925] [laugh] The air raid shelter. [laugh]
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [926] Yeah.
[927] Mhm.
(PS2US) [928] Er
Walter (PS2UU) [929] Mhm.
(PS2US) [930] And then of course erm would it be later that they took up the English miners?
Walter (PS2UU) [931] No they came up pretty soon in it, when they were digging the road but
Davie (PS2UT) [932] Yeah.
[933] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [934] they didn't think too much of the weather like this.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [935] No. [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [936] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [937] mhm.
(PS2US) [938] Is that right.
Walter (PS2UU) [939] Mhm.
(PS2US) [940] D Ho roughly how many came up [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [941] Fifty or sixty I think.
Davie (PS2UT) [942] Aye it was about sixty .
(PS2US) [943] About sixty.
Walter (PS2UU) [944] Sixty in the first lot.
[945] Yeah.
(PS2US) [946] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [947] But then men came from all over.
[948] They came form [...] and [...] and Aberdeen and
(PS2US) [949] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [950] Inverness and
Davie (PS2UT) [951] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [952] Shetland and all through the North Isles of Orkney, everywhere.
(PS2US) [953] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [954] They flocked in.
(PS2US) [955] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [956] And Spitzbergen.
Walter (PS2UU) [957] Spitzbergen.
[958] I was not there when they [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [...]
(PS2US) [959] The Norwegian lands?
Davie (PS2UT) [960] Yeah.
[961] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [962] Yeah.
[963] Yeah.
[964] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [965] Grand workers they were.
Walter (PS2UU) [966] Yeah.
(PS2US) [967] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [968] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [969] Great big tall men.
Walter (PS2UU) [970] Yeah.
[971] Mhm.
(PS2US) [972] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [973] Mhm.
(PS2US) [974] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [975] mhm.
(PS2US) [976] Did you have special clothing? [...] did you
Walter (PS2UU) [977] No we got we got an oilskin coat and a pair of rubber boots.
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [978] For to to protect you [...] in the tunnel they said you wear a helmet, but nobody hardly ever wore it.
[979] For [...]
(PS2US) [980] Is that right?
Walter (PS2UU) [981] [...] on your head.
Davie (PS2UT) [982] Aye.
(PS2US) [983] [laugh] And folk weren't keen on wearing them?
Walter (PS2UU) [984] No they hardly e there were maybe some did but very few.
(PS2US) [985] Ah right.
Walter (PS2UU) [986] Mhm.
(PS2US) [987] And did you get any masks for the fumes ?
Walter (PS2UU) [988] Oh no no no.
(PS2US) [989] No?
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
(PS2US) [990] [...] What about you Davie were you in
Davie (PS2UT) [991] I was never I didn't work in [...]
(PS2US) [992] What about working in the power station, did you have any Did you get ear muffs for the noise.
Davie (PS2UT) [993] No.
[994] Didn't have them but we should have had.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [995] But what a noise was in there.
(PS2US) [996] Mm.
[997] But you didn't get them.
Davie (PS2UT) [998] No.
Walter (PS2UU) [999] No.
(PS2US) [1000] No.
Walter (PS2UU) [1001] No.
(PS2US) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1002] I had a wee office but it was kind
Walter (PS2UU) [1003] Yes.
Davie (PS2UT) [1004] of sealed that you could go in and have a cup of tea in.
Walter (PS2UU) [1005] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1006] Ah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1007] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1008] Mhm.
[1009] So was your main work in the power station, checking everything was running alright?
[1010] Checking
Davie (PS2UT) [1011] Aye, just looking after engines.
(PS2US) [1012] Aha.
[1013] Aha.
[1014] Mhm.
[1015] And d had they shown you like were you sort of trained if anything did go wrong, you would have fixed it yourselves?
[1016] Aha.
Davie (PS2UT) [1017] Oh yes, most of the things we'd have done the work ourself.
[1018] We did all the engine repairs.
Walter (PS2UU) [1019] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1020] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1021] Er we dismantled one of the six cylinder engines, we did it in a shift.
[1022] Me and Tommy.
Walter (PS2UU) [1023] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1024] We
Walter (PS2UU) [1025] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1026] removed the pistons and
(PS2US) [1027] Mm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1028] new liners and that in the eight hours we were on shift.
[1029] It took a bit of doing. [...] .
(PS2US) [1030] Yes, that's going [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1031] And the blooming heat and the
Walter (PS2UU) [1032] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1033] noise in there.
[1034] We never spoke we just worked with signals.
(PS2US) [1035] Ah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1036] You know our our [...] putting up the pistons [...] more or less a [...] which is we had a big of [...] er Tommy would know what I meant and I would know what he meant.
Walter (PS2UU) [1037] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1038] Mhm.
[1039] Yes you would need some form of communication like that cos shouting would just be useless
Davie (PS2UT) [1040] Yeah.
[1041] Yeah.
[1042] Mhm.
[1043] No.
(PS2US) [1044] [...] .
[1045] So it would pretty well train you up as engineers by the t by the time you'd done that then ?
Davie (PS2UT) [1046] Oh yes oh yes certainly knew you had to know what you were doing with it you know.
(PS2US) [1047] Did you have any kind of basic training afore it like?
[1048] Did they take you for a week and show you [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1049] Not really well we the Blackstone engineer [...] fitting up [...] engines, he stayed with us for a while to show us the ropes like you know.
(PS2US) [1050] Aha.
Davie (PS2UT) [1051] But after that you just had to do it yourselves.
Walter (PS2UU) [1052] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1053] Ah right.
[1054] Mhm.
[1055] And
Davie (PS2UT) [1056] And air raids, I mind the air raid [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [1057] [...] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1058] We'd we'd to clear out.
[1059] You couldn't work with the lights you see [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [1060] No.
[1061] Shut the lights down.
Davie (PS2UT) [1062] You used to switch off the lights and run.
Walter (PS2UU) [1063] Yeah.
[1064] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1065] Oh really.
Davie (PS2UT) [1066] Right along the hill.
Walter (PS2UU) [1067] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1068] And you'd hear the tracer bullets [...] rattling about the tin sheds. [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [1069] They had a they had a air raid shelter below the power station later on.
Davie (PS2UT) [1070] Aye after [...] .
Walter (PS2UU) [1071] Mhm.
[1072] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1073] Oh.
Davie (PS2UT) [1074] But er when you were [...] after the power station so when [...] clean away from the station altogether.
(PS2US) [1075] Did you never enter the tunnel like you were [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [1076] Well they were in the tunnel anyway.
(PS2US) [1077] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1078] Ah we were too far away.
(PS2US) [1079] You were too far away.
Walter (PS2UU) [1080] We didn't go in always, we used to If we were on the top of the hill we used to watch from the top.
Davie (PS2UT) [1081] Mm.
(PS2US) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [1082] [...] I think one time there were some folk up from Lyness they cleared out and they were in the tunnel and of course they blasted.
[1083] And somebody says, Oh they've dropped a bomb on the tunnel.
Davie (PS2UT) [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [1084] It was the blasting in the tunnel.
Unknown speaker (HE9PSUNK) [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [1085] Aye [...] quite safe in the tunnel.
Walter (PS2UU) [1086] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1087] Yes.
Walter (PS2UU) [1088] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1089] You would be in the dark though were you if you shut the power down .
Walter (PS2UU) [1090] No the li the lights was on in the tunnel.
Davie (PS2UT) [1091] Oh yes.
Walter (PS2UU) [1092] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1093] Oh yes [...] you could leave the lights in the tunnel but they could see the lights that were, any light about the station, they could
Walter (PS2UU) [1094] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1095] see that .
(PS2US) [1096] Ah I see what you mean .
Walter (PS2UU) [1097] Yeah.
[1098] Yeah.
[1099] Yeah Were very particular about lights they I think it was about a hundred feet in the entrance that there were
Davie (PS2UT) [1100] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1101] there was no lights at night.
[1102] So as the light wouldn't have reflected through the entrance.
(PS2US) [1103] Oh I see.
Walter (PS2UU) [1104] Yeah.
[1105] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1106] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1107] Mhm.
[1108] And then they had a tip outside where the lorries backed into
(PS2US) [1109] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1110] to pick up the s the er muck out of the tunnel.
[1111] They had a very small very faint light and they had a blue light.
Davie (PS2UT) [1112] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [1113] A very light [...] man tipping the skips into the bins could see what he was doing.
(PS2US) [1114] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [1115] And the three lorries could back underneath and load and go down and tip at the Golden Wharf at Lyness.
(PS2US) [1116] Ah right.
[1117] Oh yes I'd forgotten to ask you about that.
[1118] Yes [laugh]
Walter (PS2UU) [1119] Mhm.
[1120] Mhm [laugh]
(PS2US) [1121] That was the [...] .
[1122] And
Walter (PS2UU) [1123] And of course a lot of the muck was tipped on the hill, you can see the marks of it yet.
Davie (PS2UT) [1124] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1125] Where the rail track runs from the North town to the South town or you could go go by rail from the one side of the hill to the other.
[1126] Inside or outside [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1127] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [1128] Yeah.
[1129] Mhm.
[1130] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1131] Yeah that must have been quite something to see [laughing] something chugging round Hoy [] [laugh]
Davie (PS2UT) [1132] Mhm.
[1133] Mhm.
[1134] Mhm.
[1135] Mhm.
[1136] Mhm.
[1137] Mhm.
[1138] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1139] Think what you would think of it nowadays.
[1140] It's just crazy.
[1141] Mhm.
[1142] Aye I must ask you once you once you had your sort of main tunnels built and your light and then you would start concentrating on your chambers?
Walter (PS2UU) [1143] The chambers yeah.
(PS2US) [1144] Mhm.
Davie (PS2UT) [1145] Mm.
(PS2US) [1146] Now h wh what did it look like inside one of these chambers?
Walter (PS2UU) [1147] Well the
(PS2US) [1148] Once it was or while you were building it and once it was up.
Walter (PS2UU) [1149] When we were working on it it was just a [...] load of excavations.
(PS2US) [1150] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1151] And you could see all the tunnels going in below.
[1152] And the tunnels at the top and the shafts down to the top.
(PS2US) [1153] mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1154] To get ready for putting the arches in.
(PS2US) [1155] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1156] It was only when you blasted the centre out that you actually
Davie (PS2UT) [1157] Yeah.
[1158] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1159] saw the big
Davie (PS2UT) [1160] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1161] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [1162] cavity then when the roof was secure.
(PS2US) [1163] Mhm.
[1164] Did you did you go up right through the hill at all to get light?
[1165] Never you would stay a good bit underneath
Walter (PS2UU) [1166] No no.
[1167] No there'd be there'd be about It must be two hundred feet above .
Davie (PS2UT) [1168] Oh yes.
[1169] Oh yes.
(PS2US) [1170] Aye.
Walter (PS2UU) [1171] So we'd be half up the hill I would think.
(PS2US) [1172] Aye.
Davie (PS2UT) [1173] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1174] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1175] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [1176] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1177] So when you came to blast the the centre out, was there like a special warning to everybody
Walter (PS2UU) [1178] Oh there was
(PS2US) [1179] who was working in the hill to
Walter (PS2UU) [1180] The No oh no they the you just moved back [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1181] N Aye, shifted back
Walter (PS2UU) [1182] Shifted back out of the blast and you got boom boom.
[1183] That's all you got.
(PS2US) [1184] Mhm.
[1185] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1186] You you'd think there was somebody knocking on your ears.
Davie (PS2UT) [1187] Yeah.
Walter (PS2UU) [1188] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1189] Is that all is sounded like?
Walter (PS2UU) [1190] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1191] Aye, it wasn't a big charge it was
Walter (PS2UU) [1192] No.
Davie (PS2UT) [1193] just breaking up the pieces of stone.
Walter (PS2UU) [1194] Yeah.
[1195] yeah.
(PS2US) [1196] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [1197] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1198] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [1199] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1200] You n you were never concerned that the whole lot might [laughing] come in or something [] ?
Davie (PS2UT) [1201] No.
[1202] No.
(PS2US) [1203] You wouldn't be with your concrete [...]
Walter (PS2UU) [1204] No. [break in recording]
Walter (PS2UU) [1205] It was just if it was a clay seam like number five chamber, were the [...] full of clay.
(PS2US) [1206] Mm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1207] And they made it shorter for that reason.
(PS2US) [1208] Right.
Walter (PS2UU) [1209] But most of the hill was quite safe.
(PS2US) [1210] Aha.
Walter (PS2UU) [1211] Er but er
Davie (PS2UT) [1212] Lots of slates falling down on
Walter (PS2UU) [1213] Yeah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1214] the top of your locomotives
Walter (PS2UU) [1215] Yeah.
[1216] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1217] Ah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1218] Coming out.
Walter (PS2UU) [1219] Yeah.
(PS2US) [1220] Mhm.
Walter (PS2UU) [1221] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1222] Be terrible dark would it not be?
Walter (PS2UU) [1223] No it wasn't dark at all.
Davie (PS2UT) [1224] Mm.
(PS2US) [1225] No?
Walter (PS2UU) [1226] No.
[1227] You got water running in places [...] but not badly, in the wintertime [...] it wasn't too bad.
(PS2US) [1228] Mhm.
[1229] [...] and you said there was actually this the two Irish fellas that got killed in the tunnel?
Walter (PS2UU) [1230] Yes they
(PS2US) [1231] What h
Walter (PS2UU) [...]
Davie (PS2UT) [1232] [...] boys.
(PS2US) [1233] What happened to them?
Davie (PS2UT) [1234] It was a roof fall.
Walter (PS2UU) [1235] Mm.
(PS2US) [1236] Ah.
Davie (PS2UT) [1237] After the blasting.
Walter (PS2UU) [1238] Mhm.
(PS2US) [1239] Ah. [recording ends]