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Tulliallan Bothy layout & story
Forestry Memories
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No: 4325   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1953
Tulliallan Bothy layout & story

John 'Butch' Murray (England?) has drawn the layout of the Forestry Commission Tulliallan Hostel (Bothy) and written an account of his memorable experience in arriving and living there for just over a year or two before being called up.

The full story is contained in the attached PDF but excerpts are located here to allow searches to pick out names that he has remembered.

‘The lorry would turn up at 07.30 to take us the few miles by road to Devilla Forest where we spent most of our working days. Our Head Forester at Tulliallan was Arthur Simpson and his Foreman was Bill Martin. At Devilla our Boss under Forester was Donald McGregor but our Ganger was Alex Smellie and it was he that we saw most of and worked under his supervision. He had been trained at Glentress and told us many stories of what life had been like just after the war there.’

‘If and when the ground was being ploughed, we had tractor men from Lochgilphead. Our caterpillar driver was driver Tam McLennan - one of a family of the dad and three sons from Lochgilphead who all did the ploughing before planting. These tractor men were all nicknamed after the four winds. Some of us got the job of helping by walking beside the tractor and when the big ploughshare on the Ranson Plough hit an immovable boulder we had to replace the Shear pin that coupled the plough to the tractor when it gave way.’

‘I can remember most of the boys that shared my life in Fife. They were Tom Syme, Brian Burrell, John Thompson, Mike Andrews, Joe Meechan, Josie Cullen, John Robb, John Kennet and Dave Harrower. In the other hut were Tommy Lothian, Eric Robertson, Alex Manson, Ian McCrone, Eddie McNeil, David (Pedro) Balfour, John Hynd, and three more.’
Picture added on 23 January 2019 at 17:06
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Buildings in Forests
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add commentComments:
Hi John , You mention the tractor men with the ploughs - Could they have been Tam and lan - the Breeze and the Blow? Ian did the ploughing at Limerigg Forest section where I worked as a sort of Banksman with him.

Added by Willie Fleming on 24 January 2019.
They are two of the names and their nicknames; also they were often referred to as the North Wind and The Big Blaw or the East Wind and The Freezer. The Breeze was otherwise the West Wind, But I can't remember the other one. May be it was the Father. They were a laugh a minute brigade and the one I worked with, Tam drove a Fordson County Fulltrack which had far greater power than anyone could imagine. It could haul a Caterpillar D10 out of any bog that it got bogged down in and it was about 1/3 the size.

Added by John Murray on 02 February 2019.
John , The County Fulltrack was indeed a fearsome beast, I remember Tam driving it. Was the surname of one of the brothers Mckellar? I seem to recall Ian was based at Carron Valley.

Added by Willie Fleming on 03 February 2019.
Hi John, other boys at Tulliallan were Donald (Tich) Mcleod, Bob Walker and George Morrison. I seem to remember a Ken ? from Giffnock but that was maybe Strathyre.

Added by Tom Lothian on 05 February 2019.
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