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Land - Birkhall to Forestry Commission
Forestry Memories
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No: 4335   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1932
Land - Birkhall to Forestry Commission

The image is courtesy of Dave Stewart, Dufftown, from a collection of papers belonging to his father George Stewart.

This is a copy of a memo from the Divisional Office in Aberdeen to John Corbett (Forester) in charge of all the forests the Deeside area. Obviously agreement had been reached previously on the sale or transfer of land from Birkhall to the Forestry Commission (Alltcailleach Forest) and this memo highlighted the arrangements to be put in place for the transfer of some of the workers, their housing, designations and rates of pay as from 29 Nov 1932. There was obviously a bothy on the land transferred as well from Balmoral Estates. Note that one house, Girnock Cottage, was rented by the Forestry Commission from Abergeldie Estate.

The second document shown in the attached PDF is a list of the names of the transferred workers, their job, rates of pay and house rent.

The names are Chas Duguid, Foreman, 42/- per week and renting Brockdu Cottage
Frank Christie, Sawmiller, 42/- per week and renting Sterinbeg Cottage James watt, Forest Worker, 38/- per week and renting Dallyfour Cottage
Adam Cassie, Forest Worker,38/- per week and renting Dorsincilly Cottage
William Kemp, Forest Worker,38/- per week and renting Girnock Cottage
Hugh Sinclair, Forest Worker, 38/- per week and bothy rent of 1/6 per week
William Skene, Forest Worker, 38/- per week and bothy rent of 1/6 per week
William Illingworth, Forest Worker, 38/- per week no accommodation provided
Chas Illingworth, Forest Worker, 38/- per week no accommodation provided
John Rose, Forest Worker, 38/- per week no accommodation provided.

It is rare to see workers names in the old records and even rarer to see their first names being used as almost everyone was referred to by their surname and initials.

This record was found by chance in a box of forestry books and fits in well with Alastair Cassie’s stories and descriptions or his early life in the new Dorsincilly Cottage around the 1950s built near that of his grandfather Adam. Alastair understands that Charles Duguid as Foreman may have moved to Newcastleton Forest on the borders. Alastair also recalls that Jock Watt (son of James Watt) telling him that his father and Adam Cassie very unfortunately missed out on a pension by a few days because of this transfer. The details are vague and not understood.

Any more details and information on any of the names above would be very welcome.
Picture added on 30 January 2019 at 09:00
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