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Cairnbaan 1930s
Forestry Memories
No: 9   Contributor: Heritage North   Year: 1937
Cairnbaan 1930s

Canal with lock and road curving through glen with wooded hills on either side. Ruined cottage in foreground at foot of steep scrubby hillside. Two groups of large huts connected by a road on far hillside with fields around.
The camp was also known as the Ministry of Labour Instructional Training Centre and later as the Forestry Commission Camp.
The Crinan Canal, connecting Loch Fyne and Sound of Jura, was surveyed by James Watt (1736-1819) and built to John Rennie's plans between 1793 and 1801. It is 9 miles long with 15 locks.
Picture added on 08 February 2007
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Forestry Areas
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I lived at no 6 Cairnbaan camp from 1964 to approx 1971 when the houses were demolished. My dad worked in the road squad. I am now an AO at West Argyll

Added by Angela Cumming on 22 May 2008.
My father was in the Gordon Highlanders and was stationed at Cairnbaan when it was a POW camp. He is still alive and at 91 still has a good memory of the places and people round about the area at the time of the Second World War. He is a Yorkshire man and still lives in Leeds.

Added by GRAHAM WILMAN on 07 December 2008.
I remember Cairnbaan from the early 1950's when I lived in Achnamara from 1952 to 1954 and worked in the Forestry Commission.At one time I worked in the camp for two weeks attending the fuel pumps for the forestry lorries and I remember helping to plant trees on the hillsides forward of the camp leading to Achnamara.For a while a squad of us used to be transported to the Crinan Canal Basin where we boarded a motor boat which took us a few miles down the Sound of Jura? where we landed and worked all day cutting bracken before we were picked up again in the evening and taken back to the Canal Basin and back home to Achnamara. A few of us would trail fishing lines behind the boat, using spinners to catch mackerel( it made a nice change from eating rabbits which were sold to the ladies of the village by a local trapper who charged 1/= a pair).Happy days !

Added by Donald Ferguson on 02 April 2009.
I was born in Cairnbaan Camp near the joiner's workshop in 1950 and then lived in No 5 Cairnbaan Camp from 1951 to 1971. I then got married, and as I worked in the District office at Cairnbaan Camp, I was allocated the tenancy of No 13 Cairnbaan Camp from 1971 to 1973 when the houses were then demolished. My father worked in the road squad. I presently work as an AO at West Argyll.

Added by Diana Logan on 03 April 2009.
has anyone got a picture of the camp in 1950s We were born here.

Added by Audrey Cooper, nee Peat. on 07 November 2009.
Any history ?

Added by James Mcdougall 24 03 1941 on 01 June 2014.
This is so interesting as my house is sitting on this site. Yet I had no idea at all. Lived here about 15 years since the house was newly built. More old stories please☺

Added by C Nixon on 29 October 2014.
Nice picture. My grandmother grew up in Cairnbaan. I love it there. She used to tell me stories of when she was a little girl and how she would get in trouble with the guards at the camp because they used to go and play tricks on the prisoners.

My family used to run the little shop at Loch 8 unfortunately now its rented out as a flat. I try to make it there whenever I'm in Scotland.

Added by Simon on 29 April 2016.
I worked for the Forestry Commission as a trainee surveyor in 1968. I remember lodging with a Mrs Quarton, and her mother Mrs Dunlop who lived on the camp. I remember it was very cold in the winter. The name Ian Turnbull rings a bell. He was an engineer there.
I never appreciated the area when I was there, but have grown very fond of it in subsequent years. If anyone has any pictures of the camp at that time, please get in touch.

Added by Dave Parsonage on 28 January 2017.
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