Ferry Croft Houses at Lairg
Photograph courtesy of Norman Davidson who was staying in the first house at this time.
John Keenleyside recalls that the houses were build by a firm going by the name of Mclean, Kiltarlity in the late 1960s. The two houses seen were built first then the third (out of sight) built one year later.
The first house named ‘Donetive’ was first occupied by Alex Lockart (Chief Forester Shin Forest) up until about 1978, then Hugh Mackay as Chief Forester who transferred up from Ratagan Forest. When the forests and District reorganisation took place in 1983/4 and Hugh took up District Forester position in Dornoch he and Norman Davidson swapped houses and Hugh occupied Fern House in Bonar Bridge. Norman and family were only two years in Donetive before following Hugh as District Forester to Dornoch which led to the transfer of Frank Thom to Shin Forest and Donetive House in 1985. Frank then moved to Huntly (Buchan Forest District) as District Forester in 1988 and Colin Leslie as a Forester in the Lairg area occupied the house for a number of years before transferring up to Lybster.
The second house at Ferry Croft was allocated to Forest Research and first occupied by John Keenleyside who in 1970 moved the research base from Ardross Forest to Lairg (Shin Forest) at this time. At the end of 1972 John was transferred to Argartan Forest and his place taken by Walter Paterson who eventually bought the house and retired there.
The third house nearest to Ferry Wood (not seen here) was initially allocated as a Forest Research house first occupied by Jim Kirby as research forester followed by Charlie Fleming also a research forester. It may have been empty for a short while when Steve Stanley was posted to Shin Forest around 1984 and lived there for a few years. The house may have been sold after Steve left.
The three houses are now all privately owned but any more details of the houses and who occupied them would be very welcome.
See attached PDF for photograph of three houses taken in 2017 the photograph and details provided by John Keenleyside. ''Note the boat on the lochside. This is the point of the original ferry crossing the river Shin before the iron bridge at the shop was constructed and before the Hydro electric dam was built in the 1950s creating lower Loch Shin. The upper dam created Loch Shin one of the longest lochs in the Hydro system, almost twenty miles long.''
Picture added on 06 April 2017 at 07:58