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Benmore Forestry students in Uig Nursery
Forestry Memories
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No: 3693   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1959
Benmore Forestry students in Uig Nursery

This one of a set of images from photocopier scans and is courtesy of the staff at Glenbranter Forest Office.

Little was known of the details of people apart from a couple of names written on one of the images but one former student Bob Boyd has been tracked down to Northern Ireland and has provided the following information on work in Uig Nursery at Benmore Forest, near Dunoon :
‘‘The third photo of lining-out in Uig shows Walter McCloskey at the table and Andy Orr (bare chested) in the left foreground, again 1958/60 students. The others I am not sure enough of to identify them.’’

Looking at the structures one can immediately see that they were all made to be erected and dismantled quickly to enable rapid deployment to which ever part of the nursery they were next required. The lining out board table is simply trestles topped with two heavy batons with a space between to accommodate the lining out board. Note the post strategically placed to prevent the hinged part of lining out board from falling too far over!

The wind break and shelter are the traditional hessian covered frames held up by posts quickly driven into the ground. There could well be three such board filling stations each manned by two students on this lining out bed but depends of the overall length. The seedling trees which are being loaded onto the boards must be in boxes in the shade behind the loaders.

The lining-out beds are being created on a nursery break which has been sown with a green crop now being ploughed in. Going by the number of spades present it appears that the plough only turned over the furrow against the previously set out lining out boards and the students had to follow up by firming the furrow, setting a line for a straight edge at a set distance from the previous row and cutting a vertical face to take the next sequence of lining out boards. In larger nurseries there was usually a bonus system in place for numbers lined out per week and it was very much a team event.

Note the assistant or under forester’s house with the red roof. Can anyone name any of the other students?
Picture added on 25 May 2017 at 20:16
add commentComments:
As far as I remember the green crop was usually mustard in the Angus nurseries.

Added by Leslie Phillip on 25 May 2017.
I was an exchange course student Jan.-Easter 1953 at Benmore and took part in the lining out operation @ Uig nursery. The ground cover was a grass mixture, the purpose of it to give some traction to the tractor a small Fergie and enable it to deliver an even block of up turned turf against the lining out boards which were 10 feet long. to give the tractor a fair run there were 3 board filling stations and each filled 10 boards so the break length was 300 feet. The line had to be put in at the correct spacing and the new face created with hand spades. The trimmed turf just fell into the bottom of the furrow and gave some nutrition to the lined out trees. some nurseries had clovers in the mix as their ability to fix nitrogen was known.Lining out ploughs were developed late 50, s early sixties. A head forester Sandy Rose was a developer of Lining out ploughs and much of the development was done at Ledmore in Perthshire, Going back to Benmore Uig conditions were so wet at times that duck boards had to be placed at the board filling stations to keep the board fillers (mainly women or boys) above the mire.

Added by John Keenleyside on 30 May 2017.
Have had another long look at this photo and can identify the following.
Background left is Brian Pedder, next to him (bare chested) is either Bob Cuthbertson or Bill Mason, In centre wearing a blue shirt and beige cap is myself Bob Boyd and in right background and moving to the right is Ian Reid. We are all 1958-60 students.

Added by Bob Boyd on 15 August 2017.
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