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Radio call signs-Inverness Forest District1990
Forestry Memories
No: 3762   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1990
Radio call signs-Inverness Forest District1990

The document image is courtesy of Brian Duff, Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District, who supplied all the first and common names for the people listed.

The document harks back to a time before today’s pocket sized mobile telephones and their extensive country wide coverage. The only way to make verbal contact was via radio systems set up by the Forestry Commission Radio branch staff who set up base stations in many main forest offices and radio transmission masts on prominent high points and hills in the countryside.

Most vehicles, large tractors and harvesting machines had a radio fitted and there were some expensive mobile hand radios available for staff who worked away from their vehicles. The full call sign usually allocated to a staff member or particular work squad consisted of a registered call sign such as ‘Queenfire’ or ‘Blackfire’ followed by a section or forest identifier usually a phonetic alphabet letter such as here ‘Charlie’ or ‘Quebec’ and then a number. Hence the full call sign for Janet Scott as Forest District Manager was probably ‘Queenfire Charlie 20’ but latterly the ‘Queenfire’ part was only used occasionally.

The image shows the call signs for Culloden Forest District in 1990 whose regulation call sign started with ‘Queenfire’. It should be remembered that everyone within signal distance with a radio, the main office and other forest areas heard every call and conversation. Brevity was a blessing!


Control - Culloden Forest District office and fire control centre

Charlie 1 – Sherpa Van for Farigaig Harvesting Squad
Charlie 2 - Maestro Van for Farigaig Forest Management Squad
Charlie 3 - Landrover Farigaig - Eddy Fraser Ranger
Charlie 4 - Maestro van - Bill Cameron - Bruunett Forwarder Driver
Charlie 5 - Maestro van - Gerald Macdonald - Bruunett Forwarder Driver
Charlie 7 - Sherpa Culloden - Ian MacGillivray - Ranger
Charlie 8 - Lorry - Wullie Anderson
Charlie 10 - Sherpa pick up - Jimmy Brothwick - Culloden Craftsman (also muskeg and plough tractor driver)
Charlie 11 - Maestro van - Frank Grant - Harvesting Craftsman
Charlie 20 - Janet Scott - Culloden Forest District Manager
Charlie 21 - Alastair Macleod - District Forester Forest Management
Charlie 22 - Mick Hoban - District Forester Planning and Surveys
Charlie 23 - Mike Smith - Forester Forest Management
Charlie 24 - Graham Smith - District Forester Harvesting and Marketing
Charlie 25 - Donald Macleod - Forester Harvesting
Charlie 26 - Roddy Macleod - Forester Forest Management
Charlie 27 - Ian Ross - Probation Forester

Queens Forest Section (Glenmore Forest )

Queen fire Quebec -Inshriach office
Quebec 1 – Maestro van - Wullie Grant - Forester Forest Management
Quebec 3 - Wardens office Glenmore camping site
Quebec 4 -Tractor Ricky O’Donnell – Glenmore Forest
Quebec 5 - Maestro Van for Glenmore Forest Management Squad
Quebec 6 - Sherpa - C Ferguson - Glenmore Wildlife Ranger
Quebec 7 – Sherpa - Donald Milton - Inshriach Wildlife Ranger
Quebec 8 - Brimec lorry - Geordie Milton -Inshriach
Quebec 9 - Sherpa Pick-up - Duggie Macdougall - Strathmashie Wildlife Ranger
Quebes 10 – Sherpa Pick-up for Glenmore Forest Management Squad
Quebec 11 Handset ski tow Glenmore

Black Isle Fire Tower Blackfire X-ray

Any comments on the radio system very welcome.
Picture added on 05 October 2017 at 19:14
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