Culbokie water supply 1956/7

Culbokie’s dream comes true.

Press report 1956/7.

The village folk of Culbokie, in the Black Isle, have been ‘blitzed’ on their doorsteps during the past week, and great gaps have been torn in their High Street. But they were neither angry nor dismayed.

For it was a mechanical digger that was at work, and every clang and clash it made, every bang of explosive, marked another step towards realisation of Culbokie’s dream – a really good laid-on water supply. They have been striving for this for more than 60 years. Now the time is rapidly approaching when the village can discard once and for all its claim to be Scotland’s driest.

From time immemorial the folk have been drawing their water by chain-bucket from a well, and the installation of a piped supply will be a perfect godsend.

“It has been well worth waiting for,” said 78-year-old Mr. William Macdonald, semi-retired village merchant. It’s just a pity we didn’t get it many years ago. Culbokie could be double or treble its size if lack of a water supply had not been the obstacle to development.”

Not only Culbokie but other dry areas in the Black Isle – all of which suffered during the 1955 drought – rejoice at the coming of a piped-in supply.

Numerous farmers, crofters, and other householders – many of whom have still to draw their water from wells -will benefit when the huge Ross-shire water scheme is in full swing.

The water is being drawn from Loch Glass, situated in the Evanton region, on the other side of the Cromarty Firth from the Black isle.

It is probably the biggest water scheme tackled in the Highland zone in the post-war period.

The ultimate cost will be in the region of £750,000, and it will entail the laying of several hundred miles of piping – the main line round by Dingwall, through Conon, and side-lines to the numerous prospective consumers in the Black isle.

Already the scheme is serving an extensive part of the easter Ross region, and a labour force of some 150 men is at work so the Isle is a kind of peaceful battlefield, with trenches running alongside highways and through fields and gardens.

But there is no resentment over this state of disruption. Black Isle folk have still acute memories of the 1955 drought.


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