Thursday, 30 August 2012

STROMEFERRY

A small, idyllic settlement on the west coast of Scotland seems an unlikely venue for a riot, but this is exactly what happened one Sunday in 1883 when over 200 fishermen, enraged by the Highland Railway Company's disrespectful attitude towards the Sabbath in continuing to run a Sunday train service, converged on the railway terminus to prevent the unloading of fish bound for London. The local constabulary proved unequal to the task of quelling the riot judging by newspaper reports of the time: "...the chief constable of Rosshire arrived from Dingwall with six policemen - all the force he could muster"...."Sticks were freely used by the fishermen, and the chief constable himself and two of his men got some hard knocks". Further unrest ensued at a later date, this time with the women weighing in: "...the women filled their aprons with stones, with which they pelted the constables so vigorously that they had to retreat".* 10 men ended up in prison and the subject was debated in the House of Commons, which maintained that there was no law preventing Sunday traffic in Scotland.

Thankfully, such events are but a distant memory in this village on the south shore of Loch Carron. The railway still operates, unimpeded by angry locals, although the ferry across the loch to North Strome which gave rise to the name of the village ceased operating in 1970. Earlier this year a temporary ferry service had to be hastily rustled up after the A890 road was blocked by a series of rockfalls. Without this temporary service, a 140-mile detour via Inverness on the east coast would have been the order of the day! The village is surrounded by woodland, and there is a pleasant circular route through the woods which takes in lovely views of the loch and mountains.

* From a report by the Edinburgh correspondent of the Otago Daily Times.

Map of the area.


Temporary ferry at Stromeferry © 2012 Roy Tait, via Wikimedia Commons



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