Life at the end of the road

April 2, 2008

Back to Kishorn

Filed under: harbour, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:52 pm

It was with more than a little excitement that I set off down ‘Calum’s road’ today, the weather was good, I was picking up the Dude and we were going to the old ‘Howard Doris’ yard at Kishorn. The Dude had been at my parents for a few days and I was missing him but today we were going to see where the blocks for the new Raasay harbour were being cast. I’d spent the best part of a summer there in 1986 or 87 as the place was being wound up and stuff being auctioned off. My employer at the time had bought 3 large corrugated iron sheds (2 of them the size of aircraft hangers) and I was involved in the dismantling and moving of them. When I was there the place still had a couple of oil rigs berthed there and there was still some fabrication work being done but nothing like when it was in it’s heyday and they built the ‘Ninian Central’ concrete platform there. The site was chosen for it’s very deep water close to the shore and whilst remote by most peoples standards it was still relitively accsessable by road, rail, sea and air. It really was a site to behold under the massive mountains of the Applecross peninsula.

Even before I reached the ferry I’d been treated to a group of hinds just at the side of the road past Brochel ( of which I have a lovely photo that won’t load ) and this buzzard perched on a fence post at Inver.

buzzard @ inver

Caught the 9:00am ferry and met the Dude on the way and we had a pleasant drive up the side of Loch Carron and over the hills to Loch Kishorn, all familiar roads from my fish farm diving days but routes I’ve not traveled in years.

kishorn1

Looking west towards the site, you can just make out the masts of yachts at ‘Kishorn mechanical services’ which is at the eastern end of the old site.

dry dock

This is the truly massive dry dock which was hewn out of the rock, the concrete wall splits in two and could be pumped dry of ballast and floated out of the way. The white buildings and the red ship are ‘Ferguson transports’ and that’s pretty much at the eastern end of the site, the dry dock is probably about half way down the site.

dry dock2

On the dry dock gate looking north, when I was last here there were buildings, lighting towers, cranes and vehicles everywhere. There was something like an airport control tower somewhere near here, all glass and radio aerials if I recall correctly.

kishorn2

Looking west over ‘Leiths’ site ( the quarry owners ) towards ‘Balfour Beatty’s’ site (the blue cabins) which is pretty much at the western end of the old fabrication yard.

casting beds

These are the ‘casting beds’ upon which the moulds will sit when the concrete is poured ( i think)

clampsclamps2

The blue and grey things are the clamps for the shuttering ( I think )

shuttering

This is a load of shuttering ( I think )

All in all it was a very enjoyable and informative couple of hours. A big thank you to Iain Macphearson of Balfour Beatty for arranging my visit to Dave Meechan for taking the time to explain everything even if I got it wrong it all made perfect sense at the time and if I’ve spelt your name wrong Dave I’m sorry ( I’ll edit it later ) and last but not least a big thanks to ‘Tarzan’ of Leiths for Escorting us I’m sure you had better things to do and thanks for letting the Dude have a look at your ‘wee shovel’

wee shovel

Environmental

What struck me about today was how quickly nature recovers, if you’d been here 20 years ago you wouldn’t have believed how quickly mans puny efforts had been swallowed up. Me I love wildlife and nature and all things natural, that’s why I live where I do. I’m sure there must have been objections to opening a quarry here, but it strikes me that the land needs a little less love and a lot more use. I’ve seen more otters, golden eagles, bats and sea eagles than most people and can assure you they aren’t stupid and won’t fly into a wind turbine or get squashed by a digger and as my mate ‘Tarzan’ said “have you ever seen a quarry with a view like this” 20 years after the last stone has been taken you won’t even know where it’s been and what’s 20 years? ‘a blink in the eye of god’ as some wise sage said!

A couple of  great film clips here in the Scottish film archive

http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=2690

http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=5973

Many thanks to Chris Humphrey for turning up these gems

Kishorn Commandos

Kenny Millar

and to Kenny Millar for forwarding these.

 

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318 Comments »

  1. Thanks for these photos mate , I worked , as a 22 year old , in the yard from early 1982 until late 83 . It was like an apprenticeship of life living on the camp . All these mad dudes earning lots of bucks and drinking on the camp bar each night . Hard times work and weather wise but great memories .

    Comment by Derek Anderson — August 26, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

    • Hi,
      I have been retracing some of my Brother’s steps, found this site with some of his comments on, would just like to say ‘Thank you’ to all who worked with him, he had very fond memories. My Brother ‘John Owen Kilbride’, passed away 26th Dec 2015. Regards Madeleine

      Comment by Madeleine — January 13, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

      • Hi Madeleine so sorry your brother has passed away he asked me to set a web site up to dedicate to john Howard and the kishorn job which I still would love to do.

        Comment by Patrick langan — January 16, 2016 @ 7:39 am

      • Hi Patrick, thank you for responding, John would be thrilled to know you are keeping the memory of Kishorn alive, judging by comments on here, they were a great bunch of characters, John certainly was ha! ha!
        If you want to keep in touch: madeleine.connolly@btinternet.com, I may not be able to fill in any gaps, but if any of the ‘Kishorn Commando’s’, do contact me, at least I can pass on contact details etc. You never know John’s dream to get them altogether again, may materialise in the future, lets hope so. Regards Madeleine

        Comment by Madeleine Connolly — January 16, 2016 @ 12:58 pm

  2. I wish I had photos of it when i was there in 85 or 86 Derek, they were just finishing the last job. I think it was an accomadation module for Total, I think they’ve almost finished casting the blocks for the new harbour so I’m gonna try and get back before it closes down again.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 27, 2008 @ 5:25 am

  3. Folks,

    I was the Senior Materials controller for the yard for the last 5 years it was run under Howard Doris, any one remember me or my guys please get in touch,

    George Dewar

    Comment by George Dewar — May 5, 2009 @ 8:29 am

    • Hei

      I visited Kishorn in 1985 and 1986
      and worked as material buyer before moving back to Walsend.
      Murdo Campbell and Phil Cairns are
      two names I remember !

      Comment by Derek Pinkney — September 14, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

      • Hi Derek,

        That must have been during the building of the last few modules for Total? just before it closed down.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

    • George, I was on permanent nights so you probably would’nt know me , do you remember when the gantry blew over ?.
      John Kilbride .

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 4, 2013 @ 9:55 am

  4. Hei
    Thats right, during early 1986
    Murdo Campbell, moved to Wallsend
    together with personnel from Kishorn, cannot remember the names. Really enjoyed my stay up there. I have photos from inside the site as well as looking down from the Applecross road. I’ll see if I can find them.
    Mvh Derek

    Comment by Derek Pinkney — September 16, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    • Hi Derek,
      It would be great to put some old Kishorn pics on here. I could kick myself for not having taken any, other than a couple looking down from the ‘Bealach’ towards an exploration rig laid up there. It was some place hey, Cinema, bakery, bars and thousands of workers in the middle of nowhere!

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  5. Hey there guys
    Just about fell off my seat when I saw my name here! Kishorn and Wallsend days were great-I look back on them very fondly. Alex Stewart, a Kishorn Commando from the drawing office on Maureen, came to see me today and prompted this search. I regularly head for Kishorn for a motorcycle run.
    Cheers
    Murdo.

    Comment by Murdo Campbell — December 9, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

  6. hi
    i started at kishorn about a month after she left dry dock i worked for howard doris for about 4yrs.worked on the domes wave breakers and the inner wall (joiner).
    when i first went up there i spoke to someone called joy who sorted out my accomodation out on the camp .some guys jumped ship and worked for fergie but i stayed with doris.a few off my gang are no longer with us great memories….paul

    Comment by paul cheetham — January 22, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    • Hi there Paul,

      I really think there is a fabulous documentary waiting to be made about Kishorn, Howard Doris and the Ninian Central platform or at least a web site where people could swap memories and post picture. I had quite a few but they were all pretty rubbish, I wish I’d taken more though I was only ever there picking over the bones as the last module went away 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 24, 2010 @ 7:39 am

  7. does any of you out there remember charlie fergies right hand man.i think they used to call him crazy horse,i crossed swords with him a few times,defo not a full bag.
    having said that i dont think many of us came back sane….stay lucky paul

    Comment by paul cheetham — February 1, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    • Hi Paul,

      never came across him myself (not knowingly) as I was only ever there picking over the bones. I do wish someone would make a documentry or start a website dedicated to the Howard Doris site at Kishorn it really was an incredible place with some amazing stories attached to it. On my travels around Britain in the late 70s and early 80s I came across many people who’d worked there, all of them had great stories to tell.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 3, 2010 @ 7:49 am

      • take a look on facebook under my name i have posted nearly 400 kishorn photos

        Comment by steve patch — March 10, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

      • Bloody Amazing Steve,

        though you took a little finding on facebook 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2672&id=100000800426759 that’s 97 of them I’ll have a look for the others later. There’s a few familiar sights there, the Manitowac crane that nearly dropped a 10 ton concrete block onto my 14′ boat just for a laugh 🙂 and that ‘quickstage’ shed on rails, the one covered in tarpaulin sheets. A guy I worked for bought it, dismantled it and took it back to Scalpay in 4 sections, only one of them didn’t quite make it 🙂

        Many, many thanks, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 10, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

      • Hi Paul,
        You need to contact Larry Warr ,he’s a Professional cameraman who Id got a job at Kishorn, he has photos from way back and could do the documentary.
        John

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

      • Hi I would be up for setting up the website but photos and info is so hard to come by

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 28, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

      • Hi Patrick, Will source out all information I have including photos etc., its imperative we get this done next year, if you set up the website I’ll sort out the rest with a member of staff after confirmation of intent.
        Best Regards.
        John

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

    • Charlie Fergus’s right-hand man was Mick Boyle. A legendary pair they were, too.

      Comment by Allan S. — April 12, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

      • new them both, charlie was in a helecopter accident when traveling from inverness to kishorn,the engine failed but the rotor blade kept going due to the downdraft ,no one was injured,me and mick boyle were drinking buddies

        Comment by frank jenkins — January 28, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    • Mick Boyle yer man

      Comment by jim — May 9, 2010 @ 4:06 am

  8. My father Roy Rogers(Scaffolder)passed away last week , he worked on the Ninian Central in Kishorn from early stages to completion.Then went offshore with her.Any one remember him?

    Comment by Neal Rogers — April 28, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    • Good morning Neal,

      Sorry to hear about the loss of your father, try looking on facebook for ‘Steve Patch’, he used to have a page with 400 Howard Doris pictures in it. You never know, you may see your dad in there.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2010 @ 5:48 am

      • Hi Everybody,
        I really am delighted to discover this site. I too worked in kishorn as a steel fixer for about nine months in 1976. when we no facilities on site then as we were just starting construction, but we had plenty of strikes, day light robberies, prostitutes, and Fergie as our boss for pleasure. I would love to see some photos of the those days.
        John Rodgers

        Comment by John Rodgers — June 3, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    • Neal, I think Roy was one of the scafs with me on Tog Mor offshore in West Africa 1982 to 1984, long after the Ninian. I may have some photos that I could scan for you.
      Regards, Mike Hyams

      Comment by Michael Hyams — June 17, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    • Neal I worked with your father in Kishorn , His brother your uncle Mel was also there , i remember a story when he was going home on leave and was stopped by the police ,and when they asked him his name they thought he was at it ,Roy Rodgers indeed and gave him a second chance with the name , i am sure he ended up spending the night in custody and we all had some laugh when he came back from leave, (I am also a scaff)

      Comment by Ray Anderson — March 24, 2012 @ 4:05 am

      • Nice story Ray,

        I’m so glad that all you ex ‘Kishorn Commandos’ use my site for a chat 🙂 It’s an honour to have you all here 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 24, 2012 @ 6:33 am

    • Yes i remember him and mel.very sorry to hear of his passing on

      Comment by Mark harrison — October 19, 2012 @ 2:32 am

      • Yes I remember most of them and worked nights but Hotplate was a scream , I was telling Kenny earlier me Hotplate and Willie and a few of the lads went to Inverness shopping for pressies for the families and stopped at this restaurant for meal and Hotplate wanted to go for a leak , Willie in front of all the people shouted out to Hotplate make sure to lift up the seat , well everyone was in stitches .
        We never went back to see if we’d been barred , Jim it was an ‘Honour’ to know your dad and I worked with Him Willie and the rest , I’m sorry for you mate what a ‘Loss’ .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    • Neal, Sorry to hear about your Dad , I knew him and Hotplate and now theyve both gone and along with Geordie Langdon and Big Kenny Devine off the Tower Cranes , All of these lads were legends in their own rights .

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 13, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    • Hi Neal,
      Your Dad worked with me Willie and Hotplate, will definitely sort out the photos and post them to the blog, up until now I’ve been busy but will concentrate on this only this year.

      Best regards.
      John

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

  9. i worked in kishorn from the time the dry dock was formed until the platform left the deep water costuction site, I worked as an electrician for lloyd morris electrician I new mick doyle and charlie fergie personally,,,,more to come,,,

    Comment by frank jenkins — January 28, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    • Hi Frank

      Im Charlie Fergus daughter, great to read all these stories, I was actually born when my dad was working up there, think there was some story about him falling into a river, remember beingtold about the helicopter crash, he had a bit of a fear of flying after that, but hes grand now. He celebrated his 70th last year

      Comment by Kerri — April 5, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

      • i KNEW YOUR DAD VERY WELL AS I WAS ONE OF THE RESIDENT COPS ON SITE.I REMEMBER WHEN HE LOCKED HIMSELF OUT OF HIS JAGUAR AT TORRIDON HOTEL AND THEY KEYS WERE INSIDE THE VEHICLE.I MANAGED TO OPEN THE CAR FOR HIM WITH AN OLD CAR KEY JUST BEFORE HE DRILLED THE CAR LOCK. I HAVE PLEASANT MEMORIES OF WORKING AS A POLICEMAN THERE FROM THE TIME THE NAVVIES DUG OUT THE DOCK AREA TO THE FLOAT OUT OF THE CONCRETE RIG.
        COMMENT BY RUARAIDH NICOLSON.

        Comment by RUARAIDH NICOLSON — March 29, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

      • Welcome aboard Ruaraidh, glad you’re enjoying the ‘craic’ 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 31, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

      • I remember Charlie Fergus and his brother Aiden also Mick Boyle very well , I started work on the ninian platform at the base and was there at the top , I was a steelfixer there for a couple of years and later worked with Aden at Luchers airbase . Donnie McGrath from Stornoway and I were chosen to represent Fergus &Hains when the dock gate was floated out all we had to do was stand on it. I cant remember the helicopter scare but I do remember Charlie creeping up behind me in the big red V-12 Jag. And blasting the horn it scared the s… out of me and he thought it was great fun. I declined his offer on his next contract in the far east I gave the Kishorn coin to my son to show to his mates offshore

        Comment by Alistair George — April 3, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

    • Hi Frank, my husband Yogurt!!! (Gordie Urquhart) remembers it well, Jackie Broadbin fired him 5 times for you know what???

      Comment by Elaine Urquhart — October 16, 2015 @ 8:14 pm

      • Its a miracle that rig ever got finished…i wonder sometimes what all the guys are doing.

        Comment by Elaine Urquhart — October 16, 2015 @ 8:16 pm

  10. the place where the the precast rings where made was called area 7

    Comment by frank jenkins — January 28, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  11. the crane in the deep water site was called the tog mor

    Comment by frank jenkins — January 28, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    • Hi Frank,

      there’s a huge steel model of the ‘Tog Mor’ at Garve outside the hotel. I believe it was made by apprentices at Kishorn.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 29, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  12. Hi, I Worked at the Kishorn yard in the 1970s for Grandmet Catering.
    I have been searching thr internet but have come up with very little about the Kishorn yard.
    Well done for putting this on the net and the great photos.

    There were quite a few people from Wick like myself who worked there over the years.

    I have some great memories and as you say there a lot of stories to be told.

    Kishorn and the part it played in lives of those who worked there, and its place in the history of Oil and rig construction needs to be told.

    Comment by Willie Macleod — February 14, 2011 @ 2:19 am

    • Hi Willie,

      Kishorn is indeed a story that needs to be told and not forgotten. There’s material there for a great documentary and some of the statistics attached to the place are truly staggering. The Ninian Central is still working after almost 40 years and the blood, sweat, money and gazillion tons of concrete that went into her is as much a part of Highland history as the clearances.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 14, 2011 @ 6:07 am

      • There are two good videos at Scottish screen arcives about the building of Ninian Central

        Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 13, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

      • link http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=5973

        Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 13, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

      • Hi Chris and welcome aboard,

        many thanks for posting that link which I’ll have to save, watch again and pass on to friends that worked there. Do you have any more links ???

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 14, 2011 @ 6:41 am

      • Hi Paul,here isashort vid entiteled Kishorn commandos, http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=2690
        Although I never worked at the site I remember those day fondly,there were some great charicters around then a real buzz around the place . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-ODJGdbBSY quite a few short clips on you tube

        All the best Chris

        Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 16, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

      • Great finds Chris,

        do you know who the diver is, I feel I know him, or at least I would do without the beard and hair 🙂 Great characters indeed, all those stories need telling and saving.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 16, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    • Paul, If you have Willies address I can pass on some photo’s of Grandmet ex employees that were down in the Falklands with us .

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 13, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

  13. Worked there jan. 1977 to july 1977 for Charlie fergus, rem. mick boyle “horse”. Also rem. Charlies other right handman on the rig,was from rossnoulagh in co, donegal cant rem, his name. Great memories also one sad one that of the young mayo lad who fell to his death on the rig in 1977.

    Comment by Sean Mc Intyre — March 4, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    • Louie Parker was Charlie and Mick,s foreman also John Magllin ,few other names Alan Fishwick,John Hall,Eddy Daley,Mad Dog,Hughie Owen,Boyle is a sound man,after Kishorn we all went to Scott Lithgow in Greenock working for Fergie ,Trafalger house had just taken over British Shipbuilders and we worked on the Ocean Alliance rig will post more names when i’ve had more time to think.Cheers Tony Getty (scaff)

      Comment by Tony Getty — September 5, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

      • Kishorn January 76 – I remember listing on my radio – was a dark wet Sunday night about 6pm and the call was to the Fergus and Haynes timekeeper to see what boys had clocked out before the end of the shift at 8pm – heaven help them once Charlie saw them! Remember the Stacks – Patsy and Eddie.

        Comment by Ali Campbell — November 11, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

    • Worked with Cunningham brothers & mick? Hurley(danny the rat’s brother) remember Horse Boyle, Eamon Ferguson, willie Ford & Pat Stack who very kindly gave me a great auld coat as I went up there in winter without one(as u did in those days) jeez, hope he does’nt want it back. Crazy money was’nt it? P Bannon.

      Comment by peter bannon — April 19, 2012 @ 1:46 am

      • Morning Peter and welcome aboard,

        gave me a great auld coat as I went up there in winter without one(as u did in those days) jeez, hope he does’nt want it back.

        🙂 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:17 am

  14. There are two good videos on Scottish screen archives,both about the building of Ninian Central,I used to work at the Srath Hotel at the time Charlie brought it and at the Strathcarron Station. Used to live at North Strome.

    Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 13, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  15. Hi Paul,not to sure who he is,though as you say he does look familiar though, will try and find out for you ,my brother in law was a diver at that time.I see you have a croft on Raasay there are some great old movies on Scottish screen archives about crofting and the Islands.Will let you know if I find anything out.
    All the best Chris

    Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 19, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    • Cheers for that Chris, look forward to any more info or links, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 20, 2011 @ 5:35 am

    • Hi Chris, I noticed you mentioned the Scottish Screen Archive films about the construction of the Ninian Central Platform. I managed to obtain a copy of these short films commissioned by Howard Doris. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy then let me know and I’ll pass on the details. It consists of two films of 20 and 8 minutes long and includes footage of when Prince Charles flooded the dry-dock for the first time. I had the copies specially made to order on DVD in May this year and is a direct duplicate of the surviving version of the original films.

      Does anyone remember my father, Jim McGee from Crieff? He worked as a draughtsman for Howard Doris in the drawing office next to the dry-dock from 1980 to 1982 during the Maureen Alpha Platform. I was just a young boy of about 6 years old. At the time my family moved up to the Kishorn area then moved into one of the Finn Logg houses at Lochcarron and I went to Lochcarron Primary. I still have great memories of the yard and surrounding area.

      Cheers, Robin

      Comment by Robin McGee — October 21, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

      • Hi Robin,did you watch the Kishorn commandos one and the you tube clips?Like you I have some great memories of Lochcarron and the surrounding are. I used to live at North Strome at the old crorft near Jimmy Cushnies the local plumber.Kishorn was great for the area created a lot of opportunity for the area.Sunday afternoons in the Rockvilla were always brilliant great fun.

        Comment by Chris Humphrey — October 21, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

      • Hi Chris, Yes, I do have the Kishorn Commandos one too and I recently came across the youtube clips, thanks. I watch them once in a while, as it’s amazing to see what was once constructed there. It’s like watching footage of the clydeside shipyards. What’s happened to our wonderful country!! Yeah life was good there, I even remember going to the yard to watch Dallas at the Cinema, I was only 7 years old!! Heard about all the mad drinking etc and crazy driving, even my dad came off the road one night after hitting black ice. The local publican in Lochcarron must have been rolling in money at the time but the area must have really suffered financially after the yard closed. Three thousand men together with alcohol in the middle of nowhere earning a fortune, what could possibly go wrong!!! Yet, the Ninian Central was so well built it’s still drilling oil over 30 years later in one of the world’s harshest seas. I’m keen to go back sometime. Really nice to see the photos on here and the comments. Good times!!

        Comment by Robin McGee — October 21, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

      • Hi Robin,
        don’t remember Jim McGee but I do remember the office next to the dry dock. I lifted a book from there after the sale, it was called ‘Design and construction of dry docks’ by BK Mazurkiewicz, a truly riveting read 🙂 It was stamped ‘Howard Doris technical library’ and I had it for years before passing it on to a naval architect friend.

        These stories, tales and characters must not be forgotten, my wife and twelve year old son watched the videos in awe, sure they’ve been to the site and heard me rabbiting on about it but, people find difficulty in actually comprehending how large an undertaking it actually was.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 23, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

      • Hi Robin, how can I get a copy of the films?

        Comment by Jeff Gower — November 17, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

      • Hello,
        I’m Alan Grunfeld, one of the french from Doris, I was Project Engineer in the drawing office with Jim, john, kevin, Norrie and other I cant remenber. I met our secretary, Rita Stonebridge and most of the french/english engineering team last june.
        If you are not too much afraid about my english a bit gone since that time, I’be glad to answer to all my friends from that wonderfull place. I’been working on Ninian from the beginning to the end as well as Maureen deck (total time spent around 5 years)
        Cheers Alan

        Comment by Alan Grunfeld — March 8, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

      • Hi Alan,

        I’m Jim McGee’s son, Robin. I remember my father worked with you in Howard Doris’s drawing office in Kishorn from 1980 to 1982 during the construction of the Maureen platform.

        Unfortunately, Dad died 12 years ago. He really enjoyed working in the drawing office and I know he respected you very much and often talked about you for years afterwards. I was only 7 years old when we lived in Kishorn and then Lochcarron, but I remember it very well and even remember you used to drive a white Range Rover – my dad drove a brown Rover.

        I remember Rita Stonebridge and her family extremely well, as I was very good friends with their son Duncan and daughter Vicky and we were neighbours when we lived in Lochcarron. My family was also very good friends with Jim Riff and his family who worked as an engineer at the yard for Phillips Petroleum.

        There were two other Frenchmen who worked in the drawing office. One was called Pierre and the other was known as Tonton who lent us his house in the suburbs of Paris one summer for a holiday.

        I told my mother, Myra, that you had posted a message on this site and she remembers you very well and asked me to say that she is asking after you and hopes you are well.

        It’s a shame that my father is not here, as he would’ve liked to have met you again and everyone else from the drawing office.

        We would really like to hear from you again.

        Cheers,

        Robin.

        Comment by Robin McGee — May 31, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

      • Thanks for that fond memory Robin.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2013 @ 4:57 am

      • Thanks Paul, it’s good to see so many other people with fond memories of Kishorn & Lochcarron too.

        Comment by Robin McGee — June 7, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

  16. Hi Paul,

    I also watch those films in awe and with pride that’s why I decided to buy them. I remember as a wee boy visiting my dad’s office and being overwhelmed by the size of the dry-dock – you don’t forget things like that! These yards should still be thriving today rather than being memories. Instead all the work has gone abroad just like with the shipyards and steel mills etc. It’s not that the world has stopped needing steel, ships or rigs it’s just that the UK government for decades hasn’t invested in these heavy industries to make them competitive against foreign rivals whose governments do invest. Sorry for my wee rant – it’s just such a shame!!

    Also, I remember in 1982 being given a light blue Kishorn t-shirt with a picture of either the Maureen Alpha or Ninian Central platform on the front. I think I threw it out in the late eighties because I had outgrown it, which I now regret!!

    Comment by Robin McGee — October 24, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    • Aye Robin, lost opportunities and another nail in the coffin of British heavy engineering 😦 I was only there for a couple of weeks picking over the remains of a once proud yard like a vulture but I was fortunate enough to see the last job leave. I think it was an accommodation module for Total, it was moved to the quayside on a gigantic ‘low loader’ type thing with about 64 computer controlled wheels that kept it perfectly level. Wish I’d taken more photographs.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 3:59 am

  17. I was an engineer on the “v” slides on the main base – can even remember which slides I was engineer on – my direct boss was John Bridges once met never forgotten, complete with his divers knive! above him it was Colin Slade ex Wimpey, the Howard Doris head man Don ? and the Chevron boss Gene Harrison who I meet when he visited the “v” slipforms

    I was on the platform just after we moved it out of the dry dock when it nearly sank – still got my timesheet (29 hours non stop) – force 12 gale, we lost one of the concrete batching plants – watched it sink! and the generator barge then sailed off on its own back up the loch chased by the tugs

    The National Gallery video of the constuction is great – spotted one person I remember – Jim Hollisworth from Goole steelfixer chargehand with Fergus and Haynes on a “v” slide

    Comment by Ali Campbell — November 10, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    • Hi Ali, and welcome aboard, great memories, I remember hearing of the batching plant loss, it was not alone 🙂 There’s a film, book and documentary needing to be made. There’s a whole generation of children living around here that know little or nothing of this. The huge concrete ‘landfasts’ will be visible for generations on shore down Loch Kishorn but who will remember what they were for in a hundred years time ?

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 11, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

    • Don Finlay was the Howard Dorris man – Does anybody remember my Dad George (Geordie) Langdon. I recognise a lot of names he talked about, Lou Parker, Mick Boyle, Charlie Fergus

      Comment by Michael — February 9, 2013 @ 12:55 am

      • Michael, I worked with your Dad in both Kishorn and the Falkland Islands , we went down on the MV Merchant Providence together with some of the Grandmet staff included and the bloody ship was a Dud , in other words LMA had bought a Pup from the Spanish , both Geordie and I asked Captain Wilkinson could we build a swimming pool on the deck (the Ship was ours anyway for the bridgehead complete with Bailey Bridge onboard in sections) anway we built the pool and it was always full of Flying Fish every morning , boy did we have some laughs .
        Having no engines the Chief Engineer asked who’d been deep sea before and had mechanical experience , a few of us got down below and got stuck-in but the spare pistons and liners on the bulkhead were cracked and knackered ,we spent virtually 48 hours non-stop (Two Ghosters)all to no avail .
        We put to sea from Avonmouth with a champagne breakfast beforehand and then the break down off Portugal heading on a diagonal for the South Americas , a Spanish came out to us thinking they’d get the salvage rights but the Captain said we’d drift with the Gulf stream and we pulled into Las Palmas in the wee hours and got a Sea Taxi to the Beach and got Rat-A@@@d .
        What a weeze , did he tell you what happened ?

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 9, 2013 @ 7:32 am

      • Great stuff John,

        couldn’t resist Googling the Merchant Providence and came up with this http://www.wickham43.com/falklands/eastcovecamp.html some great pictures and it even mentions your ‘delay’ 🙂 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 9, 2013 @ 7:47 am

      • Morning Paul, that was brilliant , Thanks a lot , me and Kenny may be arranging a reunion but there are lots of things to find out first , am awaiting emails to progress it through , then transport to arrange well you know the crack .
        You’ve started something off here and were all glad for it , what happens next is all down to us .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 9, 2013 @ 8:01 am

      • Count me in for the reunion John 🙂 I never worked there as such but would love to meet some of you guys.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 10, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

      • Paul, have thought of a few ways to raise the funds and logistics and will put it to Kenny when I see him , just because you werent there then you’ve more than made up for it getting this Blog going , the lanterns are going to be ‘Swinging’ on this one . Thanks again .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 8:43 am

      • Paul, some of these PSA guys were like overgrown school kids , did you read that part about Clapped-Out Land Rovers ? it was these same guys getting them clapped out , just look at how many photos show them bogged down , well when they bogged them down they F////d up the steering and the Leyland lads only had so many spare parts so they took them up from the LMA Pool (or stock) leaving the rest of us without transport .
        That guy he mentioned of falling off a roof was one of my lads , he was ordered up when there was no scaffold there by someone who was after my job and fell onto a solid concrete floor where we were placing a mezzanine floor ????

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 8:54 am

      • Hello John, Yes I remember his tails from the Falklands epic. I also remember him mentioning yourself and a few others from that job. Speedy Charlton is one name that sticks in my head. I seem to temember the ship stopping at Asension island as well; I remember when he left to go there, I was about 15 and had an ex-army military parca from an army and navy store, as I was going through a mod phase. I told him he had better take it with him and he said that he was very glag he did. Unfortunatley he passed away 11 years ago. Thanks for the memories though Michael

        Comment by MICHAEL LANGDON — February 9, 2013 @ 9:54 am

      • Micheal I remember your father well I was a tower crane driver and was winded of one night and Geordie climbed up the crane to see me over 200ftand when I seen him coming up through the hatch totally out of breath his first words were ‘(OH MA BONNIE LAD )he he with a big grin on his ever cheery face. you can hold your head up high and be proud of your dad he was truly one of the best

        On 9 February 2013 15:43, Life at the end of the road wrote:

        > ** > MICHAEL LANGDON commented: “Hello John, Yes I remember his tails from > the Falklands epic. I also remember him mentioning yourself and a few > others from that job. Speedy Charlton is one name that sticks in my head. I > seem to temember the ship stopping at Asension island as well; I re” >

        Comment by Kenny Millar — February 9, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      • Thanks Kenny, kind words

        Comment by MICHAEL LANGDON — February 9, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      • sincerely my pleaser

        Comment by kenny millar — February 9, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

      • Michael, Kenny was telling me about that the other night , your Dad ‘Inspired’ people and everyone looked up to him including me (He was a lot smaller than me in height but gained up for it in other ways ) It was an Honour to have known him .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 8:38 am

      • Michael, I’m sorry about your Dad,I bet you dont half miss him as we do too , we had many a laugh and he had that same Parka when we were down there , did he tell you about our unschedulled stop at Las Palmas and the crack in the pub there ?
        We went ashore and this pub catered for the UK people and it had this upright piano but nobody to play it, and we had the two Anchor laying lads from Newcastle one of which could play the piano like Les Dawson in and out of key well the whole place was in hysterics and the pub was full everytime we went there to listen to these lunatics from the ship (we were in the chorus and all of the Bawdy songs came out ,lol) I was working this weekend but next weekend will sort them out and send them to send you down the line , I had a video with him on it in film called the first two hundred days in the Falklands and will root it out .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 8:20 am

      • Thanks John, Yes he told me about Las Palmas and the piano. Thanks for digging out photo’s and video, I look forward to seeing them as will my Sisters. And yes we do miss hime. Thanks Michael

        Comment by MICHAEL LANGDON — February 11, 2013 @ 9:33 am

      • Michael, as soon as I get time will sort them out ,did your dad ever mention Dick Connors the crawler crane driver ? he had the small wharf just up from the Providence named after him called ‘Connors Wharf’ .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

      • Sorry John I can’t recaall Dick Conors, he most probavly mentioned him as he talked fondly of his memories and loved his work. Michael

        Comment by MICHAEL LANGDON — February 12, 2013 @ 9:41 am

      • Michael, He loved his job but his family a lot better otherwise he wouldnt have been down there with us, travelling is no good for man nor beast but it looks after the family money wise , I’ve seen many a Good Marriage broken-up because of it but your Dad was doing his best .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 13, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

      • Michael,
        I am Patrick O’Leary – who does not remember your dad he was a one off. I remember you from Kenya as a boy 1980? Think about George very often.

        Comment by Patrick — March 11, 2017 @ 1:29 pm

      • Geordie langdon who could not remember him he was a legend one of the finest men I ever worked with and Im sure thousands of men will agree with me

        Comment by ken millar — March 11, 2017 @ 3:04 pm

  18. I worked on the Central for a couple of years inthe early ’90’s. thanks for building her so strong!

    Comment by Jeff Gower — November 17, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    • Hi Jeff,

      hope you get the films sorted, that Ninian Central must be a tough old bird, a mate on Raasay works on her and she’s still ‘going strong’.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 19, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    • Hi Jeff,

      I apologise for the delay responding I didn’t notice your reply. Both films can be ordered from the Scottish Screen Archive (part of the National Library of Scotland) and cost a total of £28.60 incl.post & VAT (as of May 2011). To order them I filled out the enquiry form on their website and they responded by letter with an application form. However an alternative method they offer is to contact them by phone, mail or email to make an order, which would be easier and quicker. I would phone them first. The application form simply asks for your name, address and title of films you want to order. Once they’ve received your application they post the films within about four weeks, along with an invoice for the amount due. You only have to pay after you receive the DVD and invoice. The copies are taken directly from the original films and transferred to a single DVD.

      Just request from the Scottish Screen Archive an ‘Application for Reproduction of Moving Images’ and state the films are for ‘private use’.

      Below are the titles of the films including reference numbers, which you’ll need to provide:

      The Kishorn Commandos (Film Ref: 2690)
      The Ninian Central Platform (Film Ref: 5973)

      Make sure you ask for DVD format.

      Their contact details are:

      Website: http://www.nls.uk/ssa
      Email: ssaenquiries@nls.uk
      Tel: 0845 366 4600
      Fax: 0845 366 4601

      Write to:
      Scottish Screen Archive
      National Library of Scotland
      39-41 Montrose Avenue
      Hillignton Park
      Glasgow
      G52 4LA

      I highly recommend ordering them, as they’re truly awe-inspiring and worth the price. If you have any questions just leave a message and I’ll get back to you.

      Regards, Robin

      Comment by Robin McGee — November 26, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

      • Thanks for that Robin, I’ll forward the link to Jeff incase he misses it

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 28, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  19. Dare I return to Kishorn? I lived up there 1949 – 1955. My parents worked for the Greggs who owned Courthill. Has the whole area changed beyond recognition or is it gradually returning to its natural beauty? As a child I played on the beach for hours on end and never saw anyone else. If a car should pass the house (a very rare occurrence) we would stand and stare as it passed by. I have read all the comments about the engineering with much interest. Who would have thought such a sleepy village could become so busy with heavy machinery, etc. I will look at the ‘photos to see if I recognise parts of it.

    Comment by Betty — February 12, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    • Morning Betty and welcome, of course you should return, it’s returned back to a nice sleepy village with a good shop and excellent seafood restaurant 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 13, 2012 @ 5:53 am

      • I would love to return to Lochcarron / Kishorn area, despite already living in a beautiful part of Scotland. It’s like a tranquil paradise there (midges excluded). :o)

        Comment by Robin McGee — February 13, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

      • Aye it would be heaven indeed without the dreaded midge 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 14, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  20. Hi My name is Eddie Watson I was a steel fixer on the Ninian Platform early in 1975/ 76, I worked on the base, dock gates,on the slides and I was there when it was towed
    out to the wet dock. I worked with Geordie Mick, Alec Parrajack, Danny McGrath, Donny McGrath,who has since sadly died, John Osbourne, Jimmy and John Holsborough
    John McGlen who was the foreman, Paddy, Jimmy and Frank Cunningham, I have worked with a few of these men since down in London.
    I would like to know what has happened to the others.

    Comment by Edward Wason — February 27, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    • Morning Eddie and welcome, I don’t think the youth of today, even some of the locals realize what a mammoth undertaking happened in these parts. It’s a story that needs telling whilst there are people still alive that worked there.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 29, 2012 @ 6:44 am

      • Do you know any of the men I have named? They all worked on the steel components side of the rig, fixers and the like.

        Comment by Edward Wason — March 2, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

      • Morning Edward,

        sorry I don’t know any of them, it’s a long time ago and I’ve a memory like a hen. I was only ever there for the dismantling of the site in its death throws, such a tragedy 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2012 @ 12:21 am

    • Eddie

      I worked as an Engineer on the base – first month supervising the “cranking” of out of position rebar verts on walls 6 and 7 ready to set up the first slipforms. Once we did that I was an engineer on 5 of the “v” slides, which to speed up production linked the v slides with the adjoining walls. After floating out and was onboard when it was nearly loss in the storm then worked on the wall 5 slipform until I had enough – 18 months.

      Spent a lot of time working with the Fergie Haynes fixers – regular was Jim Holsbourgh from Goole – home rule for Goole he said! – he is the only one I spotted on the video, also the Stacks – Eddie and Patsy and of course Mick Boyle. Always felt sorry for the fixers bent over in the rain 12 hours every day. Do you remember when they emptied the Celtic football supporters club to get “bodies” on site – the poor souls had no idea where they were going – think they “hot” bedded with other. Many had never seen a pair of steel fixers nips!

      Ali Campbell

      Comment by Ali Campbell — March 3, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      • Nice story Ali, it’s the kind of thing that needs telling and writing down, thanks for sharing, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 4, 2012 @ 7:36 am

      • Ali, Do you remember ‘Two Metre Ted’ another engineer on nights , you may have seen him on changeovers of shifts ??

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 5, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    • Hi Eddie, I remember you , do you remember Two Metre Ted the shift engineer from Liverpool ?

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 28, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

      • Hi my dad worked for mick Boyle on the humber bridge

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 28, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

    • Hi Eddie,
      I worked with Frank he was a grafter.

      John Kilbride.

      Comment by johnkilbride — May 10, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

  21. Great to read all these stories, my dad is Charlie (Cathal) Fergus, and see his name mentioned quite a bit,, would love to hear a few more stories, Going to show him this website tomorrow.

    Comment by Kerri Fergus — March 30, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    • Kerri
      Your dad used to be very good friends with my mother& late father in law Kennock & Lulu Matheson from Shieldaig.

      Comment by Raymond Anderson — March 31, 2012 @ 3:20 am

      • Welcome to another ‘Kishorn Commando’ Kenny, it’s becoming quite busy here 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 1, 2012 @ 6:07 am

      • Hi Raymond

        My mum and dad both remember Kennock & Lulu and speak very highly of them. Also Jan & John Mc Donald. Hes not 100% sure but he thinks they came to visit in Donegal. He is going to give me a detailed story of his time in Kishorn so will post it when done. Kerri

        Comment by Kerri — April 3, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    • Kerri, Ask your dad does he remember me John Kilbride ?
      I’ve got loads of photo’s

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 5, 2013 @ 11:37 pm

  22. Hi Kerri, my dad new Mick Boyle from the Humber bridge also. Did your dad gave any photos of the project and does he know where Mick Boyle is . Great stories

    Comment by Patrick langan — April 3, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    • Hi Patrick, Mick lives in Northampton area, dont think he has anyphotos though which is a pity.

      Comment by Kerri — April 5, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      • hi kerri, i will have to track Mick down, my dad would love to see him again

        Comment by patrick langan — March 28, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

  23. Hi there,my father worked there as a scaffolder his name was Hotplate from highvalleyfield.Sadly passed away two years ago.Jim Thompson son.cheers.

    Comment by James Thompson — April 9, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    • Hi Jim and welcome, sorry to here about your father ‘hotplate’ with a name like that I bet he had some stories to tell 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2012 @ 5:12 am

      • Hotplate was a mate of mine from Falkirk and Big Betty from Kelvins ended up in the Falklands with us along with Geordie Langdon and lots of others , keep in contact lads .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 5, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

      • good morning john just seen you comment on Geordie Langdon and betty I often wondered if betty came back to the uk she looked well after us towercrane drivers with our food bags for up the crane at night and Geordie he was just one of the best what great it would be if we could orginise a reunion somewhere for any of our mates who are still with us

        Comment by kenny millar — February 6, 2013 @ 9:47 am

      • Good Morning Kenny, Nice meeting again , Betty did come back to the UK but not sure if back to Scotland there were some lads and lasses from Grandmet who went to Kelvins (our catering mob in the Falklands ) I was walking down the accomodation block and all I heard was Hey John do you remember me , she has a heart of gold and I was gobsmacked , we had a few hours in the bar that night reminiscing on old times .( she’d looked my name up and the rest is history)
        We can soon find out where she went to through Kelvins and it would be great to organise a reunion , not sure about Geordie though as he didnt complete the contract to the end , it was on a twelve month basis but we went down on the same ship just after the war , it was call the MV Merchant Providence .
        Do you remember the MV Rangatira ? she ended up under Newcastle bridge as a Night club , one of the tugs from the North Sea went down to the falklands as well , the young lad from Mayo that died at kishorn had died because of a Foreman there, and shouldnt have been where he was , anyhow that same foremen ended up down south with us and was killed himself by a Moxy reversing over him , I’m not mentioning his name as I wont speak ill of the dead . what a fate ?
        Geordie and Myself worked for LMA the main contractor .
        Have to go as back to work
        Kishorn will live on forever through all of us .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 10:50 am

      • Hi John, was fascinated by your comment about the MV Rangatira, me being a bit of an anorak and stuck in South Shields at the moment.

        Built: Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd., Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
        ON: 343007
        Dimensions: 152.63 (BB) x 22.08 x 5.284 metres
        Tonnage: Gross: 9387 Net: 4031
        Propulsion: Two steam turbines by Associated Electrical Industries Ltd., Manchester, driving two generators connected to two electric motors and single reduction geared to twin screw.
        Average service speed: 18.26 knots – Maximum service speed: 22.25 knots
        Type: Passenger/Car Ferry
        Launched: 23/6/1971 (Yard No.33) as Rangatira for Union Steamship Company (UK) Ltd., London
        Completed: 1/1972 and subsequently entered service on the Wellington-Lyttelton, New Zealand ferry service.
        Original compliment: 768 single class passengers, 123 crew and 200 vehicles.
        Withdrawn: from service 9/1976 and returned to the United Kingdom where she was chartered for use as a floating accommodation ship at Loch Kishorn. She arrived at Sullom Voe 2/10/1978 for service as an accommodation ship.
        Chartered: 15/5/1982 by the Ministry of Defence for service as a troopship in the Falklands Conflict, although this role was later changed to that of an accommodation ship. Blue Star Ship Management Ltd. appointed managers. Arrived at Port Stanley 11/7/1982 and remained there until 26/9/1993. Upon her return to the United Kingdom, she was refitted by Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast, following which she arrived at Falmouth 30/3/1984 to lay up.
        Sold: by auction in 10/ 2001 for �500,000 to Oberon Cruise Line, Limassol, Cyprus and renamed Carlo C
        Renamed: Alexander the Great and has been towed to the Montenegro port of Bijela, where she arrived on 23/12/2001
        Departed: 12/01/2005 Left Bijela under tow of Greek tug Hellas for Aliaga, Turkey arriving 20/01/2009
        Brocken up: 29/01/2005 beached at Aliaga and demolition commenced.

        Looks like she had a really interesting career http://www.bluestarline.org/rangatira_navy_today.htm but no mention of a night club in Newcastle, though there is a few years missing in the ‘timeline’.

        Anymore info ???

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 6, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

      • Paul, I remember it well had forgotten to mention she was on her way back as we sailed down there , was on to Kenny earlier we must have looked like ‘Mountain men’ , there was one time in the Welly bar and a little guy from Glasgow was getting some nudges and grief off this bloke bigger than me , it carried on for half an hour and then the big yin give him another nudge and said I’ve got a Black-belt in Karate and the wee guy promptly laid him out and carried on drinking . Ha Ha
        We didnt put up with diplomacy then , the next day the two were pals . lol.
        Then Prince Charles came to inaugarate the Rig ,they opened the sluices and had a whole battery of HV water pumps firing it back out over the dockside , ???
        it defies believe and was like being in the Mob again , never mind though we spliced the mainbrace as we’d all got a Free Bar and the Bears went round getting detergent and Bleach containers and flushed them out to fill with the Best Malt Whiskies or whatever they were drinking from Tray after Tray of spirits .
        Ahhh ” The stuff Dreams were made of ” , a Better Class of Men and Girls you could meet .
        You’ve got a decent blog going here so much so there may be a reunion Paul .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

      • Priceless stories John, they need saving 🙂 Me, I only had the honour of visiting the site briefly in its ‘death throws’ but know many folk who worked there. Heard tales that only a true ‘Kishorn Commando’ would believe 🙂

        All the best, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 6, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

      • Paul, Kishorn may not be in commission but dont class it as Death Throes she is still there , there was an old seer that said many men would come and go from there and this Gargantuan would travel many leagues to the sea and so on , Kishorn will never die in so many words it lives on in us .
        Best Regards John

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      • Paul, the ‘Rangatira’ was flying Greek Colours when she ‘Docked-up’ at Kishorn and changed after to Newcastle , she was an accommodation vessel for us and moored on the port side looking out from the dock , I’ve got loads to add but it would take weeks and I’m not taking over the blog .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

    • James, I’ve got some snaps of your Dad with the rest of us Scaffs , leave word and I’ll send them ?

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 8, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

      • Hi there that would be great to get a copy of the photos of my dad.cheers.All the best.

        Comment by Jim thompson — November 27, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

      • Hi my email is jht7578@btinternet.com cheers.

        Comment by Jim thompson — December 27, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

      • The Rangatira and The Odyssus were brought in as accomadation vessels due of severe lack of accommodation in the Camp. A storm damaged one and a Donsgal man set his cabin on fire whilst smoking in bed……idiot! We had go back to sleeping in lockers again. …

        Comment by Padhraig Campbell — July 31, 2016 @ 6:06 pm

  24. I work with Ferguson Transport, and we are one of the companies (along with Leiths) who have entered into a joint venture, Kishorn Port Ltd, with the objective of getting the port and dry dock back up and running again. I would love to see any old photos or hear any stories anybody might have about Kishorn as I’m very interested in the history of the site. Please feel free to email me: kirsty@kishornportltd.com . Thanks 🙂

    Comment by Kirsty — April 24, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    • Morning Kirsty and welcome, Steve Patch would be the man to speak to, he was working on Raasay until recently but he does read the blog occasionally so may get in touch. That really is a serious piece of Scottish history and folklore you’re sitting on, look after it 🙂 Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 26, 2012 @ 5:22 am

  25. Hi all..i remember leaving kinlough wit a mate called john Feely in the depths of winter an heading for Kishorn where we heard that their was gold in them their hills..as the train chugged along into the wilds of scotland i thought it was alkatraz we were heading for..no sign of life anywhere,..cuttin a long story short..we reached the enterance to the site..only to b refused.while we stood all day tryin to get in an rummeged tru the bin where the security wud throw their left over dinners hopin to find an unwanted spud…in the evenin we headed back down the road an saw a half a caravan where we slept for the night ..ahh pure luxury as our jaded bodies relaxed an shivered in the wilds winds of Kishorn…oh how i dreamed that nite of being a kishorn commando!!!!!
    peter mcgeever!!

    Comment by peter mcgeever — May 3, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    • Good morning Peter and welcome,

      thanks for sharing that, it had me in stitches 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 6, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  26. Hi all the commandos , I’m Mick Boyle’s son and Mick and lena are fit and healthy living in Peterborough, dad starting MPB Structures ltd in 1987 and built the company up to £58 million in 2008 and were still going strong building concrete frames, rail projects, throughout the Uk. Great to hear all the stories I’ve shown Dad them and he says hi to all those who remember him. I lived in lochcarron for 12 years so i had alot of great memories. Check out Dad’s company http://www.mpb.co.uk all the best cheers Sean Boyle

    Comment by Sean Boyle — May 24, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    • Hi folk my grandad was one of the tower crane drivers for ninian wee kenny(kenny millar) his good friend on the other crane big kenny(kenny devine) both from edinburgh big kenny is no longer with us but my grandad is looking to see if there is any steel fixers riggers or banksman foreman that would remember him possibly for a reunion thing or if anyone knows of any guys still in the inverness kinda area
      Cheers mikey

      Comment by Michael — December 29, 2012 @ 12:44 am

      • Hi Mikey, hope you find who your looking for, this stuff should be kept alive, it is the stuff of folklore, legend and history all rolled into one.

        Good luck, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

      • Mikey

        Ask your grandad if he was in the dry dock when the man basket used to change the tower crane drivers struck the ballast weights on the back end of one of the tower cranes at the end of the day shift – complete with driver wedged in it.

        I remember one tower crane driver I knew from working with Costain at Stirling when I was a Site Enginner but I can’t remember his name

        Regards Ali Campbell

        Comment by Ali Campbell — January 7, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

      • Hi Ali yes I remember the man in the man basket he was a new Zealander known as bob a job(Bob) he used to smoke a curly pipe which fell out of his pocket when he got dragged over the ballast of the tower crane and apart from nearly losing his life all he was concerned about was where his pipe had landed (in the rebar never to be seen again) I was the man who ran along my jib jumped over to the tower of the crane in question and took over the . controls and put bob a job back safely to the ground he left the site that night never to be seen again I am planning a trip up to the highlands and Stornoway about June/July and would like to meet up with any riggers banksmen fitters blackgang who might remember me WEE KENNY.we could write a best seller on the memories of our time at kishorn

        Comment by kenny millar — February 5, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

      • Hi Kenny, it’s about time you did write a book, Kishorn memories are the stuff of legend 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

      • Kenny, I remember them all and was mates with some (although we were all mates at Kishorn) I had a mate in the blackgang who was killed in the workshops , his name was Jack Garside , do you remember that month it rained non-stop for 28 days and nights .
        My name is John Kilbride and was on permanent nights with my dad and mates .

        Comment by johnkilbride — February 5, 2013 @ 11:28 pm

      • Hi paul can you tell me is Ali Campbell was he a fitter and does he come from Stornoway and if it is how can I get in touch with him

        Comment by kenny millar — February 5, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

      • Hi john yes I remember the the guy in the workshop he was a scouser maybe you can tell me is Ali Campbell who made comment on this page one of the fitters came from Stornoway I’d like to get in touch with

        Comment by kenny millar — February 6, 2013 @ 8:23 am

  27. Anyone remember Mick Murray on the pipe-laying squad to the Concrete pumps ?

    Comment by johnkilbride — February 6, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

  28. The Kishorn Commandos

    (Gordon Menzies)
    We’re the Kishorn Commandos way up in Wester Ross
    We’ve never had a gaffer, we’ve never had a boss
    But we’ll build the biggest oil-rig you’ve ever come across
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    Every single morning we get wakened by a shout
    Get up, ye idle buggers, won’t you get the finger out
    And what do we get for breakfast? Seven pints of stout
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    Digging down a dusty hole till we can hardly speak
    Summer sunshine, rain or snow, we seldom stop to sleep
    We work for forty hours a day and fourteen days a week
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    We’re the toughest gang of workers that you have ever met
    We’ll work or fight with anyone, and you can lay a bet
    There may be some men tougher, but we haven’t found them yet
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    We’ve never joined the Navy, we’ve never joined the RAF
    We’ve never joined the army, we’re not so bloody daft
    We’d rather go to Kishorn and get paid for skivin’ aff
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    You’re welcome here in Kishorn if you know how to work
    We’ve Geordies here from Africa and Paddies from New York
    Wi’ Scousers, Jocks and Taffys, all from the County Cork
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    And when the job is over we’ll up and pack our bags
    We’ll spend the money on the booze, the women and the nags
    But until then we’ll have to do wi’ navvies dressed in drag
    Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

    (as sung by Gaberlunzie)

    skiving = avoiding work
    aff = off (in Scots)

    Comment by johnkilbride — February 11, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

  29. I remember them doing this .
    [1976:] [This] was written after a 9 am session of singing with the men working at the Howard Dorris construction camp on Loch Kishorn. They are a very special breed, and we are proud that they have adopted this song as something of an anthem. (Notes Gaberlunzie, ‘Wind and Water, Time and Tide’)

    Comment by johnkilbride — February 12, 2013 @ 12:01 am

  30. Hi, was wondering if anyone remembers my daddy William Harrison, otherwise known as Hagar the Horrible! He was a foreman welder, usually nightshift, he stayed in his caravan at the site in Applecross. His pal Phil Dow worked alongside him as well, they were there in the early 70s?

    Comment by Julie Harrison Cook — March 7, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    • Good luck with your quest Julie and welcome aboard, I’m sure another ‘commando’ will be along shortly 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 7, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    • i remember hagar he was my gaffer for a time at kishorn, i always got along with him, you did your work and you had no problem with him.

      Comment by kevin monaghan — September 4, 2017 @ 11:13 am

  31. Hi Julie my name is ken millar I remember the name hagar but as I was a tower crane driver perched up in the air I never really had much contact with the guys on the ground but I’m willing to bet John Kilbride would remember your dad you can reach John on this page but I’ll be talking to him later tonightand get him to give you a shout watch this space

    Comment by kenny millar — March 7, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

    • That would be great, daddy’s not been too good lately and think it would give him a great boost to hear from the boys x x

      Comment by Julie Cook — March 12, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

  32. hi to all worked in the bending yard at kishorn. for fergus and hynes with. . john killcanon. tom keen and pat on the steelbender next to me. stayed on the hms oddaseaes and mick boyle the boss. i said to someone whats it like working up at kishorn he. replyed like working on the moon…..remmeber lighting the fags with the £5 notes. i remember paying some weeks £200. income tax. god what was the name of that foreman we had in the yard, he would run up an down all day shouting work work work. was it cambell?? …….all the best roy

    Comment by roy cummings — March 14, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    • Hi Julie, I remember your dad and you can forget the Hagar bit as he was an absolute Gentleman , he was a friend of my mate who died at Kishorn , I’ve been reluctant to post this as I prefer people to look at things in the positive way and not any other , we all had a good life at Kishorn (well some more than others ) I never got to meet him socially as I was offshore and I had to move to Kyle of Lochalsh for being a naughty boy ( I let someone hotbed in my cabin even though he was told to sleep in his sleeping bag ) I missed the Landing Craft one night due to having a few wi the lads one day and was late , now if you were late or didnt turn to you lost a lot of money , anyhow I got one of the lads from the pub to take me out in his speedboat we overtook the Landing Craft and I was dubbed 007,1/2 as the lads used to say heres Kilbride wi out his speedboat , whats up is the Landing Craft not good enough for you ? …. I never lived it down .
      This story isnt about me but your Dad and Us all at Kishorn , just thought your Dad might be chuffed reading this , We All Wish Him A Speedy Recovery and if Paul sends me your address will send you a funny . look after yourself little one . XX

      Comment by johnkilbride — March 14, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

    • Was the bending yard foreman an Irish guy who wore a leather jacket and had a big Saddam Hussein moustache? I think his name was Concannon. He was fond of the “productivity ” for sure! There was a caravan hidden in the yard known as The Ranch House where we hot bedded on occasion.

      Comment by Padhraig Campbell — July 31, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

      • Hi Padhraig and welcome, just love these stories, keep em coming.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 31, 2016 @ 10:42 pm

  33. Roy Cummings, youre spot on and I think the Foremans name was Alec Campbell , same again I never got to meet him as like Wee Kenny Millar the Tower Crane driver we were on permanent nights (More Civilised We all Thought ) if you believe that your a better man than me . Ha Ha .

    Comment by johnkilbride — March 14, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

  34. hi, i worked at kishorn with fraser@ironside as a slinger in 1976. im from falkirk and there was a lot of falkirk boys up there at that time. this was the year of the draught and it was a scorching hot summer that year. got my medal/coin from prince charles in july when he came to flood the rig. remember gaberlunzie? i wonder what bacame of ally fraser our foreman he drove from muir of ord every day

    Comment by rab hotchkies — March 16, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    • Rab, We are trying to trace Big Betty from Falkirk who worked for Grandmet and was last with us down in the Falklands , as for Ali leave it a couple of weeks as we’re going to put Ads in the papers as everyone doesn’t own a computer .

      Comment by johnkilbride — March 17, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    • Rab, I’ve got a few numbers for A Fraser in Muir of Ord , if you ring or text me on 07531076981 will text / email them to you.

      Comment by johnkilbride — March 17, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    • Hi rab I’m ken millar I was one of the tower crane drivers and remember a rigger/banksman from Falkirk willie morris might be morrisonmaybe you know his where abouts or of him

      Comment by kenny millar — March 17, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

      • hi kenny, dont remember the name you mentioned but will ask around. any idea of his age?

        Comment by rab hotchkies — March 18, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

      • Rab, Do you know Big Betty from Falkirk who worked for Grandmet at Kishorn and then Kelvin catering in the Falklands , and also Hotplate from Valleyfield ?

        Comment by johnkilbride — March 18, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

      • Rab at a rough guess I’d say early 70s I met him in a pub(of all places)along the main road that runs down from the railway station on a corner if I mind right Oh I know there were a lot of good guys from Falkirk but my memory cells are not what they used to be so I cant remember any names especially after the measures I was pouring for myself last night Aye even bigger than kishorn supplies anyway keep in touch wi the blogand good luck

        Comment by kenny millar — March 18, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    • Rab we have three of these coins. From my dad Aiden Fergus, sadly passed away May last year. Still have lots of photos from the site. He loved his time there, and always talked about all his friends.

      Comment by Jo — June 10, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

  35. Enjoyed reading alll the banter seems like yesterday being a young policeman working on site and later offshore on the platform. Enjoyed meeting & working with all nationalities.

    Comment by RUARAIDH NICOLSON — March 29, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  36. Big Hagar (Willie Harrison) passed away on Tuesday evening, looking through Daddys things I came across his Howard Doris Kishorn ID, one more Kishorn Commando gone to have fun with the boys in the sky x x x

    Comment by Julie Harrison Cook — April 11, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    • Really sorry to hear of your loss Julie, I’m sure there’s many will miss him judging by the affectionate comments left on here previously.

      Love, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 14, 2013 @ 9:12 am

  37. Hi Julie I’m just back from vacation and checking the blog sorry to hear the sad news about your dad I hope he was able to draw some comfort from any memories of Kishorn I’m sure he will be sadly missed by all who knew him best wish from ken millar

    Comment by kenny millar — April 20, 2013 @ 5:46 am

    • Hi Kenny,

      wondered where you’d been, sad news indeed about ‘Hagar’

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 20, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

  38. hey where have all the commandoes gone

    Comment by kenny millar — April 25, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

  39. Hi Paul things are very quiet these days hope we’ve not come to the end of the road so to speak

    Comment by kenny millar — May 27, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    • Morning Kenny, all the bears are on holiday, they’ll soon be back 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 28, 2013 @ 5:17 am

      • Gee I thought I was the only one who was globe trotting

        Comment by kenny millar — May 28, 2013 @ 6:11 am

  40. I’m planning my trip to Stornoway about the third week of July to meet up with Calum Campbell who was a fitter (and drinking buddy)at kishorn so hopefully I’ll maybe meet some other commandoes I’ll keep you informed

    Comment by kenny millar — May 28, 2013 @ 6:31 am

  41. on my way to Stornoway Monday 15th July hoping to meet any commandoes in the area

    Comment by kenny millar — July 9, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

    • Hi Kenny, good luck with the reunion, which ferry are you catching? Stornoway or Uig?

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2013 @ 5:22 am

  42. Hi Paul the plan is to go to Ullapool to Stornoway stay a couple of nights then down to Tarbert to Uig down through Skye to Loch Carron and kishorn maybe stop over night then onto Dingwall and that area then onto Turriff and Fraserburgh to see my late wife’s relatives I’ve no time schedule apart from catching that ferry at Ullapool but I’m really looking forward to meeting up with Callum talk to you later best wishes Kenny

    Comment by kenny millar — July 11, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    • Hope to see you soon then Kenny.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 12, 2013 @ 2:36 am

  43. Hi Paul well I had a very succesfull trip I met Ron Gilles up at the yard and he said you were up in Rassaey if I’d known that I would have stopped off at Sconser so I’m sorry I missed you but maybe the next time anyway I met up with John Brown a rigger and Rory Ferguson who was an apprentice fitter then but now owns Kishorn Mechanicals so then it was onto Dingwall and met up with another commando big Geordie Williams of coarse this was all after meeting up with Calum Campbell in Stornoway so I cant tell you how pleased I am at meeting up with these guys after 35 years just great!

    mm

    Comment by kenny millar — July 21, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

  44. well I guess this must be the end of the road (no replies since July) but I’ll keep watching,

    Comment by kenny millar — October 19, 2013 @ 8:25 am

  45. Hi all Kishorn bears, my name is marc Robinson, I worked for HD in dimensional control with Roger Stonbridge, I would be glad to have news from any one who worked on the site un the 80’s.
    Regards
    Marc

    Comment by marc robinson — November 10, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    • Hi Marc and welcome, hope someone gets in touch soon.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 10, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    • Hi Marc, I was there in 1985 for the TOTAL B modules down at area 6 where she was built. I just loved the welly bar. Remember welders choice on a thursday night when we got a band in anyone?

      Ted

      Comment by Ted Bleasdale — December 4, 2013 @ 4:44 am

      • Hi Ted, thank you for your message, I do remember area 6 and all the burgers, I was on the P200 Maureen deck project and other riggs, I worked from 1980 till 1983, what a great time !
        I remember some names , Steve FORSHAW, Angus, Dave URQUART, Niel TYE,
        I do have some very good moments un the Willy bar !
        Marc

        Comment by marc robinson — December 4, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

      • Hi Lads , We were there at the outset on the Central Ninian Platform and it was brilliant , sorry I have been out of contact as am still working away again , you`d have thought I would learned a lesson by now at the tender age of 64 but us old timers don’t fade away we just get coronaries , I went out to the North Sea afterwards and was on most rigs but have yet to meet Kenny Millar my mate. ( He used to sit up in the tower crane watching the Antics below )
        On Area 6 we had a gantry crane that was blown over ,( that wasn’t the only thing blown over Ha Ha ) met up with some of our crowd in the Falklands and we had a real good laugh, including my old boss Geordie Langdon, have covered the globe many times since over but those were the days .
        I had Geordie down there and Big Betty frae Falkirk it brought tears to my eyes.

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 4, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

      • Hi Ted and welcome, I remember the Total B modules, were they not the last thing ever built there ???

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 7, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  46. Hello all, I’ve just come across this and thought I would say hello.
    I went to kishorn with RJ Macleod to build the camp before the actual job started then transferred to Howard Doris when they started, if I remember right there were five of us joiners and were the first that HD took on, I was there till just after she floated out.
    Still have a lot of memories and remember a lot of the names mentioned here.
    Cheers Stan Pyke.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 8, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    • Hello Stan,
      Was you the same Carpenter that installed the soffit to main skirt on the platform ?
      If so I remember you , as Mary Hopkin sang those were the days .

      Cheers Buddy

      John Kilbride

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 8, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

      • Yep I was on that john, I remember them telling us that the skirt was going to crush into the shape of the seabed and I could hardly believe it, also the fact that it was going to float !!

        Comment by Stan pyke — December 8, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

      • Hello Stan, Thanks for getting back , I had assumed it was you will get everyone together when I get time , none of the lads would believe the Caissons ( Dock Gates ) would float let alone the rig , I worked out in the North Sea later , did you remember 2 metre Ted the engineer ?

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 8, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

  47. I do remember the name but can’t really picture him but my memory is bad, I remember when I got promoted in the early days to charge hand joiner, it was nothing to do with my ability it was simply because Hd wanted someone to be a charge hand so said to us to decide between us who it was going to be.
    The guys I worked with all ex RJ,s men voted me in as I was the youngest, but I soon found out that they were a lot wiser knowing that the charge hand got the sh–te and the flack, another wee lesson in life. Lol.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 9, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    • Hello Stan, There`s an old adage and that is with Age comes experience so never volunteer unless its financially beneficial , do you remember Geordie Langdon ?

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 9, 2013 @ 7:47 am

  48. Yes I do remember the name and the face well but I just can’t remember what he did, did he end up one of the shop stewards?

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 9, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  49. Nope a gaffer I think

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 9, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  50. Hi Stan glad to hear there are still more commandoes out there my name is ken millar I was one off the tower crane drivers on crane 4 with the ninnian mostly night shift.
    but man do we have such memories off such a job. As my mate john Kilbride say’s we would like to try and get some kind of get together and share those great time’s.I know some off us are a wee bit grey or even bald but the memories are still there , give him a shout and lets see what happens early next year and keep in touch
    best wishes for Christmas and New Year to all Kishorn commandoes where ever you may be

    Comment by kenny millar — December 9, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

  51. Hi Kenny I do remember the name and we would have known each other if you were there at the start when there wasn’t many of us there, I can’t even blame age for me sh memory it was always the same. I was also on the night shift better crack and less hassle ! I think I was on it for at least a year. Then I went to set up the joiner shop with Finlay gunn, then onto area 6 for the precast, then out in the loch with her. I would certainly be up for some kind of get together next year.
    Cheers and good wishes for the festive bit to all. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 10, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    • Hi Stan yes I was there just after the first v-slide was up and I was on nearly every contract there after.you might remember my big mate Kenny devine he was better known as big Kenny and I was wee Kenny( sadly the big yin is no longer with us) . aye many a good morning spent in the welly bar happy day,s eh I was up at kishorn in July and met a couple of guys (locals)who we worked with then up to STORNOWAY and met up with a fitter called Calum Cambell it was great meeting these guys so if we do manage a reunion some time I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about in between drink’s in the meantime keep in touch

      Comment by kenny millar — December 10, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  52. Oh and I did climb up one of the cranes don’t know if it was yours, I was pissed as a rat,had been in strath all day !! For some funny reason I seem to remember a kettle up there, could that be right ?

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 10, 2013 @ 8:28 am

  53. aye we had all modcons even a bed

    Comment by kenny millar — December 10, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    • Hi Kenny,
      Some had a Bed you mean ,lol , I let one of the lads stay in my cabin and was accused of hot-bedding , he was caught in my bed despite me telling him to stay in his sleeping bag and I went to live in Kyle of Localsh after losing the room ( and I`m no Wufter ) he had nowhere else to stay .
      I enjoyed it there despite all the travelling in on the landing craft and speedboat , he was on days and myself nights as you know , the speedboat was another aspect as I slept in late and got another mate to get me to work otherwise I`d have lost a lot of money , we`d spent the day in the pub and when I got to the Wet Dock the lads had a laugh and said here`s John Kilbride alias ( James Bond ) turning up for work .

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 11, 2013 @ 3:07 am

      • Yes John I remember James Bond antics aboard that night but just remember you’ve not got JBs bank book. Aye Stan was asking if we had a kettle up on the crane well we had a toaster heater some of us had a small cooker so it was not unusual to have three or four drunken bodies sleeping it off up there , sparkies were favourite.they would come up on the pretence that there was a fault on the crane and it would take half the night to supposedly fix it so although we up a height we were never short of company
        Stan said he had climbed up one of the crane’s and I’m almost sure it was my one
        In the summer when it was hot we used to sit up there in trunks and slippers it was a job in a million

        Comment by kenny millar — December 11, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  54. Another night I remember, just !!! After a sesh in the camp then lochcarron, then strathcarron, I got back in time for the shift and the lads man handled me into one of the sparkies huts, If I remember right the hut had all the switchboards for the lighting etc in that particular section.
    They set me in the corner and nailed a sheet of ply over the corner so that I couldn’t get out, how that wasn’t Sussed god knows but I did get off with it !!
    Who was the guy I think his name was humphreys who was I think a or the site agent for HD ?

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 11, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    • Stan I cant remember the agents name but I’m sitting here laughing away to myself at the thought of you pinned in behind that board (I hope none of my neighbours look in the window they’ll think I’m cracking up) stan where do you come from am I right in saying Muir of Ord I’m in Edinburgh

      Comment by kenny millar — December 11, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  55. Ullapool, but when I was in kishorn I lived in lochinver, I went there with RJ Macleods to build the bridge just outside lochinver when they were putting the new road in, got married there like an idiot but saying that she was very good at one thing in particular so I was in love.
    We finished the job in lochinver then got transferred to kishorn to put the founds in for the camp and then the jenny station, then we’re asked if we wanted to transfer to HD to shutter the base for the skirt which I think most of us did.
    Another thing I do remember is getting photos taken of me putting the first shovel of concrete in the base for the skirt, I wonder if anyone has them, it was HD that took them as some kind of promotional thing. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 11, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    • If you can manage a wee half hour I’ll come out and meet you I’ve a busy day tomorrow but I’m sure we can fix something So if your in Ullapool you’ll know Roddy Green I believe he moved back there last year but that’s where he came from if you can spare the time the morn give me a ring on 07970870958

      Comment by kenny millar — December 11, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

  56. Oh by the way Kenny I’ll be in Broxburn the morn, down to see our daughter her man and granddaughters. Cheers Stan

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 11, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  57. I’m down till Sunday Kenny so should manage a meet in that time, yes know roddy but haven’t seen him for years. I should have explained that while I was from Ullapool. After kishorn I went to Orkney, to Flotta with Lilleys, and am still here, saying that we are planning a look to Ullapool on the way home next week so might be a good excuse to give Roddy a visit.
    I’ll give you a ring when we get down, we are leaving on the Aberdeen boat tonight and will be in Broxburn the morn.
    All the best. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 11, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

  58. Hi Stan
    what a pleasure it was to meet up with you your wife and daughter I bet your glad to get home before the weather got bad again.
    as I said John, was disappointed that he couldn’t be here to meet you but all going well we will all meet up in the early part off the new year
    in the meantime keep in touch
    I’ll take this opportunity to wish all Kishorn Commandoes out there where ever you may be VERY MERRY CHISTMAS and A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
    from Wee Kenny Millar (ex towercrane driver)

    Comment by kenny millar — December 21, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

    • Hi Kenny and Stan, really pleased that you two ‘commando’s’ managed to meet up via my blog, I just love the stories and banter.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 22, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

      • Hi Paul
        We won’t forget you when we do have a get togther

        Comment by kenny millar — December 22, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

      • I’ll be there with the camera Kenny 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 22, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

  59. It was brilliant seeing you Kenny, Karen and Morna really enjoyed it too obviously they have heard me talking about kishorn but the photos and the stories made it so much more interesting and real to them.
    Have a good Christmas Kenny and health and happiness to you and yours in the New Year to come.
    Cheers Stan.
    Ps Good wishes to Paul and everyone else on here too.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 26, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    • Hello Stan , My Old Man went up to Sullom Voe after Kishorn whilst I was gallivanting around the world , he went for George Dew on the Piling and you`d probably recognise him from the photos when we meet .
      Best Wishes.
      John Kilbride.

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 26, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

    • right now i’m full off the plonk but its great to hear from you all I wish you all a very happy new year

      Comment by kenny millar — December 26, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    • Hello Stan,
      I remember you and haven’t seen you since the `Dry Dock` days , I went out to the Falklands with Geordie Langdon and ” Big Betty ” frae Falkirk , both Diamonds in their own rights , I`m glad you met Wee Kenny my mate and only wish I`d have been there , we will meet up this year and its all down to Paul who I have great admiration for as its his blog we are using , He will get all of the rights to this story .
      I`m sorry have not been in contact only I had a Virus that keeled me over but will make up for it this year .
      Best Wishes to You and your Family AND ALL OF THE REST OF US REPROBATES !
      Look after yourself .
      Regards .
      John Kilbride

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2013 @ 9:44 am

  60. Hello again Stan, I remember you on the ” Dry Dock ” as that’s where we parted company , you onto area 6/7 and me “Wet – Dock “, I remember going down the Divers Holes 3 times before I made them cordon them off , you lads made ” Magic ” on those Soffit shutters to take so much weight afterwards, we had a mad Irishman steward who wasn’t even in UCATT, how he got away with it I`ll never know but he did ( name of John Holden I think )
    All of the rest of the Lads were Special including my mate ” Wee ” Kenny Millar , I`m looking forward to a decent reunion when we can all have the crack .
    Been laid up with a Virus that keeled me over but looking forward to this shindig , its all Thanks to Paul that we`ve got this far as its his blog that made it happen , he can have all of my rights on this particular story ..
    Look after yourselves .
    John Kilbride

    Comment by johnkilbride — December 26, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  61. You have john Holden’s name correct john i do remember him, you also have the timing right as to when I left went up top. Finlay Gunn and I went up and if I remember right we set up the joiners shop to basically design and make the first shutters for the holes in the precast blocks then down to area 6 to start making them.
    Hope you get rid of the virus john it can be a bugger to shake them off
    All the best. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 26, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

    • Hello Stan, I knew it was you and your lads that set up the ” Stelmo shutters” and admired you for it back then , I`ve been round the globe so much since but it was Kishorn that gave me that bearing and working with the likes of yourself and Wee Kenny and Big Kenny that set it off .
      I was thinking of you all that night when we were on night shift when the Gantry blew over and we lost the Batcher plant , do you remember Mick Murray the pipe-laying ganger man ?
      We`ve so much to talk about for old times sake , if you get time Wee Kenny has my mobile number and will give it you , we`re in for a good time lets make it this year and I`ll invite Paul over ( expenses paid ) we also have Larry Warr one of both the Kenny`s Banksman who is now a BBC cameraman , this is going to be brilliant.
      Both Geordie and myself went down to the Falklands with Big Betty and the only time I had off was with frostbite ( caught between Goose Green and East Cove ) but this bug nearly seen me off ( and I`m no Wuss )
      Thanks for the thoughts .
      Wishing ” Everyone ” all of the Best .

      John

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 26, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

  62. Credit where credit is due John, I went to kishorn with Finlay Gunn he was the brains , I was the boy. Lol a very unassuming genius of a man. I was there the night the gantry crane came down, I remember the wheels on one side going up the track and the ones on the other side going down that just got worse till the whole thing came down.
    Kenny and I in conversation about the, NCK 305, or 10 RB ? That the gantry came down on top of. I thought the guy was sleeping in beside the engine when it happened but I think Kenny had it different, just shows how the memory plays tricks after a lot of years!!
    I do remember Mick Murray now that you say the name, there’s a couple of guys I’m going to try and find in Caithness I’ll make a start and see where it takes us.
    If this goes ahead which I think it will, where are you thinking re a venue ?
    Cheers Stan

    Ps I’ll text my email address to Kenny.

    Pps One for Paul since you are kind of in the area. Have you ever come across a joiner from applecross by the name of Ian ferguson ? A bloody good hand.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 27, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    • Kenny’s watching and taking note

      On 27 December 2013 12:00, Life at the end of the road wrote:

      > Stan pyke commented: “Credit where credit is due John, I went to > kishorn with Finlay Gunn he was the brains , I was the boy. Lol a very > unassuming genius of a man. I was there the night the gantry crane came > down, I remember the wheels on one side going up the track and the on” >

      Comment by Kenny Millar — December 27, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      • Hello Stan and Kenny , I remember Ian Ferguson and Finlay is only as good as the men under him as I should know , never put yourself down man, you are as good or if not better than the rest , I don’t rest on my laurels but look after all working for me , down in the Falklands I`d do a sixteen hour stint and look after the welfare of the lads after , it was good for my health in many ways .
        I`m no bloody guardian angel but look after others the way I`d want to be looked after .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

  63. Hello Stan, It was an NCK 305 in your yard as I`ve photos somewhere to prove it .

    Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

  64. Your memory is going to be invaluable here john.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 28, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    • Hello Stan,
      The Ideal place for the venue would be a ship as she can accommodate all of us without stressing the local infrastructure out and can also be mobile , the logistics to this are vast but manageable , it has to be Scotland in either Skye/Inverness/Edinburgh/Aberdeen/Glasgow, it all needs to be thought out thoroughly beforehand .
      I think the West Coast is favourite, but am welcome to ideas from any of you , intend approaching the oil company for funding as its good PR publicity material and is also tax deductible , we can all have a natter and sort it out democratically, Paul may have some ideas also so everyone should take note , please let us know what you all think ?
      Will see how the funding situation is first ,I envisage that there are 2000 of us left, but then we all have relatives who may be interested and then there are lads who are unemployed that may need help ( working on this as well )

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 1:37 am

  65. I suppose one of the first things to determine would be how many were interested in attending something like this, to do that we would need to get the word out, so far,as far as I can see it’s just the guys here on Paul’s blog that will know anything about it plus as you say the family members on here that have an interest.
    Might also be an idea to have a ticket price which apart from a funding point of view would also be an indication of commitment.
    I can’t honestly think of a venue that could accommodate 2000 but if it did get that big I’m sure it could be done.
    Could get interesting !!

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 29, 2013 @ 3:59 am

    • Hello Stan,
      That’s easily done as I`ve got people within the media that can deal with it , we know we`re committed and I can put something into it but if we had a ship all should be accommodated , I`m starting work on a new field up in Scotland towards the end of March ( I live in Wales ) its not often I get to work at home but as you say its interesting .

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 4:31 am

    • I thought it was only myself that worked this late ? Ha Ha !

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 4:34 am

      • Hello Stan, Ha Ha, didn’t think you were , lol .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    • Hello Stan, Kenny and myself have been trying your phone , is your network down ?

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

  66. I certainly wasn’t looking for a reply then. Lol

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 29, 2013 @ 7:18 am

  67. Hello Stan, Kenny and myself have been trying to contact your number , is your network down ?

    Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    • Hi these stories are great, my dad worked for howards on the Humber bridge with Mick Boyle, did any of you guys come from that job.

      Comment by Patrick langan — December 29, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

      • Hello Patrick , we all knew your Dad well , I was due to go on the Humber bridge job but had other commitments out in the North Sea , he was a laugh but was a hard task master , well you had to be in his job and it was to be expected , the lads you meet on here are pure Diamonds as we were all Old School and nobody can take that off us .
        If you look up to Gaberlunzie`s record that was us , rough as a bears rear end but a better set of blokes you`d ever meet .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

      • Hi John thanks for coming back, it must of been great working on such a big job and for howards as well, I would l love to find out more about howards.

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 29, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

      • Hello Patrick, they were a good crowd to work for but was too honest , they were swindled out of £millions but not by their own workforce in general but by sub contractors , I watched it going on but was powerless to do anything , in those days we had to go with the flow .
        That led to their downfall , met a lot of Good mates like Wee Kenny , Big Kenny , Stan Pyke and lots of others too numerous to mention.
        As Mary Hopkins put it those were the days , you`d have thoroughly enjoyed it .
        Hotplate, Geordie Langdon, Hagar, Jack Garside and the rest of the lads have gone but will never be forgotten ever.

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

      • Hi John that sounds a shame such a company had that ending, I worked with a joiner in barrow in furness called Geordie he was a big guy always wore an army style coat would it be the same Geordie do you think, this guy was really funny had loads of stories to tell, he came with another joiner called pat biggins I always wondered what happened to these guys sorry if I went off kishorn for a moment, I would love to meet you guys to hear all about kishorn, if the big get together ever comes off can I come along.

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 29, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

      • Hello Patrick, we`re organising a reunion some time this year and you can enjoy meeting your Dads mates , its only in the early stages yet but once funding has been established we`ll all get to meet and you`ll enjoy it .
        Its definitely not the Geordie we all know , but he did wear a Parka given by his son down in the Falklands and was he proud to wear it .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

      • Hi John that would be great, I drove up there a few years ago and thought what a tough place to work, real construction and civil engineering, I don’t think any firm in the uk could build that job or site today on there own, really wished I could of worked on that job.

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 29, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

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        Topic: john howard and company ltd

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        concrete

        Post subject: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:33 pm

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        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:28 pm

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        concrete wrote:

        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        They hit hard times and were taken over by Amec.

        The yard on the Medway now has a rice distribution company based on it and the surrounding area was developed by the original Cliffe Construction company.

        They built a few of the flood defence structures on the various creeks off of the Thames and Medway rivers.

        If you look for details of the Thames Flood defenses that were going on at the same time the Thames Barrier was beeing built, you might come up with some pictures that way

        On one of the creek structures, they erected a Tower Crane and reeved it up somehow to be able to use a grab for clearing out the cofferdam.

        When the Tower Crane was dismantled apparently it was not good for anything else becuase of the “harsh” work it had been asked to do.

        I have some info somewhere and if I find it I will post it on the forum

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:33 am

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        hi heavy thats great, they seemed to have vanished. Was there yard very big

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

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        concrete wrote:

        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        I have now found my copy of the souvenir supplement of the Thames Barrier Contract and associated Thames Flood Defences that was given out in the Construction News back in November 1982.

        It confirmed that John Howard carried out 6 contracts including the Fobbing House and Easthaven Barriers near Canvey Island and the Dartford Creek Barrier that was being built at the time I came in to the industry.

        I can vaguely remember going twice down to the Medway yard that was next to the river and it was a typical civil engineers plant yard with equipment and form work from previous contracts lying around going rusty and a lot of marine equipment which was the type of civil’s work that Howards had a reputation for. It was a big yard at the end of a dusty road.

        In the company that I worked for at the time, my director knew the manager for Howard Plant and the last of our NCK and RB crawler cranes had been sold off and we always passed our enquiries on to John Howards in case they had any in the yard between their own contracts.

        If you are familiar with the Plant Hire Guide, it was pretty much the “Bible” for everything to do with the Plant Industry at the time (before the web) and if you had a full page in it – which Howards did have – you were a fair size company.

        They also had Coles Cranes in their fleet which was basically what I was brought up on and these included a Coles Speedcrane and Coles Husky’s which I think had been initially purchased for the Howard Doris North Sea Oil Rig Platform’s that were being built in Scotland during the late seventies and early eighties.

        I mentioned in my previous blog that Amec had taken them over but as soon as I had pressed the “send” button, I remembered it was in fact the Fairclough Civil Engineering name that appeared on the John Howards contracts that had been taken over and a couple of years later the Fairclough name was “dropped” and everything was rebranded as Amec.

        About the only thing left about John Howards in Medway is their old office block in Chatham. It is a good looking brick built building. It may have been the instruction to the architect when it was built but I always thought it was a coincidence that the window frames were colour coded in the same dark Green that was the main colour in John Howard’s livery.

        Hope this helps with any connection you have with the John Howard name.

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:24 pm

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        hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:16 am

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        concrete wrote:

        hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.

        Thanks for the reply,

        If you have got the time, I can only suggest you take a visit to the reference library in Rochester.

        There is plenty of history about the Medway Towns. Apart from some manufacturing companies that were based in Medway and were well known all around the world, there was once a Naval Dockyard in Chatham.

        I am sure that the archives will give you some information and show photographs of the river and perhaps even aerial photo’s that would give you the answers or insight you are looking for.

        Before I sent my previous reply, I googled Howard Doris and there was some information about the yards where the North Sea Jackets that Howard Doris were involved in were fabricated.

        All the best

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:26 am

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        hi wee heavy thank you once again

        bob

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:36 pm

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        I worked for John Howard about 1972 at Felixstowe dock on a cat 955 they had just finished a job at Liverpool docks and the cofferdams on the humber bridge,they also had a big job in Hong Kong The plant mangers name I think was Jackie Broadbent. I thought that the oil rig building site at lock Kishorn broke them?

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:21 pm

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        hi bob did where were their plant yards, did you ever get any pictures.

        thanks

        tim

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:46 am

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        A Howard NCK 305B rigged as a dragshovel
        Attachment:

        h305.jpg

        :thumbup: Tim

        You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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        Board index » Construction Equipment » Construction Equipment

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        Topic: john howard and company ltd

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        concrete

        Post subject: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:33 pm

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        Joined: September 2010
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        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:28 pm

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        Country: Great Britain Great Britain

        concrete wrote:

        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        They hit hard times and were taken over by Amec.

        The yard on the Medway now has a rice distribution company based on it and the surrounding area was developed by the original Cliffe Construction company.

        They built a few of the flood defence structures on the various creeks off of the Thames and Medway rivers.

        If you look for details of the Thames Flood defenses that were going on at the same time the Thames Barrier was beeing built, you might come up with some pictures that way

        On one of the creek structures, they erected a Tower Crane and reeved it up somehow to be able to use a grab for clearing out the cofferdam.

        When the Tower Crane was dismantled apparently it was not good for anything else becuase of the “harsh” work it had been asked to do.

        I have some info somewhere and if I find it I will post it on the forum

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:33 am

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        Posts: 18
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        hi heavy thats great, they seemed to have vanished. Was there yard very big

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:10 pm

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        Joined: April 2011
        Posts: 16
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        Been thanked: 0 time
        Country: Great Britain Great Britain

        concrete wrote:

        hi does any one know what happened to this company based in chatham in kent. They were are civil and marine eng firm.

        Does anyone know where to find any info on the form and photos of there yard and old jobs.

        thank you

        I have now found my copy of the souvenir supplement of the Thames Barrier Contract and associated Thames Flood Defences that was given out in the Construction News back in November 1982.

        It confirmed that John Howard carried out 6 contracts including the Fobbing House and Easthaven Barriers near Canvey Island and the Dartford Creek Barrier that was being built at the time I came in to the industry.

        I can vaguely remember going twice down to the Medway yard that was next to the river and it was a typical civil engineers plant yard with equipment and form work from previous contracts lying around going rusty and a lot of marine equipment which was the type of civil’s work that Howards had a reputation for. It was a big yard at the end of a dusty road.

        In the company that I worked for at the time, my director knew the manager for Howard Plant and the last of our NCK and RB crawler cranes had been sold off and we always passed our enquiries on to John Howards in case they had any in the yard between their own contracts.

        If you are familiar with the Plant Hire Guide, it was pretty much the “Bible” for everything to do with the Plant Industry at the time (before the web) and if you had a full page in it – which Howards did have – you were a fair size company.

        They also had Coles Cranes in their fleet which was basically what I was brought up on and these included a Coles Speedcrane and Coles Husky’s which I think had been initially purchased for the Howard Doris North Sea Oil Rig Platform’s that were being built in Scotland during the late seventies and early eighties.

        I mentioned in my previous blog that Amec had taken them over but as soon as I had pressed the “send” button, I remembered it was in fact the Fairclough Civil Engineering name that appeared on the John Howards contracts that had been taken over and a couple of years later the Fairclough name was “dropped” and everything was rebranded as Amec.

        About the only thing left about John Howards in Medway is their old office block in Chatham. It is a good looking brick built building. It may have been the instruction to the architect when it was built but I always thought it was a coincidence that the window frames were colour coded in the same dark Green that was the main colour in John Howard’s livery.

        Hope this helps with any connection you have with the John Howard name.

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:24 pm

        Offline

        Joined: September 2010
        Posts: 18
        Has thanked: 0 time
        Been thanked: 0 time

        hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.

        Wee Heavy

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:16 am

        Offline

        Joined: April 2011
        Posts: 16
        Has thanked: 0 time
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        Country: Great Britain Great Britain

        concrete wrote:

        hi wee heavy thank you so much for the insight into a great company, i wonder if there are any old photos of their yard. Its a shame no one wrote a book about this firm.

        Thanks for the reply,

        If you have got the time, I can only suggest you take a visit to the reference library in Rochester.

        There is plenty of history about the Medway Towns. Apart from some manufacturing companies that were based in Medway and were well known all around the world, there was once a Naval Dockyard in Chatham.

        I am sure that the archives will give you some information and show photographs of the river and perhaps even aerial photo’s that would give you the answers or insight you are looking for.

        Before I sent my previous reply, I googled Howard Doris and there was some information about the yards where the North Sea Jackets that Howard Doris were involved in were fabricated.

        All the best

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:26 am

        Offline

        Joined: September 2010
        Posts: 18
        Has thanked: 0 time
        Been thanked: 0 time

        hi wee heavy thank you once again

        bob

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:36 pm

        Offline

        Joined: April 2008
        Posts: 193
        Has thanked: 2 times
        Been thanked: 8 times

        I worked for John Howard about 1972 at Felixstowe dock on a cat 955 they had just finished a job at Liverpool docks and the cofferdams on the humber bridge,they also had a big job in Hong Kong The plant mangers name I think was Jackie Broadbent. I thought that the oil rig building site at lock Kishorn broke them?

        concrete

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:21 pm

        Offline

        Joined: September 2010
        Posts: 18
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        Been thanked: 0 time

        hi bob did where were their plant yards, did you ever get any pictures.

        thanks

        tim

        Post subject: Re: john howard and company ltd

        PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:46 am

        Offline

        Joined: January 2008
        Posts: 712
        Has thanked: 81 times
        Been thanked: 48 times

        A Howard NCK 305B rigged as a dragshovel
        Attachment:

        h305.jpg

        :thumbup: Tim

        You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

        Display posts from previous: All posts1 day7 days2 weeks1 month3 months6 months1 year Sort by AuthorPost timeSubject AscendingDescending

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        Topic: john howard and company ltd

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        Forum: Scrapers

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        Classic John Deere combine
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        Forum: Companies

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        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

      • Hi Pat, they were a great company but went bust due to bad upper management , we worked hard in those days but there was a lot of fiddling going on from those above.
        Geordie and myself with others were blameless but hadn’t realised how the scams worked until later by which time it was too late..

        John Kilbride

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

      • Hi john thank you for replying, I don’t think there are any contractors that can take on any of the schemes Howard did today on there own, would love to help getting a John Howard we site going. Can I help out

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 28, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

      • Hello Patrick,
        I can be contacted on any of these numbers :07531076981 ( mob 1 ) 07716071775 (mob 2) and home number is 01492 870638, kilbride735@btinternet.com………….
        If you contact me tomorrow I’ll ring you back saving you the charges .
        Best . John

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 28, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

      • Hi Patrick,
        Please ring me on this number and I’ll ring you back :07531076981.
        John

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

      • Patrick, I meant Mick Boyle was a hard task master not your Dad so don’t take offence ( we`ve got three dozen kids here so I cannot concentrate ) its a mad house and always is this time of year .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  68. And Girls , for that matter like ” Big Betty !” frae Falkirk .

    Comment by johnkilbride — December 29, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  69. Sorry I missed you guys yesterday, I had left me phone in the car

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 30, 2013 @ 5:38 am

    • Left the phone in the car!!!! sounds just like my wife Stan 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 30, 2013 @ 5:57 am

  70. I must admit Paul that a phone isn’t one of my favourite things, good when needed, but !!!!

    Comment by Stan — December 30, 2013 @ 6:39 am

    • Hello All again ,

      take a look at this link below as you may know some of the lads mentioned..

      http://www.oilrig-photos.com/picture/number95.asp

      Comment by johnkilbride — December 30, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

      • I don’t know anyone John but what a great link http://www.oilrig-photos.com/picture/number95.asp it’s a story that must be told whilst there are still ‘commandos’ about.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 30, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

      • Hello Paul, There are many more but I`m going to dig them all out , Kenny ,Stan myself and yourself should arrange a meet sometime , I`ll transfer lots onto discs and memory sticks prior to then and probably bring the screen and slides with a view to the reunion .
        Will get onto the various oil companies with funding in mind as its good PR for them, intend keeping in touch on this .
        All this is down to your blog .

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 30, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

      • Hi Paul,
        Will liaise with Kenny first and arrange a meet with you ASAP , we’re going to get this off the ground.
        Best Regards.
        John

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

      • Can’t wait John.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 27, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

      • Hi john count me in would love to help

        Comment by Patrick langan — December 28, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  71. I hope all you old buggers on here are going to be good boys tonight and go to your beds early !! Don’t worry I’ll raise my glass to us all at the bells. Lol.

    Cheers and a good New Year to all. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 31, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    • yea Stan I had every intention of being a good auld bugger BUT I’m being forced into just enjoying myself with an old friend of mine you maybe know him his name is famous the world o’er GROUSE so I think bed will take second place so here’s awe the best to all you comrades out there for a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year

      Comment by kenny millar — December 31, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

      • I’ll drink to that Kenny 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

      • cheers Paul and thanks for the blog

        Comment by kenny millar — December 31, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

      • Auld Buggar my Arris , you`re only as young as you feel .
        Kenny is the Grouse bloke the same one as at Kishorn ?
        All the Best everyone lets make this “Our year” !

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 31, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

  72. He he,

    Comment by Stan pyke — January 1, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    • Hello Stan, It should be Haw Haw ! ,, Hope you had a Good time last night .
      I got Blitzed for change . lol

      Comment by johnkilbride — January 1, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

  73. Yes we had a brilliant night, we went out for a meal to friends and neighbors at 7 and not sure when we got home, shite I’m getting too old for that carry on john,

    Comment by Stan pyke — January 1, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

    • Hello Stan , lol , aye, you`re only as young as you feel , but wasn’t it worth it ?
      I don’t regret anything as we’re only here once , have not had word with Kenny so I suppose the famous Grouse has worked wonders again . Ha Ha !

      Comment by johnkilbride — January 1, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

  74. Definitely worth it, saying that, ‘again maybe an age thing’ but new year is nothing like it used to be !!

    Comment by Stan pyke — January 1, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    • Totally in agreement there Stan , we used to make it last for nearly a week and all had a good time , too much Political and outside interference , just wait until the rest of the E.U. gets their way as we wont be allowed to decide our own fates .
      Anyway All of the Best to you ,your family and friends .

      Comment by johnkilbride — January 1, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

  75. Thanks John, all the best, will speak soon. Cheers. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — January 1, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    • the groose has worked wonders what day is it

      On 1 January 2014 19:19, Life at the end of the road wrote:

      > Stan pyke commented: “Thanks John, all the best, will speak soon. > Cheers. Stan.” >

      Comment by Kenny Millar — January 1, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

      • Hello Kenny, So you’ve finally surfaced Buddy , Ha Ha , which Groose would that be ?
        Cheers Stan , Paul and everyone from us .

        Comment by johnkilbride — January 1, 2014 @ 11:41 pm

  76. I had to audit a fish farm in Kishorn today and made time to have a pilgrimage to the yard – almost exactly 38 years to the day – I reported to Phil Challinor – Senior Surveyor on the 6th January 1976 – I lasted to March 1977 working for Colin Slade and John Bridges on wall 7 – all the “v” slides and then once floated out on the wall 5 slide
    Had a tear in my eye looking over into the “hole” many memories remember Prince Charles starting to flood the dry dock – the standing joke was that it never really was a “dry” dock as the piles (by Lilley Construction) on the east side always leaked and you wore wellies most of the time and of course the afternoon when the platform floated out of the dock – as they say I was there!!

    Comment by Alistair Campbell — January 14, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

    • Hello Alistair, John Bridges was a good boss, as was Geordie Langdon , haven’t had much time to put anything to the blog for a while, as have family problems and couldn’t contact my Buddy Kenny Millar , I suppose its sad looking at the old dock and the memories made there, what are you doing auditing fish farms , if you don’t mind me asking ?
      I shall be up there myself in the next few months to weigh the situation up, with a view to getting a reunion together , have got a few things going already and am awaiting replies and then we’ll get some ads in all of the papers , got to have all of the logistics right first .

      Comment by johnkilbride — January 15, 2014 @ 12:32 am

      • John, I was originally a civil engineer at Kishorn I was a hired engineer on the slipforms, after Kishorn I worked in Saudi then on return via a shot at commercial fishing (clam dredging) I started in QA (quality assurance) and have been there ever since, my clients are wide ranging and include fish farms and as I think you may spot there are fish farms at Kishorn

        Comment by Alistair Campbell — January 15, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

      • Hello Alistair, I remember you on the ‘V’ slides and am trying to recall the slipform operator that was with us , he was Irish and had blondish hair and had come over from the Bridge , will recall it later .
        Do you remember ‘Two Metre Ted ‘ another shift engineer , we went over on the slides to the caissons ( Dock-Gates ) to do the slipforming on that , it rained that much that I thought it might have impacted on the quality and content of the concrete , well its stood the test of time , later we reverted back to the main slides , Kenny and myself was on about Prince Charles last year , he’d thought that Kenny was a yank as he’d just got back off leave from the States and had a yankee baseball cap on , all of the lads going into the toilets and draining/rinsing the bleach and disinfectant/detergent gallon containers to get trays and trays of whiskey into them .
        It was so funny watching them all on real good money but still wanting whatever they could get for free , I too was in Saudi but was supervising dewatering/well-pointing operations then , had done a lot in the Middle East and prior to that the Falklands with Geordie Langdon for five years , later stints in South Africa and Brazil along with the Caymen Islands.
        Our paths may have crossed at some time but as you know the geography is vast , hadn’t got up to see the fish farms yet but had deduced it from Pauls conversations what it will be like , my Old Man used to tell me when he was in the Royal Navy that they’d do the torpedo testing all around there.

        Comment by johnkilbride — January 16, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  77. just been catching up and glad to see there’s still some life out there

    Comment by kenny millar — February 13, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

  78. Hi guys, all seems quiet recently, how are you getting on ? Cheers Stan

    Comment by Stan pyke — March 10, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

    • Hi Stan things have been a bit quiet I think John has been a bit busy coping with flooding in his area
      me well I’m just heading out the door in 1/2 an hour off to Ireland to see my son and ofcource some guiness so will catch up with you when I get back after the 19th best wishes Ken

      Comment by kenny millar — March 12, 2014 @ 9:46 am

  79. Enjoy Kenny, I hope john is getting on ok, it’s been terrible for folk affected, traumatic to say the least !

    Comment by Stan pyke — March 13, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  80. Stan hope you pick this up I’ve held back to see if John Kilbride would get in touch but not heard a peep from him for the last couple of months
    and I’ve also tied to phone your mobile and just got a dead tone hope to hear from you soon best wishes Ken Millar

    Comment by kenny millar — April 24, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  81. Just seen this Kenny, I’ll try and give you a ring today. Stan

    Comment by Stan pyke — April 29, 2014 @ 6:23 am

  82. ok Stan it’ll be good to hear from you but I have to confess I’m shunting about a bit at the moment but I’ll explain more when I speak on the phone

    Comment by kenny millar — April 30, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

  83. Stan if you pick up on this give me a ring on 07970870958 as I’ve tried your number just to get a dead tone

    Comment by kenny millar — June 4, 2014 @ 6:21 am

    • Hi Kenny,
      Not too sure if you were still in touch with John, could you email me please? Thank you. Regards Madeleine (John’s Sister)

      Comment by Madeleine — January 14, 2016 @ 12:11 am

  84. Hello all Commandos,
    Im the daughter of George (sandy)Warren, from Gairloch,/Kintail. He worked on the tug boats I think and did two stints in both the 70s and the 80s wondered if anybody knew him.. im sure there are tales to tell. I think he’s in the third photo of the deckhands, on this web page, the guy smoking..
    He died suddenly in 1987. But we were the Kids of the commandos.. dads like heros in orange uniforms, with lots of ten pound notes. Ive memories, of big screen movies being put on for us at christmas by ‘Howard Doris’??
    You may also like to know that Two Lochs radio in Gairloch still plays the ‘Kishorn Commando’s ‘ song regularly…
    Ive just watched the ‘ninian platform build’ video from the archives… Id not idea, what an incredible feat… Well Done to you all. and Thanks.

    Guys Have that reunion, and make the movie!!!

    Fiona Warren

    Comment by fiona warren — September 14, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

    • Fiona, your comment sounds great, the Kishorn Commando Kids! Would be great to see our Daddies pictures at work, after all, Kishorn was a big part of our childhoods

      Comment by Julie Harrison Cook — December 27, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

      • Hi Julie,
        I knew your father and my mate Kenny would have known him also, your father pulled the caissons out on his tug , Kenny’s crane overlooked this as that was the initiation to sailing to the wet dock, both Kenny and my mob were on the Night shifts.
        I remember it all like yesterday.
        All the Best.

        John Kilbride

        Comment by johnkilbride — December 27, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  85. Sorry to say another Kishorn. Commando has gone to Valhalla ,our mate Steve ( Geordie) Renwick funeral is held this Tuesday 30/12 at 11.45 -Colwyn Bay crematorium.

    Comment by johnkilbride — December 30, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    • Hi John, have only just found this site, wish I had found it earlier. My husband, Steve (Geordie) Renwick talked about Kishorn all the time, he would of loved to of seen all the different comments, he had so many different stories to tell about his time working there. Its so sad to read that so many of his friends have passed away. Thank you for giving Steve a mention, he would of loved that
      all the best
      Hazel Renwick

      Comment by hazel renwick — May 10, 2015 @ 7:43 pm

      • Hello Hazel,

        It was me that got Steve the job, he was a good mate, Carol my wife works with your Bridget, we went up there with Micky Russell and lots of lads..

        John Kilbride.

        Comment by johnkilbride — May 10, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

      • Hi John, thank you for your reply. Steve and Mike Russell were still best friends, they were only talking about Kishorn a few weeks before Steve sadly passed away. I will have to let Mike know about this page, Im sure he would love to see all the comments. Will tell Bridget Ive seen this, wondered how you knew when the funeral was. Steve was a true gentleman and we all really miss him.
        Thank you, Hazel

        Comment by hazel renwick — May 11, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  86. My dad worked on that job his name was Mick Murray sadly he passed away in aug 2014 he always talked about working there after that he was at raf coningsby then the falklands so proud of him

    Comment by Micky — February 17, 2015 @ 5:03 am

    • Hi Micky,
      Your Dad was a good mate of mine as I referred earlier, he was the pipe laying ganger, all the concrete or most of it went through the pipes his gang laid.
      I’m sorry for your loss he was a good un, I’ve been laid up but things are looking better, try and keep in touch if you can.
      Best Regards.
      John

      Comment by johnkilbride — February 17, 2015 @ 8:42 am

      • Thanks John for the kind words, I wish I had found this sight a couple of year ago he would have loved reading this and contacting some old friends I was only 15 or 16 when he worked there, he was also on the humber bridge, after kishorn he went to the isle of wight with Monks building a power station then to raf coningsby concrete ganger building concrete hangers for the new tornadoes for mowlems that was where I had the pleasure of working under him, and believe me we worked he never wanted to leave 16 hour shifts were normal the bonus for the amount of concrete we poured was more than the hourly rate it got me my deposit for my first house I learnt alot from him. Then he went out to the falklands I think he did the 14 month tour then went back out for another 10 months we thought he was crazy but you could not stop him, when he came back he would not retire so he came with me I was a subby by then so he ran a concrete gang we were with bowmer & kirkland I dont think he stopped till he was early 70s he died a young 92 bless him he is greatly missed.
        John I dont want to be a pain but if you have any stories to tell please do me and my brother and sisters would love to hear them some we might have heard or any photos as he would never think of taking any when away I do remember him telling me something about when they lost that batching plant was it in a storm they had to let it go or something, and he did tell us about that foreman who got crushed by that moxy my dad was pouring concrete using a concrete train as he would say, he said they heard him screaming then they shut the whole job down for the day, I have really enjoyed reading all the posts on here you can see how proud you all were working on such a big project.

        Mick

        My dad always called me Micky it probably would have felt strange for him to call me Mick lol

        My email is mjkmurray@gmail.com thanks John

        Comment by Micky — February 18, 2015 @ 1:12 am

  87. 2 years today my daddy has gone with his maw and da, heartbreak still as bad for us 3 girls, would love to see any pictures or hear of any stories of our daddy Hagar William Joseph Harrison, trawled through all footage of welders,haven’t seen him, his friends were Roddy McCrae, Phil Dow, to name but a few, any info most welcome, as I’ve said before Kishorn Kids love hearing about the stories and antics of our daddies x xju?j

    Comment by Julie Harrison Cook — April 9, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

    • The batching plant was positioned on a floating pontoon called The Deeno. That sunk in early 1977 in hurricane conditions. First we were ordered to abandon the platform and then ordered back on the platform as The Deeno was swaying wildly. Finally The Deeno went down into the depths of Loch Kishorn. It was some experience being a Kishorn Commando. Sadly, my friend Aidan Sheridan from Kiltimagh ,County Mayo in Ireland, died when he fell of a tower crane into one of the bays on February 17th 1977. A true Commando RIP. Padhraig Campbell , Galway, Ireland,

      Comment by Padhraig Campbell — July 31, 2016 @ 5:03 pm

  88. i had the great privlage of liveing in duirinish late 70s for some years.i went to the kishorn site with a school field trip looking at the ways the guys used metal testing for strain n stress.prince charles was visiting at the time.we were all given a bronze medal with the maureen platform on and on the reverse the dock where you guys dug out the land.ive looked after the medallion for all these years. good old days.alot of school children left and went to work on the rigs great to read all the storys.

    Comment by darren richardson — May 25, 2015 @ 11:10 am

  89. any grandmet fellas out there who worked in the late 70s.worked with jimmy mimnagh.oggie,angus.john from muir of ord,helen,andderek walker.we were all from liverpool greg and james peters,ray murphy mick mckernan and colin and angela.our friend and uncle ritchiewalsh died there.get in touch.

    Comment by greg peters — November 2, 2015 @ 4:54 pm

  90. To the ‘Kishorn Commando’s’, I have been trying to trace some of my Brother John’s steps online, he had so many fond memories of Kishorn. I never knew the antics he’d got up to, until I found his comments on this page, sadly John passed away recently, the comments on this page have made me laugh, I will be sure to pass them on. Thank you to all who shared his memories. Regards Madeleine

    KILBRIDE – JOHN OWEN, December 26, 2015. Peacefully at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd aged 66 years of Llandudno and formerly of Widnes. Beloved husband of Carol and a much loved Brother and Uncle. Funeral service takes place on Monday, 18th January 2016 at St. Hilary’s Church, Llanrhos at 11.15am, followed by interment at Llanrhos Lawn Cemetery. Family flowers only by request but donations in memory of John can be made to Ward 9 Ysbyty Glan Clywd and will be gratefully received c/o Tom Owen and Son Funeral Directors, 11 Bodhyfryd Road, Llandudno, Conwy LL30 2DT tel : 01492 860 280.

    Comment by Madeleine — January 14, 2016 @ 12:46 am

    • So sorry to hear this I was in contact with John about my dad so sorry for your loss such a young age.

      Comment by Micky — January 16, 2016 @ 5:10 pm

      • Thanks Micky, it has been a shock to us too, I only found this forum by chance, but so glad I did. Any information or contacts that come my way, regarding Kishorn, I will be sure to pass anything on. Regards Madeleine

        Comment by Madeleine Connolly — January 16, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

      • My sincere condolences to you and your family Madelaine. It is truly really sad to hear of Johns passing. Stan.

        Comment by Stan Pyke — January 27, 2016 @ 8:44 am

      • Please forgive me if this comes up more than once !!
        I would like offer my sincere condolences to you and your family Madelaine. I am truly sorry to hear of Johns passing. Stan

        Comment by Stan Pyke — January 27, 2016 @ 9:18 am

  91. My sincere condolences to you and the family Madelaine, truly sorry to hear of this. Stan

    Comment by Stan Pyke — January 27, 2016 @ 8:19 am

    • Thank you Stan, that is really appreciated. John will always be remembered for his larger than life character, and his kindness & generosity towards others, he was always helping one cause or another, big man, big heart of gold. Regards Madeleine

      Comment by Madeleine Connolly — January 27, 2016 @ 10:33 pm

    • Just for you Stan, John said in one of his posts, he remembered you singing this…………………https://youtu.be/kEG3iv0YKsw

      Comment by Madeleine Connolly — January 27, 2016 @ 11:15 pm

  92. Thanks Madelaine, sorry about the amount of replies I just didn’t think that I was doing it right, I’ll be more patient this time !
    Stan

    Comment by Stan Pyke — January 28, 2016 @ 10:25 am

    • No worries Stan, it took me a while to work out too. Did you watch the you tube clip?

      Comment by Madeleine Connolly — January 28, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

      • I did yes, I was likely just a wee bit inebriated at the time. Lol

        Comment by Stan Pyke — January 29, 2016 @ 11:46 am

  93. Meaning when I was singing , not when I was watching the clip. Lol

    Comment by Stan Pyke — January 30, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

    • Ha! Ha! Took me back watching it, forgotten about that song Stan, until John mentioned it, he loved his music.

      Comment by Madeleine — January 30, 2016 @ 8:45 pm

  94. I worked on the dry dock construction in 1975. I spent many hours working alongside engineers like John Brodie Henderson of Strathpeffer. As a chainer I was expected to assist any engineer. That included getting up in the middle of the night to check seawater flow through the coffer dam or bund as I had to do with a Nigerian engineer. There was a mix of all kinds of men there. I walked onto the site in June and went to RJ’s, Tawse and Wimpey’s looking for work before Howard Doris took me on. I still have drawings of the concrete founds used to support the steel skirts and tower cranes as I had to keep daily records of the pours in each section as well as carrying out the various tests. At times I would be sent to act as banksman to the drivers of dump trucks as a bad accident had occurred to a driver tipping without a banksman.

    Comment by Neil — June 15, 2016 @ 10:32 pm

  95. I worked on the dry dock construction in 1975. I walked onto the site at the beginning of June and tried three other companies before getting a start with Howard Doris. I tried RJ, Tawse, Wimpey but then A lad Macritchie sent me up to the main offices. I worked a lot alongside John Brodie Henderson but I was expected to assist any engineer who needed me. I still have drawings of the founds for the steel skirts and tower cranes as one of my regular tasks was recording each pour and carrying out the various tests for the engineers. There was a whole range of humanity there.

    Comment by Neil Macleod — June 15, 2016 @ 11:03 pm

  96. Just found this site and what apile of memories came flooding back. I’m Gordon from Gaberlunzie, the guy who wrote the Kishorn Commandos song. We still meet some of the Commandos in different parts of the world. All the best to you all

    Comment by Gordon Menzies — February 18, 2017 @ 1:15 pm

    • Awesome song Gordon and welcome aboard.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 18, 2017 @ 4:49 pm

  97. I worked from 1980 to 1982 on the Maureen .i was a pipe fitter and sold watches and radios to all the guys .Any guys around at thst tine with memories .
    Bill Patterson Coatbridge

    Comment by Bill Patterson — April 6, 2017 @ 11:09 pm

  98. Hi.. my Dad Jim Spencer worked for Howard Dorris.. an Irish fitter.. worked on cranes I think

    Comment by Julie Spencer — May 10, 2017 @ 11:13 pm


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