Dalmore Project & Inchindown

Added by Hannele Korhonen on 13 June 2019

Read all about the ARCH Highland, Invergordon Museum & Alness Heritage centre's project to investigate wartime Dalmore, Alness in the Alness & District Times June 2019 issue No. 324.  

During WW1 the distillery was requisitioned by the US Navy as one of three Scottish centres to assemble and deploy mines.  These mines formed the Northern Barrage from Orkney to Norway - 230 miles!

During WW2 RAF Alness was used by OTUs (Operational Training Units) to train crews in flying the Sunderland and Catalina flying boats.  

An open day is to be held at Invergordon Museum on Tuesday 18th June 2019 from 4PM to 8PM to display this interesting history.

Funding has been obtained from Orion Group & Port of Cromarty Firth.

Also from the Alness Heritage centre, you can by a booklet about Alness at War.  Read about stories told by people experiencing the war related activities in the area; one of them relating to the Inchindown Oil Storage Tank Farm.

'In 1938 it became very obvious that Hitler and his Nazi followers in Gemany were preparing to go to war in Europe and that a world war was coming and plans were advanced in preparation for war.

In Invergordon there were 13 oil tanks which were used to store the furnace oil for the Royal Navy Fleet who had used the Firth extensively for many years.  The Naval Dockyard was built in 1915 and 13 large oil tanks were built with a pump station to take the oil to the Admiralty pier where all the Home Fleet could be re-provisioned.

It was decided that another 30 oil tanks would be built at Seabank and above the railway line at Cromlet. This was to alleviate the threat of U-Boats shutting the shipping lanes and trapping the Home Fleet.

Plans were also made to build a large oil storage facility at Inchindown, four miles up behind Invergordon. The hill was dug out and 6 huge storage reservoirs were constructed inside measuring 778 ft each by 30 ft by 30 ft. Another one, used as the pipe access tunnel was 220 ft long. They were so long and deep in the hillside they were considered bomb proof.  If Furnace Fuel Oil (FFO) could not be brought in during the coming war, the Naval Ships would have a large capacity of storage, full, at Invergordon.  A pumping station was built at Tomich and 18 inch pipes were laid between Invergordon and Inchindown. This joined the already established pumping house built beside the church at Invergordon. The pipes from there were already laid to the Admiralty Pier.

The contract was given to Baldry, Yerbourgh and Hitchinson and rumour has it, it was for £7,000,000 which is a colossal amount even in today’s prices.  It ran from 1938-1942.  The Chief Engineer was Bill McVicar with Alan Ross, Bellmont, Alness as his assistant chief.’

Read Alan Ross’s story in the booklet from the heritage centre.

http://www.invergordon.info/InchindownTunnel

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