Ballater celebrates Newfoundland links

An artists impression of how the reconstructed camp might look
An artists impression of how the reconstructed camp might look

A special event will be held next week marking Ballater’s connections with Canadian lumberjacks who came to the village in 1940.

The workers from Newfoundland built a logging camp at Dalmochie, in Pannanich Wood, which is now the focus of a local research project.

The Sounds of Newfoundland, an evening of Dalmochie-inspired music, songs, readings and recitations, will be held in the Victoria and Albert Halls on Wednesday.

It will feature Ursula Kelly and Meghan Forsyth, from the Memorial University of St John’s Newfoundland.

They are researching the work of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit which was based in Ballater at what was known as the Glenmuick Camp in the 1940s.

Their presentation will include photographs, archival recordings and live performances, music and songs from acclaimed local musicians Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson.

The Ballater Historic Forestry Project Association (BHFPA) was set up in 2005 to bring to public attention the lumberjacks’ remarkable story. The association hopes to reconstruct the camp on the original site and develop it as a visitor attraction and educational facility. Foundations of the huts and the concrete bases of the stoves can be clearly seen at Dalmochie and the woodland has grown up again, and is in the care of the Forestry Commission.

BHFPA plans to rebuild one or two of the log cabins with onsite interpretation, make a film about the forestry unit and the camp they built, and produce a walking trail leaflet for the area.

The Sounds of Newfoundland will be at 7.30pm in the Mike Sheridan Room. Entry is by donation. For information visit www.ballaterforestry.org.uk