WWII Road Barrier from Achtercairn

Contributed by Gairloch Heritage Museum

A section from the WWII road barrier erected at Achtercairn, Gairloch © Rob Scott, Gairloch Heritage Museum

During WWII, Loch Ewe was used as an assembly point for the Arctic convoys to the Russian cities Murmansk and Archangel.Following the sinking of HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow in 1939, Loch Ewe became an important safe haven for naval warships. Access to Wester Ross was restricted by road barriers, one of which was located close to the present site of the Gairloch Heritage Museum.

The barrier disappeared under mysterious circumstances and despite the efforts of the military authorities was not recovered. At the time an incomer to the area was suspected locally of being a Nazi sympathizer. The local bobby made efforts to find evidence of his supposed implication by prowling around his property, without success.

A sequel to these events was the discovery of this sawn-off section of the barrier, found under the floorboards of the deceased suspect's house in 1958, maybe confirming the wartime suspicions of the local bobby. Irrespective of the truth of these accusations, this story sheds some light on the state of mind of the public during these times.

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c. 1943


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