The Women’s Timber Corps was established during WW2 to take the place of the men. They stayed at Letters Lodge and worked at St Catherines Sawmill cutting pit props.
COWAL ARI SAWMILL
At the Sawmill, Donald Campbell (Bute) worked in the boiler house which fired the steam up for the kiln. The steam came from an old railway engine and went down a pipe and into the kiln. The wood went though on bogies to be dried out which took about three days.
Donald Campbell (Snr.) was employed in 1940 for Planting. He was Ganger to the men at the Industrial Camp in Glenbranter (see Glenbranter Estate page). A lot of the Forestry roads were built by the camp men.
Horses were used for ploughing and also needed to drag wood before winches. There were over 20 work horses and the farrier came from Strone to shoe them.
Jimmy Fleming, Strachur, was the first man to invent a locking carriage (held the trees off the ground rather than dragging along the ground).
A nursery growing trees was from Balliecur, Balliemeanach to the Sawmill. Women were employed to tend the small trees. Also local women were employed Brashing (small branches taken off at the bottom of trees), weeding round new trees, cutting bracken and fertilizing at the nursery.