At one point the building was used for railway workers to sleep in. At some point, it was divided into two with a three sided chimney, providing a double fireplace. This then became the ticket office and waiting room on one side and the station master’s home in the other half. When the new railway station was built next door, now Nethy Station bunkhouse, two families moved in. On one side lived Mr and Mrs Watt with Hilda their daughter, and on the platform side lived Alec Grant, a writer and his wife. Mrs Grant was the Highland Dancing teacher and she taught her dancing in the room adjoining the platform end. Young Hilda learnt with her and grew up to be the founder of the Hilda Thomson School providing many a young dancer for the local Highland Games, etc. Hilda’s husband Jimmy was a special constable for many years. Kimberley was also built by Jimmy and Hilda Thomson who moved onto the Easter Cullachie Steading.
Mid 19th century
The cottage was bought from Revack Estate and Jessie Watt was to remain in it on a grace and favour basis for life. Sadly she passed away soon after and the cottage was bought by the Sleap family. Instead of knocking it down as they were advised by the builders, they chose to save it. By 2000 it was a wonderful 2 bedroomed cottage with many of its old features saved. The walls were stripped and painted. However, the first winter it became apparent why there had been so many layers of wallpaper – it stopped the wind blowing the insulating sawdust through the gaps! So, with great regret it was plasterboarded! The original triangular fireplace was preserved, providing a grate to two rooms simultaneously.
Built as a prefabricated railway building. Probably put together in Aberdeen and brought over on a train. Most of the outer fabric is still original – with a double wooden wall filled with sawdust for insulation. The attic floor was covered with original newspapers with sawdust on top. So no one got sawdust on their heads as they stood underneath, from the cracks in the boards.
Nethy Bridge Community Centre
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