The Newfoundlanders

On a coal delivery run one Saturday morning, local resident Ian Cameron had his first glimpse of the Newfies Camp.

Only a child at the time, he was sitting in the cab, between the driver and the deliveryman, when the truck was brought to a sudden halt.  A crawler tractor blocked the road in front. Ian had never seen such a machine.

"The roadside was covered by stacks of logs dragged from the hill above and, to my amazement, and clear memory, the crawler tractor proceeded to turn at right angles and then climb vertically over the log pile, clearing our road," Ian Cameron (2008) in Plant & Roots; a social history of Ballater.

The crawler tractor was an example of new equipment brought by the Newfoundlanders that made cutting the trees easier.

The Newfoundlanders felled the trees on the hill and loaded them onto carts. They were taken to Ballater train station to be transported on to their final destinations.

A wet November and December turned the roads to mud and work became dangerous. The Newfoundlanders, however, continued to cut trees to the confusion of visiting wood merchants.

"When it comes the snow will make the road," the lumberjacks confidently said W.Passingham (1941) in Illustrated News.

The Newfoundlanders were used to working in heavy snow back home and relied on it to be able to use sledges to pull the wood down from the hill.