Charles Bannerman

Why is Laurel Avenue a dual carriageway?

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Oops... sorry about the lack of capitals in the topic title which can't be changed but this question popped back into my head yesterday afternoon as I was running down past the shops heading for Caledonian Road.

I have a fairly clear recollection of reading somewhere that dualling Laurel Avenue was part of a plan which was eventually abandoned, to link the A82 and the A9 which, pre Kessock Bridge, went out of town via Telford Street.

Certainly if you were to extend Laurel Avenue at the cemetery end and maybe give it a slight twist to the left, it would run along the edge of the cemetery and intersect with Glenurquhart Road there. At the Caledonian Road end a correpsonding extension would take it out on Telford Street perhaps just on the town side of the former Caley Park.

If this was indeed the plan, does anyone know when this might have been on the go? When was Laurel Avenue built? Was it immediately post war along with most of the rest of Dalneigh or was it just pre war, or interrupted by the war?

The A82/old A9 link has of course now been made by General Booth Road at Kinmylies for some time, although the Kessock Bridge has changed the relevance.

Does anyone know the history of a Laurel Avenue link plan - and were the deliberations anything like as tortured as the current ones about the Holm Mains - A82 link up? :laugh:

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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Scotty    1,778

Local history forum folk might be a good place to ask? George Christie or Sheila MacKay (or my mum) are all still active in that organisation I think.

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Ten4    115

The decision to dual Laurel Avenue must`ve been made by some local hardy ! Just another fine mess !!

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Alex MacLeod    1,538

Oops... sorry about the lack of capitals in the topic title which can't be changed but this question popped back into my head yesterday afternoon as I was running down past the shops heading for Caledonian Road.

I have a fairly clear recollection of reading somewhere that dualling Laurel Avenue was part of a plan which was eventually abandoned, to link the A82 and the A9 which, pre Kessock Bridge, went out of town via Telford Street.

Certainly if you were to extend Laurel Avenue at the cemetery end and maybe give it a slight twist to the left, it would run along the edge of the cemetery and intersect with Glenurquhart Road there. At the Caledonian Road end a correpsonding extension would take it out on Telford Street perhaps just on the town side of the former Caley Park.

If this was indeed the plan, does anyone know when this might have been on the go? When was Laurel Avenue built? Was it immediately post war along with most of the rest of Dalneigh or was it just pre war, or interrupted by the war?

The A82/old A9 link has of course now been made by General Booth Road at Kinmylies for some time, although the Kessock Bridge has changed the relevance.

Does anyone know the history of a Laurel Avenue link plan - and were the deliberations anything like as tortured as the current ones about the Holm Mains - A82 link up? :laugh:

Some of us can do anything Charles :wink:

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+CaleyD    2,935

I used to be of the same thoughts as yourself Charles, but the more I ask about it the more I come to realise that perhaps it was just built as a traditional "Avenue".

Couple of things you might want to look at that may add fuel to the argument that it was intended to be some kind of arterial route is that the houses facing the junction on Caledonian Rd look to be newer than those on either side...perhaps suggesting they were an afterthought. Behind those on Fairfield Rd is the Allison household...also a far newer building. Take both of these out of the way and you have a clear connection through to Harrowden Rd.

At the other end....what is now Bruce Avenue and the newer part of the Cemetery was, certainly back in the 40's, parkland and would have not disrupted any proposed route.

I believe the houses in Laurel Ave were built in the late 40's.

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Scotty    1,778

Couple of things you might want to look at that may add fuel to the argument that it was intended to be some kind of arterial route is that the houses facing the junction on Caledonian Rd look to be newer than those on either side...perhaps suggesting they were an afterthought. Behind those on Fairfield Rd is the Allison household...also a far newer building. Take both of these out of the way and you have a clear connection through to Harrowden Rd.

Behind Laurel Ave on Fairfield Road is not "the Allison household", that house is much closer to Dochfour Drive than Laurel Ave.... Directly behind Laurel Ave is a much older house .... and it would connect to Lochalsh Rd rather than Harrowden Rd ....

However, looking at the google satellite map, you can see that there is perhaps something in the shape of the plots of land ... almost like a diagonal line between Laurel Ave and Harrowden Rd ... so the logic may indeed be sound

<br /><br />

http://maps.google.com/?ll=57.477098,-4.240057&spn=0.004217,0.009645&t=h&z=17&vpsrc=6

<br /><br />

<iframe width="700" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=57.477364,-4.242107&amp;spn=0.004217,0.009645&amp;t=h&amp;z=17&amp;vpsrc=6&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=57.477364,-4.242107&amp;spn=0.004217,0.009645&amp;t=h&amp;z=17&amp;vpsrc=6&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

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Scarlet Pimple    752

Scotty

Your comments are interesting.

Looking at the Google map I remember one day when I was a small lad me and my pal were bored and went round the back of the same house you mention at the top of Lochalsh Road. We found the basement lift-up sash unlocked and climbed in. The house was empty of furniture but we were excited in case someone found us and cautiously had a look around. I had never dreamed of entering a house like this before, nor knew what was ahead, and was a bit apprehensive in case we were discovered. The silence and the surrounding dust were novel and a bit scary. After a few minutes exploring we left and nobody, or the house, was worse for wear. On the way down the driveway slope back down to Fairfield Road at the front of the house we pinched an apple off a tree and got ready for flight in case the dreaded words came at us out of the blue "Heh! What are you doing here...?". Hearts pounding, we buzzed off at the toot up Fairfield Road having a good laugh and feeling really chuffed at the fact that we had pulled off this naughty, hazardous adventure undetected.

That was the incident that started the Pimple on his spying career when he realised that this was the kind of excitement that he craved and probably also prompted the youg woman on the hiking trail one day many years later ,here in B.C., who observed to me onafter we had arrived at the top of the mountain "I think you like living on the edge don't you? You will need to find a girl who can keep up with you..."

Obviously I was single at the time and if you live long enough different people will tell you what they think of you. Some comments are amusing and some stop you in your tracks and make you think.

n

Sorry Scotty, but you have sent me down memory lane when I saw the Google Mapped house I lived in as a boy in Dunain Road and note from the magnifier that the nursery behind it has gone, so has the shed and the back lawn is now half a potato patch. There you go -progress.

"On the edge"? Well, life sure is short and when exciting opportunities are offered to you I feel that you should accept them with open arms and enjoy them to the full. Sure, there are dangers and pitfalls but had I remained in Scotland I would never have done half the stuff I was fortunate to live through .e.g. Learning to downhill and cross country ski and going on many exciting trips, visiting America and Hawaii, meeting all kinds of different people with very strange appearances and names,taking up hiking, river rafting, canoeing climbing up the side of a 3,000 foot cliff in a floatplane (that was scary)and then flying over the top and landing on a lake in a forest then staying the night in a cabin and hiking down the hill the next day. Also being allowed to take the controls of a Cessna aircraft by the owner when he was flying with me over the Pacific to Vancouver Island and that was scary too I can tell you. And many other incidents.

Anyone thinking of emigrating? DON'T hesitate, just DO IT. Anyone wants to come to Canada you can go to Alberta just now where the economy is booming and-paying jobs abound and they are simply CRYING OUT for employees. If you have eve a modicum of brains and education and can walk you will be in the door pronto quick. Even two years ago waitresses were pocketing over $30 per hour ...plus tips..which is about 20 pounds per hour. The average young Albertan does not, apparently, concern him/herself overly about getting a higher education All they think about is leaving school, getting a fancy car and earning high wages in the oil patch. Oh my?

But, then again, if they are smart and are willintg to work at anything they can save and set up a very good life for themselves.

After that you can go anywhere in this vast country after you establish yourself.

Cheers

S.P. :rolleyes:

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+caley100    449

Jeez, i thought scarlet was getting to some theory or something about the dual laurel avenue...... should have known... :rolleyes:

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DoofersDad    2,962

Laurel Avenue was designed by Town Planners so there doesn't have to be a good reason for it being the way it is. I expect it won a design award at the time, though.

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I remember one day when I was a small lad me and my pal were bored and went round the back of the same house you mention at the top of Lochalsh Road. We found the basement lift-up sash unlocked and climbed in. The house was empty of furniture but we were excited in case someone found us and cautiously had a look around. I had never dreamed of entering a house like this before, nor knew what was ahead, and was a bit apprehensive in case we were discovered. The silence and the surrounding dust were novel and a bit scary. After a few minutes exploring we left and nobody, or the house, was worse for wear.

When I read this, I just had to check who had actually written it since I fully expected the post to be marked "Enid Blyton" :laugh:

But certainly one or two interesting observations on this thread already and I must get a hold of Sheila MacKay to see what she can make of it all.

Not being much of a techno, I hadn't thought about looking at Googlemap but I now have at both ends of the Avenue.

At the cemetery end it does seem that there's a pretty direct link to Glenurquhart Road, latterly along where Bruce Avenue now is, as long as you cut off what is now the far edge of the cemetery. I must check the dates of the stones in that area to see if it was part of the cemetery at the time in question which I do indeed now think was immeidately post war.

The Caledonian Road end is even more intriguing because there's that odd block of houses which, if it had been left out, would have offered an extension of Laurel Avenue at that point.

Thereafter, what would the planned route have been though? Whatever the plan, something on Fairfield Road would have had to have gone. I wondered about linking up with Lochalsh Road but that doesn't seem wide enough to dual. Or could they have put a dual carriageway in between Lochalsh Road and Telford Gardens?

However I'm also attracted by Scotty's diagonal to Harrowden Road which in turn leads to what has always been a major junction on the Kenneth Street/ Telford Street interface (complete for many years with horse trough!) at what was MacVinish's yard. But Harrowden Road is also a bit on the narrow side for this. After all what's the point in having a great wide dual carriageway with a pinch point at the end?

So maybe that's one of the reasons why they started it but didn't finish - there wasn't enough room to get through to the A9 at that end?

Or did they simply want to make Laurel Avenue a wide Avenue so you would get plenty of warning that the Finlays, the Kirkhams and the Smiths were coming to chase after you? :laugh:

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PullMyFinger    178

I think lochalsh road houses are newer than laurel avenue which would have supported Charles' theory. Also it would be a direct link to the second Ness road bridge. I'm sure I recall my father talking about it but that was many years ago.

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DoofersDad    2,962

Seeing the google map image I am intrigued by the narrow strip of green between the two carriageways. I wonder if that is where a young Grant Munro used to play football? It looks the perfect place to have honed his sophisticated passing game. No space to the left, no space to the right. Hoof! :tongueincheek:

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tm4tj    1,433

It's because they couldnae afford a Motorway.

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Scarlet Pimple    752

Charles--Enid Blyton? Stop showing off.

More like Scaramouche! :nanananana:

Dual Carriageways? Forsooth--didn't they go out with the Ark? :tongue:

Always expect the unexpected, chums. :biggrin:

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bauhaus    240

Would be extremely suprised if the town had thought of a dual carriageway in the 40s. That would be a bit of foresight, when did the first motorways and dual carriageways get build in the uk? Thought that was into the 60s.

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bigjohn    15

It was developed in case the space shuttle had to make an emergency landing in Scotland. Trust me I know about these things and wouldn't lie to you.

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Would be extremely suprised if the town had thought of a dual carriageway in the 40s. That would be a bit of foresight, when did the first motorways and dual carriageways get build in the uk? Thought that was into the 60s.

It would seem that they most definitely did think of it at a relatively early stage since the dual carriageway has been there for as long as Laurel Avenue has and as far as we can ascertain, Laurel avenue was built - at the latest - immediately post war.

There's something in the back of my mind that the Swedish houses which I lived in on St Andrew Drive (from 1958) were built in 1949 and these, I believe, are the newest part of Dalneigh - apart from the strip of housing between St Margaret's Road and St Mungo Road including the former Christison's and Jocky Lawson's shops which were put in there about 1962.

I always go on the assumption that Dalneigh spread along Bruce Gardens and Dalneigh Road towards Laurel Avenue etc.

In fact this discussion has opened up a wider question for me about the general evolution of Dalneigh. For instance it's structured a bit like a loop - up Bruce Gardens and then enclosed by the top of Bruce Gardens, St Valery Avenue, Hawthorn Drive and Lilac Grove (or arguably Fairfield Rd), with Laurel avenue cutting across the middle. But within that loop are contained a lot of Swedish houses and I wonder if they are a year or two younger. Presumably house building stopped for the war and then resumed big time to address the post war housing shortage. Where did it stop though?

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Where did it stop though?

At the canal. :tongueincheek:

Yes, very good! :biggrin:

But maybe I didn't actually specify very well what I meant.

I'm talking about the sector of council housing bounded by Fairfield Road, the canal and Bruce Gardens - or even Glenurquhart Road of you want to include Maxwell Drive/ Lindsay Ave/Smith Ave/Park Road. I have a feeling that some of that great swathe of abodes was built before the war - starting, I would imagine, near the apex of the triangle at the "County Buildings" - although much of it was post war. Presumably construction stopped during the war - but with what stage during the whole building programme did that coincide? What is pre war and what is post war?

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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buckett    104

. . . . the narrow strip of green between the two carriageways. I wonder if that is where a young Grant Munro used to play football? It looks the perfect place to have honed his sophisticated passing game. No space to the left, no space to the right. Hoof! :tongueincheek:

:lol::lol::lol:

Pure class!!!

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dougiedanger    317

Looking at the Goggle map, you get a sense of how well laid out Dalneigh was, with crescents, green spaces, shops, big gardeens, and plenty of living space.

It tells a story: that of the post-war feeling that working people should have a decent home and standard of living, which contrasts with today's serious lack of public housing and the over-priced boxes that people are expected to live in.

I recall too that the houses were quite spacious inside. It must have been a dream for people to move from tenements and the like to the greenery and space of Dalneigh.

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Looking at the Goggle map, you get a sense of how well laid out Dalneigh was, with crescents, green spaces, shops, big gardeens, and plenty of living space.

It tells a story: that of the post-war feeling that working people should have a decent home and standard of living, which contrasts with today's serious lack of public housing and the over-priced boxes that people are expected to live in.

I recall too that the houses were quite spacious inside. It must have been a dream for people to move from tenements and the like to the greenery and space of Dalneigh.

Absolutely Dougie. I think this was very much the post war philosophy which also embraced the likes of Garden Cities. Certainly the house we lived in on St Andrew Drive had a pretty big garden, bigger than average for Dalneigh I suppose, with a back lawn which itself was 10 yards long and then there was a vegetable patch before you reached the back wall of the St Ninian garages. And that was just half the garden. There was another chunk parallel to that which was like a wee croft running down to the minister's hedge!

The Swedish houses are all 3 bedrooms and all identical to or mirror images of each other. The bedrooms were pretty large, especially the "master" :laugh: bedroom at the back and the one above the livingroom also had a fireplace. The other rooms were big too and there was lots of cupboard space.

In fact I was just today relating a tale of a previous era when the large collection of fireworks which - aged 10 - I had bought used to be stashed in the cupboard beneath the stairs! :redcard::tuttut: (Aye... the "lobbing bangers into front porches" craze culminated one year in one headcase putting a Roman Candle in Mrs Anderson the P5 teacher's front hedge!)

Other friends of mine (such as Beys and Kavvies for those who remember Inverness and Caley football of a bygone era) lived in stone houses on St Valery Ave and St Fergus Drive and these were pretty big too. The "electric flats" were maybe a bit different.

The streets were also quite wide - especially the bit of St Andrew I was on which had the transformer.

Edited by Charles Bannerman

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Scotty    1,778

I always go on the assumption that Dalneigh spread along Bruce Gardens and Dalneigh Road towards Laurel Avenue etc.

In fact this discussion has opened up a wider question for me about the general evolution of Dalneigh. For instance it's structured a bit like a loop - up Bruce Gardens and then enclosed by the top of Bruce Gardens, St Valery Avenue, Hawthorn Drive and Lilac Grove (or arguably Fairfield Rd), with Laurel avenue cutting across the middle. But within that loop are contained a lot of Swedish houses and I wonder if they are a year or two younger. Presumably house building stopped for the war and then resumed big time to address the post war housing shortage. Where did it stop though?

I know that Hawthorn Drive was built in two stages .... The side of the street closest to the canal was built a year or two after the other side ...... remember my mum telling me this !

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