Anne-Mary Paterson

Freelance Writer


My third book Lairds-in-Waiting  is about private stations and waiting rooms on The Highland Railway.  The Scottish Highland Lairds with a few exceptions, welcomed the prospect of the railway passing through their estates. By the 1850s railway lines had spread to many other far flung places but not to the Highlands. The lairds realised the area was falling behind with developments that were happening in other parts of Britain. In return for their cooperation allowing the railway to pass through their land, they were able to ask for favours from the Highland Railway. One was a private waiting room in their local station building or even in a few cases a private station or platform. The book examines these facilities provided for them by the Highland Railway. Following a brief history of each family, each chapter goes on to explore in a wider context, the development opportunities that occurred because of  the arrival of the railway and ends with a description of the stations.

Spanning the Gaps - the Bridges and Viaducts of the Highland Railway was published on November 1st 2017. As well as the statistics of each structure it has stories - some quite amazing - connected to many of the bridges. It has photographs, some dating back to 1864, plans and diagrams so lots of things to look at. 

My first book Pioneers of the Highland Tracks - a Biography of William and Murdoch Paterson tells the story of my great granduncles who were civil engineers connected with the design and construction of most of the railways radiating from Inverness. Murdoch on his own, designed the line to Kyle of Lochalsh, now one of the Great Railway Journeys of the World and the direct line from Aviemore to Inverness which involved the construction of the massive Culloden Viaduct - see picture above. Sadly he died before the line opened so he never saw or travelled on a passenger trains crossing over it.

The book opens with a glimpse into the family history of the Patersons dating back to the Battle of Culloden when Donald Paterson was a standard bearer at the Battle of Culloden. It concludes with short biographies of all the Paterson civil engineers after the time of William and Murdoch including my Father, also William.

My books are available from Waterstones, by mail order or in person or online at The Old School, Beauly, good bookshops and the Highland Railway Society Pioneers of the Highland Tracks is also available as an ebook on Amazon and on other commonly used platforms.

There will be news of my new book in due course.

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