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The Invergordon Archive

Soldier and two girls
The Invergordon Archive
Soldier and two girls

This image, taken by a photographic studio called E. J. Privell or Privett, Invergordon, has been among a collection of old photographs in my family home in the Isle of Lewis. This picture partners another - picture #1484 - and the two girls with the soldier appear to be the same two girls in the other photo. I wondered if they belonged to anyone in your area, although I know they may simply have stationed in Invergordon during WW1.

(The precise date of the photo is not known - Site Admin.)
Picture added on 17 November 2011 at 10:13
I seem to remember that there was a family called Privett in Invergordon, but I can't think of their first names or what they did!
Added by Joe MacDonald on 18 November 2011
I remember Mr Privett very well from his years as the Pool Superintendent - he taught me and many many others to swim by means of a rope and harness device that ran up one side of the pool. I have never seen the method used anywhere else but it seemed to work OK. The harness was fixed round the waist and the rope went through a block and tackle type device that was attached to a rope suspended the full length of the eastern end of the pool. He held the pupil up in the water as you learned the basic stroke and as you progressed the rope attached to the harness would slide along the suspended rope as you moved along. Gradually as you became more proficient he would decrease the level of support till you were swimming freely.
I believe that he was a photographer to trade and did the pool as a summer job in later life. He lived in the first house west of the pool and the house is still there and was occupied up until a few years ago by his daughter.
Added by Graham MacKenzie on 18 November 2011
I too recall the name Privett and like Joe that is all I know.
In the other picture one of the girls is in the Seaforth Highlanders uniform - were women in uniform in those days?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 18 November 2011
Right you are Graham, I should have known, he was at the old pool with the contraption you describe.
I believe there is a picture of him demonstrating it on this site, if one looks under swimming pool.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 18 November 2011
That's how I learnt to swim too. I always thought he was the borough surveyor before Mr Woodburn and then retired and did the swimming pool. His daughter Joan lived in the house, he also had a son Stanley? Just think what Health & safety would make of the belt now far less the lack of chlorine but it never did us any harm..
Added by Liz Taylor nee Askew on 19 November 2011
I remember Joan Privett, worked in the office in Frew's garage. The girl on the left of the photo has a good look of her. She stayed near the old swimming pool, Sunnyside Cottage on Saltburn Road next to the Goldsacks, remember delivering the mail to them.
Added by William Smart on 22 December 2011
Ernest James Privett was my grandfather. I believe Liz is correct in saying that he was (at one time at least) the borough surveyor, and he certainly had a photography business and some involvement with the swimming pool. My aunt, Joan Privett, worked for a while in the office at Frew's, though for many years prior to that she worked at the Egg Packing Station (or something similar!) in Dingwall. Joan was the last of the family to live in Sunnyside Cottage before poor health forced her to move to a nursing home. My father, Stanley, moved to Tyneside in the 1950s where he married and lived until his death in 2011. For many years we enjoyed family summer holidays in Invergordon - my younger sister Helen was even born in Dingwall, a little earlier than anticipated I believe! My grandfather was originally from Beckenham in Kent before he moved to Invergordon - I now live in Surrey, close to where he originated.
Added by John Privett on 12 April 2014
Ernest James Privett was my grandfather too. My father Edward Ernest Privett (Ted) died on 13 December 2014 and I am sure he was the eldest. Ted had 3 children David, Margaret & James but unfortunately James died aged 46. Margaret now lives in Bicester near Oxord. Any information or pictures about the Privett family would be most welcome as I do not have any.
Added by Margaret Elizabeth Lyon (formerly Privett) on 01 February 2015
Ernest James Privett was the son of Edward Privett, a domestic gardener, and his wife Caroline, nee Child. Ernest’s parents had been born in Hawkley, Hampshire, and Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, respectively. Ernest was born during 1882 in Beckenham, Kent. When Ernest was an infant he lived with his parents and three siblings at 7, Florence Road, Beckenham. In 1901 Ernest was working as a domestic gardener and lived with his parents, and then four brothers and sister, at the same address in Beckenham. Ernest’s parents were still living at 7, Florence Road in 1911, although by then only their youngest son, John Edward Privett remained at home.

In 1915 Ernest James Privett was living in Scotland and operating a photographic studio from Ferry Road, Invergordon, under the name of E. J. Privett, Invergordon, N.B.

In 1920 Ernest married Margaret Dow Smith, and after which the couple lived at 154, High Street, South Side, Invergordon. This property housed a photographic studio. In 1921 Mrs Privett gave birth to a daughter who was named Mary Caroline. The following year she was safely delivered of a son, Edward Ernest.

In 1925 Mr. Ernest Privett exhibited various types of poultry at the Easter Ross Club Show held at Tain, with one bird, a Rhode Island Red cockerel, he won a first prize. During the year a second son was born who was named Stanley.

In 1926 Ernest Privett was part of the organizing committee for the aquatic sports day held in Invergordon harbour. The following year, on the 19th August 1927 he exhibited rabbits at the annual Ross-shire Crofters Show Club which was held at Evanton. Ernest was also involved in local bowling. In 1929 he took part in celebrations as a representative of the Invergordon Bowling Club, when its members handed over the Northern Bowling League flag and cup to the league’s winning team from Beauly. He also had an involvement in municipal activities. During 1929 Mrs. Privett had a second daughter, who was named Joan.

In November 1931 Ernest Privett was elected to the management committee of the Invergordon Golf Club. The following year he served on the committee of the Invergordon Games. The games were held during September 1932 in the picturesque grounds of the local castle. Ernest repeated his commitment to the games the following year, again serving on the committee. In 1934 Ernest was appointed caretaker of the then new Municipal Buildings and also the Town Hall,.

Ernest’s children were encouraged to join-in with community activities. His son Edward, Teddy Privett, aged twelve years, was a member of the local scout troop. In 1935 Ernest served on the committee that organised the Invergordon Pool Gala, which in July was favoured by a large number of spectators. Whilst later in the year he was again on the Invergordon Games committee. In April 1936 Teddy Privett took part in performances at the local Y.M.C.A. Hall; a production in aid of camp funds. The following month Teddy also took a part in a scout performance put on for the entertainment of staff and patients at the Ross and Cromarty Joint Hospital.

Mr. Ernest Privett was also a freemason, a member of the Invergordon Royal Arch Chapter, which held its meetings in the Masonic Hall, Invergordon. In June 1937 Ernest’s second son, Stanley Privett, came third in the Ross-shire Jubilee bursary competition. Stanley, who attended Invergordon Academy, gained 187 marks out of a possible 200. At the end of the month Stanley was presented with the Dux Medallist, Primary, at the Academy. In September Ernest Privett served as an assistant clerk to the Invergordon Games.

In July 1948 Ernest James Privett retired from his position as Invergordon’s burgh surveyor.

Ernest James Privett passed away during 1968.
Added by Mark Gamble on 17 December 2017
Mark - thank you for your detailed account of my grandfather's life. Some of it I already knew, but a lot of it I didn't, as I was only 10 years old when he passed away in 1968.

I had no idea he'd had any involvement with the Golf Club. In my teenage years, on summer holidays in Invergordon, my father and I often played a round of golf there.

Similarly, I had no idea he had been involved in bowling, nor of his involvement in the committee for the Invergordon Highland Games. Exhibiting poultry at local shows is another surprise, though he did still keep chickens at Sunnyside Cottage during my lifetime.
Added by John Privett on 17 December 2017
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