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The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon High Street
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon High Street

Bisset's Temperance Hotel, 19 High Street, owned by William Bisset;
c 1904.
Picture added on 18 April 2004
This is the corner of the High Street and Albany Road. The building is now occupied by Simpsons, the vets.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 15 June 2004
Bissets was still in business in the '50s. At that time I believe that the place was run more as a lodging house as several residents were permanent - i.e. it was their home. (A bit like the Major in Fawlty Towers but hopefully the owner was kinder!)
Added by Bill Geddes on 27 December 2005
Bisset's was still in business in the 1960s and 1970s. They took in lots of workers who were involved in building the smelter and also those in the oil industry.
Added by Annella Flynn (nee Ross) on 31 January 2006
This hotel featured on a picture postcard sent to my great-great grandmother - who lived in the High Street at what was the home of the Invergordon Times (which was the rent office last time I came to Invergordon in the early 1990s).
Added by Linda Forbes on 28 May 2006
I arrived in Invergordon, February 1959. Until our house in the then Dockyard was ready we stayed in the Salson Hotel which was 'next door but one' to Bissets Hotel. The Salson Hotel was run by 'Sal and her son' (hence the name) and Bissets Hotel was run by a Sheila Bissett. Both Hotels were also run as lodging houses. Frank Graham, long-standing employee of Gilbert Ross & Son, stayed permanently in the Salson. He was there during our stay and for many years after as this was his permanent home at that time.
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 12 January 2007
Heather, there was also a Maclaren's Hotel in the same area. I lived in Invergordon until Aug 1959, I cannot remember Salson's Hotel. Maybe someone can put me straight...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 12 January 2007
Hi Harry, I don't remember McLaren's Hotel, hopefully there are others out there who will? Perhaps Salson took it over? Hopefully, someone will remember? I know I have the date right though, as I remember the Salson Hotel so well, simply as it is where our family stayed on first arriving in Invergordon in 1959, until our house in the Dockyard was ready.
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 13 January 2007
Harry, like you, I left Invergordon about 1958/9 and I can remember Maclaren's Temperance Hotel and Bisset's but I can't remember a Salson Hotel at all or its location. In fact I can remember Maclaren's. Bisset's, The Rhue, and The Royal all in the High Street, but not Salson's.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 13 January 2007
I think you will find that from the description, i.e. location, two away from Bissets Hotel, that would have been McLaren’s Hotel would it not?
Added by Doug Will on 13 January 2007
Yes you are probably correct Doug, like Heather says, it may have been taken over by the Salson's....
I remember Maclaren's, as I used to deliver rolls there from Slaters bakery on the old messenger bike, did you?
Added by Harry on 14 January 2007
MacLarens Hotel was bought by the manager of Liptons in Dingwall, and his wife Sal, and his son ran it for a number of years. It has changed hands since, and is now renamed the Marine Hotel. Anyone remember Roddy Douglas who lived in the little house between MacLarens and Bissets?
Added by Gordie Peterson on 14 January 2007
Doug I'd say you are correct on that one..as long as I can remember it was Bissets then Mclarens on the north side of high Street..Rhu hotel was further up near the old Post cffice ..Salson is a new name to me...sorry I don't recognise it at all.
Added by Duncan Murray on 14 January 2007
Maclarens Hotel was renamed the Salson when it was taken over by a gentleman who was manager of Hay's the grocer in Dingwall (sorry I can't remember his name but he was also a town councillor in Dingwall - I seem to remember he smoked cigars and was the first owner to get a drinks licence albeit a table licence). When he sold the hotel to Iain MacRae it was renamed the Marine Hotel.
Added by John Mitchell on 14 January 2007
Thanks all, mystery solved, guess we flogged that one to death?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 14 January 2007
Thanks John! Phew! One begins to think that 'they did imagine' it at one point! As Harry says we certainly flogged that one to death!
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 14 January 2007
Gordie, I don't remember Roddy Douglas who stayed in 'the little house' between the Salson and Bissetts. However, yet again, when I stayed at No.15 it was the family Heaton? - Susan, Anita and Anthony Heaton? Their mum died in childbirth and they went back down to England to stay. Susan was my friend and in the same class at school as me (pr. 7) for the short time that she was there.
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 14 January 2007
John - incidentally, are you the same John Mitchell who took over Strachan's shop? Brother of Graham? Your dad had a paper shop in Clyde Street, was it?, when I first arrived in Invergordon - 1959?
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 14 January 2007
Gordie - many thanks also for your contribution re the Salson Hotel!
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 14 January 2007
Gordie, Roddy Douglas is mentioned elsewhere on this site - his nickname was Flooky Ned - used to go to the County games at Dingwall with Rod MacGregor.

Heather, yes I am John Mitchell who took over Strachan's, my Dad had a paper shop on the corner of King Street and Clyde Street ( Jock the Barbers )
Added by John Mitchell on 15 January 2007
Gordie, was Roddie Douglas not a plumber who worked with Anderson the Plumbers? That's the person I'm recalling as staying in the "little house"...perhaps I'm mixed up on this....
Added by Duncan Murray on 16 January 2007
Hi John - yes I remember your Dad well. You, of course, were in my class in Pr7, in 1959, when I first arrived in Invergordon - did you see yourself in the latest picture I have sent in of that class? I was about a year younger than everyone else, so I 'stayed' in Pr 7 the following year, and your brother Graham was in my class that next term?
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 16 January 2007
Hi Heather, I remember Anita Heaton. I was never sure why they moved away until I read your info. Brenda Mackay (Petersen) lived in that house until it was demolished. Dr Robertson from Alness also had a surgery up the lane around the back of it.
Added by Liz Askew on 13 May 2008
Hello Duncan. I lived directly opposite Bissets Hotel in 32 High Street. Roddie Douglas worked in the dockyard until he retired. He used to live both in the hotel and the little house, depending on whether the little house was rented out to other people. I can remember one of the RAF officers from Alness living there for a time.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 14 May 2008
Hi, can anyone help me? I have found in my late Mother's photos a picture of the Temperance Hotel in 1904. There are comments made by William Bisset on it. My Aunt on my father's side was Jessie Bisset Rose. Can anyone help me with some history on the connection between these families?
Added by Norma Bailey on 01 October 2009
Bisset's Hotel (25 High Street) was jointly owned by Benny, Willie and Sheila Bisset. Sheila ran the hotel and looked after her brother Benny until he died. Her other brother Willie became a Doctor and lived and worked in Edinburgh with his wife Margaret Mackenzie from Alness. Roddy Douglas (Flukey Ned) was my grand-father and lived in Craig Dhu (the wee house between Bisset’s and the Marine Hotel). Roddy spent his final years living in Bissets Hotel. He was a great gardener as well as a bit of a local character. His vegetable garden was what is now the Marine Hotel car park. Roddy and his wife Margaret Mary Mackay had 3 children - Uisdhean, Margaret (Mitchell) and Georgette (MacIver). The Douglas family, the Bisset family and the Chapman family were all related and lived around and about each other. Another Bisset family (Margaret Bisset now Gordon) lived in Albany House behind Bisset's Hotel. Margaret married Pete Gordon and moved to Glasgow where they still live today. Anderson the Plumber moved into Albany House later (Bessie and Douglas). I was brought up in Bisset's hotel and lived there between 1965 and 1985.
Added by Lynne Clark (nee Douglas) on 29 December 2009
Thanks Lynne, I remember the Douglas/Bissett families and passing the hotel - it always looked so tidy and lovely smells from the kitchen.
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 30 December 2009
I worked at the Smelter as a Apprentice Bricklayer from 1978 - 1981 and was in lodgings during this time and well looked after by Sheila Bisset and remember Lynn.
Added by Peter Gow on 17 March 2011
I remember the Misses Maclaren, two elderly maiden sisters who ran Maclarens Temperance Hotel; I served in the RAF at Alness from 1958 to 1960 with a fellow officer, Flight Lieutenant Chas Chuter. There were only two officers' married quarters at Alness and these were still occupied by the wives of two outgoing officers, so Chas and I had to find digs until they became vacant. We were on Lodging Allowance of 11 shillings a day and the only accommodation that we could afford was Maclarens. Sadly, I cannot remember the sisters' first names. One was fat and jolly and the other was thin and rather dour, but they were both very kind. The jolly sister was a Justice of the Peace and frequently married young couples in a shed at the bottom of the garden ("polishing them off" as she called it). I well recall that lunch was always mince and tatties - every day of the week. This suited me fine as I had only just had extensive dental extractions, and my mouth was very sore. Chas was not so happy about lunch , but he enjoyed the wonderful Scottish high teas.
Added by Stanley Smith MBE, Squadron Leader (Ret'd) on 26 September 2013
Stanley, the fat and jolly one was called "Colina" not sure about the spelling, and I think the other one was Tina.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 27 September 2013
Thanks to Eddie Trotter for that. I think that we just called them both 'Miss Maclaren'.
Added by Stanley Smith MBE, Squadron Leader (Ret'd) on 27 September 2013
There was also The Ship Inn, located on Shore Road next to Harbour House. Anyone know the history of this establishment?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 25 January 2014
I stayed in this hotel in 1946 when my father was appointed Chief Engineer of the oil fuel depot near the church.
Added by Nigel Borthwick on 11 May 2014
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