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The Invergordon Archive

The Fountain with Church in the background
The Invergordon Archive
The Fountain with Church in the background

A lovely postcard of the High Street, with the Fountain, Castle Road and the United Free Church in the background. This is a very similar view to that shown in picture #471 and, while both have been taken during the summer months, that was taken in the morning and this was taken in the late afternoon.
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Picture added on 31 May 2013 at 16:59
Comments:
The shop on the left had become the Co-op by the fifties. I never knew the church as the United Free, it was always just the Church of Scotland? The fountain never worked in my lifetime, always thought it was ugly and quite enjoyed the occasions when it got knocked over!
Added by Bill Geddes on 07 September 2013
I quite liked the fountain, it gave the bands coming off the ships a poser getting round it. When I see how bad the High Street is now, not the Invergordon I was growing up in, it is now ugly and rigs dominate the skyline. Just along the road Alness where I moved to when I was eight is a beautiful village now.
When way back Invergordon had resources to have been a lovely place, but very poor councillors allowed it to deteriorate.
Shame on the people who had everything in their hands to make this admiralty port a place to visit.
Added by Tommy MacAllister on 11 June 2015
Hi Tommy, I am sure you remember the fountain being reduced to a pile of rubbish after being knocked down. It used to amaze me how soon the locals would know about it and who knocked it down. No homes had telephones back then, but it was the topic of conversation around the breakfast table.
I have no comment on the state of the town as I don't live there and if it is as bad as you say, then that is indeed a shame.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 14 June 2015
Interesting to hear that Alness is much better than Inverg these days. When I was young Alness was seen as a rather poor place where many of the inhabitants had a low standard of living. I agree that parts of Invergordon have been wrecked. As someone who left in the '50s I find it hard to recognise parts of a town I spent my youth wandering around.
Added by Bill Geddes on 14 June 2015
Billy, when us Ardross and Alness people arrived in Invergordon back then, Alness Ardross very much poor relations, we had to prove ourselves everyday. So pretty much tried to be best in anything. It then dawned on me pupils from outlying places were looked on much the same.
I ended up junior captain of football team 6 Alnesians 2 Delny 3 Kildary. Senior team much the same apart from Alex Sutherland pico squeak Miller Alan Drever, Ronnie Ross Kildary real, fast.
Now all change, Alness beautiful Village awards for Britain in Bloom winning this plus European Awards.
Aye the people and councillors in Alness did a great job, I cannot take any credit I was gone at 16!
Added by Tommy Macallister on 14 June 2015
Tommy. Your right! Alness people were looked down on as coming from some inferior backwater, so as you say well done to the citizens of the village. I have traced one branch of my ancestors to Alness. I remember in Invergordon we were also a wee bit sniffy about folk from Ullapool..they were considered to be Teuchters! What a joke considering where Invergordon was in the pecking order at that time.
Added by Bill Geddes on 14 June 2015
Alness had Pat Munro, construction and sawmills. Not one but two distilleries, Dalmore and Taeninich, The RAF base. Could always put a football team together.
Whereas we in Invergordon had the naval base and a couple of farms.
Enough said.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 25 June 2015
Ha ha Harry
Used to listen to old folks on distilleries one old guy called Sloany at dram time get his dal more dram then onto his bike peddle along railway then run down get tea inch dram and head back,
For us it was puzzling to see how the teaninich workforce grew at dram times, ---/// half the village was there,
Added by Thomas Macallister on 25 June 2015
Hi Tommy, yes it was called survival. I had a second cousin who worked in the mash room at Dalmore, spent most of his life on his hands and knees, pickled.

Added by Harry O'Neill on 25 June 2015
The buses used to transport parcels from village to village. The drop off point in Alness was Jock the Barbers. I recall there was an short elderly fellow who wore a bunnet who would collect any parcel for Dalmore Distillery and deliver it - he would always be rewarded with a dram. I recall one day there were 4 parcels for Dalmore? He delivered them one at a time and got his 4 drams? (must have been + - 1958)
Added by Samuel Kennedy on 12 July 2015
Back in the early '70s I first took my present wife to my home town. While there we borrowed a couple of bikes and one day made a visit to Dalmore (no visiter centre in those days). I knocked on the door and asked if we could have a look around which was cordially agreed to. At the end of the visit we were asked if we would like a dram. We were then poured 2 large glasses of clear liquid. I asked when it was made and the reply was "last night". After consuming the firewater we got on our bikes and left with the advice "you had better peddle like buggery if you want to get home safe".
Added by Bill Geddes on 12 July 2015
Aye Billy, next time to Dalmore my wife and I will get a bike there and a Taxi home? My Brother (Alastair) used to work there during the holidays.
Added by Samuel Kennedy on 12 July 2015
If you are the Samuel Kennedy bottom of Coulhill Brae parents shop in high street, !! Hi Sam!! Then you might have heard the craic on old Tommy Wright who was caught dipping a barrel by the boss, (Tommy is it the sack boss) boss yes it is (Tommy well, wait until I fill my dooker boss) then there was Willie Winters (Beelack) after cooper issued the drams the remains of the pitcher thrown down the drain, end of shift floor area git hosed down, this particular day water not getting away, drain chocked when they went to investigate!!! Calamity!! Beelack forgot to remove the national dryed milk can he used to catch what was thrown away, another one bites the dust, aye those were the days my friends, no class distinction in Alness everybody got on well
Added by Tommy Macallister on 12 July 2015
Yes Tommy, I stayed in Victoria House and my parents had a Drapers shop in the High Street. I remember you well. Skiffle group etc. I recall one day a barrel fell off the truck being transported from Teaninich to the station and smashed, the sight was amusing, many locals were on their hands and knees supping and the excise men were trying to keep them away.
Added by Samuel Kennedy on 14 July 2015
We had great time with skiffle group: Bertie Huke, Donald Munroe, Ian Duxbury, Hughie Cod, happy days. Loved growing up in Alness, people looked after one another. Remember wee Sally Pue. Used to sing!! Their tough, mighty tough in the west. From the Eagle to the white house they’re the best. Have to stop there – unprintable. Have you ever heard where Hamish Mackay, John Taylor or Sheena Makedie went or are?
Added by Tommy Macallister on 14 July 2015
Sam Kennedy & Tommy Macallister! Both in my class at school I think! From Alness? Still in Ross-Shire?
Added by Bill Geddes on 14 July 2015
I just have to comment Samuel, I remember your team was Kilmarnock, your parents were lovely lovely people, I know my brother Alex (Eckie) thought the world of them, his first stop first footing your mam and dad liked to hear him sing.
I think the saddest story on distillery was William (Beelack) Winters would be waiting for the wash to be run off - I've heard often he would be standing in burn with a pail, now that was sad. Anyway nice to get a blast from past. I'm retired 9 years now, served with Seaforth Highlanders as I had started serving my time as a blacksmith Mackenzie Evanton Engineering, which went bankrupt, so I joined up. Also worked at Nigg as supervisor 20 years, set my young fellow up in business, he was bought out by big company now a director with them. Oldest daughter is paramedic in Alness, which keeps me going back, it is a lovely village now, Sam, winners of Britain in bloom also European winners. My youngest daughter is with Highland Council. I've helped them all, no argie-bargie when I'm gone, they have it now, loving life with grandchildren. I support Poppy Scotland and help collect for Erskine. I'm off to Loos (Belgium) in October to visit war graves and parade in memory of those who never came home.
Sometimes I think of all teens I knew and say let’s have a reunion, it would be so nice to see you guys again one last time.
Added by Tommy Macallister on 14 July 2015
Greetings Billy, you were in my class at Invergordon Academy.
Fond memories of many of the students and teachers. Not in Ross-shire. Spent 8 years in Glasgow before emigrating to Johannesburg 47 years ago. Have had a wonderful spell here, but sadly over the past few years things have changed dramatically, mainly due to corruption and officials enriching themselves. Most senior people employed in Government areas have been selected, not on merit, but on the basis that they are related to someone else in power. Apartheid (which I detested) ended 21 years ago but is still being blamed for the countries many ills. There is very little planning for the future. Right now we have no electricity, it will be off for 4.5 hours as a result of having insufficient power to go round. This is almost a daily occurrence. My wife is reading a magazine in bed at the moment (5pm), it is still light but very cold. It will get dark in 45 minutes. I am using my iPad at present. Regards, Samuel
Added by Samuel Kennedy on 15 July 2015
Hi Tommy, you have a great memory I am indeed an avid Killie fan. Many thanks on your kind words with regard to my Mum and Dad. The people you mention I can recall them all except Sally Pue, John Taylor, Shenna Makedie. My Mum passed away about 7 years ago and I have been back a few times, the last being 2 years ago when 4 of us stayed in a B&B in Ardross. I occasionally keep in touch with Billy and Mina Ross who live at the top of Coulhill. Bertie Cameron was in my class and I understand has passed away. Hamish McKay, who was also in my class, I last saw in the "Com" about 15 years ago. Ian Duxberry - well that is really going back. I thought he had left the village much earlier. Donald Monroe - did he come from a family in Teaninich Street including sisters Dolly and Christine? Hughie Cod was in my class. Wonderful days as you say. Hopefully I will be back for a visit next year. Should you wish to contact me on a more personal note just email me.

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Added by Samuel Kennedy on 15 July 2015
Was in S/Africa last November, flew into Cape Town, stayed at Gordon's Bay with relatives for a couple of days, then did the garden route to Jeffreys Bay, with wife's brother, ex chief constable retired, he was out there seconded to help police on law, decided he could do this on his own so retired, with golden handshake and worked away as advisor, until that was put a stop to, he has been out there 19 years, was in the Orange State, now loves Jeffreys Bay, had great time, every day was an adventure, Jeffreys Bay was base mew toured around did a few parks, met a lot of wonderful people, saw the injustice Samuel talks about, going back next year maybe for 3 months, if I had no family here I'd go for good, yes I experienced no lights too, but brother in law says Cape better to fly into than Joburg, which he says is still dangerous at times, and luggage can disappear, anyway they are arriving 1st August, going to be hard to live up to what we experienced with them, next time will do the Kruger, and I want to go north to war graves. I have two uncles Seaforth Highlander buried there. Billy where abouts are you, feel free to drop into Emoh Ruo in Maryburgh.
Added by Tommy Macallister on 15 July 2015
Donald Munroe passed away last year, started in same village as me, we go back further than Alness - we were all in Invergordon just after the war. Christine, dolly, Isobel, Jimmy, George, Donald, David, Yvonne stayed right across the road from us in Teaninich Street. Hughie cod, my mate, I used to laugh when he would introduce himself in class: Hugh John Hector Andrew William George Wilson, named after all his uncles. His brother was simply Tommy cod. I am still in touch with Hughie - was serving his time same place as me, we both just joined up in forces, he went south first, have not seen him to this day ,but every now and again I'll phone him or he’ll phone me.
Do you guys remember Tich, Loftie’s wife (Macfarlane), Betty McMillan, Katy Carmichael, Johnny lefty (Ross) Clunie Smith woodwork? Who was the art teacher at Invergordon?
Added by Tommy Macallister on 15 July 2015
HI Tommy, I remember all the teachers you mention, although Lefty was Leakie? Smith woodward was always good for a whack on the napper with a block of wood. Art teacher was a woman, can't remember her name; Rosalie Graham would know and maybe tell us.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 16 July 2015
That's it Harry Johnny leakiest (Ross). Aye Smith had a belt starched, he could hold it straight out, called it Elsbeth I recall. But as you say he would throw mallets at you, my god today's parents would faint.
Alness was Murchison. Mrs McDonald (horsey) Besack Ramsay, Maclennan was the Janitor just after Kenda many a Tattie field they cleared, when we would be at tatties instead of school.
Added by Tommy Macallister on 16 July 2015
Hi Tommy, we all enjoyed the tatties, got a break from school.
When I was in school these were the ones from Alness that came to Invergordon, I am sure you know them all: Charlie Ferguson, Sandy Mackay (what a riot) Jimmy Wilson, David Munro. Great fun with these guys.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 17 July 2015
An episode of the BBC's "Songs of Praise" was recorded in Invergordon Church of Scotland in the early 1970s. I've been unsuccessful in finding a link or a location for that broadcast. The programme was presented by Douglas Kynoch and featured Ewan Stewart, Invergordon Academy, as conductor. Searches in the usual places for archived recordings have drawn a blank but it's out there somewhere! Anyone remember it?
Added by David Player on 26 April 2016
I think if you go to the Facebook page of the Invergordon Fan Club, there is a link to part of it. It was in two parts but can only see one.

Anonymous comment added on 27 April 2016
To David Player. Try the Internet, there are quite a number of possible sites. "Songs of Praise Invergordon is one. Interested as my Mum (Mae Kennedy) who was a gifted Soprano took part, although from Rosskeen Church in Alness.
Added by Samuel Kennedy on 28 April 2016
Many thanks for the above direction from Anonymous. For those on Facebook, navigate to the Invergordon Fan Club and scroll through the items displayed. The first relevant entry for the Songs of Praise broadcast of September 1974 is listed on an entry lodged on 3 November 2015. There's an obvious snapshot of the production on the screen and the film reference is VTS 01 2. Scroll a little further and you'll come to the other part, VTS 01 1, which was lodged on 12 November 2015.
Now, if only someone had the technical skills to add links on this site so that those who don't subscribe to Facebook could view the Songs of Praise programme of 1974?
Added by David Player on 01 May 2016
Try these links David.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa5Nt409GyA
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qh9p0q9V6s
www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT89zWYxu64
Good luck

Anonymous comment added on 03 May 2016
Thank you again, Anonymous. Just Copy, then Paste, those "www" links, one at a time, into your Address Bar at the top of your screen, first Deleting whatever's there, and press Enter to bring the elusive "Songs of Praise" edition on screen in full colour. Absolutely wonderful.
Added by David Player on 04 May 2016
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Buildings

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