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The Invergordon Archive

Shivas Cycle Agency
The Invergordon Archive
Shivas Cycle Agency

The Shivas Cycle Agency in the High Street, now Somerfields store.
The date of this picture is unknown.
Picture added on 18 April 2004
Comments:
Harry, there are two pictures at the moment: picture #17 of Graham's the butcher and picture #339 of King Street looking north with the Church in the distance. I hope more will follow......
Incidentally, I find the easiest way to find something is to use the Search box at the top right. It's really good as it finds all references, including comments. I used it on 'king street'.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 29 September 2004
I remember Shivas name, but the cycle shop I remember was at the bottom of King Street, owner was a Mr Campbell, other shops on King St were Bodell's grocery, Dalgarno's butcher shop, Grahams fish and chips, all located on south end of King St. on the north end was, Slaters Bakery, Jock the Barbers, Willie Ross butcher. Are there any pictures in the library of King Street businesses? There was also another garage in the street east of King St, had an Italian name that I fail to remember, but someone else likely will remember it?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 29 September 2004
I think Jock the Barber was where we got the Sunday papers. Never got a haircut there though, so why Jock the Barber? Was the name over the door Mackay? Were there two men working there -brothers I think? - one bald and one bearded? or am I making it all up?
There was a gent's hairdressers towards the harbour end of King St, on the right for a while at least, run by Marie (nee Mitchell). Noted for introducing relatively modern hairstyles for men and therefore the subject of sarcastic comment by G Milton. Actually I don't think men had hairstyles before then - it was long(ish) short or bald.
Added by Brian McKenzie on 11 October 2004
Don't know why it was called Jock the barber, but have always known it by that name, probably was a barber but before our time...yes it was newspaper shop and tobacco etc....I do remember 2 brothers running it, but only one was in later days...Willie Forsyth also worked there....I thought the name was Ross but may have been Mackay, not sure now....also do not remember the barbers at end of King St, must have been in 60's or later....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 11 October 2004
Brian, do you remember the garage that was on the small street east of King St, had an Italian name?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 11 October 2004
Harry - sorry I don't, but I do remember an empty shop which claimed to be a branch of Gieves naval outfitters or am I imagining it??
Added by Brian McKenzie on 13 October 2004
Brian, I think you are referring to Bernards Naval outfits, and it was on the corner of Shore Rd and whatever the name of the road (more like a lane) that the other garage was on...Bernards used to have naval outfits on display in window, complete with manequins, I have sent an e-mail to the museum maybe they will reply...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 13 October 2004
Harry, around 1945 there was a garage and car hire business in Ross Street owned by Joe Angelo. Ross Street was parallel to King Street and was the next street east. Ring any bells??
Added by Malcolm McKean on 13 October 2004
Around 1945, the businesses in King Street were - George MacKenzie (Butchers), J.R. Ross in which Jock the Barber (Gents Hairdressers) and a Tobacconists & Fancy Goods shop operated, Alec Graham (Butchers), Ben Dalgarno (Butchers), Bodell (Grocers), L. Sidonio (Tobacconist, Sweets, Ice Cream, Fish & Chips), A. Graham (Tailors), T. Campbell (Cycle Agent), The Caledonian Hotel (which still exists), Mrs. MacPherson's Tea Room, and Bob Tanner of Portsmouth (Naval Tailor).
Added by Malcolm McKean on 13 October 2004
You betcha Malcolm thats the one, Angelo's garage and thanks to you I now recall the street Ross St. very small and narrow street...in regards to the fish and chip establishment owned by Sidonio, this must have been taken over by Roddy Graham and became Grahams fish and chips...you got your fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, and, if you brought him some newspapers he would give you free small bag of chips (sometimes)
Added by Harry O'Neill on 14 October 2004
In some of the harbour photos you can see a building with Bernards of Harwich on the roof, which is presumably the naval outfitters you remember.
Added by Estelle Quick on 14 October 2004
Jock the Barber was my Grandfather, John R Ross, father of Reid Ross who also started to learn the trade. After the war Reid left Invergordon and my father John Mitchell ran the business as a Newsagent and Tobacconist, although it was still called Jock the Barbers. When my father passed away in 1970 my brother Graham and I ran the busines (still Jocks) until 1972 when I took on Tommy Strachans shop on the High Street. Sadly neither of these shops have survived. To those few Invergordon people who know me, I am still referred to as Jock the Barber .
Added by John (Jock) Mitchell on 30 August 2005
Still known as Jock the Barbers. Yes John and you always will be by locals of that time. I remember your father very well, always friendly and got you whatever it was you were looking for, always gave good service and always with a thank you. Sadly not like today as they make you think they are doing you a favour. Keep the site active John...as am sure you have a lot to contribute....Are you still in Inver-g? did you have a sister Margaret that went to school with my sister? or was that another Mitchell?
Added by Harry on 30 August 2005
Harry, I now live at Wester Arboll near Portmahomack. The girl Margaret you are referring to was a daughter of Tony Mitchell, who lived on Shore Road next door to Lena MacDonald. If I remember correctly, Tony was barman at the Golf Club (previously the Naval Officers Club, Cromlet - along from the manse). I don't remember you, Harry, but I was a member of the Joss Street gang along with the Touts, Kemps, and Boxers (Munro the slaters sons).
Added by John ( Jock ) Mitchell on 02 September 2005
Hi Jock - Yes I remember working with you in Strachans - it was one of the best shops in the town. I just wish there was more people like you about - great boss to work with. Remember Jock, Margaret Harmon worked with us in the deli counter. I also remember Mary MacIllveney worked with us. I am right in saying Merit Ross also worked with us.
Added by Florence Urquhart on 16 September 2005
I have a recollection that when I was very small in the late '40s, Jock the Barber did provide haircuts at the rear end of the shop which eventually was where the records (78s!) were kept. Jock's was the only shop open on Sundays (morning only) and true to the tradition of barbers, they discretely sold men "something for the weekend". Next to Nonnies, this was the most intersting shop for kids as it sold sweets and all kinds of treats. As for the rest of King Street, my Grandad Willie Geddes senior had a shoe repair shop near the bottom, between Dalgarnoe's the butcher and Scottie Campbell's bike shop.
My Grandad never seemed to tidy up his shop as the floor was permanently littered knee deep with bits of old leather. Together with his pipe this gave the place a pungent aroma. I used to be very unimpressed with his services as I always had trouble with football covers coming unstitched, but I would have to wait ages for him to sew them up for me. (For younger readers--in those days footballs had an inner rubber bladder and an outer leather cover made of equally sized leather patches. In wet weather this soaked up water like a sponge and heading the ball was like coming into contact with a cannon ball!)
Added by Bill Geddes on 27 December 2005
John, I remember you fine! I worked in your shop at the bottom of the High Street when I was still at school. You were a great boss, and I fondly remember my days in the papershop!! I still have the vanity case that you and your family gave me when I left school and went to Thurso to "pound the beat" You worked out yet who I am????
Added by anon on 27 December 2005
Hi Bill. Glad somebody remembers Jock's as a barber. I did not have the pleasure of getting my haircut by my grandfather in the shop as he had retired by the time I came into the world, although I did get a clip at home on starting school (1953). Did you have a younger sister called Jeanette - I think she may have been in my brother Graham's class? Was your dad Willie Geddes - I seem to remember he may have been a baker?
Added by John Mitchell on 28 December 2005
Hello Anon. Yes, I have worked out who you are. Your Dad also pounded the beat and was an Inspector in Dingwall prior to retiring. Your sister also had a job while in school, working in the Chemists. I also worked with your brother at Cruachan Power Station in the mid to late '80s. Great to hear from you - hope are well.
Added by John Mitchell on 28 December 2005
Hello John, I'm sorry but I can't put a face to your name - maybe you're a good bit younger than me?
My dad Willie Geddes was a grocer by trade (seems strange now but he served an apprenticeship as it was considered a proper artisanal job back then). However he learned baking in the Army and he always referred to this as his 2nd trade. Jeanette is my sister - she lives just outside Perth now and has 3 grown up daughters.
Added by Bill Geddes on 29 December 2005
John, you mention that you worked in Cruachan Power Station in the '80s. You must have known my brother, Tom Clark, who was chief engineer there. Sadly he died 2 years ago.
Added by Catherine MacKenzie nee Clark on 31 December 2005
Hi Catherine. I did meet Tom when I worked there - I was contracting for Cromarty Firth Engineering at the time and he overheard my accent and introduced himself. Needless to say we had a good crack - if I remember correctly he stayed in Taynuilt.
Added by John Mitchell on 31 December 2005
Hi, John. Yes, Tom lived in Taynuilt for many years. His wife died in 2000 and he came to Inverness in 2001. He loved Argyll-shire.
Added by Catherine MacKenzie nee Clark on 14 January 2006
Anyone out there remember Donald "The coal-man"?. He had a peculiar business establishment at the upper end of Ross St. - peculiar in that it looked very small from the outside but once inside it opened up into quite a large sized warehouse. He used to deliver the coal in hundredweight sacks slung onto his back which he dumped into coal cupboards inside houses; he also had a helper but don't recall his name.
Donald was always friendly but a bit of a tough customer if crossed.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 11 August 2006
Harry, I remember Donald the coal man very well. His warehouse was in Ross Street between Outram Street and Clyde Street. My Granny (Mrs.Mackenzie) used to tell him off when she thought that he had put too much "dross" in the bag or if the coal was too wet !!!
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 12 August 2006
Jock the barber's shop - can remember that well. When you went into the shop, on the right was the barber's part and you went thro a door to it, the remainder of the shop was given over to papers, ciggies and sweets. During the war we used to collect scrap metal and take it to the scrap merchant who used to have a yard by the slaughter house. Normally we would get a tanner (sixpence pence) and it was straight up the road to Jock the barber's for either the Rover, Wizard, Adventure boys magazines and some sweets. After reading the mags it would be back looking for more scrap. Those were the days.
Added by Doug Will on 12 August 2006
Donald the Coalman's big shed was between Andrew's garage on Clyde St and Bremner's house on Outram St. It was painted black.
Added by Doug Will on 12 August 2006
Hi Doug, dont remember Andrews garage, tell me more. Or do you mean Angelo's? . Can you remember who Don the coalman's helper was? Also any other businesses on that street?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 13 August 2006
Correction to comments on Jock the Barbers - the barbers part was on the left not the right. And me an ex drill sergeant too. Hanging head in shame.
Added by Doug Will on 13 August 2006
Rosalie, I can remember my gran saying that he shorted the bags too; she was a little afraid of him - Donald the coalman that is.....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 13 August 2006
Harry, as far as I can remember Andrews garage was the building above The coal shed and had a large parking area butting onto Clyde Street. Please people correct me if I'm wrong.
Added by Doug Will on 14 August 2006
Harry, Angelo's garage was in Ross street. I worked there for a while in 1964/5 when it was run by a Robert Macgregor who emigrated to Australia shortly after. Andrews garage was at the top of the lane in Clyde Street. Do you remember the smiddy and agricultural repair yard in Outram Street, down across from Dick Mellons House??
Added by Duncan Murray on 17 August 2006
Duncan, yes I remember the blacksmiths on Outram street. Don't think there was a whole pane of glass in the whole building. Do you remember Dorothy Manson, an old classmate of yours and mine? Her father worked there for a while. When I was back in 1976 there was a garage and car rental place there - I believe it was ran by George Mcintosh - anyway, I rented a car from there...I do not remember Andrews garage for the life of me...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 17 August 2006
Duncan, the garage at the top of Ross Street but facing Clyde Street: was that at one time used by the RAF? I used to go in there very often as a child just to watch the men at work, and collect the curly pieces of metal that used to come off some sort of lathe.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 18 August 2006
Duncan, you are right about the position of Andrews Garage. It was situated on the corner of Clyde Street down the lane from Farmfoods. The garage was sadly taken over by the RAF in l940 so my father (Mr Andrews) then became foreman in Taylors Garage until his retiral.
Added by Eileen MacLeod nee Andrews on 18 August 2006
Harry, was the car hire business you talk about next door to the Bodell's on Outram Street? My Dad ran a car hire business for a while from our house in King Street; we were at the crossroads between Outram Street and King Street. George's son-in-law worked with Dad, he stayed in the caravans across the road from us (where King George Court is now) with his wife Catherine (George's daughter). I'd forgotten all about that until you mentioned car-hire. He had some old bangers, mostly Fords, but he had one car we called the batmobile - it was black and yellow and had big wing bits on the back of it - I just loved that car - can't remember whatever happened to it!!
Added by Jillian on 18 August 2006
Jillian, the car hire was located where the old blacksmiths was, on the corner of Outram St and the lane. I rented a Ford from them. This was in 1976, and they lived across the street in my old house on Outram Street. His wife's name was Cathy, but we may be talking about different people here.....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 18 August 2006
I seem to recall Donald the Coalman's helper in the early 1950s being one of the MacPhees, a big strapping swarthy chap.
Added by Rod Bell on 18 August 2006
Thank you for that Eileen; I was beginning to think I was wrong about it being Andrews Garage. Along with the big building there was a long low building reaching from the garage to Clyde Street. The RAF also had a repair shed down by the old NAAFI store behind their control room.
Added by Doug Will on 18 August 2006
Hi Rod, yep you are correct re Don the coalman's sidekick.
Does anyone remember the fertilizer business that was located on Clyde St, close to Willie Mackay's house and just in from Bank St; it was a fairly busy place...

Eileen I remember you, I used to bring my grandparents rent money in when you worked at the Municipal building, are you still in invergordon?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 19 August 2006
Hi Harry, I remember the business in Clyde St I think you are referring to - it was situated on the shore side of Clyde St between Bank St and King St, on the site that now forms a car park between Clyde St and Outram St. In the late 50s I remember it being referred to as "The Tattie Store" dealing in tatties and fertilizers. It was a fairly big building made of wood and corrugated iron and if I remember corectly was run by a man called Willie Maclean.
Added by Graham Mackenzie on 20 August 2006
Rosalie ..before my time if it was used by the RAF ..I seem to recall it being used as a cement store when the Hydro Dams were being constructed...it was just along from your house on the other side of Clyde Street
Added by Duncan Murray on 20 August 2006
Harry/Graham, the Tattie Store as we called it was just across from the 'old Fire Station'. Could be wrong but have a feeling it was an off-shoot from the old SAI (Bone Mill to you and me). I remember Willie McLean being there for years. You'll remember the tattie dressing sheds between the top of Shore Road (Royal Hotel end) and the bonemill road entrance??? which eventually became a car showroom for Frew's Garage and then was redeveloped to its current status..
Added by Duncan Murray on 22 August 2006
Sorry but the Tattie store as you call it was further up the road than the old fire station. The old fire station was almost opposite what we called Yellow Lane. From the King St end were the butchers shop, then the little paper shop which only opened on Sundays and operated by Ms Mcrae(?). She also ran the paper shop and kiosk at the railway station, next to that was a coalyard. Then came the big shed which in my time sold fertiliser and cattle cake and feed stuff; after that it was private houses to Bank St.
Added by Doug Will on 23 August 2006
Doug you are correct ..on a rethink I can now remember it being across from Willie Mackay's house but up towards King Street more or less oppposite the rear gates to the yard behind the bank. The old fire station is west of Bank Street. Can also remember the little paper shop as well...great how things come back to you after so long...
Added by Duncan Murray on 24 August 2006
Thanks Doug - I was convinced that it was where I initially described it (but I was just a wee boy at the time) - on Clyde St between Bank St and King St, just opposite the back gate to the Clydesdale Bank Building. I used to get sent there with tattie orders for my parents' shop (Naxie's) on the corner of High St and Bank St - now the Council Offices. As I remember working from King St there was Jimmy Grant the Butchers, Appel the Jeweller which prior to that must have been the little paper shop you describe, then the Tattie Store and finally on the corner of Bank St the cottage which is still there.
I checked with my eldest brother Ian (more your vintage Doug) and he confirms this and also that the Tattie Store was not connected to the SAI but was an independent company (he thinks Mackenzie based in Inverness).
Duncan - I asked Ian's wife Jennifer (Logan) who was brought up in Attadale next door to the old Fire Station what in fact was opposite and she tells me it was Dougal Mackintosh's house - it backed onto Clyde St and the access was down a wee alley at the side.
Great to remember that what is now a series of car parks was once a lively and vibrant wee community.
Added by Graham Mackenzie on 24 August 2006
Can remember the little store right next to the old fire station with my ailing memory. I think it was a fruit and veg store. Anyone else remember it or am I the only oldie here?
Added by Doug Will on 25 August 2006
You are bang on there Harry - Dan Hugh and wife flitted acroos the road and later Willie and Brenda lived there and the cottage is still there. As Ducan mentions it is great how things come back to you - I actually now remember Joey Macrae's paper shop after a bit of thought. I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 years old at the time but remember that it only opened occasionally. I can just remember as a youngster wandering round and thinking "I wonder if the wee shop will be open today?" I couldn't possibly have remembered that without my memory being prodded by this site.
Thanks all.
Added by Graham Mackenzie on 25 August 2006
While on the subject of businesses, I think we have covered all that was on Clyde St, mentioned Dunn the plumber at the East end, and wasn't there a coal merchant at the West end?
Also don't recall too many on Outram St. apart from the fish and chip shop and the blacksmiths.
Does anyone recall a Mrs Egan (spelling?) who ran a children's hour from her home on Outram St?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 25 August 2006
Glad all in agreement now. The lady that ran the newspaper shop was Joey Macrae; she also ran the newsagency at the railway station....
Graham, the cottage you mention - is that the one that Willie Mackay's parents moved to from their old house on the opposite corner?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 25 August 2006
Harry, the coal merchants at the west end of Clyde Street was if I remember correctly ...McBean and Bensons ....and again if I recall correctly (will soon get picked up if incorrect) there was Bremner, Rose and Benson who were originally where McGruthers were down by the old A.N..the coal waggons used to go into the yard from the "Sea View" end..the Clyde street store became more for cement than coal latterly when it all came under the banner of McGruther and Marshall.
Added by Duncan Murray on 26 August 2006
Harry I have just had another thought..did Adam Taylor not have a workshop in Clyde Street before moving up to High Street?..before my time but I am sure it was down past the old fire station on the same side of the street...someone will be able to correct me I'm sure..
Added by Duncan Murray on 26 August 2006
Harry..was Joey Macrae not related to Madge who was Bobbie Fairs mother?? I know Bobbie and his Mam stayed in the Prefab in Outram Street...did Joey not stay in the corner house where Outram Street meets Bank Street?? The house I mean would have backed onto Hec Macrae's garden..not 100% sure on this one ..can you recall it?
Added by Duncan Murray on 27 August 2006
Joey McRea was related to Bobby Fairís mother but the people who lived on the corner with Bank St were the Darlings. Joey lived in the house next door I thought. Hec Mcrae lived down on the road below Outram St, right on the corner with the end of Bank St - or am getting people mixed up?
Added by Doug Will on 28 August 2006
I remember the house on the corner that you mention being occupied by a Lottie Clark (?) who had a son named Bartell.
Doug, you are correct with location of Hec Macrae's house though it was on the corner of Bank St and Hugh Millar.
Duncan, yes Joey was the sister of Madge.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 28 August 2006
Harry, I think the Clarks were in the big yellow house opposite where Joey McRae lived.
Added by Doug Will on 29 August 2006
Yes Harry & Doug, Lottie Clark (known as the Evie Clarks) lived in the house on the corner over the wall from us. She had a few sons. Rossie still lives in Inverness and Bartle is somewhere in England. She also had sons called Raymond and Charles who both died many years ago. Joey Macrae lived opposite the Evie Clarks. Next door to Joey there were 2 brothers Rod and Mike(?) Macdonald. Heck Macrae's garden backed on to Mrs Evie's garden.
Added by Catherine MacKenzie(nee Clark) on 29 August 2006
Thank you Catherine, I knew that you would know. I remember the 2 brothers you mention, one had the nickname "Itchy-Coo" why? I do not know....many locals had peculiar nicknames and this is one of them.....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 30 August 2006
My Grandfather owned this shop. He married Aimee Durez, a Swiss lady who was a governess at Invergordon Castle.
Added by Vanda Hardy (Zawinski) on 26 January 2008
That's really interesting, Aimee Durez is my great great great grandmother. Aimee Smith was my great grandmother!!
Added by Tammy Hudson on 09 April 2014
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