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The Invergordon Archive

First Invergordon Mural
The Invergordon Archive
First Invergordon Mural

The first mural to be created, on the Albyn Housing building in the High Street, was started on Tuesday 20th April 2004. The artist can be seen marking out the artwork on the scaffolding tower.
Picture added on 21 April 2004
This picture is in the following groups
Invergordon Murals
This building was opened in 1954 as a car showroom for Willie Munro's garage business. The workshops were in the buildings behing the Royal Hotel.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 05 July 2004
The bay window on the right hand side with the ladder at it used to be Willie Munro's office. I was interviewed in that very office in 1965 before leaving school in 1966 and going to work in the Tain garage (Tain Motors). I always remember Mr. Munro as the large gent with the big cigar in his Humber Super Snipe. A good boss to work for he was too. He used to borrow a couple of us apprentices at harvest & tattie times to assist o the Hollies. His croft.
Added by Pat Swanson on 20 September 2004
Yes this used to be Willie Munro's showroom for cars...but I remember it as being one of the first places in Invergordon that had television....and we used to congregate there, myself and my mates Willie Mackay, Shorty Mcleod etc etc and gawk in the window in amazement.....The other place we used to gather was Macgregor's Cafe in the High St, they had a juke box there....Is there a picture of this cafe?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 22 September 2004
Mac's Cafe, as I believe it was known, was on the south side of the High Street. From the corner of King Street, you had John G. Boyd (grocers), the Glasgow Wharehouse, and Mac's Cafe - is that right? There isn't a picture, yet(!) of the cafe but have a look at picture #99 and you will see the premises I've been talking about. The buildings have changed little except that the cafe has gone to be replaced by a modern building housing Farmfoods freezer store.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 22 September 2004
To the right of this building wasn't there a small cobbler's business and Gilbert Ross ironmonger (aka Tommy Ross's)? Further down on this side there was another small cafe (not Mac's) which had the first chewing gum machine I had ever seen.
Added by Brian McKenzie on 22 September 2004
That was probably Jamieson's cafe, next to the Commercial pub.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 22 September 2004
Yes you are correct with location of Mac's cafe, but picture 99 is not it as it is on North side of High St
Added by Harry O'Neill on 22 September 2004
Brian, I remember Fowlers cobblers shop but think it was further east, corner where old Shore rd came out onto High Street, you are correct re the Ironmongers shop...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 22 September 2004
Now your cooking, yes Mac's cafe was next to the Commercial bar with alley in between...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 22 September 2004
Brian, can remember another chemists on that side and Bremners Bakery, do not recall a cafe though.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 22 September 2004
I recognise the name Bremner from some Invergordon context but can't think what. Only remember one chemist. You're probably right about the cobbler's location.
Added by Brian Mckenzie on 23 September 2004
I believe the other chemist was Ogilvies? Legge the chemist was on other side of High street by the Playhouse....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 September 2004
The cobbler was definitely on the corner of Shore Road, and do you remember Mr Fowler's little dog that was always sitting in the window barking at passers-by? My grandfather's house, Ness Cottage, was on the corner of Clyde Street as you walked down Shore Road. Mr Fowler was a regular caller; there'd be a loud knock on the back door and a booming "aye aye" as he came in the passageway to the kitchen. The front door of the house overlooking the harbour stood open all day long in the summer, though no-one ever came in that way, and the back door too was unlocked. The cold dark passageway from the back door held a small larder - no fridge for Granddad, and just coal fires and an old range in the big kitchen. On Saturday afternoons, all my great-aunts and uncles came in from Pollo, Balintraid Pier, Milton and Invergordon for a noisy tea, full of laughter and stories. Then on Saturday nights, the men used to go up to the Royal Legion and come back to that kitchen to play darts. My grandfather was the only Englishman among them and managed to keep his Kent accent in spite of living in Invergordon for 70 years, until he was 92!
Added by Caroline Robb on 25 September 2004
Yes I remember Ness Cottage, was it not across the street from my great uncle Hugh Dunn the plumber? I understand that all these homes are gone now....progress I guess...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 26 September 2004
I think I played darts with John Clark (Curly, then) in Ness Cottage tho' I'm sure I didn't register the name. Bought my darts in Nonie Macleod's.
What was the name of the watchmeker/repairer in the workshop up the lane beside Nonie's? Apple comes to mind.

Added by Brian McKenzie on 27 September 2004
Can only recall one jeweller on High Street, and believe the jeweller was a Macintosh, maybe that's where you get Apple from...Does anyone recall the store east of Nonnie's think it was a watchmaker, furniture etc, he had really thick glasses and drove a Bentley...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 28 September 2004
I can only recall Mr Gabriel in a little shop near The Royal Hotel. He sold tobacco, sweets etc.
Added by Nesta Beaman on 28 September 2004
I think you are correct about Mr Gabriel, but the tobacconist was Logan's, tiny little shop..thanks Nesta..
Added by Harry O'Neill on 29 September 2004
I was working for a few weeks in Bremner's bakery during the War when I heard a plane coming over, very very low over the rooftops. It was so low that we all ran out, he swept right down, you could even see the pilot. I ran out of the bakery and saw the swastika on the plane; my mouth dropped open and we couldn't believe it. The boys with the anti-aircraft guns were astonished too and by the time they had put their sandwiches down and got their guns lined up, the plane was off over the Sutors. (This is the time the oil tank was blown up).

I also lost the tip of my finger into one of Bremner's pies - hope none of you got that one by mistake!

And yes, Harry, the Dunn's house was across the road from Ness Cottage. My particular friend was Cathy Dunn and Nana Ross, and we all played together in the open green area going on to the rocks and the pier. Goodness knows how half of us weren't drowned! The houses have gone now - in the name of various schemes which never seemed to get off the ground.

There was a watchmaker called Ross, there for a long time, besides George the Barber. The other watchmaker's nickname was Apple, but he was Polish.

And Brian, John Clark is my nephew - and he's still got curly hair! Will tell him to look at this page!
Added by Jet Robb (nee Andrews) on 29 September 2004
A fascinating re-build of Invergordon from just the Royal Garage photo. Immediately on the left of the garage as you looked at it was Mrs MacKenzie's house "Tootie" as I remember her by-name. She kept lodgers for years. This house was in between the Royal Garage and the Fowler's shop. When I was a boy a man who appeared huge to me called Knox served at the pumps. I too remember Fowler's dog in the shop window.
Added by Graeme Askew on 29 March 2005
Harry, would I be correct in thinking Mac's cafe was originally on the north side (possibly later to become Monica's) prior to moving to the new one you speak of beside the Comm.?
Added by Pat Swanson on 19 May 2005
Pat, I only recall Mac's cafe being on the southside of the High Street...I don't recall any other cafe being in Inver-g on the High St....
Added by Harry on 20 May 2005
Henryk Appel was Polish and rented a small part of our store behind my father, Nonie's shop. He was a watchmaker and he also did the lettering for the Polish monument.

Gabriel's was where SER is now and where Thompson's furniture store was. Does anybody remember Willie o' Hell? He had an electrical shop up the lane from Gabriel's and his sister Susie taught primary 2. All she was interested in was poetry!
I remember buying sweeties in Macgregor's sweetie shop from a tiny little lady. I think her name was Miss Mciver and the shop was roughly where Blythswood is now. She was also across where Etta's was and Buchanan's is now.
There was a jeweller's shop about where Fraser sports is and I think the man was Ross - he possibly moved later to where the labour exchange is.
Added by Noreen Kelman on 31 May 2005
Willie-0'hell, thats a new one on me....the teacher I remember in primary 2 was a Miss Crystal?? - year would be about 1947 - didn't know her first name...
Added by Harry on 01 June 2005
Yes, Noreen I remember Susie ?Munro, the teacher. I seem to remember that she always had a lot of powder on her face. I also remember Willie-O Hell the electrician. I think he got the nickname O Hell because he always said that when anything went wrong.
Added by Catherine MacKenzie(nee Clark) on 01 June 2005
Thanks Noreen, yes Miss Bell was primary 1 and was really old, I think she also taught my grandmother. I would like to have seen this Susie, must have been a sight for sore eyes...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 03 June 2005
Yes, you're right Catherine. Susie had ginger hair and looked as if she'd been dipped in a flour bag. Harry, I think Miss Crystal took over from Miss Bell as primary 1 teacher. I think her first name was Isa.
Added by Noreen Kelman on 03 June 2005
Susie Munroe was the best teacher there was when it came to singing and speech. We always won the cup. She did wear a lot of makeup and I remember the rest of the teachers gave her a hard time. She was in class two and Miss Bell in class one when I went to school. I remember Susie had a hard time keeping control until she opened the piano and got us singing. Miss Bell terrified me, but Susie was a great sport.
Added by Meg MacDonald on 06 June 2005
Hello Noreen. I think you are talking about the sweet shop between Oglivies and Gilbert Ross. My mother used to work there for many years, after leaving Bodell's; she was known to most of the locals as Etta. I remember Willie O'Hell as Robert Kerr and myself used to pester him all the time for parts to make wireless sets. I also remember Miss Bell as having one of the loudest voices I can remember, and also sitting up in the balcony with the rest of our class listening to Susie Munro telling the story of David and Goliath at the flower show in the town hall.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 07 June 2005
Hallo, Eddie, yes, you're right about the shop. It was always known as Etta's, not Macgregor's. Susie was lovely, but Miss Bell, Miss Mackintosh and Miss Corbett were, to put it mildly, pretty intimidating.
Added by Noreen Kelman on 08 June 2005
How could anyone forget Miss Mackintosh, put fear into all of her students year after year. She would throw the strap at you and most times you would duck and the poor soul behind you got it in the face; she also hollered a lot with magnificient pleasantries such as ' I will murder you"...She also taught knitting to boys and girls, and jabbed you with the needles saying "you can do it".
Miss Corbett was strict but still a treat after Miss Mackintosh....smooth sailing after that until you got to the qualifying class and Miss Macdonald (gogglie) ... oh my...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 13 June 2005
My teacher in 1st year higher grade was Miss Gray (probably before your times!). She was one of the nicest teachers I had - everybody liked her. She loved poetry, and passed that on to me.
Added by Jet Andrews (Robb) on 16 June 2005
Harry, I remember Miss Mackintosh vividly - it may seem unbelievable today that a primary teacher would threaten 7-8 year olds with the phrase "I'll murder you boy " but that was exactly the wording and bellowed at full blast - at that age you tended to believe it ! Doubt if it left many lasting scars though - I remember meeting her out of school and she came over as a gentle lady (must have let the image slip).
Miss Corbett I remember as a tall upright lady always wearing a smock and a black beret type hat - firm, authoritative but fair.
Added by Graham MacKenzie on 16 June 2005
Miss Chrystal taught me on Primary 1 for a short time before she left due to ill health I think. She used to give us a sweetie on a Friday afternoon. Those sweeties became immortalised as 'Miss Chrystal sweeties'; they were Oddfellows - a strange sort of choice for small children, thinking back.
Added by Morag Morrison (nee Urquhart) on 06 July 2005
There are many memories, sharp and otherwise expressed here!
On holiday last summer in Chepstow I saw an interesting feature. Outside every shop or office on the main street an engraved tile had been laid flat in to the pavement. The engraving gave the names and nature of business of all the owners or occupants of the building since it had been first built.
The businesses included everything from candlemaker to computer shop and gave an unusual and interesting impression of the community over the years..
An idea for Invergordon perhaps??
Added by Ronald Stewart on 28 September 2005
Starting from King St going east were: Slater's Bakery and good shop, several shops unknown, the McGregor's Cafe, then Commercial Lane, Com Pub, aCafe name unknown, Ogilvie the chemist and Mcgregor's shop, the YMCA lane, Tommy Ross Ironmonger (I used to work there - 1946ish), a clothes shop, then Bremners lane where they had their bakery, a private house, then Bremner's Cake shop, some private houses and then the shoemaker on the corner.
Added by Douglas Will on 15 January 2006
The comments on this pic has my mind reeling in an attempt to remember all the shops. The small sweet shop on the North side of High Street was my next favourite shop after Nonnies. I remember you stepped down into the shop which had counters on the 3 sides of the tiny interior. It was run by a husband and wife who always seemed to be there behind the counter. The shop had a lovely chocolaty smell and I regularly bought 2 ounces of aniseed balls for six pence (old money).
We often took our radio battery into Willie O Hellís electric shop for charging - I seem to remember this being a rather erratic business which did not keep regular hours and you were lucky if you got him in. His sister Susie was not taken very seriously by anyone, perhaps due to her eccentric make up which my father often joked about. She lived in a small "cabin" style house at the back of the town (Tomich?) - I remember it had a red painted corrugated iron roof.
I think Mr Appel had a little shop next to Willie O Hellís. I used to think he had misspelt his own name!
Gabriel seemed to permanently have a Wills whiff in his mouth and his whole shop had a heavy cigar smell. He sold Lyons ice cream and I made many calls here. Gabriel was very poorly sighted, verging on blind.
I have commented on Miss Bell elsewhere on this site. Despite being only five at the time I remember being flabbergasted at an assault she committed on a girl pupil in my class. Thank goodness children are protected (usually) from sadistic teachers nowadays.
Added by Bill Geddes on 17 January 2006
Talking about schools, does anyone remember having to catch the train from Invergordon station at 0900 and going to the school in Alness, doing half a days schooling including a playbreak and then catching the 1150 train back to Invergordon? The reason for this was the fact that the Navy had taken over the top school and there was no room to teach us in the lower school. Our teacher was Miss Munro I think.
Added by Douglas Will on 18 January 2006
Billy, do you remember the tobacconist shop Loganís, very small, but nice smell of the different tobacco? I remember one could get a pack of 5 woodbine there regardless of your age....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 18 January 2006
Hello Harry. Yes the shop I was refering to above was Logan's. For some reason every time I went in there Mr Logan would pull my leg about me not liking Chicken Noodle Soup--weird or what! I think Gabriel also had no qualms about selling ciggies to kids, either Woodbines or the even worse "Turf" brand. We used to joke that they really were made from grass (no, not that grass!) - 8 old pennies for 5.
Added by Bill(y) geddes on 19 January 2006
Audrey, re Buckie see picture #824, re Miss Horn - gym teacher that never did any demonstrations herself.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 09 April 2006
I had Miss Bell, and the others and even got a bible from Susie for Bible studies. Do any of you remember a Miss Horn, PT teacher? - she was as bad as Miss Macintosh, sadistic. The Logans had two children, Bobby and Jennifer, I think. They lived above the sweet shop.
Does anyone remember Bucky? - he was the bin man and boy could he whistle. His horse was the only thing that was affected by the bomb that hit the tank. It was crude oil and the horse got it in its hooves and died as a result . The Rosskeen shore was also ruined. They had a great send of for the horse - the people of Inverg lined the High street to farewell him.
Added by Audrey Geddes on 09 April 2006
Graeme, "Tootie" Mackenzie's House was situated in King Street. At least the front door was there, but the windows of her house overlooked the High Street where the fountain used to be. Her house was above Macgregor's shop. Her lodgers were always policemen. I think her husband was related to Mackenzie Butchers on the High Street.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 13 June 2006
Next to the Comm was a little cafe/tobacconist etc run by Mr and Mrs Jamieson, later run by their son George Jnr (Mort). Next to that I think was a little off-licence when it was the days of the state-control.
Added by Rod Bell on 14 June 2006
That's right Rod, it was run as part of the state control Pubs and managed by a gentleman called Hughie Sutherland. My Grandfather (Jock the Barber) used to pay me half-a-crown to get him a bottle of Rum and a dozen MacEwan screwtops every week .
Added by John Mitchell on 15 June 2006
John, brings back memories. My grannie used to send me to the off-licence to get a small bottle of whiskey (gill?) I would only have been 12 or 13 but no problem getting it..off-licence was located on King Street close to the Caley at that time...no questions asked, just tell them who sent you and what was wanted..
Added by Harry O'Neill on 16 June 2006
Graeme, the house you are thinking about is where the McLeods lived. You know Sonny and his sister Kathleen. I think their dad used to drive the van for Macgregor's.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 16 June 2006
Rosalie, wasn't Kathleen, the ice cream girl, at the picture house for a while? I remember when the lights went out we used to make her giggle...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 16 June 2006
Harry, you are right. Incidentally, Kathleen took over from me as ice-cream girl when I went to Singapore to visit my Dad who was in the R.A.F. After that we did a job share!!!! Good old days. You and your friends used to make us both giggle when the lights went down. Happy memories.!
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 17 June 2006
There was a mural back around 1988/89 but it would not have been very permanent to the elements (I would have been in 5th year at Invergordon Academy). The community council decided to brighten up the High Street in the run up to the Xmas street fayre they were planning and Mrs Young, our Art teacher, and her husband sketched out figures on plywood covering the windows on a disused building across from RS Macolls (can't remember what the building had been). I went down one freezing weekend to help fill it all in and got a lot of funny looks as to what I was doing. We also helped to create a Santa's grotto for the kids around the same time in another disused shop, working with an artist Mrs Young knew but cannot remember his name. Was good fun at the time and a good street fayre as I recall.
Added by Candy Menzies (now Gellatly) on 08 September 2006
Henrik Appel lived in 93 with Mackay Family. The children I remember are Anita, Gerlinde and Heide Mackay. Do you know them?
Added by Walter Wagener on 22 February 2007
Walter, I believe Gerlinde Mackay is married and living in Nairn now. She was married to a Policeman, Iain Bryce, but they must have divorced because she has remarried within the past 5 years or so. I remember Mr Appel very well. He was a lovely man, who pierced my ears for me many years ago!! I only knew Gerlinde, I don't remember the other two daughters. Were they older than Gerlinde??
Anonymous comment added on 23 February 2007
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Invergordon Murals

Plaque for first Invergordon MuralOfficial Unveiling of the first Invergordon MuralFirst Mural finished - right panel detailFirst Mural finished - centre panel detailFirst Mural finished - left panel detailFirst Invergordon Mural finishedHigh Street Mural Panel detailHigh Street Mural Panel detailHigh Street MuralKen White at work on the first Invergordon Mural