We use cookies to track visitor statistics and personalise adverts. This info is shared with Google. Only use the site if you agree to this. OK, I agree

The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon

Invergordon, looking up King Street.
Picture added on 13 May 2004
Comments:
The sign on the right is for J. McKenzie's, the butchers. However, not so clear is the sign for the Tea Rooms above the head of the gentleman on the right, and another one for ? Rooms further up on the right.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 29 September 2004
In the forties and fifties the butcher shop was "Dalgarno's". Next to this shop was my grandfather's shoe repair shop (William Geddes). The last shop on King Street was "Scottie" Campbell's Bicycle shop. His family lived in a house attached to the shop so this is probably the stone building in the left foreground. I should know as it was here that I used to go to pick up his daughter Mary before going to the Scout dances. Oh happy days! The low building in the middle left of the picture was a community hall used by various groups in the town - Girls Club, drama group, etc. My sister had her 21st Birthday party here in 1957. I would guess this picture was taken before WW1, certainly long before my time but is not greatly different from how it was much later.
Added by Bill Geddes on 24 December 2004
King Street used to be a cobbled street. Is it still cobbled today?
Added by Harry on 29 April 2005
Grahams the chippie was between Dalgarnos and Scottie Campbells. Used to be the first port of call after the dance in Joss Street on a Saturday night.......ahh happy days!
Added by Daniel Macdonald on 11 May 2005
Visited the Caley Bar (hic.) last weekend and I noticed that part of the blacktop surfacing is coming up - revealing the original cobbles. Looks like the cobbles were left in place and surfaced over with a skim of tarmac. It would be good to see that part - if not all - of King Street restored to its former condition if possible.
Added by Kenny MacCormack on 01 August 2005
Right on there Kenny, should be restored along with some of the older buildings...before they are gone too, but don't suppose the Caley will be gone, hope not anyways...my grandfather had his spot there, just as you came in from the Hugh Millar entrance and immediately to the left at the door....
Added by Harry on 02 August 2005
I remember a chip shop opposite the Masonic Lodge in the mid 70s. The woman used to sit behind a curtain, chipping the tatties into a bucket - all you could see was the chips falling between her legs! It was only there for a few years. All that area is now Pensioners' Housing.
Added by Kenny on 19 February 2006
Looking at this pic makes me feel the town must have been very poor at whatever period this was. It could be that this was a pre-Navy period. Does anyone know what the town's main source of income was at that time - farming/ fishing? It looks as if there is seaweed washed up onto the street in which case the harbour could not have been built when this shot was taken - or perhaps there had been a severe storm?
Added by Bill Geddes on 19 February 2006
Surely Bodell's grocery shop was next to Dalgarno's and the cobblers shop on lower side before the chip shop or maybe I'm wrong and the cobblers was on other side of the chippy. Talking about chippies, is the chip shop opposite the Masonic Hall on Outram Street still there? On the subject of King Street, there used to be public toilets there about opposite Bodell's shop and next door to that a printer's shop.
Added by Douglas Will on 19 February 2006
Yes Douglas Boddell's was on the north side of Dalgarno's shop...public toilets were where you say, then new ones were built further up King St opposite Slater's Bakery. I doubt if the chipper on Outram St is still there....Is the Masonic Hall still there I wonder?..I wasn't aware that you worked as a porter, I did also for a couple of years...who do you remember as being on staff at the railway station?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 19 February 2006
Harry I can remember Old Jimmy and young Jimmy McKay. They were both signalmen and the younger (Bongie) trained me as a lamp man doing the really high signal lamps on the north side of the railway bridges. I also used to go to Foulis station once a week to change the lamps there; it seemed the stationmaster there was scared of heights. I also remember one called Dick - canít remember first name - used to go out with his Daughter. The office staff were a lady clerk, name forgotten, and two ticket clerks - one was losing patches of his hair and the other one came from just outside Perth. Were the two railway delivery carts still there with the horses when you were there? One of the drivers - the younger one - was ex-navy. I remember one night going down to the catcher on the end of the platform for an express train going to Wick and he didnít pick up the tablet correctly. We couldnít find it anywhere until the train eventually returned to the station and we found it on the top of one of the covered wagons - rather frightening I can tell you. I was just beginning training as a porter signalman when I got called up for the army. When I finally finished with the army, didnít fancy going back to the railways as everything had changed for the worse. It was bad enough changing from LMS to BR. Canít remember any of the staff in the goods yard - even had a spell down there. Do you remember the long siding below the Bullís Hill, the rails still had the bullet marks left by the German bomber which hit the tank.
Added by Douglas Will on 20 February 2006
Thanks Douglas, I too went to Foulis and often wondered why the station master there didn't do the lamps himself, you have answered that for me.... Yes, remember the long siding. Remember Bongo...did you get to work the "key" machines also?...it was a good job but didn't pay very much..... It was Jimmy Dick the other signalman ...Yes I remember going from horses to motorised - driver was Harry Gordon then... I understand the station is derelict now.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 20 February 2006
Yes Harry, I worked the key and tablet machines; also worked in the northern signal box and helped to polish up the handles of the signal levers. It was a heinous crime to pull the levers without the use of either gloves or a large piece of cloth as the sweat from your hands rusted the metal.
Can anyone remember the train being derailed by the bridge next to the church? - must be round about the 1946 time.
Added by Douglas Will on 21 February 2006
Chippie opposite the masonic lodge was Harry Green's. Harry used to always wear a white coat in the shop and if I recall correctly stayed at the top of Munro Street ...corner with Joss Street..never saw him without his bike...
Added by anon on 21 February 2006
Yes Ronald, I remember now, he was called McGillvary (chipshop owner).
Added by Douglas Will on 22 February 2006
Hello Ron, you are correct about Harry the chippie.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 22 February 2006
Yes Ronald - definitely Harry MacGillivary. I remember he used to make the biggest chunky chips I have ever seen, looked like a single tattie quartered. The other thing I remember was his opening hours were very irregular, seemed that he opened as and when the feeling took him. His wife helped out - I remember she had really thick glasses.
Added by Graham Mackenzie on 22 February 2006
I thought the Outram Street chip shop owner was Harry MacGilivray (or some variation of that spelling!).
Added by Ronald Stewart on 22 February 2006
Is my father's shop there? Not in 1900 but maybe 50 yrs later. I moved from Invergordon to Plymouth in 1953, aged 5, when my parents separated. My father William Munro had an electrical contracting business, not in the High St. Maybe there are more photos of the back streets. I was 5 when we moved but I do remember starting school, there was a rail bridge near it. I have been back for very brief visits in 1969 and 1994, but saw no trace of my own brief history there except our council house above the town. I remember a cafe and a toy shop called Nonny's or similar.
Surprisingly the views from my school in Plymouth were similar to those from Invergordon, with RAF Air/Sea Rescue boats on the water as at Alness.
Added by Alasdair Munro on 19 April 2006
Alasdair, I am afraid there will be little or no trace of premises previously occupied by your father. The building Eddie refers to on picture #409 was demolished and a new Employment agency (dole office) built on the site. The premises behind the old Gabriel shop on High Street were also demolished when the Gabriel frontage became a furniture shop with large showroom behind. Even the furniture shop has gone to be replaced by a hardware and gift shop.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 20 April 2006
Hello Alasdair. Look in top 20 favourites High Street and Ben Wyvis - picture #409. I remember your father having an electrical workshop in the shop on the west side of the lane to the right of the first car on the street. I also remember him having a workshop in a side street behind Gabriel's on the east side of the High Street; and I have a feeling that I remember an electrical workshop in the wooden buiding on the left side of the picture above. It's a long time ago, so I may be wrong about the last one.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 20 April 2006
I too remember the electrical shop re: picture #409 - to the right of the first car as described by Eddie Trotter. The lady who worked in the shop was the mother of Christine Hollinson who was in my class at school.
Added by Anne James now Anne Bridges on 20 April 2006
Eddie, I think you are wrong about the building. This picture was taken years before that. As can be seen, King St at the time talked about, would have been cobbled. The only wooden building I can remember there was a Printer shop and it was opposite side from Dalgarno's butcher shop and next to the toilets.
Alasdair, the RAF rescue and other motorboats were mostly moored alonside the first pier. The control building was between the first pier and the ferry slipway and behind it was a small repair shed for repair of the small flare path boats. Along with the rescue launches were other boats used to ferry the aircrews out to their seaplanes.
Added by Doug Will on 20 April 2006
Thank you Eddie, if you could name the street I might come and have a look next time I am up there.
Added by Alasdair Munro on 20 April 2006
Hello Doug, I remember you and your brothers well. Like I said, it is a long time ago, so I may have been wrong about the shop on King Street. Yes you are correct about the cobbles, I remember them. The wooden building on the left changed hands several times, and I can remember it being a printer's shop, and was it not a photographer's for a while? I still have a feeling there was an electrician's there a short time before the printer's.
Alasdair, I cannot remember the name of the lane; maybe someone who reads this can remember it. It was beside Gabriel's, opposite what used to be the Bone Mill.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 20 April 2006
That seems a fairly charitable explanation of the name. I was aware of aunts but cannot remember one called Susan. I was only 5 yrs old when I left, and most of the aunts and uncles I knew were in Devon and of Irish origin.
Added by Alasdair Munro on 21 April 2006
Bill, I think you are right. Willie O'Hell was so called because he always said that when something went wrong or whatever, and I think he was Willie Munro!
Ronald, was Esk Lane always called that? I don't seem to remember that name!!
Anonymous comment added on 21 April 2006
Alasdair, there is no sensitive way of putting this but it seems possible that your father had the nick-name of "Willie O'Hell". This is discussed elsewhere on this site as no-one seems to know the origin of this nickname. As you are probably aware, such names are very common in Scotland (I had one myself) but very often the reasons are lost. Do you have any idea? Just to ensure I have got the connections correct you will have had an Aunt called Susan!
Added by Bill Geddes on 21 April 2006
The "side street beside Gabriel's" quoted by Eddie, is known as Esk Lane. ( I had to go and read the sign to remind myself today!).
Added by Ronald Stewart on 21 April 2006
Yes I remember Harry Greenís/Macgillivray, a changed allegiance from Roddy Grahamís, as his chips were so good! But as was said, his opening hours were very haphazard. He had 2 daughters, I think, and his eldest married John Ross from Barbaraville, and they lived in Harryís house in Munro Street - think they got divorced eventually.
Hi Douglas, where is your brother Gordon now? - if in touch, say Hullo from me.
Added by Daniel Macdonald on 22 April 2006
Bill, you are right; Susan Munro was a very good teacher. She was one of the teachers who came with us to Alness everyday for our half day's schooling. At end of term and Christmas time she always had a present for all the pupils in her class. Can remember some of us took her bicycle, stripped it, and hung it up on one of the trees along the road from the school. Can anyone remember the concrete air-raid shelter outside the school close to the Headmasters house and the shelter in the field beside the secondary school? It was a deep trench with wooden walls and seats and was covered by more wood with earth piled on the top.
Added by Doug Will on 23 April 2006
Alasdair, Susan Munro (universally known as "Suzie") was Willie Munro's sister. She was a Primary School teacher and lived alone in a tin-roofed cottage at the back of Invergordon, in an area known as Tomich. I believe she was a perfectly competent teacher but had certain eccentricities which sadly led to people (and pupils) not taking her too seriously. She had bright red hair which was accentuated by very liberal use of white face powder. Her red hair may have been due to Irish connections but Invergordon always had a fair proportion of ginger tops!
Added by Bill Geddes on 23 April 2006
Hi Daniel. Brother Gordon is now living in Boston, Lincolnshire. He came down to Devon for my wife's funeral and we had a good old natter. Will let him know that you are asking after him.
Added by Doug Will on 23 April 2006
Bill, I remember her as Aunt Georgie, with red hair and white face, though I did not see her after 1953. My mother said she was a noted giver of recitations.
Added by Alasdair Munro on 24 April 2006
Hello Doug, was that shelter up close to the railway embankment?
Added by Eddie Trotter on 24 April 2006
Don't remember the shelter Doug, but I do remember the concrete building next to the canteen. When I was very young it was used as a workshop by Polish soldiers. From what I can recall they used to make items out of rafia for selling. I guess this was their only income. I can remember them being very friendly and they used to like the kids coming in to see them after school, I suppose they were homesick and missed their own families. Innocent days!
Added by Bill Geddes on 24 April 2006
No Eddie, it was in the field on the south side of Joss Street, adjacent to the secondary school between the Drill Hall lane and the next lane up - can't remember the name but we used to call it Maccies Lane. Can remember a very old lady lived at the end nearest the High Street. If a bomb had landed anywhere near it there would have been a disaster as the roof would have just collapsed but being kids at the time we never thought of that happening.
Added by Doug Will on 25 April 2006
I noticed a mention above of Gabriel. He had a fairly large shop on the High St. He must have been extremely near-sighted as I remember him having really thick glasses. Also remember him driving a large car, a Bentley maybe?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 March 2007
We lived near Gabriel's shop and I must have made hundreds of visits to buy a twopenny Lyons icecream (considered to be superior to Walls and Eldorado in those days). He was a short balding jewish man, a bit grumpy, and his shop always had a pungent aroma of Wills Whiffs as he always had one on the go. He also stocked packets of 5 Woodbines and Turf cigarettes; 8 old pennies a packet I seem to remember. I used to buy them there on the occasions when my father's fags were not available (after 50 years the truth is out!).
Added by Bill Geddes on 26 March 2007
Hi Bill, I guess that is why I frequented Gabriel's shop too, packet of 5 woodbine...Things are coming back to memory now, he used to actually bite the coins, because his eye-sight was so bad or to check to see if they were real...I preferred Woodbines to Turf..do you remember the car he drove?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 28 March 2007
No, I don't remember the car Harry. The only really posh car I can remember was the Minister Dr Fraser's Rolls Royce (at least I think it was a Rolls.) I certainly remember Willie O Hell's place at the back of Gabriel. In the days when radios had to have liquid batteries we used to take ours round to him to top it up with acid or whatever.
Added by Bill Geddes on 28 March 2007
Gabriel occupied the premises at 131/133 High Street, presently occupied by SER Supplies Ltd., engineering supplier and ship chandler. For a long time in between, it was a household furnishings and carpet shop.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 28 March 2007
I did not come into real contact with King Street until 1959 when spending my embarkation leave with my Grandad Jimmy and Grandmother Bunty Munro. I remember she used to get dressed up every morning to go to the bakers on King Street, which was all of 10 yards from the front door of the house 23 Outram Street, on the corner of Outram St/King Street. The house was later demolished and toilets built in its place. I returned to Outram Street in April 1963 following a stint with the Army in Kenya by which time my Grandad was bedridden and spent his day beside the open window of the house talking to everyone who passed by - he was the biggest gossip in Invergordon. I was born in Invergordon in 1940 at 18 Clyde Street but left in 1944/45 to go to live in Stoke-on-Trent. I have returned several times since then to visit my Aunt and cousin who still live in Invergordon. I also remember the chip shop on the left going up towards the High Street. It was where I tasted my first (of many) black pudding sausage.
Added by Michael McDonagh on 01 October 2008
Harry is correct about Gabriel biting coins to test for their genuineness. I can remember being in his shop one day when a mechanic came in from Taylor’s or Munro’s Garage. He paid with a coin which was covered in some sort of sticky goo.
Gabriel was quite upset and kept asking what was on the coin. I can remember feeling sorry for him as it seemed such a nasty thing to do.
Added by Bill(y) Geddes on 03 October 2008
Michael, I remember your grandparents very well. I was friendly with Yvonne Hillis and used to visit Jimmy and Bunty a lot. They were always very welcoming.
Added by Catherine MacKenzie (nee Clark) on 06 October 2008
I thought Bunty Bell used to live in 21 Outram Street as we lived next door to her. Our house had a corrugated iron roof. Next door to us lived the Rosses Christine, Ronnie etc. We moved from there to 8 Shore Road and the Rosses moved to the top end of Joss Street.
Added by Doug Will on 09 January 2009
Yes, Douglas, Bunty Bell lived on the corner of Outram and King Street. These two houses were vacant for a long time. I don't recall your house ever being occupied.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 10 January 2009
No Douglas Will, Bunty and Jimmy lived at 23, Outram St which was as Harry said on the corner of King Street and Outram Street. Whem Jimmy was bedridden he used to have his bed beside the dowstairs room open window so he could "blether" with anyone passing by.
Added by Michael McDonagh on 11 January 2009
Sorry, all my mistake. We lived in 21 Outram Street and Bunty and Nancy lived next door.
Added by Doug Will on 11 January 2009
There is reference above of a Bunty Bell. Does anyone remember a Ginger (red hair) Bell?, think he lived up on the High Street by Taylor's Garage.
I remember him diving off the ferry slip one time and losing his trunks. We wouldn't let him back up on the slip, made him walk out onto the beach trunkless. We did eventually throw him a towel.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 05 July 2009
Old memories which are not quite as old as mentioned, however my Dad, Teja Singh, owned the Caley Bar and I do remember Mr & Mrs Campbell rather well. The bar was full of much of the local characters and was a real pub in the community.
Added by Paul on 06 February 2010
Hi Paul... are you still learning how to shoot pool?
Added by Kmmc55 on 06 February 2010
No, I mastered that along time ago.
Added by Paul on 06 February 2010
C.H.Webster had a shop/workshop near foot of King Street early '70s, I worked there as a teenager. I also mind (dimly as it always seemed) Scotty Campbell's bicycle shop - was told some of the ancient bikes/mopeds there were wartime (ww1?), left behind by non-returning owners. Not sure if true but seemed possible. (Not sure if shop would've been there pre ww2 though). On another note - Harry's chips were superb, lard fried I suspect!
Added by Dave Fleming on 18 October 2012
Harry Mcgillvrys chips were good, he had a coal fired range and his wife sat there peeling the chips. Plastic coated cloths on the tables. Someone told me his wife was a sister of Tony's ice cream in Alness.
Added by Liz Taylor nee Askew on 08 December 2012
I remember the electric heater they had in Harry's, or maybe it was paraffin. Harry was a mild mannered man.
I remember Tony's in Alness also. Were they Morganti's or Perecini's? One was in Alness and the other in Tain.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 08 December 2012
No Tony, Junior and 'old' Louis were Simonelli's from Dingwall.
Added by JillianB on 11 December 2012
Thanks Jillian, do you remember Morganti's or Perecinni? I think the latter was in Tain.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 11 December 2012
Harry, you are right Perecinni's was in Tain and Morganti and Simonelli's was the shop I remember in Dingwall. Didn't know that Tony's in Alness were of the Simonelli's from Dingwall as mentioned by Jillian, I do remember Biagi's being linked with Tony's though but what the relationship was I don't know.
Added by Graham MacKenzie on 11 December 2012
Thanks Graham, seasons greetings to you and to all.
May Invergordon prosper.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 12 December 2012
Liz has got it right, Harry's wife Clara was Tony's sister, however some of you are confused as to who Tony actually was.
Tony Biagi and his wife Teresa owned and ran the shop for over forty years until they retired in the mid '70s.
The shop was then leased to Luigi and Renato Belli who retained the shop name "Tonys" until 2007.

Added by Emily Smith (nee Biagi) on 12 December 2012
Sorry I should have been clearer, instead of saying they were Simonelli's, I should have said "off the Simonelli's". Luigi's wife was a Simonelli (I think), her niece Yolanda (Lala) was a great friend of my Mum's in school in Dingwall. Doesn't help clarify much, but another string to the family line.
Added by JillianB on 21 December 2012
Anyone in contact with Scotty Campbell's family? They owned a bike shop. Or does anyone remember the Williamson family?
Added by Chantelle Kingsbury on 05 June 2014
Ian (Scotty) Campbell still has family in the Invergordon area.

Added by Liz Taylor nee Askew on 06 June 2014
My Father's family lived at 12 King Street. He was the youngest of 10 children and was born there in 1932. His parents, Antonio and Angelina Sidonio, ran an Ice Cream Parlour and Fish and Chips. Is the premises still a shop?
Added by Jani Sidonio on 25 August 2014
I've been tracking the Biagi family from Alexandria. From the information on this page and records from Scotland's People I seem to be related to Emily Smith nee Biagi. My grandfather was Orlando Biagi, his sisters were Clara, Eleanor and Irma his brother was Romolo (aka Tony). I would love it if you could get in touch Emily.
Added by Elizabeth Biagi on 24 January 2015
Does anyone remember Mr & Mrs George Macintosh of 7 Shore Road Invergordon, my late grandparents. I played in the above street when on holiday from England.
Added by Kate Webster on 01 March 2017
Yes we lived above them we left in 1957 or 58
Added by Gordon Will on 01 March 2017
Marvellous, what happened to Logan I used to play with him as a child.
Added by Kate Webster on 02 March 2017
Chantelle, I remember the bike shop vividly and spent quite a bit of time with Mr & Mrs Campbell. My father - Teja Singh owned the Caley Bar across the road. I do recall that their niece lived in Alness and worked in a shoe shop there.
Added by Paul Singh on 02 March 2017
Hi Paul, I am researching my family history & the name Scotty Campbell has come up in connection with my Aunt Catherine who lived in Alness. Can not find anyone who knew my family or remembers them.
Added by Chantelle Kingsbury on 02 March 2017
Hi Gordon, I am sorry about Logan, I played with him as a child he was funny and was my mate.
Do you remember my mother Isobel Macintosh she is 91 and in a care home she talks about Invergordon all the time and recalls your family.
Best regards Kate Lincolnshire
Added by Kate Webster on 06 March 2017
Hi Gordon, my mother Isobel lives in Brigg, north Lincs, as do I. She is in a care home. My mother came to England in 1947 I was 2 years old then. We last visited Invergordon 10 years ago.
Best regards Kate
Added by Kate Webster on 07 March 2017
Does anyone remember Mrs Macmillan, Joss Street; I used to play with her granddaughter in the fifties - her name was Annette from Edinburgh.
Added by Kate Webster on 25 March 2017
Please add your comments about this picture using the form below.

Comments


Your Name


Your email address - this will be shown on the page and will allow the system to notify you of further comments added to this picture.




Buildings

Portlich StorehouseChurch Recreation HutMilton, KildaryThe Baking Furnace in the SmelterSaltburn West End looking eastSaltburn West EndHigh Street Aerial ViewThe Fountain with Church in the backgroundNess Cottage, September 1986 before demolitionNess Cottage, September 1986 before demolition