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The Invergordon Archive

West Harbour
The Invergordon Archive
West Harbour

A lovely old tinted postcard of what is now known as the West Harbour. The date is a guess but there are two vehicles on the road at the base of the harbour that suggest that it could have been in the 1930s.
The steps in the foreground are the point from which the ferries to Balblair and Cromarty left. Although there was a slipway to the west of the Harbour, both ferries left from this point during the 1960s according to local knowledge.
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Picture added on 12 September 2004
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Invergordon Ferries
Bernards of Harwich was a Naval Officer's tailoring company which used to open their Invergordon shop when the fleet was in. There was a rival shop further East on the Shore Road. They provided fine made to measure uniforms for the better off on board.....

The Balblair ferry was certainly still running circa 1972 as I can remember taking my girlfriend across with borrowed bicycles for a trip to Cromarty. (The Cromarty ferry was no longer extant).
We had no lights on our bikes and on the way back to Balblair we were stopped by the police. When we explained that we had to catch the ferry back they told us to proceed but with caution...

Added by Bill Geddes on 24 December 2004
Also you can see the tank farm in the background - what year did they get built?
Added by Anon on 30 October 2009
A branch line from the main line ran along the harbour from the bottom of the High Street, along Shore Road, passing the harbour and going into the dockyard. In the fifties this was still in use as there was a steam(?) crane kept in the dockyard which used to be driven out occasionaly to do some work.
The area between the harbour and the dockyard gates was sometimes used by sailors to inflate and raise barrage balloons.
Added by Bill Geddes on 30 October 2009
On the right of the photograph you can see the Bone Mill clearly, but there doesn't appear to be any sign of the dockyard buildings between the railway and the water. Were they built during WW2?
Added by Eddie Trotter on 30 October 2009
Hard to say Eddie, but isn't that the target shed on the extreme right?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 30 October 2009
The Balblair ferry always used to leave from the slipway and the Cromarty ferry left from the steps at the end of the 1st pier on the right.
Added by Doug Will on 30 October 2009
Hi Harry. Yes, I can see the target shed, but do you not remember there used to be some small workshops/offices in the space between the railway and the water? I remember them being pulled down sometime around 1960.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 31 October 2009
I've added a 'Large Version' of the picture so that we can see more detail, although the tinting of the picture is a little misleading!
The roof to the left of 'Bernards of Harwich' has what remains of the 'Rhinds' name which ties up with the comments recorded on picture #266.
As for the query regarding the building of the tank farm, my understanding is that the two tank farms, at Cromlet and at Seabank were built during 1911 - 1913.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 31 October 2009
The large version shows more detail but I am not convinced the name on the roof is Rhind...Rhinds shop was at the corner of King street only a part of the shop is visible ..the name on the roof I would say is Fleming which if my memory serves me was a Plumbers shop?
Added by Duncan Murray on 05 November 2009
Duncan, you're absolutely right. On closer inspection it does say 'Flemings'. The shop sign immediately below says 'A. Fleming & Co.' while the one next door, to the left, says 'G. Bloom'.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 06 November 2009
A Fleming & Co was another Naval tailors and outfitters, based in Portsmouth. It wasn't just fine clothing for officers that these shops provided, but basic uniform items for ratings as well, as space on board ships for cash-clothing, or "slops" as it was called, was very limited.
Added by Rod Bell on 06 November 2009
If memory serves there was also another shop serving the Navy behind Bernards at the corner of Hugh Miller Street and the bottom of Ross Street, however I cannot recall the name.
Added by Duncan Murray on 06 November 2009
Malcolm, is it possible to provide a larger version of picture #266? (Yes Harry, this has now been added.)
Sorry Eddie, don't remember the bldgs you refer to.
I remember the small shed at the entrance to the 2nd pier as shown here, but can't remember it ever being used. Think it was a leftover from wartime.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 07 November 2009
Anyone know anything about G Bloom? - what kind of business?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 07 November 2009
Naval tailors and outfitters, Harry.
Added by Rod Bell on 08 November 2009
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Invergordon Ferries

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