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The Invergordon Archive

Castle Road at the Church of Scotland
The Invergordon Archive
Castle Road at the Church of Scotland

A colour postcard showing the road before it was widened. It was the left hand side of the road that received all the changes although the wall on the right hand side has long since gone.
The date is a guess although the white car approaching looks like a Ford of the 1950s. When did yellow traffic cones first appear?
Picture added on 12 September 2004
I can throw a little light on the date for this. The House on the right was where I grew up. We moved there in about 1971 and one of the first things we did was remove the old high hedge at the front of the house and replace it with the low wall you can see in the picture. Therefore I would say this was about 1971 - 72. The traffic cone also helps to date it and the old car was just a red herring. And just for trivial info the bedroom window you can see was mine till my sister moved out and I got a bigger room!!! lol
Added by Stuart Taylor on 04 March 2007
This photograph reminds me of a couple of things. I was christened in this church in 1949 by The Right Reverand Dr Fraser, who was minister there for many years and I also remember singing there on quite a number of occasions as a 1st/2nd year soprano soloist, under the watchfull eye and ear of Ewan Stewart, whom I thought was a great character and ranked alongside Jock Watt as one of my two favourite teachers. I also sang in the choir and in a trio with Edmund Stainke and Leslie Millham, who also lived in Kildary at the time. I think it was "We Three Kings of Orient Are" we performed, not only in Invergordon Church but also in others around Easter Ross. My memory of the house on the right was that it was owned pre Stuarts time by Dr Auchterlonie, another great character and a very well liked and respected G.P. Indeed I was up visiting my mother in Kildary this week-end and she was expressing her tremendous liking for Dr Auchterlonie and the faith she had in him. Of course she doesn't believe any of the current-day doctors can hold a candle to him.
Added by John Fraser on 04 March 2007
I think the house that Dr Achterlonie occupied is next door to this one. It's the one that has all the wood on the outside (currently painted green) and occupied by Neil Bremner and his family. I may be wrong though!!
Added by Jillian on 19 March 2007
Was the first house not Dr Auchterlonie's and the next one up was occupied by the Donaldson family? This would have been 70s and 80s, son Stuart, daughter Morag. Or was it the other way round??? Jillian, the house you can see in the picture - is that still Mark Shewan the electrician's house?
Anonymous comment added on 20 March 2007
To add to John Fraser's and Jillian's comments, we bought the house from Dr Auchterlonie and his wife as they owned both houses at the time and were selling one after his retirement as the first house in the picture had been used as the surgery before his retirement. I remember his wife was also a character having been deputy rector at the academy and a language teacher. I also remember Ewan Stewart as being the music teacher and the name Jock Watt brings back vague memories. Was he a PE teacher?
Added by Stuart Taylor on 20 March 2007
The first house belonged to Dr Auchterlonie - can remember getting treated there after getting a deep cut under my right eye whilst running around the fair.
Added by Doug Will on 20 March 2007
Remember Dr. Auchterlonie well. He sent me to the infirmary in Inverness then in the evening came down to my Grannie's house (Mrs Mackenzie, Clyde Street) to see how I was. (I had an emergency operation!!) They don't make G.P.s like that now.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 21 March 2007
Stuart - you are correct in that Dr Aucterlonie lived in Red House on the corner of Castle Road and Joss St with the Surgery entrance on Joss St. He then moved to the second house nearest to the church in later years.
I think you are confusing Dr Auchterlonie's wife with her sister who taught History and Languages at the Academy. She was the wife of Donald MacFarlane, the English teacher knicknamed "Lofty" and his wife "Tich"
Added by Graham Mackenzie on 21 March 2007
Yes Stuart, you are correct, Jock Watt was the Head PE Teacher at Invergordon Academy. If I remember correctly Jock went on to fill a senior role with the council based in Dingwall and living in Strathpeffer. I can't remember the job title but it was associated with sport, probably Director of Sport etc. I used to see him fairly frequently at Ross County matches with his brother David Watt who was Editor of the Ross-shire Journal.
Added by John Fraser on 21 March 2007
In answer to the comment posted by anon: yes the Donaldson's did live in this house prior to Mark Shewan - he no longer lives there. Mark and his partner Jackie now live in the South Lodge area - not sure who bought the house after him.
Added by Jillian on 26 March 2007
Sorry to throw cold water on this but if we are talking about the first house in the picture then - yes, Mark Shewan did live there from approx 1980/81 but I reckon that was who we sold to (he was a builder or electrician or similar) and we bought direct from the Auchterlonies in about '71. So am not sure about where the Donaldsons come into the picture I am afraid.
Added by Stuart Taylor on 27 March 2007
I was sure I can remember the Donaldsons staying in the first house on the corner with Joss Street, but may be wrong (as usual!!). I can find out as I still see Morag occassionally as we work for the same organisation. I'll ask her and post her reply when I get it, to hopefully clear things up.
Added by Jillian on 17 April 2007
I recently visited Invergordon and was keen to find a church when I visit my son who has moved to the town. I was on a short visit and was disappointed there was no sign on the church to say when Sunday worship started. My son said perhaps it is removed in the winter months. My family are not church-goers and I was keen to take my grandchildren to church as I do when they visit me. Help!
Added by Barbara Halliday on 31 October 2008
Ach almost 7 months late with a reply Barbara but for future reference: Sunday service times at the Church of Scotland on Castle Road are 11.00am and 6.30pm.
Added by MacCoinnich on 25 May 2009
Has Sunday school been changed from 3:00pm? On a warm summer day there was a lot of foot dragging to attend.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 26 May 2009
Both houses were owned by the good doctor in 1955. At that year my husband did a summer locum for Dr Auchterlonie and we lived in the house closest to the church. Many happy memories.
Added by Kirsty Beveridge on 09 August 2014
Yes I remember the Aucheterlonies owned both houses and generally the upper one was used by whoever was working as his assistant/locum. I think the house was sometimes occupied by Dr Auchterlonie's sister in law and her husband "Lofty" MacMillan.
Added by Bill Geddes on 21 August 2014
All in our house went to Dr Robertson, except my grandfather who remained loyal to Auchterlonie.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 August 2014
Enjoying this stroll down memory lane.

A little bit of whimsy about Dr Auchterlonie. Visits to his cosy fireside was happily shared with a tiny field mouse, a nightly visitor cheerfully preening and interacting with his/her host without the slightest concern with our chattering. Shades of James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small).

As I remember both of the Doctor’s abodes were surrounded by trees. We were very young (Laddie you’re too young to be a proper Doctor) so, after dark navigating through the tall timber darkness from gate to front door could be tricky, add to that the constant swooping and diving of tiny bats and all that ‘twas missing was spooky music! Loved every stumbling dash for cover! Invergordon , a great place to live and a braw introduction to the joys of General Practice.

Slainte Kirsty
Added by Kirsty Beveridge on 24 August 2014
Dr Auchterlonie was a bit grim but very professional, we tended to treat him like royalty which in an Invergordon way he was. Today I wonder what he thought about the introduction of the NHS.

Added by Bill Geddes on 24 August 2014
Hi Bill, your friend with the hairy hands was Macfarlane not McMillan. McMillan was (Betty) class next to Titch.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 August 2014
I keep getting it wrong Harry! Whenever I see joke rubber hairy hands in novelty shops I think of Lofty. He didn't look or behave like a teacher and was probably one of the best that I encountered at school. McMillan was the bloody Prime Minister!!!!
Added by Bill Geddes on 25 August 2014
I walked along this road many times in my youth. I lived to the right of the Church in the Oil Fuel Depot where my father was Chief Engineer.
Added by Nigel on 16 November 2015
Going back to the First World War I believe my parents first met leaving a service at the Church. My father had been invalided in France and my mother was either a telephone operator with the navy or a nurse. How I wish I had asked more questions when I could. Does anyone know if Cameronian Scottish Rifles were treated in Invergordon Hospitals for war wounds?
Added by Kathleen Coyne (nee Law) on 20 May 2016
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