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The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon Academy Primary 1 1954/5
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon Academy Primary 1 1954/5

This is probably Primary 1 and many of the faces are also in picture #664.
Picture added on 25 April 2005
I'm in the middle row far right, next to Hector McDonald in Miss Crystals class: Keith Varnham.
Hector was a wee bully and tough as nails, as well as his brother Donald. Their dad ran the ferry to the Black Isle and Cromarty 4 times a day; cost sixpence I think.
Added by Keith Varnham on 14 August 2005
My P1 class was also taught by Miss Crystal in 62/63. I am pretty sure Keith is referring to Hector MacRae (not MacDonald) who had a brother Donald. A pair of characters, both of whom sadly died several years ago.
Added by Kenny MacCormack on 15 August 2005
Looks like Hector Macrae who also had a brother Donald?
Added by Harry on 15 August 2005
You're right, I meant MaCrae.
Added by Keith Varnham on 16 August 2005
Incorrect info on Hector and younger brother Donald Macrae, both sadly deceased as stated, but their father operated the NAAFI boats Muriel and Catterick, and was also a stevedore and wild fowler, but not a ferryman.
Photo taken in front of the primary school, now subdivided into Cromlet flats.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 19 September 2005
I think there may be some confusion with Ted (the Ferry) Abburow who I believe was a good friend of the Macrae's and also ran a Black Isle ferry.
Added by Kenny MacCormack on 27 September 2005
Ted did indeed run the ferry which sailed between Balblair and Invergordon.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 27 September 2005
Yes you are right Kenny, Teddy Abburow ran the black isle ferry and I think his son George is in this picture; he is in picture #664 for sure.
Added by Harry on 27 September 2005
Looks like my sister Jeanette Geddes third from the right in the front row. She hasn't changed (but bigger!) - now lives just outside Perth.
Added by Billy Geddes on 19 October 2005
What a cheek, bigger indeed!! Yes that's me for sure, I can't believe how many people I remember. Yes indeed, the McRae brothers - what a sad life they had - hope I'm not heading for the demantia club?
Added by Jeanette Geddes-Bremner on 04 October 2009
There are lots of people in this photo I remember - Linda Mckay, Pamela Bryson who lost her mam when she was only 12,13 years old which must have been so devastating for her, George Aburow, Roy Ross and on and on.....
Added by Jeanette Geddes on 19 November 2009
Miss Crystal was horrendous at dinner time. I remember she tried to get me to eat sago pudding and I was gagging on it. I took off and ran all the way home. My mother didn't believe me and marched me back. It wasn't until mam starting working at the school that she saw it all for herself and apologised to me.
Added by Jeanette Geddes Bremner on 19 November 2009
I went to the canteen once in the primary and Miss Crystal made me mix all my veg together with the mince and stood over me until I ate it. I never went back until we were in the secondary in the new school!
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 20 November 2009
Re the canteen: does anyone remember the free milk?. Used to come in the small bottles with the cream at the top. It was always left on the landing by the door in crates.
My grandmother tried having me eat at the canteen, but I always came home for seconds so she gave up...I remember Cathy Macdonald worked there for years, she lived above the Caley..
I always thought the canteen was like something out of Oliver Twist.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 28 November 2009
Prior to the introduction of the 1/3 pint milk bottles, the milk arrived at each classroom in a white enamelled milk jug. It was then poured into yellowish plastic beakers by the teacher. The beakers were probably made of bakelite as this was well before the advent of polythene or melamine.
It was not uncommon to find shotgun pellets in the dish described as "stew" in the canteen, exciting speculation as to the origin of this delicacy.
Added by Gordon Legge on 28 November 2009
I do remember it was a great relief to go on to primary 2 with Mrs Duff. the calmer kinder teacher, then BANG WALLOP onto to pr.3 - the awful Miss Corbett.
Added by Jeanette Bremner on 28 November 2009
Jeanette, I remember Miss Macintosh being in primary 3, then Miss Corbett in primary 4. This would be 1948-50 era.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 29 November 2009
I remember Mrs Duff defrosting the milk beside the radiator in the winter, very kind but warm milk..ugh... Sorry Jeanette, Miss Mcintosh was in P3 as she sadly died just before we went into P3 and we got a new young teacher Miss Mackenzie from Bonar and the following year Miss Corbett had retired so we got Miss Mary Ross, best teacher ever, who sadly passed away in January this year.
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 29 November 2009
Miss Macintosh, did she live just up the road from Nan Anderson, and used to thow the blackboard rubber?

Added by Eddie Trotter on 01 December 2009
The very same. She could frequently be heard from Cromlet Drive as she screamed "I'll murder you boy" when some little angel did not meet the required standards of behaviour in her class. She taught us all (boys and girls) to knit, and most of us produced strips of varying width which could have served as a necktie or scarf at different points along its length. Seemingly knitting was supposed to strengthen little fingers so that we could grip more tightly the terrible wooden pens which in later primary classes we dipped in the porcelain inkwells before scratching across the low grade paper of our old school jotters.
Then into P4 with Miss Corbett. She prepared us for the big bad world by teaching the Shorter Catechism, thank goodness there wasn't a Longer Catechism. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' was my favourite because it was short and easily committed to memory. By the time most of us had learned what adultery was, we had forgotten Miss Corbett had taught us not to do it. Then there was the heating, an open fire at each end of the room if I remember right, which the janitor stoked when we had a break in the school day. When the wind was in the wrong direction the smoke came down the chimney instead of going up!
Terrible times.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 02 December 2009
None other Eddie, she threw the strap too and bellowed "I'll murder you boy"..and other nasties.....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 02 December 2009
Miss Macintosh, or Battleaxe as we used to call her, did live in the lane round the corner from what is now the Job Centre, just up from Nan Anderson. Can also confirm that she used to throw the Blackboard rubber.
Added by John Mitchell on 02 December 2009
Just on the subject of Catechisms (I still don't understand what they are for) my Dad's answer to number one "What is man's chief end?" was "His shirt tail"!
Interesting to note that that Miss Macintosh lived at 43 High Street where the Job centre now is. This is where my Grandfather lived in the 1930s. When my parents married, they too lived here. I believe my sister Audrey was born at number 43.
Added by Bill Geddes on 02 December 2009
Wow! I forgot all about Miss McIntosh. I too hated knitting, used to get my mother to do it when I got home - of course she knew by the neatness that it wasn't me. After the next teacher who was it in primary 5? - was it Miss Bryce - couldn't stand her either. They always had their favourites, especially if they played golf, so I wasn't in there. My father couldn't walk, never mind play sports, and my mother had to work to feed us and pay the bills. The teacher I hated more than anyone was Mrs Cunningham, or Sly Bacon as Graham Mitchell called her, she was a belter bitch.
Added by Jeanette Bremner on 02 December 2009
I remember in the winter when the bottles of milk were so frozen that the tops were sitting on a wee pillar of iced milk. I had such a good laugh at all these comments. Who could ever forget Misses Mackintosh, Corbett, and of course Miss Campbell, the art teacher, who used to bellow " If you've got a seat SIT DOWN. Happy Days????
Added by Rosalie Samaroo (Graham) on 08 December 2009
One of the teachers that was a total crackpot was the gym teacher Miss Horn who used gave you a whack with her walking stick if you couldn't do something she asked. I remember trying to climb that daft rope, and saying to her why don't you try it! I think I got a bean bag chucked at me. Imagine a PE teacher with a walking stick - you couldn't make it up!
Added by Jeanette Bremner (Geddes) on 09 December 2009
I remember Miss Horn being late coming to the gym and someone rang the bell which impressed us kids but brought wrath on us all.....
Merry Xmas everybody and Happy New Year....

Added by Harry O'Neill on 10 December 2009
This series of comments brought back memories. I can still knit (a little). However I am still unable to eat any form of custard after being force fed by Miss Crystal. You could have soled shoes with the skin!
Added by George Mackay on 10 December 2009
Jeanette and Harry, I think we could write a book on Miss Horn!! Do you remember having to learn the country dances for the school dance. How come she never demonstrated them? Probably the walking stick got in the way. She really scared me!!
Added by Rosalie Samaroo (Graham) on 11 December 2009
Our class had her as well, she always wore black including her stockings and little slip on ballet pumps. When I remember the size of the gym it is so amazing in comparison to what kids have these days in schools. It was a big thing when the partioned part of the outer room so girls could change in one half and boys in the other. Navy blue knickers and maroon jerseys or white gym blouses in summer for the girls!
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 12 December 2009
Blimey, it's just dawned on me, I think Miss Horn got married to a younger man but I can't remember what her married name was! He certainly didn't marry her for her looks!
Added by Jeanette Bremner (Geddes) on 12 December 2009
Jeanette, she was known as Mrs Lavens when I had her as a teacher. Don't know where she came from or was she related to the late Vera Lavens' husband?
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 13 December 2009
Sorry, got mixed up, she was Mrs Sangster and then we got a young dark haired PE teacher when Mrs S was off and she was Miss Lavens.
Added by Liz Taylor Nee Askew on 14 December 2009
Yes, I remember her - didn't like her either. She whacked me across the face with someone's gym shoe once when I forgot my gym kit. Some of the teachers were really violent. Jock Watt was like a breath of fresh air.
Added by Jeanette Bremner Geddes on 14 December 2009
Would like to wish all on this site (especially Bill and Rosalie) a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2010. Margaret
Added by Margaret Sutherland nee Mackenzie on 19 December 2009
Thank you Margaret for your good wishes which I reciprocate and also send to everyone on this site and hope that 2010 is a happy and healthy new year for us all.
Added by Rosalie Samaroo (Graham) on 21 December 2009
Hector Macrae still alive and looking very good for his age, good boxer in Cadettes did a lot of boxing in army but Hector still around Donald passed on years ago
Added by Tommy Macallister on 17 January 2018
Crossed in the ferry with we called him Doogul Aberow. Donnie Abarow's dad Steven was a shop steward at Nigg Highland Fabricators.
Added by Tommy Macallister on 17 January 2018
Ronald Stewart please accept my apologies, you were correct on Hector Macrae having passed on, sorry about that I’m recovering from a stroke Ronald and struggling memory getting things right so in my mind it was Hector, but queer what stroke does all, of a sudden out of blue Ritchie Macrae flashed it is Ritchie I meant he is looking really fit hec was the boxer and a good one at that, I see him in Morrisons in Alness now and then, Ritchie must be about 79 80 maybe, I’m 76.
Again to anyone who may have read my initial post sorry.
Added by Tommy Macallister on 18 January 2018
Hi Tommy, I am sorry to hear of your health problem, apology accepted no problem.
Actually the ferryman was Dougal McIntosh up until the early 1950s, then Ted Aburrow took over. Ted had two sons, Steven and George, also a daughter.
Added by Ron Stewart on 18 January 2018
Yes you are correct RonStewart Ted abburow ( dugal) was ferry man in fifties Steven worked in Nigg Same time as me as did George, John Macdonald from Ardross and me got into trouble variably we crossed in ferry with Ted Invergordon to Balblair late getting back sometimes still in Firth we coukd hear school bell oh boy ! Hold out the hands !
Added by Tommy macallister on 17 September 2018
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Saltburn Fund-raising GroupMacGregors supermarketFay Mackenzie and Angus MackenzieReading about the planned closure of the SmelterMy mother at the Royal HotelGrandad Geordie Ross and StyloGeordie Ross and meDon RossGeordie MacKenzie Kathleen MacKenzie and Don Ross