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The Invergordon Archive

Royal Hotel, Invergordon
The Invergordon Archive
Royal Hotel, Invergordon

After the fire which destroyed the building, the site was occupied by the filling station and Campbell's Garage. The date of this picture is unknown.
Picture added on 17 April 2004
A daughter came home at 4am (after being out at a party. She would normally creep in) rushed into her parents room and woke them up to tell them that the hotel was on fire. The whole family got dressed and went to see the blaze!
Added by Robert (from the museum) on 02 August 2004
As children we loved to see a wedding party come out for photos. The old ladies used to like sitting on the seat in the front porch - it was a favourite with Grandma Clark (Tigh Beag) and Mrs Lottie Clark(Outram Street).
Added by Liz Adam (Askew) on 15 April 2005
When I heard the Royal Hotel was burnt down, I didn't beleive it at first as I had just had my hen night there and my wedding reception was booked for two weeks later. It was panic stations trying to get somewhere else at such short notice, but luckily the Jackdaw (Mull Hall) stepped in and saved the day.
Added by Margaret Sinclair [Anderson] on 16 April 2005
Both my mother and stepfather, Fay and Angus Mackenzie worked here, part-time, as barmaid and barman. Does anyone remember them working here?
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 12 January 2007
It was in the early to mid sixties that they would have worked here as part-time Barmaid and Barman?
Added by Heather Anderson (nee Booth) on 13 January 2007
Any one know who were the owners of the Royal? Was it a chain - as there seemed to be one in every town?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 16 September 2007
Harry, would it not have been owned by the "State"? Always remember the Royal Bar being "state controlled " as were all the pubs in the town..also the SMD (state managed distilleries) having the bottling store just behind the hotel; also remember us boys throwing snowballs at the dinner gong just inside the front door each winter and then Frankie Aburrow would race us up the street..never caught us though.
Added by Duncan Murray on 21 September 2007
Royal Hotel and all of the SMD (State Management District) properties were de-nationalised at the end of March 1972 and sold off to various people/businesses. I don't remember accurately who purchased the Royal although I think it was bought by a group from Aberdeen. The bottling store behind the hotel supplied all of the SMD licensed establishments. I worked there during school/college holidays over the previous 8 years. The Store was managed by Jimmy Clark and also supplied 'booze' to the Legion, Golf Club (next to the Manse on Cromlet Road) and to the newly opened Distillery Social Club in the old REC. I was fortunate to gain the summer holiday job thanks to my Father (same name) who was employed by 'the state' in the Station Hotel, Alness, and prior to this the Novar in Evanton.
Added by David Bremner (Junior) on 22 September 2007
Does anyone remember the fine whisky which the SMD used to bottle? It was called "Old Ross" and was blended from whiskies from all the distilleries in Ross-shire, including, I think, Balblair, Glenmorangie, Dalmore, Teaninich and Ord.
Added by Rod Bell on 24 September 2007
Smd whiskey - I remember it well and I have 1 bottle in my possession. The brand was labelled rare old scotch whiskey and was bottled in the store behind the Royal. In my 8 years working during holidays I was only present once during the blending/bottling process and can confirm some of the malts used. Dalmore was indeed used as were some Speyside brands. The grain content I recall coming from a distillery known as North British, not sure where that was. I'm not an expert on whiskey but was told that a normal blend consisted of a lot of different whiskeys with malt varieties totalling a lot less than 50% of the final 'brew' - in the case of rare old it was absolutely 50-50. The final blend was probably a premium product but I do remember that it was not universally popular in the pubs possibly because it was 'pushed' by the barman since he had to try to sell his quota. I won't dwell on the actual bottling/labelling process, suffice to say, the name nohah springs to mind. The final blend was done in the winter of ‘71/72 after the selling off process of the hotels/pubs was begun. I acquired my bottle shortly before my father's establishment changed hands. Bottle remains unopened and I plan to keep it that way for a while!!!
Added by David Bremner on 25 September 2007
David Bremner - a question - did any relation of yours work on the railway at Invergordon? He was a signalman. This would have been before 1950.
Added by Doug Will on 28 September 2007
Hi Doug. As far as I'm aware none of my relations worked on the railway. My parents moved to Invergordon in 1949 from the Black Isle and I grew up in Elliot Road. My father worked in the Dock Yard for a while. He then worked for Tuach the builders and then got a job with the State Control. He worked in various of their establishments until 1972 when the 'denationalisation' had him pensioned off early. He then stayed on in the Station Hotel Alness but under a new employer.
Added by David Bremner on 29 September 2007
My grandfather worked on the railway in Invergordon in the late forties. His name was Bill Bremner - lived on Outram Street, then Tomich Road.
Added by David Rowe on 29 September 2007
Sorry David B, it wasn't him. Just thought that with the name Bremner it might have been.
Added by Doug Will on 30 September 2007
Hi David Rowe. Yes, that was the time I was thinking about. Can remember when he had a bad accident: he had gone to the north box (Signalbox)and on the way back he fell off his pushbike and landed head first on the railway line. He was pretty seriously injured. Can remember him living on Outram Street in the cottage opposite the Douglas's
Added by Doug Will on 30 September 2007
Yes Doug, that's correct about my grandfather's accident.... had a plate in his forehead after his fall.... he did not keep well after that... lived at 1 Tomich Road.... my family lived in pre-fabs on Joss Street.... my mother was Rae Bremner.
Added by David Rowe on 03 October 2007
Hi Doug and David, I remember Bill Bremner and often used to see him when I went to the Douglas home. Incidentally Doug, regarding a comment you made on a photo of King Street, you are right, there was another butcher on King Street named George Mackenzie. Donaldson the fishmonger took over the premises. I was up home in September and checked it out. The Invergordon Museum is a wonderful place to visit. Could take all day looking at all the exhibits. It is situated behind the British Legion. Well worth a visit and brings back many happy memories.
Added by Rosalie Samaroo (Graham) on 03 October 2007
My husband's mother worked in the Royal Hotel about 1932. Her name was Janet Reid.
Added by Dale Shepherd on 31 May 2014
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