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The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon High Street
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon High Street

Mackenzie’s Newsagents and Tobacconist. The date of this picture is unknown.
Picture added on 17 April 2004
This is the site of the school organised by the Free Church. It is on the south side of the High Street, at the western end. The lane on the right is School Lane. Does anyone know whether any elements of the old building used by the school still exist?
Added by Malcolm McKean on 04 July 2004
Judging by the boy in knickerbockers, this dates probably 20's 30's..Mckenzies closed in 50's and became Strachans...Reference to the cottage in the lane, this was demolished and I remember a prefab being there and being occupied by if I remember right Anna and Boyan, Boyan was badly crippled up due I believe to being in the sea too long during the war, last name could have been Cameron...There was 3 prefabs set up in Invergordon, this one and 2 between Outram St and Clyde street. They were only supposed to be temporary and were to be taken down in 10 years, but know they went longer than that..I missed one, there was also one on King Street between Outram St and Clyde St, occupied by the Mctaggarts....would be interested to know if Library has any pics of these prefabs..
Added by Harry O'Neill on 29 September 2004
Harry, there were also a number of prefabs in Joss Street. I am quite sure that they were erected in the 40's.
Added by Nesta MacDonald on 07 October 2004
Yes Nesta, you are correct there were prefabs on Joss St, but we were part of the Outram Street -Shore Road gang, we weren't allowed on enemy territory Ha...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 07 October 2004
My God! The Shore Road & Joss Street gangs - I thought I was the only person who would remember this.
Strachans was the first shop to install a slot machine outside (Beech Nut Chewing gum, halfpenny a packet). The novelty was so great that there were always queues of boys waiting their turn to buy.
Added by Bill Geddes on 24 December 2004
Hey, you forgot the Police Station gang. The McPhails, and myself. We used to lie in wait for the Shore Road gang behind the wall around the police station garden.
Think it was Boyen Cameron who lived in the prefab beside Strachan's.
I used to live three doors down from Strachan's, in 32 High Street. Now I'm in Houston Texas.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 17 February 2005
Hi Eddie. Yep, remember incidents around that area, but we were terrified of Sgt Mcphail. I'm sure you remember what he was like...we sure get around eh typical scots, free, you in the excited states, me here in Canada and others scattered all over, but still remember Inver-g...and we always will fondly..
Added by Harry on 18 February 2005
I don't remember a Police Station Gang but Sgt McPhail was an imposing figure in the town. In a sense he played the role that people would like the Police to fulfill nowadays. Everybody was frightened of him and even minor crimes like riding a bike without lights were pounced on. In those days I had a hazy understanding of the difference between fact and fiction and Sgt McPhail always seemed to be a dead ringer for the policeman who was always chasing "Oor Wullie"!
Added by Bill Geddes on 20 February 2005
Remember Sgt. Mcphail and, as you say Bill, was an ""imposing " figure!! alright. Was great mates with his son Ian, and many the skelp I got over the ear from him, for being where I shoudn't be. He nicked my brother Colin for giving me a crossie bar on his byke and without lights. I was terrified I was going to Jail - cost my brother 5 shillings. His son Ian went into the RAF police.
The lane beside Strachans was where I traipsed up and down to school from Clyde Street - when they could get me to go.
Added by Daniel Macdonald on 20 May 2005
Hello Eddie, are you Margaret Taylor's son? If so, I knew your grannie very well, as she was a great friend of my mother, Mrs Andrews of Ness Cottage (Clyde St).
Remember Sgt Mcphail - we used to say to each other "ABC (A Bobby Coming)" if we were sliding on the ice on the High Street. When I was Town Clerk's secretary, he used to pop in and I got to like him well, as a grown-up.
Bill - are you Willie Geddes or his son???
Added by Jet Andrews (Robb) on 16 June 2005
We used to have some great slides, long and fast...I remember the one on the sloped pavement by the Municipal building on the High St and of course there was always a few on the school grounds..There was a lad named Percy and he was bald but wore a cap...he would go sliding by and one would pull off his hat, then listen to him bellowing until he came to a stop.....sliding had a short season due to the mildness in winter at Inver-g....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 16 June 2005
Eddie - delighted to hear from you, though I'm terribly sorry to hear about Margaret. I remember her and your mother very well. Your grannie, Mrs Andrews and Mrs Fowler always had lots of laughs about the WI meetings, which they were a part of.

That was Mrs Hall who lived next door, and her husband was the school janitor in my day. He was responsible for chasing up any truants from school and was very severe! As a child, my daughter was amazed that she could reach the roof of the house, it was set so low into the street.
Added by Jet Andrews (Robb) on 17 June 2005
Hello Jet. No I am Jean (Etta) Trotter's son. Margaret, who just passed away, was my aunt. I remember visiting your mother's house regularly with my gran. I knew she was one of your mother's best friends and the two of them were part of the "tea lady" brigade at all the local functions. What was the name of the lady who lived in the little cottage attached to Ness Cottage and in the same garden? I remember the walls in her living room were covered in clocks.
Yes, Sergeant Mcphail was a bit of a character, but he sure kept the peace.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 17 June 2005
Hello Jet. I am the son of Willie Geddes. My dad died over 30 years ago in Invergordon Hospital.
Harry, I well remember Percy, thankfully I was never involved in the constant torment the poor boy had to suffer at every playtime. His cap was frequently snatched from his head and thrown from boy to boy.
I can remember feeling sorry for him at the time but I was far to wee to do anything about it.
Added by Billy Geddes on 19 October 2005
I can't stop laughing! I never thought of my Grandfather as "imposing". It's been great to read what you all got up to! hahaha My grandfather was Murdo Macphail but sadly I never got to meet him as he died from a massive coronary in 1959. I've heard loads of stories from my gran - Edith Macphail, a fine looking 88 year old! I am Christine Macphail's daughter Jane. Uncle Ian is down in England along with my Uncle Malcolm. I'm going to put them in touch with this site. Thank you for sharing those memories. I would be eternally grateful if anybody has other photos of my Grandad Murdo. Thank you and take care.
Added by Jane Morrison on 16 February 2006
Jane, if your grandfather Murdo was Sgt Macphail, there was no time for taking pictures, as he usually sent us on our way quick like..but that's what he was supposed to do in his position...I remember him showing me the cells one time and asking me if I would like to spend the night there - I might have been 10 or 11 years old....I got the message..
Added by Harry O'Neill on 18 February 2006
I have considered whether "imposing" was too grand an adjective and decided I was right! Sergeant McPhail (to a wee boy) was a collossus who straddled Invergordon. Every time I was tempted to break some minor law his image loomed up in my mind's eye and I went the lawful way. I seem to remember he also took Sunday school classes. I am not religious myself but I now see this as evidence that he was a true community copper - something they bang on about today as if it is a modern idea.
Added by Bill Geddes on 18 February 2006
Hello Jane. I remember your Grandfather, while he was the Sergeant at the Invergordon police station. I used to play in the cells with your Mum and your two uncles, shows how much crime there was in Invergordon. We also used to get up to a lot of other mischief. I also remember your Grandmother and also your Great Grandmother, she was confined to bed in the upstairs front room of the house. We used to go upstairs to spend some time with her most days. I've got a couple of photographs of your Mum and myself in the back garden at 32 High Street, when we were young. Please say "Hi" to your Mum and Grandmother, also to your uncles Ian and Malcolm. Do you live near Invergordon? I'm now happily married, with two grown up sons, and living in Houston Texas.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 18 February 2006
Hiya Eddie! This is fantastic that you guys have these memories! I will most certainly pass on your good wishes Eddie, thanx. My Mum and Gran remembered you right away Eddie. I emailed my Uncle Malcolm and he said the "Black Snakes Gang" sprung to mind - would that be right? He said it sounded more menacing than the Police Station Gang! hahaha.. My Mum had me and a little sis, Uncle Malcolm married and has 3 kids, Uncle Ian married and has 1 son. I have also had 3 kids so Gran Edith has 3 great-grandchildren! In fact - I have to add this - Gran is a Ross County Football supporter and discusses all the footie news with my oldest son - not bad for an 88 year old! We all live in Glenrothes, Fife, while Malcolm and Ian live in England. I'm so glad you are doing well and happy Eddie, best wishes to your family in sunny Houston - freezing here - and keep in touch. Take care from Jane.
Added by Jane Morrison on 19 February 2006
Hiya Harry and Bill! I can imagine my Grandad towering over you Bill and I probably would have gone the lawful way too! hahaha.. Yes he did do Sunday School classes too. Like you say, I wish there were more of the likes of my Grandad nowadays. I remember my Gran telling me that one day Uncle Ian wouldn't eat his semolina - Grandad was having none of this - so he promptly took the bowl and poured it over my Uncle Ian's head!!! Needless to say, he ate everything from then on and never complained! My Gran was delighted when I told her about this site and recognised some names. Maybe with my help she will add a comment. Take care and thanx again.
Added by Jane Morrison on 19 February 2006
Hi Jane, I remember your Grandfather well. He very often told me off, and my friend Amelia (Muckle) for knocking at doors and running off, particularly Madame Anne's in the High Street. He even put us in the cells for a wee while to teach us a lesson !!!!!!! Your Uncle Ian was in my class at school.
Added by Rosalie Samaroo nee Graham on 22 February 2006
Hiya Rosalie! Great to hear from you. I've told Uncle Ian and Uncle Malcolm about this site so hopefully you all might hear from them soon. I think I would have been terrified in the cells!!!! hahahaha.. What a thought! I REALLY wish I had known my Grandad Murdo but it's great to hear all the memories from you guys and what you all got up to - even if you got into trouble! haha.. Take care and thanx again, keep in touch!
Added by Jane Morrison on 28 February 2006
Well Rosalie, we all knocked on doors and ran...but an even better one was the sewing thread tied to the letter box one. We always picked an upstairs house with a window on the landing so we could see the person going up and down the stairs. We would sit a backyard away and pull the thread knocking the letter box, then watch as they came down and opened the door, seeing nothing going back up the stairs again and when we saw them in the window we would pull the thread again, down they came again..Usually took them about 3 times before they twigged, then the yelling would start. All good fun - there was no telly back then....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 March 2006
Hello Jane, I remember your family too and myself and my husband met up with your uncle Ian when we were all stationed on Penang Island Malaysia 1967/69. My husband Ken Walton passed away March 2001. I wonder if you could pass on my kind regards and I'm sure that your uncle could tell you a few tales about our time out there!! Thanks.
Added by Jane nee Fraser on 27 February 2007
Jane, I forgot to mention previously that your Grandad, Sgt. Macphail was very good at amateur dramatics. I remember one show he was in when he "starred" with, I think, Ena Gordon. No doubt someone will put me right on that one. Tell your Uncle Ian that I send my regards, please.
Added by Rosalie Graham now Samaroo on 28 February 2007
Hey Ladies! That's fantastic! Yes, my Gran Edith told me that he liked to do the Amateur Dramatics. I'm really sorry to hear about your Husband Jane, I will let my Uncle Ian know and I will pass on your kind regards and for Rosalie also. It's always great to hear from you guys and I love hearing what you all got up to! Haha..Take care, lots of love, Jane.
Added by Jane Morrison on 04 March 2007
Hi, I now live at this address. I wonder if anyone would have any pictures of the inside or outside whilst being used by the Free Church? It would be great to find out more about my dwellings!!!
Added by Mrs Nicolson on 23 April 2007
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