Published: 16/03/2012 23:00 - Updated: 15/03/2012 18:45

A glimpse at the past

A picture of a Dingwall primary school class, possibly in the 1960s
A picture of a Dingwall primary school class, possibly in the 1960s

88 Years Ago...

A NEW drapery/clothier store has been opened in Conon Bridge by Mr Kenneth J Mackenzie.

Fishing on the River Blackwater on March 6 for Mr S J Hope, Mr William Mackenzie landed two salmon weighing 21lbs and 7lbs respectively.

The ss Tiree has been discharging coal at Aultbea and Poolewe, the gift of the Earl of Ronaldshay to his tenantry, who will receive half-a-ton each.

Mr George Maclean, subpostmaster, Tomatin, who is a native of Coigach, has been appointed subpostmaster at Muir of Ord. Mr Maclean joined the Post Office Service at Achiltibuie twenty-four years ago, and has been at Tomatin since 1911. He served in the Great War from 1916 to the end of the conflict. His brother George is stationmaster at Kildary.

Mr A W Fraser of the auction mart, Dingwall (Reith and Anderson Ltd) has been appointed assistant auctioneer with the firm. Mr Fraser came to Dingwall as chief clerk at the Goods Station, but later secured the appointment of cashier with Messrs D Mackintosh and Company, the predecessors of Messrs Reith and Anderson, and has served with them for the past nine years.

Mr William C Mackenzie has retired from the precentorship of Dingwall UF Church after 24 years’ service. To mark the occasion the congregation presented him with a handsome easy chair suitably inscribed. The Rev R Macdonald made the presentation.

Dingwallians were pleased to learn of the success attained by Mr B Primrose, who left Dingwall some years ago and settled in Wanyerei, New Zealand, where he was joined by Mrs Primrose, a daughter of Mr John Macpherson, printer, Dingwall. In addition to doing well in private life, Mr Primrose has resumed playing the bagpipes and has gained considerable popularity as a piper of merit. He is the son of Mr Primrose, Burn Place, Dingwall, a well-known volunteer in his day, and has been appointed Pipe Major of the Wangerei Pipe Band.

HM The King of Spain, by letters patent, has renewed the title of the Marques de Torre Hermosa, in favour of Major A T B Bignold de Torre Hermosa.

The Major served in the late War with the Rifle Brigade, having returned from Somaliland, where he was in the Diplomatic Service.

Mr Donald Duncan Grant, son of Mr Alex Grant, Garbat, received a hearty send-off from friends at Garve Station, on the first stage of his journey to New Zealand. On the outbreak of the Great War, he had been employed in the post office, but being under age he could not join up. However, directly on attaining 18 years of age he enlisted on his own free will, and served in France for four years, where he had some thrilling experiences and narrow escapes.

As a reciter he can hold his own with people of greater pretentions.

At the Children’s Mod in Inverness some years ago he gained first prize for recitation with his rendering of "Am Faightan Gaidhlig Bas", repeating his success the following year.                                  Friday, 14th March, 1924


44 Years Ago...

OBITUARIES: At Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Johan Fraser, aged 79 years, wife of the late Mr W Cameron, and daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Alexander Fraser, Rherevoch, Dundonnell, and Mill Street, Dingwall. At 48 Gibson Street, Kilmarnock, Jessie Keith Sinclair, wife of the late William Campbell, last surviving member of the family of the late Mr and Mrs John Sinclair, Newmills, Resolis, in his 95th year. At 20 Parkhill, Kildary, Archibald MacDonald Denoon, aged 88 years, retired postman, late of Newfield, Nigg Station. Louis Duncan Macdonald, husband of Annie Cunningham, father of Anne, Lochside, Ardgay. Donald Mackenzie, husband of Elizabeth Macrae, late of Torroy, Ardgay. Catherine Thompson, wife of Hugh Macpherson, jeweller, 57 High Street, Alness. Donald Munro, Old Manse, Evanton. At Ardnamara, Rosemarkie, Jessie Clark Sinclair, wife of the late Rev Norman Campbell, Minister Emeritus of Dingwall Free Church, in her 88th year. At 46 Top Street, Conon Bridge, Alexandrina Macdonald, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs John Macdonald, Achmore, Muir of Ord.

Mr A M (Andy) Ross, Rosslyn, Lower Knockbain, Dingwall, did the 11th hole (240 yards) on the Strathpeffer Golf Course in one.

Mr Neil Stewart, MA, Corntown, Conon Bridge, has completed his divinity studies at the Free Church College, Edinburgh, and has been licensed as a Minister. Mr Stewart, who is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Stewart, 8 Corntown, was educated at Killilan School and Dingwall Academy.

Representations are being made by Ross and Cromarty County Council against proposals to downgrade Dingwall Post Office.

Pipe Major John Maclellan, chief instructor at the Army School of Piping at Edinburgh Castle, has been granted the Queen’s Commission as a Lieutenant. This promotion makes PM Maclellan the first commissioned piper in the army. He has also been made director of piping, a new post. Since 1959, when he became chief instructor at the piping school he has held a unique position as the only piper to have the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1. He is well-known in the north as a competitor and judge of piping at Highland Games. For some years he was stationed with the 11th Bn Seaforth Highlanders (TA) at Dingwall.

Over 48 years railway service is the fine record of Driver Robert G Simpson, who took his last train into Kyle of Lochalsh Station on March 1, and received an enthusiastic reception from Mr S Hart, area manager and the station staff. A native of Forres, Mr Simpson began his career in 1919 at Forres, moving after three years to Inverness. Seven years later he was transferred to Kyle, where he has remained ever since. Since 1941 he has been an engine driver and over the years has seen many changes on the footplate, one of the most important being the transition from steam to diesel locomotion. Mr Simpson has played an active part in local affairs, and was actively associated with the railway’s Mutual Improvement Class in Kyle. He was an Elder in Plockton and Kyle Church of Scotland since 1948 and for eighteen years was treasurer. Another of his interests was gardening, and now he has retired his beautiful garden at Heatherlea, Badicaul will continue to delight and refresh the eye of the visitor and neighbours.

Safe Driving Awards have been won by postmen in the Kyle area as follows: R Barclay, Kyle and N Elder, Glenelg (18 years); M MacInnes, Broadford (17); M J Macrae, Killilan (15); K Gillies, Glenshiel (14); K Mackenzie, Carbost (13); D Ferguson, Applecross (11); J Mackenzie, Strathcarron (8); R H Macrae, Kyle (6); C J Mackinnon, Stromeferry (5) and C M Macrae, Kyle (1).

Former Ross County FC players Jockie Clark and Dusty Vass contributed not a little to the Dingwall club’s 2-1 defeat by Nairn County in their North of Scotland Cup tie at Nairn. Jockie was always the danger man with his clever runs and crosses, and Dusty showed he still has a considerable amount of running, power and initiative. An inswinging corner by Jockie gave Nairn their victory when scores were level-pegging with 20 minutes of the game remaining. And then Nairn got the deciding goal. As far as Ross County was concerned Don Macmillan’s absence was greatly felt. Nairn scorers were Steven (44 mins) and Clark (71). John Mackay was the County marksman.

Ross Sutherland Rugby Club’s 2nd XV scored a deserved 8-0 win over Highland 3rd XV at Inverness. Since Ross Sutherland started a second fifteen for the first time this season, the process of building up a side has inevitably been difficult. Incidentally this was their first victory over opponents who had already beaten them. Robin Howie and Dougal Bannerman scored the Ross tries, the first being converted by Stewart Mackenzie.

On Friday, the second week of the Public Inquiry into Ross and Cromarty County Council’s proposal to rezone agricultural land at Invergordon for industry came to its close. The Council’s case was expected to be closed on Wednesday. On Tuesday the Inquiry visited the sites under discussion. The public have been showing their interest in the outcome by their attendance at the Inquiry in the Council Chambers at Dingwall. The proceedings were fully covered by the Ross-shire Journal in a report extending over five columns.

A Ross-shire nurse who has already served in Sarawak and Iraq is soon to be off on her travels again under the auspices of the Ministry of Overseas Development. She is Miss Margaret Catherine Holmes, Drummond Arms, Evanton, who is to join the Government of Malawi as a nursing sister carrying out duties in a ward or department of a hospital, in which she might be in charge.

Miss Holmes is a Registered Fever Nurse, a State Registered Nurse and a State Certified Midwife. She received her fever nurse training at Culduthel Infectious Diseases Hospital, Inverness; her general training at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh; and midwifery training in the Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow in 1957. After service as staff nurse at Raigmore Hospital, she completed a theatre sister course at Kingston General Hospital in Surrey in 1960.

In August 1962 she went to Sarawak as a nursing sister remaining there until March 1966, when she went to Iraq as theatre sister for the Iraq Petroleum Company, serving there until October 1967.           Friday, 15th March, 1968


22 Years Ago...

IN the Post Office General Manager’s Awards for 1989, one of the winners is Mr Billy Cameron, Craig, Plockton, who is workshop manager at the post office garage in Kyle. Billy received the award for his consistently high standards of vehicle maintenance, appearance, and for his services to the local community as a part-time fireman.

Dingwall Bowling Club office-bearers and committee members are: President, Mr Arthur Petrie; vice-president, Mr Roddie Graham; secretary, Elizabeth Jack; treasurer, Isabel Petrie; committee: John Bremner, George Lawson, Gordon Nicolson, Alistair Smith, Fiona Graham, Norman Bremner, Frank Thom, Duncan Adamson, Cath Macdonald and Ann Adamson.

Three firms are in the running to build the new road bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin. Two are Scottish-based and the third is the international group Trafalgar House.

The Scottish companies are Morrison Construction and Miller Construction. A start on the work is expected to be made in 1992 with the bridge opening for traffic two years later. The two existing ferry boats were introduced in 1970 and 1971, and since then the ferry passenger traffic has increased 500 per cent – cars by 215 per cent and commercial vehicles and coaches 43 per cent. The Government has given approval to the ferry operator, Caledonia MacBrayne, to purchase two new 36-car ferries costing £4.5 million to serve the Kyle-Kyleakin route until the bridge is opened in 1994.

The Rev Clive Henry Clapson, assistant curate at Hawley, Camberley in the Diocese of Guildford, has been appointed Rector of St Ninian’s Scottish Episcopal Church in Invergordon. Mr Clapson, who is 35, and married with two daughters, succeeds the Rev Canon Peter Edwards, who left the Diocese for an appointment in Wales last year.

Ross County FC’s Highland League match with Buckie Thistle at Victoria Park, was cancelled because of ground conditions. There is every likelihood the fixture with Forres Mechanics will suffer a similar fate. As a result of postponed fixtures there is every possibility the season will be extended by a fortnight.

Caberfeidh Shinty Club travelled to Inveraray for their Camanachd Cup first round replay, only to discover weather and ground conditions had put paid to the fixture.

Linwood Sports Centre was the venue for the finals of the Royal Bank of Scotland Quaich Badminton competitions for primary schools. The winners were the Mile End Primary School, and the runners-up Craighill School, Tain, who presented a most accomplished performance against the best players in Scotland in their age group.

The Ross-shire Schools Under-16 and Over-16 Badminton Championships were held at Alness Academy. Results: Under-16; Girls: 1 Fiona Boyd, Tain; 2 Gail Ross, Tain. Doubles: 1 Fiona Boyd and Gail Ross; 2 Nicola Sweeney and Stacey Simpson, Alness. Under-16 Boys: Singles: 1 Gary Cairns, Alness; 2 Murray Maclean, Dingwall. Doubles: 1 Gary Cairns and Steven Clarke; 2 James Afrin and Darren Fraser, Tain. Over 16: Girls: Singles: 1 Kerry Adams, Alness; 2 Susan Kennedy, Alness. Doubles: 1 Kerry Adams and Susan Kennedy; 2 Donna Bain and Caroline Wilson, Alness. Over 16 Boys: Singles: 1 Tony MacLauchlan, Invergordon; 2 Nathan Small, Alness. Doubles: 1 Nathan Small and Robert Marsh; 2 James MacGoran and Blair Meikle, Alness.                                                  Friday, 16th March, 1990

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