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Reflections from Ross-shire - a glimpse back at our old files

By Hector MacKenzie

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Smallpox latest

100 Years Ago

From the newspaper of October 8, 1920

An outbreak of smallpox had been confined entirely to the inmates of the Black Isle Poorhouse, Fortrose, where it originated.

Cases being handled at Nigg Hospital “were more or less on the way to recovery”.

The public health authorities were praised for their efforts.

In Ross-shire, around two-thirds of the crop is still in stook and very wet while a smaller proportion remains uncut, the paper reported under an item headed “Bad harvest weather”. The position was causing some concern “although it is much too early to describe it as critical”.

Rev Finlay Macrae, Plockton, returned from a mission trip to Peru, taking around a month to get home. Dr Helen MacDougall had been forced to resign from the mission on account of ill health.

50 Years Ago

Double wedding

From the newspaper of October 9, 1970

Dornie sisters Irene and Sandra Macrae made history with a double wedding inSt Duthac’s Church.

Irene’s groom was William Kennedy and Sandra’s Allan MacIsaac. The brides’ six brothers and five sisters attended the ceremony presided over by Fr C T Stanley.

British Aluminium’s smelter was preparing to make the carbon blocks through which electricity is passed in the manufacturing. Furnaces were being heated up to the required 1200C. Coke for the carbon blocks was being transported by lorry from the harbour. Butane to heat the furnaces was arriving by train.

The £725,000 Strome Ferry bypass “will probably be greeted by more heartfelt sighs of relief than any other since General Wade opened up the Highlands more than two centuries ago”, the paper reported.

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