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Reflections from Ross-shire: A dip into the old files of the Ross-shire Journal from 100, 50 and 25 years ago; HMS Natal sold to salvage firm; derby clash between Ross County and Caley takes toll on Jubilee park; Balintore fishers are rescued by Invergordon lifeboat

By Hector MacKenzie

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Natal salvage deal struck

From the edition of February 18, 1921

It is reported that the wreck of HMS Natal, which lies in the Cromarty Firth, has been sold to a salvage firm for a sum of less than £1000.

The wreck, which lies on its side in the mud, with the starboard bilge keel showing above the water, will be raised during the summer. It is a condition of the sale that any bodies which may be found will be buried on shore.

The funeral took place last week to Rosskeen Churchyard of Mrs Mackenzie,

the widow of the late John Mackenzie, painter and stationer, High Street, Invergordon.

The native of Tain took a delight in performing deeds of kindness in her own quiet and unostentatious way, and will be missed by many.

She was a devoted member of the UF Church congregation like her husband, who predeceased her by eight years.

Derby clash takes its toll

From the edition of February 19, 1971

The unsatisfactory state of the road leading to the Jubilee Park, Dingwall, was referred to by Provost Robert Macleod at this month’s Town Council meeting.

The Ross-shire Journal reported on disgruntlement with damage caused following a recent derby football fixture.

A large number of cars had used this access road before and after the recent Ross County-Caley game at Victoria Park and its condition was “very bad”, said the provost.

It was agreed to remit the matter to the council’s roads and parks committee to have the necessary work carried out before the commencement of the tourist season.

The burgh surveyor, Tom Smith, said he thought the work would cost in the region of £300 to £400.

The committee is also to look into the possibility of partitioning off the showers in the dressing rooms at the Jubilee, which also serve the caravan park in the summer.

Cockle hunters in a pickle

From the edition of February 16, 1996

Invergordon lifeboat was launched to aid a stricken fishing boat with two crew aboard.

The drama was relayed in a piece headed: “Balintore fishers rescued”.

The Orion, from Balintore, Easter Ross, which had been trawling for cockles, developed engine trouble and broke down three miles east of Gizzen Briggs in the Dornoch Firth, the Ross-shire Journal reported.

The lifeboat took over an hour to sail the 26 miles to reach the 28ft-long fishing vessel, which was lying at anchor. A line was then attached and the stricken vessel was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Portmahomack Harbour.

Lifeboat deputy second cox Danny Coutts told the newspaper that the fishing boat’s crew were cold, but otherwise none the worse for the ordeal.

He added: “The weather was calm. They had broken down at 3am and had tried to start the engine, but found they couldn’t do anything.”

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Records reveal role of poorhouse on the Black Isle

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