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Reflections from Ross-shire's old files 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago

By SPP Reporter

Gaelic teacher Morag Ann MacLeod with her pupils outside Ullapool Leisure Centre in May, 1997.
Gaelic teacher Morag Ann MacLeod with her pupils outside Ullapool Leisure Centre in May, 1997.

100 Years Ago

From the Ross-shire Journal of Friday, June 8, 1917

A PRIVATE of the Black Watch pleaded guilty in Dingwall Sheriff Court on Tuesday to stealing a watch. The military authorities, it was stated, were prepared to take him back to join a draft for the Front, and Sheriff Harvey said in view of the facts, he would admonish and dismiss him, the man giving an undertaking to keep out of further trouble.

Invergordon News – An iron cross, as won by German officers, is on view in Provost Macdonald’s shop window. The Provost did not receive it from the Kaiser, it was picked up by OSM Mackay, and brought home.

Mr Sutherland, Hilton, has drawn the attention of the district committee to the public pump at Hilton, which has been broken, and the public were suffering considerable inconvenience. There was a mania, he said, for breaking pumps, and Provost Maitland suggested referring the matter to the police. Mr Bone said the area should be made into a special water district.

Mr William Gammie, blacksmith, Garty, who has taken up the tenancy of Caplich, Alness, was presented with a purse of money (the equivalent of the long forgotten gold) on the occasion of his leaving a district where he was the friend and helper to all. Mr Garrow, Polnicol, did well the honours of the presentation, and Mr Meldrum and others said many pleasant and deserved things to Mr Gammie.

75 Years Ago

From the Ross-shire Journal of Friday, June 5, 1942

KESSOCK Ferry, of which Ross County Council and Inverness Town Council are joint proprietors, is being operated at an appreciable loss, and a proposal to increase fares has been met with opposition by residents in the area served by the Ferry.

It was revealed at a meeting of Inverness Town Council that there is a bank overdraft of £1500 or thereby. Alternatives to any increase are to take the steamboat off the ferry and revert to a motor ferry service, or, so far as Ross-shire is concerned, to form the Black Isle into a Special District for the purpose of a special assessment being levied on that area to meet the loss. Another suggested alternative is that the combining authorities should lease the Ferry.

Foulis Castle gardens, Evanton, by the kind permission of Lady Munro of Foulis, will be open to the public on Thursday, 11th June, under the auspices of Scotland’s Garden Scheme, and in aid of the Queen’s Institute of District Nursing. There will be a wonderful show of rhododendrons, an old-walled flower garden and a vegetable garden. The hours of admission are 2pm to 6pm, and the admission, 6p.

There will be shown at Dingwall Town Hall and Fortrose Drill Hall, next week, two feature films of outstanding merit. “The Saint’s Vacation” is an exciting story of how the “Saint” saves a valuable invention from falling into foreign hands. “Too May Girls” stars Lucille Ball, Richard Carson and Ann Millar.

50 Years Ago

From the Ross-shire Journal of Friday, June 9, 1967

THE youth parade in Dingwall last Sunday was one of the largest seen for many years, and favoured by bright, sunny weather.

Assembling at the Tulloch Street car park, and headed by the smartly turned out pipe band of the local branch of the British Legion under Mr Duncan Sutherland, the various youth organisations made a colourful and orderly spectacle as they marched along the High Street to the service in Castle Street Church.

There they were addressed by the Rev Malcolm Buchanan, MA, who is also chaplain to the local Boys’ Brigade.

The parade, led by Mr Harry Kebble, Captain of the BB, was composed of Boy Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys’ Brigade and Life Boys.

On Tuesday an Army bomb disposal team from Scottish Command blew up a further batch of drums of flame-throwing fuel, which had been buried in the Dingwall district during the war. The operation took place on the beach at Evanton.

Not very long ago Fortrose Town Council purchased the old drill hall in Cathedral Square. It was thought that a local museum might be set up there, but now the hall is once again up for sale, and it is understood that the council is selling it at a price fixed by the district valuer to the Church of Scotland, Fortrose.

25 Years Ago

From the Ross-shire Journal of Friday, June 5, 1992

THE smiles are back on the faces of primary pupils at an East Ross school following the return of one of the two bird boxes cruelly stolen from them last month.

And along with the bird box has come a letter of apology – from the culprit!

But the good news does not end there, for after the story appeared in the Ross-shire Journal, the children of Scotsburn Primary School, Lamington, Kildary, were given a further two boxes, kindly made by retired teacher Mike Talbot. The stolen bird boxes had been built by the children under his supervision.

Conrad Chin, whose home is at Gate Lodge, Muir of Ord, is one of the fencers selected for the Great Britain Men’s Foil Team in the Olympic Games which open in Spain at the end of July. At 24, he’s the youngest man in the team.

The other three Scots, Donnie McKenzie, Fiona McIntosh and Julia Bracewell have done well enough to fence in both individual and team events. This means that 50 per cent of the British individual men’s and women’s foilists and four of the combined team of 10 are Scots, the highest proportion ever. The major credit for this must go to the Scottish national coach, Bert Bracewell. The two men, Donnie McKenzie and Conrad, are based in Edinburgh and get regular lessons from Bert.

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