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Reflections of Ross-shire, 100, 50, 25 and 10 years ago


By SPP Reporter


A tranquil scene of dinghies on the Abhainn Ghlas, above the bridge at the Old Inn, Flowerdale. Picture courtesy of Gairloch Heritage Museum
A tranquil scene of dinghies on the Abhainn Ghlas, above the bridge at the Old Inn, Flowerdale. Picture courtesy of Gairloch Heritage Museum

100 Years Ago -

Friday, 20th October, 1916

FLOOD and storm at Strathbran – In common with other parts of the country, we experienced the full force of the floods and storms of the past fortnight. Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning of last week, the whole Strath was one vast sheet of water, from the railway viaduct to Dosmuchern. The Achanalt bridge, which was demolished by the autumn flood of 1915 is well nigh completed. The travelling public have every reason to congratulate the District Committee of the County Council in being so fortunate as to give the contract into the hands of such capable men as Messrs Mackenzie and Macleod, of Strathpeffer and Conon Bridge respectively. Owing to the skill with which the cement and stone have been handled by these workmen (writes a correspondent) we can almost describe the bridge as an impregnable structure, combining the solidity of a railway rock tunnel with exquisite masonry. Unless unprecedented circumstances occur, it is destined to last for centuries.

• Dingwall Picture House – The film authorised by the Government, showing the wrecked Zeppelins was one of the clearest and best topical pictures ever shown here. The pictures were taken close to the wrecks, and show every detail, including engines, gondolas, and propellers. Along with this was shown the usual programme, which was longer than usual.

50 Years Ago -

Friday, 21st October, 1966

WHAT should prove a popular innovation has been started at the comfortable and commodious Conon Hotel, in the holding of weekly dinner-dances on Saturday evenings. One of S.M.D.’s best-run establishments, Miss Noreen Garvie, its manageress, feels that people of the area require such an opportunity for getting together on a Saturday evening. Last Saturday’s function proved an outstanding success. Soft lights and sweet music (the latter being provided by the Melotones Trio) help to give the functions the night club atmosphere.

• “Reid the Grocer” has decided to call it a day! On Saturday, with much regret, after a life-time of service in the grocery trade, and for almost fifty years proprietor of the quaint olde-worlde shop in Dingwall’s West End, Mr Alex. D. Reid, Seaforth Gardens, is retiring. With young and old, Mr Reid was a very well-liked personality, and was a mine of information. When business was slack and the customer’s time was his own, a pleasant quarter of a hour could be spent in his company discussing this and that political situation, a local problem, or just gossip. Other times, Mr Reid would perform a trick or two and many youngsters were amazed at his sleight-of-hand on occasions, and hurried off home to figure out the puzzle for themselves. Best wishes for a long and happy retirement are extended to Mr Reid and also to Mrs Reid, who assisted him in the shop latterly.

25 Years Ago -

Friday, 18th October, 1991

PRINCE Charles may have been a quarter of an hour late arriving in Dingwall for the National Mod, but no one was caring. The fact he was here set a right royal seal of approval at the start of a week that will surely be remembered long after the last note had been sung or played, and the final flag had been taken down.

The High Street was lined with hundreds of spectators, from near and far, who had soaked up every inch of space an hour before the arrival of his Royal Highness.

• MR George Murray, who died suddenly at his home, 4 Macdonald gave a lifetime of service to the Railway in the North, and was based at Dingwall Station for all of his career, which closed with his retirement a few years ago as Platform Foreman.

George, who was happily married to Mecca Black, was a popular member of the Dingwall Branch of the Royal British Legion, and supported Ross County whenever the opportunity afforded. He enjoyed company, his quiet, gentle humour being appreciated by a large circle of friends.

10 Years Ago -

Friday, 20th October, 2006

AN Easter Ross railway station has been turned from a local embarrassment to a source of civic pride thanks to a £115,000 boost that put it back on the right tracks.

And according to the group that helped co-ordinate the re-vamp, the project is one of many helping to transform the face of Tain.

Improvements to Tain Railway Station included a new waiting shelter, CCTV cameras, painting of the building, construction of flower beds, the introduction of an information noticeboard and the creation of a disabled access.

They have been overseen by a partnership involving Tain Initiative Group (TIG), the Highland Rail Partnership, First Scotrail, HIE Inverness and East Highland and HITRANS.

• Marine Hotel won the first trophy of the season in the Easter Ross Darts League when they defeated Fearn Hotel 5-1 in the Invergordon Social Club Shield final last Saturday.

Colin Thompson threw the winning dart for Marine, and team-mate Stevie Mitchell hit a maximum 180.



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