We had a great turnout on Tuesday 24th March 2015 for an illustrated talk by Anne Fraser (of the Highland Archive Centre at the Bught, Inverness). Anne was born in the area, and brought up at Borlum, near Scaniport. For years, she has been fascinated by the story of schools, their teachers and pupils in the area bordering the SE shore of Loch Ness. Anne has been able to amass a huge amount of information, including many entertaining anecdotes, and also photographs, regarding these little schools, their characterful staff and the young folk who got their education in them. Adding colour to her descriptions, Anne told us a bit more about past life in South Loch Ness by including some fascinating tales from – for example – the local policemen. Their reports of wartime goings-on, for instance, were rather reminiscent of Dad’s Army. Everyone, of course, has been to school, so there was no shortage of questions and further personal stories from our large audience after Anne had given her talk. Shortly before Christmas, Anne had published the story of South Loch Ness schools under the heading ‘Lessons by Loch Ness’, and several members of the assembled company were glad to get the opportunity to buy a copy. Many thanks to Anne for coming to speak to us on such an interesting and very human topic!
‘Joseph and his Amazing Black and White Pictures’ by David Henderson
Stratherrick Hall, 30th September 2014 at 7.30pm
David’s talk and slide show was preceded by a brief AGM of the Heritage Group. Apologies were given and the minutes of the 2013 AGM approved, along with Frank’s 2013/14 Accounts. Alan had printed his Chair’s Report to save time. Unfortunately we have lost our Secretary, Carol Jones, and so are looking for a replacement. Other new recruits to our small committee are always welcome, and could help boost the activities of the Heritage Group.
David Henderson is an Invernessian, a retired economist and ex-Highland Councillor. A couple of years ago he gave us a most interesting and entertaining illustrated talk on the history of Highland cattle droving. This time round, he was talking about the Joseph Cook collection of photographs of Inverness, fascinating black-and-white images from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Joseph Cook was not a photographer himself, but was a collector of interesting historical photographs of Inverness and its surroundings, taken by a number of photographers whose identities have now largely been lost.
David gave us an extensive show of photographs from the collection, giving a fascinating view of Inverness in bygone times, including perhaps the only surviving photograph of the old stone arched bridge which preceded the fondly remembered suspension bridge, which itself was well covered by a number of views. The Castle and its Jail, Castle Tolmie, thatched cottages in streets such as King Street, leather tanning by the river, the Town Steeple and Town House, the Cathedral and Eden Court (the Bishop’s Palace), and Dalneigh when is was a farm outside Inverness’s built-up area were among the many subjects covered by David’s slide show. He added colour to the monochrome views by adding descriptive comments and interesting anecdotes about many of them.
Alan thanked David for his talk and show, and there were many questions and additional comments from the audience. The evening finished with tea, coffee and biscuits – thanks to Elspeth, Margaret and Morgan for preparing these refreshments.
Watch out for our next event, planned for spring 2015.