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TITLE
Managers of the Station Hotel, Inverness, 1997
EXTERNAL ID
NRM_NBNW_KL_DS080594
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF IMAGE
May 1997
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Chris Hogg
SOURCE
National Railway Museum, York
ASSET ID
20079
KEYWORDS
railway
railways
hotels
Managers of the Station Hotel, Inverness, 1997

Izak Ozmus (manager) and Audrey MacLennan (marketing manager) photographed in May 1997 standing on the main stairway of the Station Hotel at Inverness. Built in the Italianate style, it was opened in 1855 as a station hotel. It is now in private ownership, and in the early 2000s changed its name to the Royal Highland Hotel.

Inverness station, designed by the Highland Railway engineer Joseph Mitchell, was opened for passenger services on 7 November 1855 and goods trains on 3 December of the same year. It was extended by Murdoch Paterson in 1876 and a modern entrance was applied to its frontage in 1968. Colourful plaques inside commemorate the building of the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway, and the directors of that company. The railway station played an important role in the expansion of Inverness both as a commercial centre and a tourist destination.

On 1 January 1948, the British Transport Commission took over several dozen hotels from the private railway companies and rebranded them as British Transport Hotels (BTH). They also inherited the companies' on-railway catering interests: station refreshment rooms and restaurant/buffet services on trains. While many railway hotels were next to major stations, others such as Gleneagles and Moretonhampstead were destinations in their own right, part of a railway company strategy to create demand for its services.

British Transport Hotels (BTH) operated from 1953 to 1983 and the nationalised hotel chain did not expand, and investment in hotel assets was a relatively low priority for BTH. The reason was partly financial, as the railways struggled to reconcile an unsustainable capital structure with falling revenues. As the railway industry itself declined, so the number of railway hotels was also reduced.

The 1980s Conservative government took the decision to privatise the non-core businesses of British Rail (engineering, hotels, property and shipping). British Transport Hotels was sold off piecemeal between 1981 and 1983. Today the hotels continue to operate under a variety of owners.

Background
Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.

'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.

We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:

Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.

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High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
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Managers of the Station Hotel, Inverness, 1997

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1990s

railway; railways; hotels

National Railway Museum, York

North by Northwest - The Kyle Line

Izak Ozmus (manager) and Audrey MacLennan (marketing manager) photographed in May 1997 standing on the main stairway of the Station Hotel at Inverness. Built in the Italianate style, it was opened in 1855 as a station hotel. It is now in private ownership, and in the early 2000s changed its name to the Royal Highland Hotel. <br /> <br /> Inverness station, designed by the Highland Railway engineer Joseph Mitchell, was opened for passenger services on 7 November 1855 and goods trains on 3 December of the same year. It was extended by Murdoch Paterson in 1876 and a modern entrance was applied to its frontage in 1968. Colourful plaques inside commemorate the building of the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway, and the directors of that company. The railway station played an important role in the expansion of Inverness both as a commercial centre and a tourist destination.<br /> <br /> On 1 January 1948, the British Transport Commission took over several dozen hotels from the private railway companies and rebranded them as British Transport Hotels (BTH). They also inherited the companies' on-railway catering interests: station refreshment rooms and restaurant/buffet services on trains. While many railway hotels were next to major stations, others such as Gleneagles and Moretonhampstead were destinations in their own right, part of a railway company strategy to create demand for its services.<br /> <br /> British Transport Hotels (BTH) operated from 1953 to 1983 and the nationalised hotel chain did not expand, and investment in hotel assets was a relatively low priority for BTH. The reason was partly financial, as the railways struggled to reconcile an unsustainable capital structure with falling revenues. As the railway industry itself declined, so the number of railway hotels was also reduced.<br /> <br /> The 1980s Conservative government took the decision to privatise the non-core businesses of British Rail (engineering, hotels, property and shipping). British Transport Hotels was sold off piecemeal between 1981 and 1983. Today the hotels continue to operate under a variety of owners.<br /> <br /> Background<br /> Over one hundred years ago, two of the most picturesque railways in the world, the Kyle line and the Far North line, were built. Linking them to the rest of the UK rail network is the Highland main line. From 1997 to 2003 the National Railway Museum photographed these three lines, and from the images three exhibitions were created - 'Connection to the Kyle', 'By Firth and Flow' and 'The Highland Link'. The exhibitions were hosted on the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) under the digital exhibition 'North by Northwest' which officially launched the National Archive of Scotland site on 5 June 2001 in Inverness. The collaboration with SCAN lasted until 2009 when 'North by Northwest' was transferred to the Am Baile website.<br /> <br /> 'North by Northwest' documents living history and records a snapshot of time in the lives of the people and the lines during the closing years of the twentieth century and the emergence of the twenty-first century. The exhibitions celebrated the impact of the Highland railways on the people, landscape and economy of the Scottish Highlands.<br /> <br /> We acknowledge support from the following sponsors who funded the photographic survey of the Highland main line, the Kyle and the Far North lines by the National Railway Museum photographers between 1997 and 2003:<br /> <br /> Railtrack, Railtrack-Scotland, ScotRail, EWS, Porterbrook, First Engineering, The Highland Rail Network Development Partnership, The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Enterprise, Caithness & Sutherland Enterprise, Safeways, Friends of the National Railway Museum, Perth & Kinross Council, and the Highland Railway Society.