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TITLE
J W (Dick) MacKintosh Remembers Inverness
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_COURIER_INTRODUCTION
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF IMAGE
1983
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
J W (Dick) MacKintosh
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
37735
KEYWORDS
stories
J W (Dick) MacKintosh Remembers Inverness

The following extract is the introduction to 'Inverness Courier - an index 1920-1939' compiled in 1983 by J W (Dick) MacKintosh. The index is available at Inverness Reference Library. It has also been added to Am Baile's online Newspaper Index.

'Long before I retired in September 1980 I had a notion that I would like to read through the Inverness Courier at least for the period between the wars. This arose from the great affection for my native town instilled in me by my father, who himself was a born Invernessian.

In my boyhood we had Sunday walks, usually with a purpose - to watch town housing development, to see what was going on at the Canal, the Harbour, the Islands, the Bught, Torvean, Kessock Ferry, and in fact any part of the Town where activity or development was taking place. The various parts we visited were contrasted with the way he knew them as a boy himself.

My father was very much a boy's man, and his cooperation was never wanting in the construction of bogies, catties, slings, catapults, kites - anything which represented a carryover from his own boyhood. He himself learned to swim in the triangle enclosed by the Canal Banks and the railway line at the Carse. This was always a very dirty area in my time, but he claimed it once was quite suitable for swimming, and safe.

However hard up were as a family, 3d was never wanting for entry to the Baths in Montague Row, where I learned the art. By today's standards these baths were unbelievably filthy, but to me they were heaven. Their closure in 1927 was to me a major disaster. Thanks to bikes, my colleagues (the tougher ones) found swimming in the sea at Screeton, Alturlie, and Bunchrew, the river at the Bught and Ness Castle weir, and the Canal at Burnfoot, and most dangerous of all - the basin at Muirtown. The canal claimed quite a few swimmer victims.

The early years of my reading covered the Great War, a time of misery in Inverness as throughout the whole country. The territorial system of recruitment for the army ensured that Inverness boys were slaughtered en masse. In the convention of the times their widows went into black from head to foot, a constant reminder for years later of war.

There was a great eruption of rejoicing on 11th November 1918 to mark the end of that holocaust. In Inverness the town and church bells pealed, there were flags on public buildings and houses, the schools were closed, and the people flocked into the streets. Men from the Rose Street Foundry and the railway workshops marched through the streets in their working clothes, waving flags and singing joyously as they went. In the afternoon the American band and the local pipe band played through the streets, cheered in every step they took. In the evening there was a firework display from the Castle Hill, and dancing on the Exchange to melodians, around the Forbes Fountain.

The La Scala was showing "The Better 'Ole." The Music Hall had forward advertising for Cavaleria Rusticana, Lucrezia Borgia, Il Trovatore, and Faust at prices from 8d. to 3s. Gas pressure was reduced owing to shortage of labour and inferior coal. John Mirtle, Baker intimated that owing to the breakdown of his car, he could not deliver bread.

The car age was being born. Macrae and Dick, the pioneers, alone advertised cars for sale. They were then agents for Ford. The age of electricity was also being born. The Common Good Committee of the Town Council considered a remit to report on the advisability of lighting the town hall by electricity. Then, as now, roads were a problem. Baillie Macallan said the roads of Inverness would be a disgrace to Turkey. The Highland Railway Company instituted a tremendous new development - they established a Left Luggage Department.

Tom Snowie and Donald Dallas were preparing to feature in Rob Roy, a frequent visitor to the music hall. Millerton House - (Loch Ness Hotel) was available for sale with 35 acres for the sum of £2250. John Stewart was fined 10/- for not having his horse drawn cart lighted at night. There was an epidemic of flu and servicemen were barred from the cinema. Lloyd George's Coalition was elected in December 1919.

The Cave - the toy wonderland of Messrs. A. Fraser & Co., Union Street, was open for business. There was skating and curling on Loch na Sanais. Demobilisation was the word on all lips.

And the Inverness Courier sailed and still sails through times of joy and of misery, reporting on the local scene and touching upon the National when it is sufficiently important to impinge upon the lives of the Invernessians.

I read the Courier in the Reference Library from 1918 to 1939, working mornings over a period of seven months. Only when I reached 1921 did I take notes seriously, and I typed these in the afternoons. The whole work represented quite a discipline while it lasted, especially the typing bit. This was very boring as the results show. I had immense help from my wife Sybille without which I could never have achieved my aim. I was also most fortunate to have had the help of my former secretary Miss Irene Maclean, who kindly typed the Index - the only descent typing in the enterprise. I feel most indebted to both.

On the whole, it was great fun, and I hope it may be of interest to some contemporaries and perhaps future researchers.'

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J W (Dick) MacKintosh Remembers Inverness

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1980s

stories;

Highland Libraries

The following extract is the introduction to 'Inverness Courier - an index 1920-1939' compiled in 1983 by J W (Dick) MacKintosh. The index is available at Inverness Reference Library. It has also been added to Am Baile's online Newspaper Index.<br /> <br /> 'Long before I retired in September 1980 I had a notion that I would like to read through the Inverness Courier at least for the period between the wars. This arose from the great affection for my native town instilled in me by my father, who himself was a born Invernessian. <br /> <br /> In my boyhood we had Sunday walks, usually with a purpose - to watch town housing development, to see what was going on at the Canal, the Harbour, the Islands, the Bught, Torvean, Kessock Ferry, and in fact any part of the Town where activity or development was taking place. The various parts we visited were contrasted with the way he knew them as a boy himself. <br /> <br /> My father was very much a boy's man, and his cooperation was never wanting in the construction of bogies, catties, slings, catapults, kites - anything which represented a carryover from his own boyhood. He himself learned to swim in the triangle enclosed by the Canal Banks and the railway line at the Carse. This was always a very dirty area in my time, but he claimed it once was quite suitable for swimming, and safe. <br /> <br /> However hard up were as a family, 3d was never wanting for entry to the Baths in Montague Row, where I learned the art. By today's standards these baths were unbelievably filthy, but to me they were heaven. Their closure in 1927 was to me a major disaster. Thanks to bikes, my colleagues (the tougher ones) found swimming in the sea at Screeton, Alturlie, and Bunchrew, the river at the Bught and Ness Castle weir, and the Canal at Burnfoot, and most dangerous of all - the basin at Muirtown. The canal claimed quite a few swimmer victims. <br /> <br /> The early years of my reading covered the Great War, a time of misery in Inverness as throughout the whole country. The territorial system of recruitment for the army ensured that Inverness boys were slaughtered en masse. In the convention of the times their widows went into black from head to foot, a constant reminder for years later of war. <br /> <br /> There was a great eruption of rejoicing on 11th November 1918 to mark the end of that holocaust. In Inverness the town and church bells pealed, there were flags on public buildings and houses, the schools were closed, and the people flocked into the streets. Men from the Rose Street Foundry and the railway workshops marched through the streets in their working clothes, waving flags and singing joyously as they went. In the afternoon the American band and the local pipe band played through the streets, cheered in every step they took. In the evening there was a firework display from the Castle Hill, and dancing on the Exchange to melodians, around the Forbes Fountain. <br /> <br /> The La Scala was showing "The Better 'Ole." The Music Hall had forward advertising for Cavaleria Rusticana, Lucrezia Borgia, Il Trovatore, and Faust at prices from 8d. to 3s. Gas pressure was reduced owing to shortage of labour and inferior coal. John Mirtle, Baker intimated that owing to the breakdown of his car, he could not deliver bread. <br /> <br /> The car age was being born. Macrae and Dick, the pioneers, alone advertised cars for sale. They were then agents for Ford. The age of electricity was also being born. The Common Good Committee of the Town Council considered a remit to report on the advisability of lighting the town hall by electricity. Then, as now, roads were a problem. Baillie Macallan said the roads of Inverness would be a disgrace to Turkey. The Highland Railway Company instituted a tremendous new development - they established a Left Luggage Department. <br /> <br /> Tom Snowie and Donald Dallas were preparing to feature in Rob Roy, a frequent visitor to the music hall. Millerton House - (Loch Ness Hotel) was available for sale with 35 acres for the sum of £2250. John Stewart was fined 10/- for not having his horse drawn cart lighted at night. There was an epidemic of flu and servicemen were barred from the cinema. Lloyd George's Coalition was elected in December 1919. <br /> <br /> The Cave - the toy wonderland of Messrs. A. Fraser & Co., Union Street, was open for business. There was skating and curling on Loch na Sanais. Demobilisation was the word on all lips.<br /> <br /> And the Inverness Courier sailed and still sails through times of joy and of misery, reporting on the local scene and touching upon the National when it is sufficiently important to impinge upon the lives of the Invernessians. <br /> <br /> I read the Courier in the Reference Library from 1918 to 1939, working mornings over a period of seven months. Only when I reached 1921 did I take notes seriously, and I typed these in the afternoons. The whole work represented quite a discipline while it lasted, especially the typing bit. This was very boring as the results show. I had immense help from my wife Sybille without which I could never have achieved my aim. I was also most fortunate to have had the help of my former secretary Miss Irene Maclean, who kindly typed the Index - the only descent typing in the enterprise. I feel most indebted to both. <br /> <br /> On the whole, it was great fun, and I hope it may be of interest to some contemporaries and perhaps future researchers.'