Inverness Remembered book charts the city's past through pictures
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Nostalgia isn't what it used to be, as the saying goes, but there is plenty to be found in the newest edition of Inverness Remembered.
The annual publication is now in its 15th edition and, according to its editor, local historian and author Jim Miller, the popularity of these collections of photographs and memorabilia of Inverness in bygone times does not wane.
Jim has been editing Inverness Remembered since volume XI and looks forward to receiving people's pictures of days gone by.
“We are delighted when a new packet arrives in the post or when some come in by email, as happens more frequently now,” said Jim. “We never know what we are going to find inside.
“Quite often it’s a photo of a school class or a sports team, which are all welcome, but we also get images that have captured a moment in the city’s story that would often otherwise be forgotten.”
This year’s collection has pictures of a fire in Margaret Street in 1976 and evocative images of the riverside during a period of snow. There are also images of the demolition of the Tartan Warehouse in Castle Street and the removal of the Three Graces, now happily back on home ground beside the Ness Bank Church.
It can be a long process to turn all these contributed photographs into the final product, from receiving the pictures, researching information for the captions and publishing the book.
Jim usually begins in May or June, asking readers of the Inverness Courier to search through scrap books and photograph albums – though he says he already has a number of pictures which were sent in too late for volume XV and will instead be used in the 2020 edition!
He logs the photographs so that they can be returned to the right people, then categorises them, which is when certain themes tend to emerge, he suggests.
There are some regular themes, including sports teams and school groups, and sometimes unexpected themes emerge too. But Jim says he also looks for images that illustrate a particular anniversary.
Examples of the latter this time round mark the 75th anniversary of the Florians, and the liberation of St Valery-en-Caux, Inverness’s twin town in Normandy, by units of the 51st Highland Division in 1944.
He added: “Sometimes photos are badly damaged or come in the form of cuttings from newspapers. The latter cannot often be used for both copyright and technical reasons – the method of printing in old papers does not make for clear scanning.
“A damaged photo can still be of interest, particularly if it illustrates a particular event, and a little ‘touching up’ is often feasible. Documents, however, can be used – and in Inverness Remembered XV, we have images of the Football Times, the newspaper that used to come out on Saturdays with the day's sports results in the days before television.”
Copies of Inverness Remembered make popular Christmas presents and many are sent overseas to friends and family in other parts of the world. Some people make a point of collecting each volume and Jim hopes they will enjoy leafing through the pages of volume XV as much as all the previous editions.
WHERE TO BUY
Inverness Remembered XV is available now, priced £12.99, at all major bookstores in Inverness, direct from the Inverness Courier at New Century House, Stadium Road and from selected newsagents.
HOW TO SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS
If you have old photographs of Inverness, its people or a particular event, Jim would be delighted to see them. Pictures and documents for possible inclusion in Inverness Remembered volume XVI should be sent to: Inverness Remembered, New Century House, Stadium Road, Inverness, IV1 1FG. Please provide as much information as you can about the photograph – but even if you don't have any details, the photograph may still be of interest.
ABOUT JIM MILLER
Jim Miller came to live in Inverness at the end of 1983 and, after 36 years, considers himself to be on the way to naturalisation! Born and brought up in Caithness, he graduated from Aberdeen University and then went abroad for a while before feeling the urge to return to the north of Scotland.
He has written a number of books on different subjects and contributed the Miller’s Tales column regularly to the Inverness Courier between February 1997 and December 2011.
Among his published titles are Inverness: A History; The Dam Builders: Power from the Glens; The Finest Road in the World: The Story of Travel and Transport in the Scottish Highlands; and The Foresters: The Story of Scotland's Forests.
After Willie Morrison retired from the editorial chair for Inverness Remembered after Volume X, Jim says he was honoured to take over the role and continue the series.
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