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Drawing Inverness Townscape Heritage Project to a close


By Val Sweeney

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Sarah James-Gaukroger, David Brown, Gordon Lynn and Colin Lyon with the drawings of businesses in Academy Street, Inverness.
Sarah James-Gaukroger, David Brown, Gordon Lynn and Colin Lyon with the drawings of businesses in Academy Street, Inverness.

Line drawings depicting buildings in an Inverness street a century ago have been presented to present- day business owners.

The images, created by civil engineer Gordon Lynn, mark the end of the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project set up six years ago to breathe new life into Academy Street.

More than 40 drawings, containing unique architectural detail, have been printed, mounted and framed as a lasting legacy.

Mr Lynn painstakingly researched the buildings through photographs and resources held by organisations including the Highland Photographic Archive and Am Baile.

He joined Sarah James-Gaukroger and Alison Tanner from the project to present the first drawings to Colin Lyon, of Craigdon Mountain Sport, and David Brown, of Coyote’s.

Ms James-Gaukroger, assistant project officer, said: “I’m thrilled that we have been able to present these wonderful drawings to the businesses on Academy Street.

“Gordon Lynn’s work has been a great asset to our work as Inverness Townscape Heritage Project, as we set about restoring and preserving the history and heritage of Academy Street.

“Being able to gift these drawings is a very special way to end the project.”

David Brown, owner of Coyote’s, thanked the project and Mr Lynn for the reminder of the building’s past.

“It’s really special to be presented with Gordon Lynn’s drawing of our building and learn some of its history, including that it was once a music saloon,” he said.

Colin Lyon, owner of Craigdon Mountain Sport, was also delighted to have a piece of history for the shop at 25 Academy Street.

“The building was once home to Mitchell & Craig Grocers and Wine Merchants, so it’s nice to be able to honour them and other previous occupiers with Gordon Lynn’s drawings,” he said.

Mr Lynn said: “Inverness Townscape Heritage Project and the businesses and building owners on Academy Street have done some great restoration
and conservation work over the past few years and it’s been an honour that my drawings have been some part of that.

“I hope the drawings will continue to serve as reminders of the craftsmanship of the buildings and the rich and interesting history of Academy Street for a long time to come.”

The project, which started in September 2015, saw £1.75 million in grant funding awarded to help regenerate the street including the restoration of buildings plus the reinstatement of traditional signage on shop fronts.


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