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Expert on historic buses in Scotland travels back in time in new book featuring photographs of Highland locations

By Val Sweeney

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A Bedford bus pictured at Whitebridge in 1966.
A Bedford bus pictured at Whitebridge in 1966.

Vintage buses photographed at locations around the Highlands feature in a new book by a retired consultant surgeon.

John Sinclair, who is also regarded as a leading authority on historic Scottish buses, has compiled Wheels around the Highlands and Hebrides.

It includes 50 bus photographs from Inverness-shire to Sutherland and Caithness, Ross-shire to Lochaber, Skye and Lewis, and with explanatory text to match.

Mr Sinclair, who lives in East Dunbartonshire, was born in England and educated in Edinburgh but his father was originally from Strathnairn and as a boy he spent many holidays with relatives at Ardersier.

He later roamed far and wide to photograph buses including times when he was doing locum work in the Highlands and on holidays.

Mr Sinclair, who has revived the popular Wheels Around series of books on veteran vehicles, was a close friend of the original series author, the late Robert Grieves, whom he described as "arguably Scotland’s finest transport historian".

Mr Sinclair, who has previously given a presentation to the Inverness Local History Forum, reckons he has taken at least 250,000 bus photographs.

His collection includes one of Robert Grieves, pictured in 1964 beside a MacBraynes 1949 Maudslay Marathon which is still preserved in a Glasgow museum.

Wheels around the Highlands and Hebrides is published by Ayrshire-based Stenlake Publishing Limited.

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