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Story of city captured in latest book of Inverness Remembered


By John Davidson

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The Kessock ferry in the days of sail.
The Kessock ferry in the days of sail.

The latest book in the Inverness Remembered series – Volume XIX – is now on sale in the bookshops. Just like the previous volumes in this ever-popular series, Volume XIX is packed with photographs from the city’s story.

In her foreword to this year’s edition, Maureen Kenyon of the Inverness Local History Forum recalls when the book, compiled by then Inverness Courier editor Jim Love, first appeared in 2005. "He probably did not imagine that it would become Inverness’s favourite annual," she writes, adding: "The photographs are a snapshot of our history … for future generations."

The images of course capture memories – of incidents great and small, of city-wide importance and of families, all shared by readers willing to contribute their photos to this annual celebration of what is Inverness.

This year, we have a few occasions to mark – among them, the flood of February 1989 when the railway viaduct was lost; the last group photograph of the Inverness Burgh Police before it merged in 1968 with the county force to form the new Inverness Constabulary; the centenary of the Camanachd Cup final at the Bught; the Northern Counties Cricket Club founded in 1864 and still playing at the Northern Meeting Park; and the construction of the A82 in the early 1930s.

Workers building the A82 along the west side of Loch Ness in the 1930s.
Workers building the A82 along the west side of Loch Ness in the 1930s.

We have included six of Jim Steel’s popular watercolours of street scenes. Jim died in 1998, by which time he had become well known for his custom of setting up easel and painting away, accompanied by his black Labrador.

In the "That Was the Year that Was" section we focus on 2003. There is a section devoted to the harbour and the canal, a reminder that Inverness has an important maritime history.

Last year the Inverness Harbour Trust celebrated 175 years since its founding by Act of Parliament in 1847. And we are happy to reproduce Dr Paul Thompson’s now iconic image from 1990 of two dolphins jumping under the Kessock Bridge.

One photograph of particular historical interest shows a contingent of the Canadian Forestry Corps who were here during the Second World War to harvest timber from Highland forests for the war effort. The picture is unusual in that all the men in it are named.

Dr Paul Thompson’s image from 1990 of two dolphins jumping under the Kessock Bridge appeared in the Courier on November 16 that year.
Dr Paul Thompson’s image from 1990 of two dolphins jumping under the Kessock Bridge appeared in the Courier on November 16 that year.

Sometimes damaged photos or cuttings from newspapers come our way. We use the photos if we judge them to be of particular interest but newspaper cuttings can seldom be reproduced for both copyright and technical reasons – the method of printing in old papers does not make for clear scanning.

We have also noticed how digital images sourced from social media are becoming more common. At times these have been recorded with a resolution that works against much enlargement. Old-fashioned hard images from the days of traditional cameras often have a greater clarity. We welcome all images but would ask anyone sending digital images to check that the resolution is at least 600 dpi.

"I sometimes wonder how many more photos there are out there," said author Jim Miller. "Will we get enough to make up the book? But somehow they keep coming, and it’s never too soon to start rooting in the attic or the store cupboard to find some to send in for 2024.

"We make every reasonable effort to avoid mistakes but we always feel a few have may have slipped past us," he continued, "but we always like to hear about corrections and when possible publish them in the succeeding volume."

  • Inverness Remembered is available in bookshops now, priced £15.99. You can also order it over the phone on 01463 233059.
Clair Pieraccini inspecting parts of a sidecar.
Clair Pieraccini inspecting parts of a sidecar.
The Olympic Torch passed through Inverness in June 2012 on its journey around Britain before the Games in London. Norman Smart captured its visit.
The Olympic Torch passed through Inverness in June 2012 on its journey around Britain before the Games in London. Norman Smart captured its visit.
The Northern Counties Cricket Club won the Senior Knock-Out Cup again in 1986. Back: W.G.A. Jaffrey, G. Scott, S. Bignell, B. Wilson, W.J. Dishington, G. Kitcher (scorer); front: N. Gallacher, I. Rankin, A.P. Borrie, K.D. McCorquodale, R.A. Miller, R. Munro.
The Northern Counties Cricket Club won the Senior Knock-Out Cup again in 1986. Back: W.G.A. Jaffrey, G. Scott, S. Bignell, B. Wilson, W.J. Dishington, G. Kitcher (scorer); front: N. Gallacher, I. Rankin, A.P. Borrie, K.D. McCorquodale, R.A. Miller, R. Munro.

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