Dingwall Folk

Dingwall Community Collage
Dingwall's first fire brigade (date unknown). Alexander Frazer, blacksmith, a member is recognised by his grand-daughter, Miss Alexandra Frazer, Edinburgh.  [Photo DMT]

Provost Mitchell, donor of the area which became Mitchell Hill cemetery.  [Photo DMT]

Alexander Henderson, Provost of Dingwall 1912. Father of the late Melven Henderson.  [Photo  DMT]

Provost Robert ('Bob') Macleod [Photo source unknown]

4th Seaforth Highlanders at Dingwall Station 1914.

Dingwall Thistle FC 1913-14  [Photo DMT]

Nurses, Red Cross 1932-33.
Back row, l-r:  Miss Munro, West End PO;  Helma McCallum, Betty Cameron.  Front row, l-r: Hetty Duff, Lizzie Duff, Lily Macrae (nee Grant).  [Photo DMT]

E Stenhouse (no date or details) [Photo DMT]
Mr Sestilio ("Joe") Simonelli at the front of Morganti and Simonelli's shop, on High Street, in 1923.  This was formerly the Post Office (note clock) and was adjacent to the Masonic Hall, later The Picture House.  [Photo DMT]

Famous People       Click to view


Dingwall Folk throughout the years.

Many photos in this section are courtesy of Dingwall Museum Trust. 

William Ewart Gladstone, MP and Prime Minister.  [Photo DMT]

Mr and Mrs Gladstone.  [Photo DMT]

Dingwall YWCA or YMCA picnic, 12 June 1918, at Kilmaroch.

Post Office staff (date unknown).   Second right, William Macdonald;  third right, his son Hector.  [Photo courtesy of Mrs Ane Gordon and DMT.]

Tommy Wilson  [Photo courtesy of Roy Wilson]

Tommy Wilson outside 'The Picture House'.  [Photo courtesy of Roy Wilson]

Tommy Wilson came to Dingwall in the 1930s as a tap dance and rollerblade instructor.  He gained the name of "Tommy the Rink".  Later he became the projector operator at The Picture House and, when it closed, a telephone switchboard operator with the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board in their office based at the foot of Church Street.
This newspaper cutting of 8 January 1935 reads:  A contestant during an interval at a ploughing match held at Humberston Farm, Dingwall, Ross-shire.  Almost springlike weather prevailed.

GPO staff 1940s.  Jean Macdonald at the back?  Molly Frazer (deceased), Craig Road, at right.  [Photo DMT]

GPO staff 1940s.  Molly Frazer, centre.  [Photo DMT]

Staff of Bridgend Engineering c.1940.  [Photo courtesy of Mrs J Sinclair]

A group of Dingwallians in 1948 ready to board a Noble's (Muir of Ord) coach for their annual summer outing.  ( l-r: ? Mrs Granville Hay ???? Alexander Ferguson, Mrs Christina Ogg, ?)

Unknown bus party.  [Photo DMT]

l-r:  Unknown;  Danny Macbeth of the North Star;  Peter Frazer, New Zealand Prime Minister.  [Photo DMT]

1950s - Dingwall Mixed Voice Choir                 Click to view

WRVS soup kitchen in the Old Academy grounds c.1950  (Photo Urquhart and DMT)
Second left, back row, Mrs Granville Hay.  Third left, front row, Mrs Lily Macrae.  Others to be listed as they are identified.  [Photo DMT]

Photograph taken in 1973 when Mrs Charlotte Brown (right) was presented with a clasp to her long-service badge for 27 years' service in WRVS.  Beside her is Mrs Granville Hay (78) who had 37 years' service.

In 2000 several members of Dingwall Museum Trust advertised the sale of wartime tin hats.  L-r: ? ? ? Ian Macleod, Ben Bentley, Dr Tony Woodham, Kate Macpherson.

Alexander (Sandy) Glass

Rev Alexander Glass, OBE, MA, Dip.Ed.  

Alexander (Sandy) Glass arrived in Dingwall in 1977 as the newly-appointed Rector of Dingwall Academy.

Born on 1 June 1932, his secondary education was in Dunbar Grammar School where he emerged as Dux in 1949 before entering Edinburgh University where he gained MA in German and French before proceeding to Moray House College to obtain teaching qualifications.

Prior to his professional career, national service called and he served in the Royal Army Education Corps in Germany where he met his future wife Edith.  His teaching career began in 1958 and he taught in various schools until becoming rector of Milne's High School, Fochabers, prior to gaining the same post in Dingwall Academy where he remained until retirement in 1997.  

He was both local and national chairman of the Children's Panel and it was for his contribution in this field that he was awarded the OBE in 1993.

At Buckingham Palace in 1993.

Amateur dramatics played a part in his life, both in school and community, and he was a member of the Scottish Community Drama Association.  His association with Dingwall Players led to involvement with many of their productions.

He was an elder in the Church of Scotland for over 50 years and became session clerk of Dingwall Castle Street Church.  In 1993, following a course of study, he was ordained to the post of auxiliary minister, a role which allowed him to be involved in the life of various churches throughout Ross-shire.  

Not all of his years of retirement rewarded  him with good health and Sandy Glass died in Dingwall on 25 December 2015. 

Neil McKechnie

Neil McKechnie, MBE, MA, Dip.Ed    1919-2014

Neil McKechnie came to Dingwall in 1969 as head teacher of Dingwall Primary School. Born in Tiree and receiving his primary education there, he proceeded to Oban High School and then to Glasgow University.  His studies were interrupted by war service, mainly in the Middle East, and he survived the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.

Post-war he resumed teacher training and his teaching career began on Islay and continued in posts in both primary and secondary schools until appointed to Dingwall Primary from which he retired in 1984.

A new career began when he was elected to Ross and Cromarty District Council and then, in 1986, to Highland Regional Council where he was vice-chairman of the education committee from 1988-94 when he finally retired.

A native Gaelic speaker, he always upheld the language, both on Islay where he resurrected the island's Provincial Mod.  He was active in bringing the 1991 National Mod to Dingwall and was also instrumental in setting up Feis Rois to encourage music, song and Gaelic culture among young people.  As well as being president of An Comunn Gaidhealach, he was a member of the first Gaelic Television Committee in the 1990s.  Other bodies which benefited from his experience were Ross and Cromarty Enterprise, the National Trust for Scotland, Ross-shire Council of Voluntary Service and the Puffin (hydrotherapy) Pool.

But it is this organisation - Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society - which remembers him with gratitude and affection for his encouragement in his role as Chairman over many years. 


D D (David) Macdonald

David Macdonald, MA

Alexander (Alex) Brett

Alexander M Brett

In May 2017‚Äč members of Dingwall History Society and friends gathered to mark the unveiling of two memorial tablets in adjacent locations in honour of two former chairmen of the society.
The first was in memory of David Macdonald ("DD" to his friends), a former depute rector of Dingwall Academy, who was instrumental in identifying what is presently known as the Cromartie car park as the site of the Viking parliament in Dingwall.  The plaque was unveiled by his widow Sandra and son Kenneth.

The second plaque was in memory of Alex M Brett, a stonemason whose skills are found in many locations in Dingwall, and whose particular interest was in the restoration of what is regarded as the oldest building in the town, St Clement's Aisle, situated in the adjacent churchyard.  This plaque was unveiled by his sister Alicia.


Ian Macleod

Many of the photographs featuring in the Dingwall section of this website have come through the co-operation of Dingwall Museum and it seems appropriate that 'Dingwall Folk' should include Mr Ian Macleod to whom RCHS owes a great deal of appreciation.  [Photograph and text are courtesy of the website of the Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Mrs Janet Bowen.]

Lord Lieutenant Mrs Janet Bowen and Mr Ian Macleod.

On Friday 17 June 2017 Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty presented Ian MacLeod with a BEM for his services to Dingwall Museum and to the Community at a packed reception at Dingwall Town Hall.

Over the years Mr Macleod has seen the museum in the early 18th century Town Hall grow from two upstairs rooms of local exhibits to a VisitScotland four-star attraction.  Mr Macleod was keen, however, that the honour would also be seen as a reflection of the hard work of the team of dedicated volunteers constantly working "behind the scenes" at the museum.

In addition to his work at the museum, Ian has been an active member of the Seaforth Highlanders Association for years.

In her brief introduction Mrs Bowen said:  John Ronald Macleod and yet we all know him fondly as Ian!  There is nothing that happens in Dingwall now, or has happened in Dingwall over the past hundreds of years that Ian does not know about or has a story about.

Ian has been, and is, a brilliant ambassador for Dingwall and its regimental history, travelling far afield, but also answering endless letters of enquiry sent by sons and daughters of Dingwall now dispersed across the globe.  You only have to point to one medal or bit of uniform in the Museum and you are in for a treat;  Ian will know where, how and who won it, or wore it.  He will give you the family history and the little snippets that bring that person to life.  He has the visiting schools, and me, mesmerised.

If Ian was made of seaside rock his spine would have 'Dingwall' written right down its full length in red letters!

Ian has devoted a lifetime to serving his community which includes 37 years as the voluntary Curator of our Museum, but during all that time, in parallel, he has given his dedicated support to all things military, in particular to the Seaforth Highlanders Association.  He has held both roles of Chairman and Secretary, he has run the Branch Annual Dinner, which includes ex-Seaforths from all over Britain.

His involvement with the Seaforths and the British Legion has brought him in close contact with the members and their welfare.  He ensures that the Branch's very elderly members and the widows of ex-members are not forgotten, and as a result he is held in high regard by all.

Whenever there is a special wartime memorial or Royal occasion, Ian can be seen weeks before with a full toolkit and paint brush creating some memorable window display for the High Street to entice visitors in to visit the Museum, and to inform the locals.  Ian could have been a professional artist, sculptor, joiner or even an engineer, his creative skills are legendary.  He has been a faithful, dedicated volunteer.


Peter Angus

Peter Angus, MBE, with Lord Lieutenant Mrs Janet Bowen following the award.  [Photo courtesy of Alasdair Cameron.]

Peter Angus, his wife Jennifer, and Mrs Janet Bowen.  [Photo:  Alasdair Cameron]

In the Birthday Honours of 2018 Peter Angus was awarded the BEM for his services to the community, extending over 50 years.  While those who receive an award might opt to have it presented at Buckingham Palace, Peter was persuaded that the best place was in the town of his birth, Dingwall, in the company of family, friends and the community.

On Great Feil Maree day (Rotary street fair) of 1 September 2018 Peter received his well-deserved award from the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Janet Bowen, surrounded by an admiring crowd.

Peter's service to Dingwall includes the Fire Brigade Community Group and the Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Association (Ross-shire) and his working life was with Scottish Water.  He and his wife Jennifer have a daughter and three granddaughters, one of whom, Morgan, led the Army Cadets Pipe Band parade through Dingwall at Easter 2018, an occasion of great pride to Peter and Jennifer.  

Peter is an accomplished drummer and is a member of Inver-Ross Accordion and Fiddle Group, even performing with them at the Great Feil Maree immediately prior to receiving his BEM - perhaps a sign that he never stops serving the community!
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