Dingwall Heritage

Dingwall Community Collage
Clark's print of 1824 with the main road arriving at what is now Hill Street.

Dingwall and the Cromarty Firth from the Hector Macdonald memorial.

Another view - with Highland Light Infantry camp in the Jubilee Park 1908 at the beginning of their  training exercises and camps when marching through Easter Ross.   [Photo RCHS]

Building of the Hector Macdonald memorial tower.
[Photo courtesy of F W Urquhart collection.]

The Burgh Court House c.1890.
(Photo courtesy of Dingwall Museum Trust)

The old Court House, pre-1905.
(Photo courtesy of Dingwall Museum Trust)

Dingwall history in old photographs - a virtual stroll around the town.  

Photographs courtesy of Dingwall Museum Trust unless otherwise stated.

Down at Dingwall harbour, in August 1913, we find the SS Jesmond.

Passing by the Ross Memorial Hospital on Ferry Road.

Dingwall as seen from Ferry Road leading towards the railway bridge.

The Cambrai Cross outside the railway station.

Then there is the Free Church.  [Photo RCHS]

After the Free Church, the former Post Office and the Commercial Bank, c.1918.  On the left of the photograph is the future site of Dingwall's war memorial in the grounds of the National Hotel. 

Turning round and looking towards the Royal Hotel, the Commercial Bank is on the left, followed by ?Park House?  On the right, beside the war memorial, is Archie's bus. Archie (Macrae?) was the owner of a bus which plied between Kessock and Dingwall.  Photo c.1946.

Across from the Free Church, this building was the National Bank, then headquarters of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board and, currently, the Highland Theological College.

The National Bank of Scotland amalgamated with the Commercial Bank in 1959 to become the National Commercial Bank and moved to the Commercial Bank's premises, adjacent to the Post Office, in 1961.  In turn, this bank amalgamated with, and became, the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1969.

The original Royal Bank of Scotland operated from a small unit within the offices of T S H Burns & Son, solicitors, Park Street, until (early 1960s?) a new bank was built on the site of a former garage at the corner of Hill Street/HighStreet, where it served the public until it operated from the bank premises adjacent to the Post Office.

The unoccupied building was purchased by Ross and Cromarty District Council and became the Motor Taxation Office, then sold to become a frozen food shop, after which the Post Office acquired it on moving from their Park Street/High Street site, where it continued operating until moving to a unit in the Spar Shop at the other end of High Street. 

The National Hotel, c.1920.  Car registration is 1105.

The National Hotel again.  By this time the war memorial is in place.

The National Hotel c.1935 with Cormack, bootmaker, and Campbell's cycle shop on left.

A quick trip down Castle Street finds St. Lawrence's RC Church.

Across the road from St. Lawrence's were the tennis courts ...  [Photo RCHS]

.... where Dingwallians of old gained exercise ...    [Photo RCHS]

.... beside the poplar trees lining the canal.  [Photo RCHS]

Gladstone Buildings 1880s (later the Royal Hotel) and David Mcleay, silk mencer.  The two policemen are standing outside what would become Dewar & Hay, chemist (now Lloyds pharmacy).

Advert courtesy of Lou Tsiotinos.

The Royal Hotel and High Street (date unknown).

Fraser Brothers shop, showing staff and produce, just round the corner from the Royal Hotel entrance.   The Fraser family is still serving the public in the 21st century but their produce is subject to strict rules of refridgeration!

Having passed the Royal Hotel we are now in High Street in 1870, looking west.

Dingwall High Street looking east in the 19th century.

And the same view c. 1956.

At the end of High Street, where the road continues to Strathpeffer, and now adjacent to the Highland Council offices, stood "the boys' hostel" where generations of boys from the west coast of the county lived while continuing their secondary education in Dingwall Academy.  This originally was the home of Provost Robertson whose daughter married Prime Minister William Gladstone.

Walking back along High Street we find Frew's chemist shop, now the Museum.

Inside Frew's shop.   [Photo RCHS]

And again.  Is one of these Mr Frew?  [Photo RCHS]

At the junction with Tulloch Street was Lewis Fraser, saddler.  [Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society is grateful to Miss Anne Fraser, Dingwall, daughter of Lewis M Fraser, for permission to copy the postcards which she owns.]

This postcard shows a youthful Lewis M Fraser with a younger brother, Francis, who eventually became curator of the Natural History Museum, London.  At the age of 18, Lewis completed his apprenticeship as a saddler prior to the unexpected death of his father, James, leaving Lewis to support a large family of brothers and sisters.  During the Second World War a sister, Jessie, had been on holiday in Dingwall when France fell, and she decided to return to Jersey to collect her belongings. Alas, the Nazis were in occupation and Jessie was interned for the remainder of the War.  Another brother, Jim, had a distinguished career with the Forestry Commission.  [Information supplied by Miss Anne Fraser.]

This would have been the view from the front of Fraser the Saddler's shop.  On the right is the Bank of Scotland with the manager's house above and his garden extending to what became Mackay's Garage, with Dingwall Academy and its bell tower in the distance.  Are these Dingwall Academy pupils, or is it a festive occasion? (There are girls in hats and dresses and boys in kilts.)  [Photo courtesy of Miss Anne Fraser.]

Mackay's Garage in 1985.  [Photo courtesy of Jim Macdonald.]

A few yards down Tulloch Street we find the Cromartie Memorial before it went "straight".

And an explanation comes from this postcard courtesy of Miss Anne Fraser.
The postcard was in the possession of Miss Fraser's aunt, who wrote: "Leaning tower re Earls of Cromartie. Taken down 9th March 1917 because it was leaning dangerously. New shorter tower erected."

Across from the Cromartie memorial was Dingwall Academy - staff and pupils c. 1880.

Then we see Dingwall's canal with Dingwall Castle on the right.

Shortly afterwards we reach Craig Road, c. 1918.
A house would have stood at the foot of Kinnairdie Brae and on the ground which later became the extensive garden of Willie Logan's house. Next to it is "Marsule" followed by "The Gables".

Finally, we leave Dingwall, heading north and looking back along Craig Road.

Going back to Dingwall High Street in 1932 ......

Man on left standing outside what is now Boots, chemist. Shop on right became shoe shop (Easifit), later Pullars (drycleaners) and in 2010 is a Pizza supplier. The door on High Street became a single window during post-War alterations when the corner with Tulloch Street was replaced with a pillar and the entrance was a diagonal between the two streets. The building was refurbished in 2008-09 following the closure of Pullars and the entrance in 2010 has reverted to that of pre-War.

In September 2011 an article by John Macleod appeared in the Ross-shire Journal identifying the child in the pram as Munro Stewart, a Dingwall native now retired and living in Conon Bridge. Munro had seen this photograph during a visit to Dingwall Museum (as it features in the museum's calendar for 2012) and volunteered some information.

Munro had seen the photograph originally when he and his wife Morag were house-hunting and had gone into a local cafe where the picture was displayed on a wall. Munro recognised his mother, Margaret, with a friend, possibly Chrissie Dunbar who lived in Ferintosh distillery buildings. He estimates that the photograph would have been taken around 1932 when he would have been two-and-a-half years and when the family lived in Leopold Place.

Dingwall forebears for Munro are grandfather George, who was a local butcher and lived in Rose Cottage, Tulloch Street, long since demolished, and father Jimmy, who was a popular auctioneer in Fraser's Auction Rooms when they, too, were located in Tulloch Street.

Munro's own background reveals that he was captain of Dingwall Academy football team prior to playing for Dingwall Thistle and Ross County. Called up for National Service in 1947, he served in the Royal Signals before resuming work in the finance department of Ross and Cromarty County Council. He also worked in councils in Wick and Dunoon before joining Argyll and Bute as director of finance until his retirement in 1990.

[Information in article reproduced by courtesy of the Ross-shire Journal - editor@rsjournal.co.uk ]

And here is Munro Stewart in September 2011
[Photograph courtesy of Uisdean Menzies - uisdean@fraser-menzies.fsnet.co.uk]

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