Dingwall Transport

Dingwall Community Collage

At Dingwall ferry.

Decline of the ferry.

Dingwall transport methods through the decades.

Photos courtesy of Dingwall Museum Trust. 

Three coaches at Dingwall Station (late 19th century).

Gunn's carriage outside Robertson's (now National) Hotel in 1900.

Progress - various carts, one car, one motorcycle outside the National Hotel, pre-WW1.

Cars, bicycles and motorcycles outside what became (or had been) the Post Office and later Morganti's sweetshop and restaurant. 

Various delivery carts outside shops in High Street.  The building was demolished (late 60s/early 1970s?) and became Woolworths, which in turn closed nationally in 2009, and re-opened as The Factory Shop in 2010.

Baker's van with horse (house possibly in Craig Road).  It is recalled that this van was a familiar sight in the late 1940s and early 1950s when its route took it to the farms along the Old Evanton Road, to Evanton and back to source, driven by "Jimmy the baker".

Cars, vans and ambulance outside garage in Tulloch street.  (MacKay Bros., Motor Engineers, later Tesco store and car park and, in 2006, Lidl supermarket.)

Cars and lorries in Grant Street.

Car comes to grief somewhere in Dingwall area.  [|Photo source and details unknown.]

Archie Macrae's bus, JS7693, waiting outside Royal Bank in Dingwall.  Note cobbled roadway.  Archie Macrae operated a bus service (Monday - Saturday) from North Kessock to Dingwall.  As well as carrying passengers Archie conveyed whatever his customers had ordered from ironmongers, butchers, bakers, grocers, and even garage spares!  [Photo source unknown]

Dingwall Station

The plaque reads:  This railway station was used as a tea stall for sailors and soldiers from 20th September 1915 until 12th April 1919 in connection with the Ross and Cromarty County Branch Red Cross Society during which period 134,864 men were supplied with tea.

On 1 May 2017 Dingwall Station was the scene of a ceremony reflecting the role it played during World War 1 during the time when a troop train, which became known as the Jellicoe Express, passed through on a regular basis.. 

In 1917 a route was introduced to run a daily service direct from London Euston to Thurso, the nearest station to Scapa Flow in Orkney where the Grand Fleet was based. At just over 700 miles, it was Britain's longest rail journey and is calculated to have transported almost 500,000 military personnel, as well as the fleet's mail, between 15 February 1917 and 30 April 1919.  Up to 500 personnel could be packed into each train and the journey took about 22 hours.

At the time the railway was the only means of transport capable of moving large numbers around the country.  Air transport was not advanced enough and roads could not accommodate heavy and continuous troop movements. The alternative was by sea, which was slower and dangerous because of the presence of German U-boats.

Refreshment stops were provided at intervening stations and Dingwall Station has a plaque commemorating the 134,864 cups of tea served during the entire War by Red Cross volunteers.

The Jellicoe Express was named after Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander of the Grand Fleet at the outbreak of World War 1, who was later First Sea Lord.  He led his ships from Scapa Floe to fight the German High Seas Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in June 1916. 

The ceremony in May 2017 saw a chartered steam train arrive at Dingwall Station with on board Johnny Jellicoe, the admiral's grandson, Captain Chris Smith, RN, Naval Regional Commander for Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty.  They were met by members of the Royal Naval Association prior to the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to join the one awarded many years ago.

The plaque reads:  The Royal Navy train known as the Jellicoe Express stopped here. From 1917 it ran daily between London and Thurso during both world wars.  It was named after Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and carried service personnel to and from Naval bases around the country, including Scapa Flow.

This memorial is dedicated to the men and women who travelled and worked on it.
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