Ferintosh Places

Ferintosh Community Collage
Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society acknowledges the permission of Mrs Betsy Morrison to reproduce the account of Ferintosh Hall Golden Jubilee.

Ferintosh Hall

The adjacent Ferintosh School.

Ferintosh Public Buildings

FERINTOSH HALL Golden Jubilee of Official Opening on  9th July 1932

Today Ferintosh Public Hall to be opened on Saturday, 9th July, 1932, at 2.30 pm by Mrs Fraser-Mackenzie of Allangrange.

After the Opening will be held a SALE OF WORK, CAKE AND CANDY, PRODUCE, etc., in the Hall.  TEA and REFRESHMENTS

Special Attractions:

Admission to Hall for the Opening Ceremony, 6d 



How refreshing it is to read of a Community Hall not only surviving the competitive influences of an era that has reduced so many of its kind to a forlorn disintegration but managing to acquire, through the years, improved facilities and to retain a confident and well cared for appearance.

How pleased those early enthusiasts who planned and worked for the establishment of the Ferintosh Hall would be to know that half a century later it still has a place and purpose within the Ferintosh Community and adjoining territories.

It is good to remember the zest and obvious enjoyment of those early stalwarts, especially the ladies of the Ferintosh WRI, to whom the Feu Charter had been granted, and all who joined in the organisation of, and participation in, so many Meetings, Dances, Ceilidhs, Concerts, Dramas, Parties and Celebrations. And it is good to know that through all the ups and downs of history and finances through these years, and the many outgoings and incomings of the population of Ferintosh, there has always emerged a group of people who appreciate its purpose and its past, and are still prepared to give time and effort for its survival - as there is today.


It seemed a pity to allow the 50th Anniversary of the Hall's existence to slip by without placing on record some of the milestones in its history and development. The Hall did not just appear, but was the result of real community spirit and much hard and dedicated work by the people of Ferintosh over a number of years.

It is hoped that the contents will for some bring back happy memories, and for others a glimpse of the past, and also recognise the hard work and effort of the first committee of Ferintosh Hall. After all, we, the present population of Ferintosh are only the custodians of the Hall and are caring for it now to be able to pass it on to the generations of the future.


7.30 pm on June 26th, 1930, marks the beginning of the Ferintosh Hall project.

A meeting was held in Ferintosh Public School on this date, under the auspices of the WRI, who were prime movers in instigating the idea of a Public Hall. The chair was taken by Mr Forbes of Culloden, Ryefield, "who pointed out the urgent necessity of such a building being erected".

A formal proposal came from Mr MacKenzie, Duncanston, "that an effort be made to establish a public hall in Ferintosh, primarily to extend the activities of Ferintosh WRI, and also open to let for other public movements", and this was seconded by Mr Urquhart, Mossend. A further proposal came from Mrs Matheson, Tighnahinch, "that the Hall be placed under the control of Ferintosh WRI". This was seconded by Mr Cameron, Mossend, and unanimously carried.

The following Committee was then formed to co-operate with the WRI: Mr and Mrs Forbes of Culloden, Ryefield; Miss Warrend of Balnabeen; Mr R MacDonald, Balnabeen; Mr A Cameron, Mossend; Mr Wm. Hannan, Alcaig; Mr MacKenzie, Duncanston; Mr John MacKenzie, Duncanston; Mr Wm. Urquhart, Mossend; and Mr Wm. George, Urquhart.

Both committees met and talked of possible sites, so Ferintosh Hall plans were on the move !

Special Line .......... 2/6 each.
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W. J. Overett, Chemist,

This committee then went ahead and met several times to discuss costs, plans and possible bodies to approach for grants towards the cost of the building. It was decided to ask the architectural firm of MacKenzie and MacDonald of Dingwall to draw up plans and estimated cost of a building "to seat 200 persons, the foundation to be brick with corrugated iron outside walls, lined wood inside with an asbestos slate roof - if possible of a size to accommodate a Badminton Court, with a waiting room affixed to the end".

It was decided to approach the National Council of Social Service for an interest-free loan and Carnegie Trust for a grant towards the cost. By the 9th November, 1930, the people of Ferintosh had already raised £229. 9.10d. Notification then came from the National Council of Social Service that Ferintosh Hall Committee were to receive a loan of £140.

Tenders were then accepted for the following:

MASON WORK  Jas. MacDonald, Conon Bridge £ 56.10. 0
CARPENTER Alex. MacLeod, Beauly £251. 0. 0
SLATER MacSwayde and Fraser £ 51. 6. 0
PLASTERER Robert Rennie, Dingwall £ 26.19. 6
PLUMBER Finlayson and Fraser £ 11.18. 9
PAINTER Hugh A. Ross, Dingwall £ 39. 0. 0
This makes a grant total of £438.14.3d., a lot of money to find in the 1930s.

Word then came of a grant of £75 from the Carnegie Trust, so the Committee were well on the way to paying for their new hall.

The first meeting held in Ferintosh Public Hall was on 19th May, 1932. "The hall was inspected and some little adjustments were suggested and the architect to be informed of the colour scheme decided upon."

A decision was taken that a kitchenette be built on a site at the back of the Hall. The estimates accepted were:

MASON-WORK  Mr MacDonald, Conon (including excavations) £12.15.0
WOOD Messrs. Hannan Bros. £ 2. 4. 0
1 DOOR   £ 0.18. 6
    £26. 2. 6

"However, the gentlemen of the committee and young men of the district offered to do the excavation and erection free of charge, thus saving £7. 0. 0, making the cost now £19. 2. 6d."

The formal opening of the Hall with a Sale to follow was fixed for July 9th, and Mrs Fraser-MacKenzie, Allangrange, was to be asked to open it. "The Sale Stalls etc. were to be left in the capable hands of the lady members of the committee, while the gentlemen were to have charge of the games and sports."

The Hall in the 1930s was heated and lit by paraffin, the lamps being purchased from the Conon Mission Church who were having electric lights installed. Five lamps were bought at a cost of 12/6d. each. Ferintosh Hall charges were fixed as follows:

DANCE (with use of piano, the property of the WRI)  £1.15 0
CONCERT (with use of piano) i.e. Hall 10/-, Piano 15/- £1.05.0
SALE OF WORK £0.17.6

A letter came before the committee on Nov. 17th from the Architect to say his fee would be £10.10.0d not £28. 0. 0d. "The Committee recorded their grateful thanks to Mr MacDonald for his generosity."

Aluminium Cooking Vessels*
There are overwhelming evidences in favour of the use of aluminium for cooking vessels, says a writer in "New Health", both on grounds of health and of economy. Aluminium transmits heat very rapidly, so that liquids like water and milk reach the boiling stage more quickly than when heated in tin, iron or steel.
This in itself means a considerable saving in electric or gas consumption. There is also the matter of flavour, since the food cooked in aluminium also cools very quickly on standing, thus conserving the natural flavours of the food.
Most important, however, is the effect of aluminium cooking on the preservation of vitamins, which are less readily destroyed when heating and cooking are accelerated as in the case of aluminium.

*Note in 2006:
Modern "overwhelming evidence" suggests that there is a link between aluminium vessels and Alzheimers disease.

During the past 50 years the Hall has had its ups and downs. In 1937 the Hall committee granted the lease of the Hall to the Education Committee for use while the School was being reconditioned. The rental was fixed at 30/- per week.

In 1946 six new lamps were purchased for the Hall.

In 1952 an estimate was sought for the wiring of the Hall for lighting and heating.

In 1953 Mr Forbes explained the conditions of the Feu Charter, pointing out that the Charter had been granted to Ferintosh WRI but that the Hall could be used by other organisations, and that representatives from these could be appointed to the Hall Committee. These representatives were: Mr Mathieson, Balnabeen, representing the Community Association; Mr MacRae, Schoolhouse - Social Club; Mrs Sellar, Church of Scotland Manse, and Mrs Manson, Mulhaich - Ferintosh WRI; Mr J Hannan - Ferintosh Free Church; Mr T Ross, Balloan - Urquhart and Resolis Young Farmers' Club.


It is a commonplace that civilized man habitually over-eats; the therapeutic success of many specific diets is certainly partly due to the fact that their comparative monotony offers less temptation to over-indulgence.
We live by what we digest, not by what we eat; by over-eating we severely overtax the organs of excretion, particularly the kidneys, with the consequence that dyspepsias, gout and many other conditions are distressingly common.
Man, in his primitive state, was mainly carnivorous, but the sedentary life of his 20th century descendant calls for a more balanced diet. Foods rich in nitrogen, such as red meat, game and other highly spiced dishes are palatable, but their very tastiness tends towards dangerous excesses.
The old rule of childhood - that one should always leave the table with the appetite for a slice of dry bread - is equally sound, dietetically, for adults. Hearty eaters, however, may take comfort in the knowledge that at weenends or on holidays (when golfing or taking other open-air exercise) they may indulge to a larger extent than when following their usual sedentary routine.

An eminent physicial has gone so far as to say that patients should be segregated in hospital wards, not according to their diseases, but according to their temperaments, which reminds one of the old medical saying - that we should treat, not gout in John Brown, but John Brown for gout.
The personality of the patient certainly enters into the problem of health far more than we realise. Resistance to disease is not just a matter of physique and phagocytes.
Doctors are often amazed at certain patients who by all the laws of nature and medicine ought to die but don't - it seems hardly fair to the physician! When I asked a patient the other day about his family history he told me that his father had been given up three times by different doctors but he had lived to 80 and attended all their funerals. - "New Health"

The Trustees present were Mr Forbes, Ryefield; Rev J Sellar; Rev M Lamont; Mr W George, Urquhart Farm. At this meeting it was decided to ask Mr Brooks, Fortrose, to fit 5 power plugs for heaters.

At the end of 1955 and early in 1956 there was a considerable refurbishing of the Hall and its offices. In 1957 a toilet was erected and the kitchen modernised. 1958 saw the purchase of the chairs we now have, and the velvet curtains for the stage. Carnegie Trust again gave grants towards the expense incurred.

In September of 1962 the Gym Classes from school were held in the Hall, as they are today.

January 1968 saw the Hall with another face-lift, painting, roof cleaned, kitchen roof repaired. Further repairs were carried out in 1972.

The Youth Club started in Ferintosh in 1972-73, although it went into abeyance for a short time but made a re-appearance in 1979 and is going from strength to strength. In 1974 a playgroup started in the Hall; this has now amalgamated with Culbokie playgroup. 1980 saw the resumption of Ferintosh WRI; although they joined with Culbokie in the 1950s there was enough enthusiasm for a breakaway. This, too, has gone from strength to strength. The School still holds the PE Classes in the Hall.


Whisky Duty v. Petrol Tax

What a "Pedestrian" Thinks
Travelling in a railway carriage (writes a correspondent), I listened to an engrossing argument.
A motorist (sober), a commercial traveller (sober), and a "pedestrian" (getting sober) were the contestants.
The motorist complained of the cost of motor licences and the high tax on petrol, and held that one way or another the taxes, originally imposed for "better roads", were now largely revenue taxes and that motorists were not getting a square deal.
The commercial was combating the argument generally.
The "pedestrian" was butting in, with that curious mixture of wisdom and nonsense which defies serious argument.
The point of his contention, when his loquacity is cut to the bone and his argument crystalised, was that an ordinary pedestrian, such as he, was more unconscionably taxed than the motorist, and that roads had been made unsafe for the pedestrian in the interests of the motorist.
As a man who liked a drop or two of spirits, he declared, he had experience. Government, he said, charged him about 8/6d on the bottle of whisky, while the motorist paid only about 6d on the gallon of petrol.
A man who paid the Government 8/6d and wanted to walk unmolested across the street or along the public road, he argued, ought to have a far greater sense of security and comfort than the man who could cover twenty or thirty miles at speed and pay Government a paltry 6d for his enjoyment.
Eventually the motorist fell into deep silence. The traveller and the pedestrian fell into a deep sleep.

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Plain COOK wanted, October 1st, by lady in Tain, for autumn months. Comfortable situation.

Wanted, by old established Friendly Society,
SPARE-TIME MEN for the Avoch, Munlochy and Dingwall district.

Wanted, smart young GIRL, suitable for table and housework.

Temporary COOK wanted for three months - September or early October.

Wanted, DAY SERVANT for general housework, for family of 3. Comfortable situation for suitable person.  Highest references required. 

Wanted, in October, for Berryfield, Lentran, experienced single-handed COOK.


For sale, BINDER (McCormack) in working order.

BINDERS for SALE. Second-hand. Newly Repaired. McCormicks, Massey Harris, Albions - from £10 upwards, at K Mackenzie's, Evanton.

1932 MORRIS FAMILY EIGHT, Four-Door Saloon, Sliding Roof, dimming headlights, owner has fitted stop light, and luggage grid; £120.

For Sale, Heavy CLYDESDALE GELDING;  tractable in all harness.

For Sale, DEERING BINDER in good order.

STOCK COCKERELS for Sale.  WHITE LEGHORNS (Ransford Davdan strains), hatched mid-April; 7/6 each.

CYCLES - Ex-Postmen's, Strong, Reliable Machines, New Tyres, Tubes, 35/-

CANARIES - Genuine Hartz Mountain Rollers, 12/6d Pair. Carriage Paid.

BARGAINS in SECOND-HAND CARS;  a few licensed and insured.
J Macrae & Sons, The Garage, Dingwall.

For Sale, AUSTIN 7 SUNSHINE SALOON;  special fabric body; £55.

"B.S.A." MOTOR CYCLES from £38. 17s. 6d.  Agents - J Macrae & Sons, Dingwall.

At the time of the Hall building and opening, the school, as now, was very much the heart of the community, with the school roll into the 60s and 70s. The Headmaster at the time being Mr J MacRitchie; teachers were Miss Joan Urquhart and Miss Jane MacDonald. Classes for the usual academic subjects were taught with gardening, cookery, drawing and needlework. These last two were to be taught during the forenoon in the winter, because of the poor daylight in the afternoon, thus saving the eyesight of pupils. Gym classes were taken by a visiting physical education teacher.

Attendance during this time was affected by whooping cough, measles, chicken-pox and influenza. Bad weather, be it rain or snow storms, also made a difference to the school roll. Medical certificates were required by pupils who were absent. Ferintosh being a rural farming community, the tattie-lifting also affected the school attendance.

Regular visitors to the school were the Attendance Officer, School Inspector and Local Ministers. The School Dental Surgeon came to the school annually, and during one of his visits at this time "four pupils due to have treatment were absent". Things don't change, do they?

School meals as they are now were still a thing of the future, but during the winter months soup was served to the pupils, courtesy of the local ladies and gentlemen who contributed the ingredients.

Back to School Clothes for Boys


BOYS' RUGBY SUITS, all you could wish for in STYLE, QUALITY, FIT - Suits that will give you the fullest satisfaction in the way they wear. For School Wear there is nothing to beat them. In Sizes to fit Boys aged 6 to 15 years. In Specially Selected Tweeds in Grey Fawn and Brown.
Other Qualities, 25/- to 29/6  When ordering through the Post, state age and colour desired.

BOYS' TWEED KNICKERS in most dependable Tweeds.  In sizes to fit Boys aged 4-14 years.  In smart shades of Grey and Brown.  All Sizes One Price ...... 4/6d

BOYS' KNICKER STOCKINGS that will give excellent wear, in all Fashionable Shades, for Boys of 4 to 15 years.  Prices 2/6d and 4/6d.

BOYS' PULLOVERS in Plain and Fancy Designs, to fit Boys aged 5-14 years.  All Sizes. One Price ..... 5/11d.  BOYS' SCHOOL CAPS ..... 2/3d.

BOYS' DAY SHIRTS in Striped Ceylonette, to fit Boys 6-14 years. First Size 3/6d. Rising 3d each size.  Also, Ceylonette PYJAMAS in Black Stripes.  First size 3/9d. Rising 3d each size.

(late Peter Robinson and Harrods, London)
Boys' Complete Outfitter - Dingwall


Temperance - well taught. (Signed) A Macdougall, Examiner. (Signed) J Sollar (Rev J Sellar?), Local Convener. 21st June, 1939.

'Third copy' of E.2, duly received.

29.8.39 School reopened. Three pupils were admitted and six left. Four of those who left enrolled at Dingwall academy while the remaining two were over age. Communication received from the Director of Education re Junior Leaving Certificate.

5.9.39 The school was closed during week ending 8th Sept., owing to the out-break of war.

15.9.39 Visited the school and took all classes. ( Signed) Chrystine H Paterson, Physical Instructress

15.9.39 Visited School today and found Registers correct. (Signed) Jas. Dingwall.

Alex MASSEY & Sons

HAMS - 14/18 lbs each, bone in, per lb .... 1/1d to 1/2d
SHOULDERS - boneless 9/12 lbs each. Sliced, per lb. .... 8d
BACON - 20/28 lbs each, skin on, per lb .... 9d. to 1/-
CHEESE - Cheddar per lb .... 10d
BUTTER - per lb .... 1/-
MARGARINE - in 28 lb boxes, per lb .... 4½d to 7d.
SAUSAGES - per lb 6d to 11½d
DRIPPING - per lb 5½d
SUGAR - At Market Valuation
TEA - per lb 1/- to 2/4d
COCOA - per 1/4lb tins 5d each; dozen 4/6d

Special Prices to Merchants

FLOUR - per boll 13/- to 14/6d
BARLEY - per boll 16/- per stone 1/8d
LENTILS - per stone 8/8d
PEAS - per stone 2/- to 3/9d
RICE - per stone 1/6d to 3/-
SEMOLINA - per stone 2/-
TAPIOCA - per stone 2/10d
BUTTER BEANS - per stone 2/10d to 3/4d
RAISINS - per lb 6d. to 10d.
CURRANTS - per stone 6½d.
PRUNES - per lb 4d. to 6d
CUSTARD POWDER - per lb 5½d
CANDLES - per lb 11d
CONDENSED MILK per doz. 2/3d to 8/-
SYRUP - per tin 9d
TREACLE - per doz 7/-
SOAP - per 4 lb bar 1/6d
FRUITS IN SYRUP - per tin Peaches 9½d, Pears 11d, Fruit Salad 1/4d, Pineapple 4d

Good Prices Given for Eggs

World affairs at the time of the Hall opening seem to have been dominated by the Lausanne Conference where British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, succeeded in getting reparation from Germany for the damage done during the Great War.

The city of the Port of Spain, Trinidad, was threatened with complete destruction when a blazing river of rum flowed through the streets.

The death of ex-King Manoel of Portugal recalls the story that some years ago he abandoned his claim to the throne in favour of the youngest brother of the late Prince Miguel of Braganza. Prince Miguel, who died during the war in New York, was married in Dingwall to Miss Anita Stewart, step-daughter of the American millionaire, 'Silent' Smith. He was a cousin of ex-King Manoel, and his romantic wedding caused a stir at the time.

By the first half of the year, the Islington lad, A A Humbles, had completed on his Hercules cycle, equipped with Dunlop tyres, an average of 100 miles a day in his effort to set up a world record for 1932.

The best time to sleep is between the hours of 7 pm and 11.30 pm according to Professor Stoeckmann of Duisburg, Cologne, after studying the subject of sleep for several years. Ssleep between those times is not only the most healthy, it is also sufficient to maintain the body at its maximum efficiency for the day.

A Charles I Oxford Silver Pound, weighing about 4 oz, has been sold for £10. What price today, I wonder?

On March 19, 1932, the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened.

Large congregations met on Sabbath forenoon in the 'open air' at the famous Burn of Ferintosh for the summer communion, where the service is conducted in Gaelic. The weather was ideal. Rev. Dr. Munro was assisted by Rev. R Finlayson, Urray.

Much interest was occasioned in the Muir of Ord district when it became known that Miss Helen Keller, the famous blind, deaf, and dumb authoress, had taken up residence at Arcan Mains Farmhouse for a few weeks. Miss Keller and her companions are already delighted with the district and the North of Scotland in general, and hope to benefit from the quiet and healthful atmosphere of the North.

We have the lorry for YOUR work !

30 cwt lorry £230

2 ton lorry £263

These are vehicles built specially for you in the Morris Commercial range with capacities from 10 cwts to 5 tons. We can demonstrate a model that will do your work better and at lower cost.



GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS must go to the undernoted who all helped so willingly in their various ways my researches, and the final compilation of this booklet.

Mrs P M Gillanders, Conon Bridge
Mr J Hoseason, Youth and Community Education, Dingwall
The Ross-shire Journal, Dingwall
Mrs J Bambrick, The North Star, Dingwall
Mrs Forbes of Culloden
Mrs Grigor, Ferintosh School
Mr T S Henderson and Miss L Patience, Divisional Education Office, Dingwall
Miss Nicol, Dingwall Library
Reference Librarian, Inverness

7th July, 1982

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