Attribution: unknown (Greenhill street in Dingwall looking North)
John Hood and Son, Monumental Sculptors
In May 2010 the Ross-shire Journal reported on the removal of a Dingwall landmark, a crane that had been built by Carrick and Ritchie, Edinburgh.
The 30ft one-tonne crane left its home in the yard of John Hood and Son after decades of service.
Peter Bain, father of Stewart, had bought the crane, from the railway station in Wick, in the early 1950s.
Most memorial stones at that time were large family stones, requiring a crane to move them. Modern stones can be moved by hand and so the crane had last been used in 1996. Shortly afterwards, a severe gale had broken the jib and the crane had remained unused.
The crane took up valuable space in the yard and so, when a businessman made an offer for it, the landmark was sold.
Roy Bremner, memorial stonemason, had found the crane easy to operate but now uses an A-frame gantry which can lift two tonnes and can be set up anywhere in the yard.
The ruins of the former successful distillery tower above what would have been workers’ houses. The ruins were converted to flats while the whisky store (on the opposite side of the road) became housing. The workers’ houses had spells of modernisation but remain unoccupied and in a dilapidated state.
Until the late 19th century the only way of transporting animals to the great livestock trysts in the south was to walk them there – a job entrusted to men known as the Highland drovers. The drover stands as a powerful symbol of the values, traditions and spirit of the Highlands and Islands and the aim is to honour these qualities and interpret them for a new generation by establishing a visitor centre, exhibition, extensive archive and research library – high quality resources that will appeal to livestock breeders, animal enthusiasts and cultural historians as well as to the general public. Also central to the project is the commissioning of a major piece of commemorative sculpture depicting a Highland bull and drover – a stunning centrepiece the Society believes will provide inspiration and enjoyment for visitors and locals alike.
Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society is grateful to Alasdair Cameron for permission to reproduce his record of events leading up to the unveiling of the Drover Sculpture on 21 April 2011 by Lord Lieutenant Mrs Janet Bowen.
Click on photo album to view thumbnails and then click thumbnail to see the full size images
Formal Opening by HRH The Princess Royal on 23 July 2008
All photographs courtesy of Alasdair Cameron, Wellhouse.
Visit of HRH The Princess Royal - September 2011
In September 2011, HRH The Princess Royal paid a private visit to view the sculpture created by Lucy Poett following the establishment of the Drovers’ Exhibition opened by Princess Anne in 2008.
[Photographs courtesy of Ian Rhind and Alasdair Cameron]