IMMORTAL HOWDEN ENDER

Inverness Royal Academy of Olde

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CMIB, the "John Urquhart" you refer  to is , I believe, Billy's older brother . Although he has lived in Glasgow for past 30 years he is still an ICT season ticket holder and attends quite a few games over the course of a season.

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CMIB, the "John Urquhart" you refer  to is , I believe, Billy's older brother . Although he has lived in Glasgow for past 30 years he is still an ICT season ticket holder and attends quite a few games over the course of a season.

I didn't actually know that Billy had an older brother but I was pondering the generations in the Urquhart family after I read the earlier message.

If he was a pupil in 1959, that would probably place his date of birth in the mid to early 40s. In that case if he was Billy's dad Willie Urquhart's brother, he must have been a much younger brother.

On the other hand Billy wasn't born until 1956 because he was 3 years behind me in school. His sister Maureen is a bit older than me - probably vintage 1949 or thereby.

Looks like Billy was an afterthought!!

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That may well be the original Inverness Royal Academy War Memorial Hostel which was opened in 1921 and became the County Buildings in the 1930s rather than Hedgefield where they then moved. The date is maybe a bit difficult to call on the basis of the fashions but I'm going to guess that it was before the move. Further evidence for such an early guess is that you can just see a still relatively young IHE escaping from one of the windows on his way to a similar mission at the Craig Dunain Nurses' Home.

The lady in the middle of the second row is possibly Miss Paterson who was the Matron. Note the "domestics" at the back who look as if they may have gone on to get waitressing jobs at the Carlton, if anyone remembers that as a mothers' afternoon tea venue of 50 odd years ago?

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Intriguing picture which I am sure was before my time though.

 

The girls in the main don't seem to be too happy. Was hostelling a tough gig I wonder?

 

Last question ..did all these young ladies hail from the West?

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Last question ..did all these young ladies hail from the West?

Many of them did but by no means all. One of the first residents in the Ardross St hostel was a girl called Robin Denoon, mother of Brian Denoon whom we spoke about elsewhere. Some years ago when I was researching my second Royal Academy book, Brian's sister Deirdre loaned me a taped interview she had done with their mother and a fair bit of it was about the hostel.

Robin Denoon lived at Tomatin and in the early 1920s even that didn't have good enough transport links with Inverness for pupils to commute daily, so even some from what we would now call close to Inverness had to stay in hostels. Latterly Robin moved to live during term time with an aunt out the A96 and got the train in each day from Allanfearn Station. As a result she may or may not be in IHE's 1924 photo.

However a lot of the hostel pupils were always from the Islands and Robin Denoon made a point of emphasising that along with the fact that they spoke Gaelic which was seldom heard in Inverness. Some of them would do 2 years in a junior secondary over there such as Sir E Scott and then come here while others arrived at the start of S1. However this was strictly governed by the old County boundaries so Inverness was a destination only for pupils from islands which were part of Inverness shire such as Barra, Benbecula, the Uists and Harris although from the more southerly isles I think Lochaber High School was an alternative. Lewis was part of Ross and Cromarty but in any case it had a senior secondary in the Nicholson in Stornoway so presumably there was no need for anyone to go to Dingwall. As far as I am aware, kids from Harris always came across the Minch to Inverness rather than make the simpler land journey over the county border to Stornoway.

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Charles:

 Amazing commentary in your post #84 about the hostel children. Very informative......now I can fill in some of the blanks about my life before I was born. Well, aye, you know what I mean though! :smile:

 

As for your your last post.....the Academy---is it still in use as a school, then, Charlie?         Or.......?

 

IHE, in your post number 86,..... er,........ haven't you spelt "teachers" wrong? :cheer01:

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This may be SP in this one ?!!

That photo was taken in, as it says, June 1893 and the Midmills building was opened in February 1895. Note all the Masonic gear on the guys at the front (although nobody seems to have their trouser legs rolled up!) This Earl of Haddington guy was pretty high up in the organisation - as it says... "Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason". They certainly go in for really grandiose titles don't they!

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The best school photo EVER ?

I'd be interested to know where IHE is getting all of these because as far as I am aware, the originals are all in the school archive. Presumably someone has scanned them at some point.

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Was this affiliated to IRA ?

 

Quite the opposite! This began life as "Dr Bell's Institution" in the 19th century in what was eventually and still is called Farraline Park so it was then just round the corner from the Royal Academy in Academy Street. Now it wasn't just kids from the Teckie, when it came along, who had a rivalry with the Kaddie Rats. There was also fierce antipathy on the part of what were known as the "Bellers" and there were frequent and extremely fierce fights, in the winter snowball fights, between groups of pupils from the two schools. This would presumably have declined after the Royal Academy moved to Midmills in 1895.

By the 1920s Dr Bell's Institution had become a Local Authority primary known as Bell's School or Farraline Park School and my dad was actually dux there in 1932. In these days those who were unable to pay fees for the Royal Academy could instead, if they passed the necessary exam, get a scholarship there for their secondary education. My dad got one although he couldn't take it up since the family moved to Wick at that point.

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Not long after moving into Inverness in 1968 attending Merkinch School I had a dream that I was on my way home along School Lane from school when I got in a fight with another boy and he pulled out a knife, at that I woke up with such a fright.  The school I was dreaming about was the Police Station at Farraline Park :ohmy:  To me it was just a bad dream until many years later my father in law was talking about being born in Rose Street and going to Bells School.  Being interested in old Inverness I asked him where was Bells School?  Now was that a dream or a nightmare? 

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That's a mystery wrapped in a conundrum IBM>

 

And here was I thinking that that intriguing building, where I am sure I could have been the Dux due to it's uplifting  and inspirational appearance turned out to be only the Elgin marbles. :laugh: No, not derbs, but something much higher in the scale of evolution.

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