Historic photographs on display at Eastgate Shopping Center recall past Highland Games

A former serviceman’s race at the Northern Meeting Games, Inverness, in the 1920s.

Historic photographs of the Inverness Highland Games are on display in Inverness to celebrate the return of the event on Saturday.

The images, provided by the archive center in conjunction with High Life Highland, will be on display in the Community Gallery at Eastgate Shopping Center throughout July.

Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell-Sinclair and Eastgate Shopping Center Manager Jackie Cuddy look at the footage.
Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell-Sinclair and Eastgate Shopping Center Manager Jackie Cuddy look at the footage.

Jackie Cuddy, director of the centre, said the exhibition will spark interest from locals and tourists alike and hopefully encourage people to visit the Inverness Highland Games.

“The games are a real family event with something for everyone,” she said.

The Members' Stand at Northern Meeting Park, Inverness, 1920.
The Members’ Stand at Northern Meeting Park, Inverness, 1920.

The Highland Games in Inverness date back to 1947 but have taken place in different forms since 1837 when the first “official” Games, organized by the Northern Meeting, were held on the Longman and were open to the public.

Events included heavy and field runs, wrestling, wheelbarrows and sacks with the main event a musket fire at a 36 inch target from 100 yards.

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Champion hammer thrower, Edward Anderson of Dundee, at the 1927 Northern Meeting Games, Inverness.
Champion hammer thrower, Edward Anderson of Dundee, at the 1927 Northern Meeting Games, Inverness.

Such was the success, they quickly evolved to include pony racing, hurdles and steeplechase.

In 1848, a year after a royal visit by Prince Albert, the event moved to the schoolyard of the Royal Academy in Inverness in Academy Street and in 1863 moved to Bell’s Park – now the coach station .

A year later, in 1864, they moved to a purpose-built arena, the Northern Meeting Park in Ardross Street following a dispute with the directors of the Academy over rent.

A selection of old photos on the wall in the Community Gallery at Eastgate Shopping Center in Inverness.
A selection of old photos on the wall in the Community Gallery at Eastgate Shopping Center in Inverness.

The games continued until the 1930s when their popularity waned and eventually they came to a halt.

The Inverness Highland Games returned in 1947, a new creation of the North of Scotland Amateur Athletic Association, allowing anyone to take part.

Since then they have been run by the Inverness Amenities Association, Inverness District Council, Highland Council and now High Life Highland.

With the Inverness Highland Games returning this weekend Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell-Sinclair and Eastgate Shopping Center Manager Jackie Cuddy take a look at some footage captured from the past.
With the Inverness Highland Games returning this weekend Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell-Sinclair and Eastgate Shopping Center Manager Jackie Cuddy take a look at some footage captured from the past.

Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell-Sinclair said: “This year’s Games promise to be a fantastic and fun-filled day for our residents and visitors and we look forward to showcasing the best the Highlands have to offer.”

Go to Invernesshighlandgames.com for tickets and more information.


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Jennifer R. Strohm