St Ninians: Invergordon

St Ninian is a Christian saint, first mentioned in the eighth century as being a missionary who preached to the Pictish Peoples of Scotland. Bede states that Ninian was a Briton, educated in Rome, but little evidence has been found to validate his existence historically as yet. The picture below shows St Ninian preaching to ‘the pagans’.

St Ninian

St Ninians Church in Invergordon belongs to the United Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. It is a Scottish Episcopalian Church.

St Ninians

 Last year my husband’s nephew married down in Beccles, but he and his wife travelled the 573 odd miles up here a couple of days later to hold a blessing ceremony in this little local church to us, fully dressed up as they were on their big day. They then spent their honeymoon up here. These photos were taken at that time. The whole congregation turned out to celebrate with us, and with customary Scottish welcome, nothing was too much trouble. They made the day one to remember.

St Ninians Stained Glass

St Ninians Font

Below are the beautiful murals in the little church entrance.

Mural 2 Mural 1

Mural 3

St Ninians overlooks the sea across the street and Invergordon town centre is just a wee walk away and has a history of murals as you will see from these beautiful ones below, painted onto walls of buildings and celebrating the history and people of the town. There are twelve altogether, only six pictured here.

Inver Murals 2

Inver murals 1

Inver Murals 3

Mural 1  Mural 3 Mural 4

Mural 2

 In the early 1900’s Invergordon became an official naval base; the Firth was thought suitable because of the channel depth and frequently had visits from the Home Fleet.  During the First World War (1914-1918) Invergordon was a full-scale base for the Royal Navy, providing fuel oil, water and dockyard repairs.  The town’s population mushroomed when 6,000 people came to work in the dockyards.  The people of Invergordon were exposed to the horrors of war when, at Hogmanay in 1915, HMS Natal blew up in mysterious circumstances with a loss of over 300 lives.  Some ‘Natal’ gravestones can be seen at Rosskeen churchyard.

In 1931, at the time of the World depression, the British Government announced huge pay cuts.  When the Atlantic Fleet returned to the Firth whilst on manoeuvres, meetings of the below-deck crew were held in Invergordon and a policy of passive resistance was agreed – no ships would sail from the Firth.  Although this is known as the Invergordon Mutiny, no ships were taken over and no officers captured.  Within days however the fleet was slowly leaving and sailing to its home bases in the south.  The effect of the ‘mutiny’ had caused a run on the Government’s gold reserves and in the short-term the pay cuts were reviewed and reduced.

During both World Wars the harbour and oil storage tanks were of great value to the Royal Navy.  Before, during and after the last War these facilities were improved but the contraction of the Admiralty after the Second World War reduced the base to a fuelling port. The economy of the town was built and expanded on it, but now relies heavily on the oil-rigs brought in for repair and the servicing of oil rigs out at sea, since the Navy left. It is also a magnet for the cruiser trade with many cruisers coming in from all around the world throughout the summer months.  Here is a view of the Sutors, the opening which takes ships out to the Firth from Invergordon, a wonderful site to behold, with an oil rig visible. These rigs get towed all around the world. The large cable laying ships also berth and supply here between their trips laying the deep water cables all around the globe.

From Invergordon

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