Introducing Kerry Duncan, our Historic Researcher! Kerry has a background in social anthropology and has been uncovering some fantastic stories, objects and architectural details. If you’d like to share something then do get in touch via our Contact page or leave your comments below.
‘In 1999-2001 I worked in the Midmills Building, blissfully unaware of its rich past. I recall the noises of the building, the huge front doors slamming shut behind people, echoing up into the high ceilings; students chattering and laughing; footsteps coming from all directions, as students and teachers walked the halls around me on the ground floor-and in the galleries up above: and of course, how could I forget, the morning hike up Stephen’s Brae to get there!
I worked as the Receptionist and my office area was in the centre of the building, it used to be Inverness Royal Academy’s library, a temporary classroom and at one time a hall for assembly. Now partitioned, it was once a huge open space, (as you can see in the video below). I had a fondness for the building, but I had no idea of the importance it played in the lives of many locals, or even some from further afield, like Raasay and Harris; for those at least who passed their 11 plus, and got a place at the main school in the Highlands, as it was for many years.
Having the opportunity to walk round the Midmills building with past student Dave Conner (Inverness Local History Forum) and Robert Preece, retired Geography teacher and now the Academy’s archivist, brought the building back to life in its era as Inverness Royal Academy. From floor to floor and in and out of classrooms, anecdotes and memories came flooding out about teachers, their nicknames and their idiosyncratic teaching/punishment styles.
We will be sharing videos and audio clips of the research I uncover over the next few weeks. Here is a clip of Dave Conner and Robert Preece talking about the old library.’ Kerry Duncan
This development activity is kindly supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.