Image: Highland Photo Archive

Macrae & Dick was established in about 1878 as postmasters and to provide horses and horse-drawn vehicles for hire to all Invernessians and visitors. Initially they were located in the Edward Court stables and yard behind the Station Hotel.

Macrae & Dick had a unique clientele. As railways increased the ease of travel between the north and the rest of the country tourists began to arrive in Inverness. Macrae & Dick provided transport to the Caledonian Canal steamers and took tourists to scenic and historic places in the neighbourhood, such as Culloden Battlefield.

Advert for ‘Old Times’ excursions operated by Macrae and Dick’s (Image: Inverness Library)
Image: Highland Photo Archive

As they expanded they moved into the old Inverness Royal Academy building on Academy Street with its extensive playground to the rear in 1895 when the Academy moved to new premises in Midmills.

In later years, Macrae and Dick had a petrol station at the garage, which was accessed through an archway (now the access to Sports Direct) leading to a car park at the rear and through to Farraline Park. This became a ‘rat run’. The pumps were manned continually; the attendant would also check the oil and wash the car’s screen.

Image: Highland Photo Archive/Mike Tibbs