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Shock as woman glimpses great-grandad’s wallpaper when his old Highland flat is split open in street demolition plan

Childhood memories come flooding back when woman spots the 1970 wallpaper that once adorned her wall where her great-grandfather lived as Dingwallians mourn the loss of another piece of history in council house demolition project.
Childhood memories come flooding back when woman spots the 1970 wallpaper that once adorned her wall where her great-grandfather lived as Dingwallians mourn the loss of another piece of history in council house demolition project.

A Dingwall woman got a poignant glimpse of her great-grandad’s dated wallpaper when his cherished old flat at Meiklefield Road in Dingwall was split open in a street demolition scheme.

Rona Coghill was hit by a flood of childhood memories when she spotted her great grandad James Coghill’s unmistakable 1970s big retro circle wallpaper.

Shock

She said: “It was a bit of a shock because I haven’t seen it since 1987.  It brought back a lot of memories. I could just picture my great-granda sitting in the house.

“I still have his rent book from 1937 from when he first moved in to number 15, and he was paying £8 a year in rent.”

Ms Coghill recognised her great grandad’s 1970s wallpaper instantly after bulldozers tore the walls down.
“Character” James Coghill, sitting in his living room with his son Sandy, with the unmissable wallpaper.

Meiklefield Road rent was £8-a-year

Meiklefield Road in Dingwall is being demolished to make way for new houses.

Twelve flats have been demolished under this phase of the Highland Council scheme.

Ms Coghill’s great grandad James, a farm worker in his younger years, died in 1987 at the age of 86.

She said his striking wallpaper, which can be clearly seen through all the rubble, brought childhood memories racing back.

The flat has now been completely demolished.
Mr Coghill’s rent book from 1937 when his annual rent bill was £8.

Ms Coghill was initially puzzled as to why his wallpaper would still be on show.

Knowing the walls had long since changed when her friend took on the tenancy, she realised the council must have plaster-boarded over it after he died.

“When Meiklefield Road got refurbished years back he wouldn’t let them in to do it, he would only let them in to change the windows,” she said.

When Rona was a little girl her great grandad would lift her onto his ponies.

“Oh he was a right character,” she said.

“He kept ponies in a field at the old academy banks, he really loved his ponies, and he liked nothing better than going to the the auction mart and bringing back rubbish.”

Memories herald a new beginning for Rona Coghill.

Making way for demolition

The grandmother-of-one also lives on the street, at number four.

She is relocating to a new-build property in Strathpeffer, to make way for the bulldozers.

She added: “The whole street is coming down. It’s really sad. Yes, they had to come down due to their poor condition, but it’s still really sad.

“I’m moving at the end of September, we are being relocated to Strathpeffer to a new-build at Kinellan. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a change.”

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