While everyone outside of Inverness spent their youth searching for Nessie, those growing up in the heart of the town had other priorities.
Pressing your face against the car window as you drove past the ‘soldier’s head’ on the A9 was a routine act and having a ball on the Whin Park train was a real childhood memory.
So we’ve come up with 16 things that define growing up in Inverness. If you didn’t do at least one of these, it’s pretty safe to say you didn’t really grow up in Inverness or the surrounding area…
Do you make the cut?
1) You spent a lot of time on this train.
The miniature railway at Whin Park was something of a legend and when you became too big to ride it, several tears were shed.
2) When you turned 18, your nights out revolved around ‘the curfew’.
During your first ventures to the clubs ‘the curfew’ probably didn’t even bother you. But then you started experimenting with night life in other cities, and so you were awakened to the sweet taste of freedom.
Many were thankful for ‘the curfew’s’ removal last year.
3) You always looked out for this in car journeys
Anyone who’s anyone knows exactly where to look for the “Soldier’s Head.” And if you don’t, then you’re probably not from Inverness.
4) You carried an umbrella when the Shows came to town as they ALWAYS brought the rain with them
The shows coming to town was an omen for more rain than usual. But it didn’t stop you spending all your pocket money on the rides.
5) You paddled in the Bellfield Park paddling pool
The Bellfield paddling pool was where all the cool kids paddled. If you weren’t there, you were square.
6) You took a stroll around the islands in the summer
It was important you made good use of the islands’ features as they were very unique to Inverness. There aren’t many non-coastal cities that offer kayaking and rock hopping just a few minutes away from the centre of town.
7) You bounced on Greig Street Bridge
And you probably still do from time to time. With all that jumping the bridge takes, it’s a wonder it’s still standing.
8) You frequented the wavepool at Aquadome
It was like being lost and stranded at sea, with the guarantee of making it out alive. The deep-end always had the best waves.
9) But the Nessie flume was just too much
It was super high and unlike Nessie, super straight up and down. You didn’t care if everyone else was doing it. You didn’t feel comfortable and so you stuck with the wavepool.
10) You watched films at La Scala
Before major cinema chains began peppering themselves around the country picture houses like La Scala were the place to be. The red retro seats were the bee’s knees.
11) You definitely had at least one school trip to Culloden Battlefield
This trip’s level of excitement was determined by how enthusiastic your teacher was. If you had one who was there for the 20th time and was fed up of it themselves, the it was one long day at Culloden Battlefield.
12) And then there was another school trip to Urquhart Castle
There wasn’t a whole lot here, but it beat going to school and actually doing work.
13) When the sun came out you headed straight for Nairn Beach
The drive was always long and boring but the play park was fun and you were usually treated to an ice cream at some point during the outing. Score.
14) You went to the pantomime at Eden Court every Christmas
It was usually a school trip, where every other school in the area had its school trip too. You were determined to boo and hiss louder than any other school. And you achieved this every year without fail.
15) You sometimes visited Floral Hall
It’s now known as the Botanic Gardens and it was the kind of place you went with your gran. You weren’t really sure what the fuss was all about.
16) You fished in the rock pools at Rosemarkie Beach
It was where you did all your fishing and hunting for lost treasure. It was really annoying when the seagulls beat you to the loot.
Are there any childhood memories you think we’ve missed? Leave a comment at the bottom and we’ll see if we can do a part 2!