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Extended captions feature in-depth descriptions

By Staff Reporter

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The cover of Mr Lockhart's new book.
The cover of Mr Lockhart's new book.

A NEW book of old photographs offers a glimpse into Forres' history.

'Old Forres' by Douglas Lockhart contains 61 snapshots of the town and its people from the 1800s to the mid-twentieth century, as well as detailed extended captions which delve into them.

Mr Lockhart is the deputy editor of the Scottish Local History journal and he has been researching towns and villages throughout the North East for almost 50 years.

He said: "Much original research in source material has gone into Old Forres, including local newspapers. The result is the most comprehensive collection of old photographs of the town that has been published. The book is on sale for £10.95 from booksellers in the area including The Washington on Forres High Street."

Forres is described as a Royal Burgh dating from the 12th century that, at one time, had a castle.

The author said: "Its overcrowded streets were replaced in the late 18th century and followed by various Victorian additions. It was a fine-looking town by the time the railway arrived and so developed gently as an upmarket Victorian holiday resort."

The book is in two sections: the first is a tour of the town in days gone by with street scenes and churches, ornamental gardens and the less than ornamental gasworks, as well as town life with the Boy Scouts and the Highland Dancing Team; the rest of the book deals with the surrounding area and its big houses and castles, the Lovat Scouts’ camps, and Kinloss with its abbey and aerodrome.

The research took around 12 months to complete.

"It involved investigating each photograph," said Mr Lockhart. "These are mostly old postcards which the publisher makes up into a set and when there is a sufficient number they offers them to one of their regular authors. The research took place in Edinburgh at the National Library of Scotland and at the National Records of Scotland and at Elgin Library.

"I also visited Forres on several occasions to see the location of as many of the photographs as possible."

Mr Lockhart often give talks to local history societies and, over the last six or seven years, has been researching for Stenlake Publishing who have published similar books throughout Scotland including 'Old Dufftown', 'Old Burghead,Cummingston and Hopeman' and 'Old Fochabers'.

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