It’s a small piece of Scottish newspaper history that has been hidden for decades.
An advertisement for The Scotsman was revealed by workmen rennovating a vacant shop in the Victorian Market in Inverness.
Peter Dyer and Sam MacLean with D.Y. Fraser Joinery discovered massive lettering adorning the interior gable-end wall of a former newsagent’s shop.
The gold lettering proclaims: “THE SCOTSMAN for FACTS and INFORMED COMMENT” and is likely to date from the late 19th century, a time of intense competition among newspapers.
The Scotsman was one of the first major titles to take advantage of the rapidly expanding rail network in Victorian Britain, sending copies across the length of Scotland from a dedicated platform at Waverley station.
In 1865, The Scotsman was the first publication to distribute direct to readers through retail newsagents, and seven years later pioneered running a high-speed morning newspaper train which transported copies from Edinburgh to Glasgow and the west at a cost of £1,000 a year.
The covered market in the Highland capital was reopened in 1890 following a fire.
Located in the Old Town, the hall is today managed by Highland Council on behalf of the Trustees of the Common Good Fund.
Robert McCubbin, Highland Council’s senior maintenance officer said: “The vintage advertisement was revealed when workers were removing false walls and mid-height flooring that had been installed to create a loft space.
“They immediately brought their discovery to our attention and we contacted Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Curator Matthew Withey to ensure that a record was made of this interesting piece of social history before refurbishment works continued on the unit.”