Historic Scotsman advert uncovered in Inverness

It's a small piece of Scottish newspaper history that has been hidden for decades.

The Victorian market hall in Inverness. Picture: Wikicommons
The Victorian market hall in Inverness. Picture: Wikicommons

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.

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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 Victorian market hall in Inverness. Picture: Wikicommons

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.

The advert was revealed in a former newsagents in Inverness. Picture: Contributed

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.”

The Victorian market hall in Inverness. Picture: Wikicommons
The advert was revealed in a former newsagents in Inverness. Picture: Contributed