Invergordon is a small town and port situated on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, in Highland, Scotland. Because of its natural, deep-water harbour, and central location in the Highlands, the port town is an ideal place of anchorage for large cruise liners that bring in thousands of tourists here every year.
Less than fifty years ago, however, Invergordon was more than a tourist town. It was once a strategic base for the Royal Navy with what has often been called the best natural harbour in Europe. During both World Wars the harbour and oil storage tanks were of great value to the Royal Navy. The naval base was closed in 1956, but the proximity of Invergordon to the North Sea oilfields allowed the area of the docks to remain productive by fabricating and repairing oil rigs.
Over the years, the people of Invergordon saw various industries come and perish. There was an aluminium smelter here but the costs of transmitting the electricity needed to smelt bauxite imported by sea from Jamaica made the operation uneconomic, and it was closed down in 1981. It still has a grain whisky distillery constructed in 1961, in an effort to bring new industry into the area following the closure of the naval dockyard.
In January 2002, a small group of dedicated volunteers who called themselves “Invergordon off the wall” got together to address the social and economic deprivation of the town. One of the projects taken up by this group was creation of an outdoor art gallery where the history and culture of the area is depicted through several large murals. The “Invergordon off the wall” mural trail currently consist of 17 murals is now a major tourist draw.
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