Dornoch Historylinks Image Library

Fourpenny Post Office
Fourpenny Post Office

Colour photo of Mr & Mrs JM MacLeod at Fourpenny Post Office.
Picture added on 24 April 2008
Where in fourpenny is this building now?

Unfortunately I do not know where this building is, perhaps someone else looking at the image library may be able to help? - Administrator
Anonymous comment added on 20 April 2011
Very intriguing. I thought that I knew Fourpenny well but I cannot recognise this post office and I don't remember a post office being there at all. It would be interesting to find out where exactly it was.
As a child I went with my mother and siblings to Fourpenny many times in the autumn to gather raspberries and brambles for jam making.
As a schoolboy in Embo in about 1945 I also went there with a large group of older schoolboys to collect rosehips for making a childrens' vitamin C health drink as a substitute for oranges which were in short supply because of the War. The trip was organised by the Government through the Embo school and we were paid for the rosehips that we collected. While on this gathering trip we worked the wild moorland/whin bush area between Fourpenny and Coull Farm. We then came across a large number of set rabbit snares, some of which had dead rabbits in them. And as bad luck would have it, when a large number of boys are together with no adult supervision, we started helping ourselves to the caught rabbits. Suddenly the other boys started to say that they no longer wanted a rabbit and I was too glad to have them given to me. Just as I had about five rabbits at my feet the gamekeeper from Coull Farm came into my view and I was caught like the proverbial lone rabbit in a car's headlight. Of course by then all the other boys had run away. Luckily the gamekeeper was a kindly man and took his rabbits and off he went.
I also went scrumping with other Embo boys to Mrs MacDuff's garden in Fourpenny for gooseberries and apples. Mrs MacDuff often chased us in a goodhearted way but we were always too fast for her. However, on one occasion we went there as usual but were chased by a huge man who turned out to be her son who was home from Canada on leave where he was said to be a member of the famous Mounties. We were very careful to give Mrs MacDuff orchard a wide berth after that.
Just down the hill from Mrs MacDuff's croft was the farm of Jock MacTavish and his mother. The farm overlooked the Skelbo railway station and Loch Fleet. One spring my brother Hamish and I were employed on the farm to spread cow manure from the byre on land being prepared for crops. I did the loading of the horse drawn cart at the byre and then the horse walked by itself to the field where Hamish spread the manure on the field. We started work at about 6am and worked till late in the afternoon. Jock MacTavish was well known locally as a late sleeper. Once he caught us having a break at about 10am and was not even shy to shout at us while he himself was only arriving for work, still chasing the sleep from his eyes! Perhaps that is why he was known in Embo as Jock Cadalach (Sleepy Jock). Mrs MacTavish on the other hand was a very kindly old lady and on that occasion gave us an extra helping of her famous scones and bramble jam.
Added by Kenneth Mackay on 23 April 2011
From a personal comment we have received the Fourpenny Post Office, which has now been demolished, used to be situated near where there is now a croft at the junction to the road leading to Skelbo Street - Administrator
Added by Administrator on 28 April 2011
Following on from the previous comment further information has now shown that the Fourpenny Post Office is still standing and two images have been added to the image library - picture #10154 and picture #10155 showing the current building with description of location
Added by Administrator on 06 May 2011
I can confirm that this is definitely Mr & Mrs MacLeod who ran the Fourpenny Sub Post Office. I was born in the house next door and remember it well.

Many thanks for your comment - Administrator
Added by Magnus Mowat on 23 December 2011
My ancestors came to Canada from this part of Scotland. His name was Hugh MacLeod and he was a blacksmith, he married Elizabeth Gray also from Dornoch. Maybe these people are distant relatives?
Added by Beverly MacLeod- Riddell on 19 June 2012
My GGgrandfather Neil Murray from Anchavandra left Dornoch in 1831 for Canada. His mother was Marian Mackay and father James Murray. He had son's John and Hugh. Do you have any records of these ancestors? Thanks

I am afraid that we only hold very limited resources for family research here in the Museum. Far wider resources are held at Inverness Archive Centre - and there are many websites which can be used to trace family histories. Good luck with your research - Administrator.
Added by Hugh Murray on 26 June 2012
Johnnie Macleod was a geat character in the local area, as well as being a crofter he collected the refuse from Embo with a small wooden trailer and his Fergie tractor. He also used to be a star turn at local concerts, one of his favourite songs being about the fermars (farmers) and the shepherds doing the rock and roll. He was a very well liked and respected member of the locality.
Added by John Mackay on 26 August 2012
Just a note for historical accuracy's sake...Talking with my elder sister Isabella recently on our "Embo" old days she reminded me that the Mrs MacDuff that I mentioned above was in fact a Mrs Duff.
I also see that Hugh Murray mentioned above that his forbears were from Achavandra (Gaelic for Andrew's field). Interestingly my G grandmother Lucy Matheson, on my father's side, was the daughter of a Hector Matheson (born 1781)who was also from Achavandra. Lucy was born in Helmsdale in 1817 and died in Embo in 1896. She married a George Mackay (1807-1893) who was a fisherman in Embo. They had a total of eleven children whose progeny are now living in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Added by Kenneth Mackay on 01 June 2015
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Railway Telephone from Dornoch StationDelivery address  of letter dated 24 January 1815Letter dated 24 January 1815 to Mrs RoseGreetings cardHappy Memories postcardObituary notice Mr Neil Snodgrass, C.E.Letter from grandson of Neil Snodgrass to Glasgow Recording of a speech by Robert John Mackay 1949Envelope with black seal 1858Greetings telegram