The Nite Spot of the North

The Pavilion, Strathpeffer, in the 60s and 70s


The Pavilion, Strathpeffer, was opened on the 12th August 1881 by Her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland. The splendid new Pavilion was erected for the recreation and amusement of visitors, at a cost of about £2500. This building became a necessity because of the growing popularity of the Spa, and the increasing numbers who annually found their way here. At the opening ceremony the following statement was made. Here in sunshine or in rain visitors may assemble, here healthful recreation and profitable social intercourse may be enjoyed and here the rich and the poor may meet together. Health and pleasure may be mutually enjoyed”.

The Pavilion played host to many events in subsequent years: Lectures, religious services, film shows, concerts, grand balls, service as a military hospital, dances, wedding receptions and so on, all in themselves worthy of a separate study. However the period which remains most vivid in the minds and hearts of all those who passed through its doors are the events of the 60s and 70s, when it truly became the

“Nite Spot of the North”


Strathpeffer underwent a revival when Mr Harry McGhee took over the Ben Wyvis Hotel in the late 1950s. He had spotted the potential of Strathpeffer as a holiday centre, with its beautiful surroundings, its fine climate and central location. The refurbished Pavilion was officially opened on the 1st April 1960 with bars, tearoom and the ballroom. However there was just as much activity taking place after the opening as before, with the Gardens still to be completed and the outside of the building still to be given a freshening up touch by the painters. New gates were built at the entrance to the Gardens with crazy golf and other amenities. In July 1960 Mr McGhee also acquired the Highland Hotel, which reopened on May 10th 1961 with a Hydro Board Conference.


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1960    1961    1962    1963    1964    1965    1966    1967    1968    1969

 1970    1971    1972    1973    1974    1975    1976    1977    1978    1979

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1965  The Vikings
1974  Hot Toddy