Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 11:04 UK

From mutiny to cruise line bounty

Celebrity Constellation and piper
Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth is now a key cruise ship stop-off

Tens of thousands of holiday-makers and dozens of cruise ships stop off in Invergordon each summer.

In recent years, the Highland port has established itself as a key destination for European tours.

Visiting vessels have included the Queen Elizabeth II and the Hebridean Princess - a ship previously used by the Queen.

But the port on the Cromarty Firth was once a major anchorage for the Royal Navy.

The British Grand Fleet used Invergordon before, during and after World War I.

The town provided crews with access to fuel and dockyard repairs.

Invergordon Mutiny

In 1915, HMS Natal blew up while anchored in the firth and 300 onboard were killed.

Later, in 1931, sailors on 15 ships staged what became known as the Invergordon Mutiny.

The country was in economic turmoil at the time and the Treasury was trying to get to grips with a budget deficit of £170,000,000.

A commission was set up to find savings and among its recommendations was a cut to Royal Navy pay by 10%.

Reports of the reduction broke as the fleet weighed anchor in the Cromarty Firth, but some newspapers mistakenly announced pay was to be slashed by as much as 25%.

Outraged sailors formed a strike committee and decided to disobey orders until the reduction was reviewed.

The action ran for two days before the proposed cuts were withdrawn.

The mutiny had a part to play in Sterling being taken off the gold standard - the standard international measure of a currency's value - in September 1931, leading to a cheap pound and a revival in export trade.

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