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15 June 2019Groam House Meeting June 27th 2019

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We have been asked to advertise the Groam House Lecture on “Celtic craft in the 21st century ” by Dr. Jo Clements on 27th. June.

31 May 2019Oral History of WW2

WarGen (http://www.wargen.org) was founded by broadcaster and historian, Dan Snow, and author and broadcaster, James Holland, to create a crowd-sourced online repository of oral-history from the people who lived through World War 2.

The project is looking for individuals willing to join their volunteer team as interviewers and to go out into the local communities and record these important stories of a fast disappearing generation or to let them know if you have a family member or friend or even know of someone whom you believe would like to have their stories recorded. Please check out the website for the interviews that have already been carried out the length and breadth of the country.

This is obviously a time critical project, so if you can help in anyway, please contact Shane Greer, Coordinator of WarGen, on the following email address: mailto:shane@wargen.org

13 May 2019Groam House Lectures 2019

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13 May 2019Groam House Meeting May 30th 2019

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We have been asked to advertise the Groam House Lecture on “Carving a New Pictish Stone for Forteviot” by David McGovern on 30th. May.

12 May 2019CHS Annual Report for 2018-19

I’d like to reflect on our past season of talks, which have in equal measure expanded our knowledge of aspects of the history of our town as well as given us an appreciation of a range of historical topics relevant to this part of the Highlands.

From Cromarty’s local history angle, we’ve heard of some less familiar characters — a postie with some wartime secrets and a local lass who advanced in the world of academia. During Fran Tilbrook’s talk on Rosenberg, she introduced us to the range of its former inhabitants — some less well-known than others. They all had their own reasons for living there and we felt that we’d been given a snapshot of life in Cromarty in different eras.

We also found out a bit more about Cromarty in the 1960s, through Gordon Haynes talk concerning two key figures of the town council at the time who had ambitious plans to turn the fortunes of the town around. We viewed the findings of a group of students they commissioned to look at the built environment of the town and come up with some cutting edges ideas.

Tonight we will be learning more about our Courthouse, with its story brought right up to the current day.

A few miles down the road, we heard how the ruins of Kirkmichael were saved from the brink of destruction — an inspiring story and a lesson in dogged determination.

Another character from the area — Dingwall this time, but over a century ago, was local hero - Hector Macdonald. Here was a crofter’s son rising to the highest of ranks in the British Army. Liz Broumley put his rise and fall in the context of army life at home and overseas and the social mores of the day.

Additional subjects covered the road network as it developed across the Highlands, with a focus on what was to become the A9 and also the Yankie Mining Squadron talk gave us a new perspective on wartime naval activity in this area.

You will know that we have again had the benefit of members of the society talking to us about their interests — we value this greatly and would encourage anyone else who has a topic to share to come forward. We are here to offer any help with this.

Our committee puts in a lot of effort to bring suitable subjects and speakers to our meetings and also make each gathering as hospitable as possible. I’d like to say that we miss Jenny Fyfe’s input into our discussions at our committee meetings and thank Sandy for the tribute he paid to her at our December meeting. As always, our thanks go to John McNaught for the brilliant posters he designs each month and to Roger Young for maintaining our website. This year our website has had almost 3,000 visitors with an average of 2 enquiries every month requiring responses.

As the friends group to the Courthouse Museum, we look to give financial and practical assistance. We do this with small grants and also giving a voice to the museum through talks and appeals. This summer in conjunction with the museum we plan to have an entertaining evening looking at some films made about Nigg and Highland Fabricators and social get-together. This will be advertised locally and a small admission charge will go directly to help maintain our local museum. In addition some members of our group will be conducting a guided walk and talk in June for the local history group of the Easter Ross & Sutherland U3A. We will donate our fee to the museum.

Lastly, thank you all for your loyal support during the year and please join us again next season! We’ve finalised the syllabus now, so take a look during refreshments.

Mary Bowers
April 2019

15 April 2019Meeting Thursday 18th April 2019: AGM followed by The Cromarty Courthouse Talk

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Meeting Thursday 18th April 2019: AGM followed by The Cromarty Courthouse Talk — A History of our Building

Following a short AGM, the 2018-19 season concludes with a talk from our friends at Cromarty Courthouse Museum.

The Courthouse Museum is an elegant Grade A listed building in the heart of Cromarty. Built in 1773 and restored as an award wining museum in 1990, it now houses fascinating permanent and temporary exhibitions and a comprehensive collection of objects and historical papers about the town of Cromarty and parish of Resolis.

Paul Monk was Chair of Trustees of the Museum and curator for 10 years and has a vast knowledge of the Courthouse, the collection and the history of the building itself. Paul will give an insight into the history of the building from its inception until more recent times.

Gordon Haynes is the current Chair of the Courthouse Museum Trust and will cover the last 30 years, since the building has been used as a museum. He will detail the Grade A listing and the requirement for the owners to undertake repairs and the Fabric Report of November 2017. This report showed the need for urgent repairs and their costs and will tell the story of how the trustees, volunteers, staff and helpers have all pulled together over the last two years to undertake maintenance work in the absence of anything forthcoming from the building owners, Highland Council. He will conclude with the latest situation and a call to arms!

The Cromarty History Society has Special Summer fundraising event for the Courthouse Museum planned (more details to follow) and the new season resumes on Thursday 19th September 2019 . We look forward to seeing you then!

Cromarty History Society meets in the West Church Hall, Cromarty at 7.30pm on the the third Thursday of each month, September - April

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