18 April 2014
Our Annual Report for Session 2013-14

Firstly, thanks to you our audience (members and visitors) for continuing to support the society. Attendance at meetings remains solid.

Then, thanks to all of the committee members for ensuring:

that we have had another season of varied and interesting speakers
that our finances and administration are in good fettle
that our meetings run smoothly, with the hall ready and the technology is up and running 
the excellent catering provided at the end of all of our meetings, and which add to the social occasion
that our profile is kept to the forefront in the community with our distinctive posters and website and press reports 

With regard to our website, Sandy Thomson (who manages the site) reports that this year has seen a 39% increase in the number of visits to the site. There has also been a significant increase in enquiries addressed to the site - from people all over the world seeking information about people and events in Cromarty history. Our Library page is becoming recognised as a suitable archive for documents of local historic interest, and we have been pleased this year to host a collection of papers relating to the career of James Hall, shipowner of Rosskeen.

To remind you of this season’s programme: 

Cromarty lectures have included a report of the 2013 community archaeological excavation at Reed’s Park as well as insights in to the lives of local noteworthy figures – Hugh Miller, James Thompson and tonight we’ll hear about Sutherland Murray
Another theme to this year’s syllabus was to look at sources which help to make up the jigsaw of local history:

we heard about the case study of an abandoned baby in the late 19thC near Inverness which demonstrated how all available sources of information need to be considered and not just one source in isolation in order to get as a true picture as possible of an event
we were introduced to the Treasure Trove system through the hobby of metal detecting, with particular reference to activity on the Belladrum Estate
we also had a session on Family History looking at the various records and methods that can be used as well as reminding us of the value of collecting our own visual reminders and family mementos

then, broadening our net,  we looked at the history of Tarradale, a local Highland estate, and were treated to an armchair tour of Historic Scotland’s island based properties 

We hope you’ve enjoyed all the talks and would be delighted to hear about any suggestions you have for the next season, particularly if anyone would like to give their own talk – and can I stress that it doesn’t need to take up a whole session. Please have a word with any of the committee if you can help with any of this.
Our financial contribution of £200 to the Cromarty Courthouse this year has enabled some lighting projects to be undertaken – the light in the cell was replaced and the document store light was reconfigured.

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