21 April 2015

Firstly, thanks to you all for continuing to support the History Society. I hope you’ll agree that we’ve maintained our high standards with some more excellent talks this season.

This year our syllabus included:

  • A trip on the Black Isle Railway, which had a life of just over 50 years up until 1951
  • A study of clearance villages that are now the site of Nigg yard
  • Presentation of research into the poorhouse system, and in particular the Black Isle Combination Poorhouse at Fortrose
  • A tour of the state owned pubs around the Cromarty Firth
  • A look at the development of healthcare in the Highlands and the range of hospitals and facilities that existed prior to more recent centralisation
  • An update on the popular Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project
  • And bringing history a bit closer, we heard about the establishment of Cromarty Fourways in 1975 and reminiscences over the past 40 years of the club’s history
  • To further commemorate the anniversary of 1st WW – we had a presentation from staff of the Highlanders Museum at Fort George with tales of the 4th Battalion of Seaforth Highlanders and this evening Jim Mackay is here tell us about the impact of the Great War locally and in particular on the community of Resolis


So, another wide-ranging arena of subjects! 3 of these talks were given by members of the society and we are always delighted when a member shares their knowledge and interests with us. Sheila will be reporting on our accounts next, but I would like to note here that as our financial situation is good, we made a contribution as usual to the Courthouse Museum and in addition this year we have also been happy to give financial support to the Kirkmichael Trust, who are working to restore the medieval kirk buildings near Balblair as a heritage centre. With regard to our website, Sandy Thomson (who manages the site) reports that again there has been an increase in enquiries addressed to the site with more than 900 people visiting the site this year. Some are seeking information about people and events in Cromarty history and committee members have helped field these requests. This work continues to be free of charge; however we have now added a donations page to give an opportunity for people to support the work of the History Society and the Cromarty Courthouse. All emails sent out will now contain a note about this. Whilst talking about the website, Sandy has indicated that he really ready to “retire” – so we are looking for a new website manager. If anyone has skills and an interest in doing this then please let us know. Sandy would be happy to provide the training required. We would really like it to carry on, as it’s an important vehicle for people seeking information and is also a good archive of our society.

To conclude, thanks as always go to our steadfast committee for ensuring that meetings run smoothly to include the well-catered social time at the end of the evening.

Please continue to support us for the next year – we have another good programme in the making!

Mary Bowers


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