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28 April 2018
Annual Report for 2017/18

CHS Annual Report for 2017/18

One of the things that struck me this season was the enthusiasm and personal fulfilment achieved by our speakers through their research.

Verity Walker talked about her professional life in the field of interpretation — the places it had taken her to and the stories she had uncovered.

Terry Williams was driven by an impulse to find the few remaining drovers left on the isles of South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist, after visiting the Drovers Exhibition at the Dingwall Mart. She gave us a very personal account of her travels and findings and we all felt her sense of achievement.

Two of our own members, Janie Verburg and Sheila Currie, were inspired to research the tales of their homes in Cromarty. They ended up gaining not only new skills and uncovering fascinating tales but also forming real connections with the lives of people who had lived there before them. Their presentation was a wonderful example of the pleasure of their accomplishment being transmitted to an appreciative audience.

The stories told in our meetings generally start close to home and yet their webs can spread across the globe. Eric Grant discovered that Miss Amy Yule of Tarradale had spent her formative years abroad — in Geneva and Palermo in Sicily and then later, as an independent woman, she travelled by herself to Crete, Athens, Russia, and France. Sheila Currie discovered that 15, Duke Street was a home to people from all parts of the British Isles and beyond, including a family from Prince Edward Island in Canada.

We also witnessed that local history needs folk with local knowledge and connections. Jim and Steve Leslie returned to the Society to talk about the origin and development of hospitals in Inverness — part of their determination to map the history of the health service across the Highlands. They are looking to cover the same ground in Ross-shire now and will continue to need the assistance of people to help fill their gaps, with newspaper cuttings, photos, annual reports of local hospitals and their own memories.

Not everything is deadly serious though. For our Christmas meeting, David Alston set himself the light-hearted challenge of offering a timeline of key pointers to the history of our town on one side of A4 paper. Sandy Thomson regaled us with sporting tales of unruly “folk games” necessitating large quantities of whisky being imbibed!

The committee hope you’ve enjoyed the programme of talks this year and might be inspired to share your own in the future. As usual, thanks must go to our stalwart committee, who manage our meetings so professionally. We are sorry to lose of one of our ‘gang’ — Janie Verburg is retiring from our committee (but not the society) Thank you Janie for your guidance and the touch of style you have added to our meetings!

Once again I want to record our sincere gratitude to John McNaught, who every month provides us with stunning posters to advertise our meetings.

Our contribution to the Cromarty Courthouse, as the Friends Group of the museum, will this year be a donation funded through a special summer lecture that we will host here on the evening of 7 July. Please join us and encourage others to attend. This evening, as a demonstration of this relationship, Paul Monk, curator, will present the Cromarty Courthouse lecture.

It just remains for me to thank you all for your loyal support and attendance.

Mary Bowers
19 April 2018

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