On Tuesday 15th October 2019 at Stratherrick Hall we had a very interesting talk, excellently illustrated, by local author Jim Miller. Jim’s talk “The Great North Road” is based from his book “The Finest Road in the World: The Story of Travel and Transport in the Scottish Highlands”.
Jim led us on a journey from Perth to Thurso taking in the evolution of road transport, through the last three hundred years. How from drove roads taken by cattle to the markets in the south, the routes of a lot of them became the highways of today.
Of how General Wade and Major Caulfeild in the seventeen hundreds built the military roads for fast movement to troops to quell any uprising by unruly highlanders. The first road being from Fort George to Fort William through our district via Dramashie ,Torness back of Errogie, Gorthleck , Whitebridge over the Suidh to Fort Augustus . Jim mention Tolls or Turnpikes roads (charges for using roads) there were two toll stations in our area one at Scaniport and one at Drummond (Whitebridge).
Jim related anecdote’s of early travellers on horseback and the difficulties they faced including river crossings and accommodation, also the coming of the stagecoaches on the newly constructed roads in the early eighteen hundreds from Edinburgh to Inverness.
The coming of the railways saw the demise of the stagecoach, but they were still used on minor routes till the early part nineteen hundreds till the car or motorised bus replaced them.
Jim’s talk was preceded by a brief AGM of the Heritage Group.
Louise Boreham who gave us a fascinating and thoroughly researched talk us at Aldourie Castle on the Aldourie Pottery in Dores on 22nd March 2016, has completed her book on Mary Seton Watts and the Compton Pottery. Mary’s childhood home was Aldourie Castle, and between 1900-04 was involved with setting up a pottery in Dores though the main pottery was at Compton near Guildford . The book will be published on 2nd May 2019 in Hardback,
ISBN No 9781781300855, price £35 and is already available to order in advance from
Mary Seton Watts and the Compton Pottery
By Hilary Calvert and Louise Boreham
The first biography of Mary Seton Watts showcasing her outstanding design skills and the art potteries she established.
This comprehensive book is both a biographical exploration of the early life of Mary Seton Watts and a survey of the pottery she designed. Her roots in Scotland, her artistic career and her marriage to the Victorian artist George Frederic Watts all influenced the design of the Grade 1 listed Cemetery Chapel at Compton and the art potteries which she then set up, both in Compton (The Potters’ Arts Guild) and in her home village near Inverness. The pottery at Compton was in business for more than fifty years, making terracotta garden ware, memorials and small decorative pieces. It remained open through two World Wars and a trade depression. This highly illustrated publication showcases the beautiful and individual pieces of pottery and is a fitting tribute to the ability of Mary Watts to coordinate both people and resources.
Hilary Calvert‘s interest in The Potters’ Arts Guild started with a chance visit to the Watts Gallery in 1988, when the then Curator showed her pottery as well as pictures. Having previously written a book on ‘Chameleon Ware Art Pottery’, this was another opportunity for research which soon led to a collection of Compton pottery and ultimately to the publication of this book.
Louise Boreham has been researching the Compton and Aldourie Potteries following the discovery in the 1980s, that her sculptor grandfather, Louis Deuchars, began his career as the lead modeller of the terracotta decoration on the Compton Cemetery Chapel. She has contributed to books and published articles on architectural sculpture and ceramics, lectured to specialist interest groups and taken part in radio and television broadcasts on the subject.
Following requests received to the Heritage group after the Boleskine Community Care AGM, for a more formal showing of Heritage Groups photos that were displayed on in a rolling slideshow during the tea break, after the main business of the AGM . It was decided to have an event targeting the older residents and former resident of the area, showing Heritage photographs, including the Rose Fortune Collection to stimulate interest in local heritage. Also to see if some of the photos containing unknown people could be identified.
The event, to an invited audience and general public was held on Jan 24th to a good turnout despite the blustery weather. The photos were displayed on a screen via a projector. Bob Main controlling the projector displaying of the photos , Alister Chisholm did the commentary on the photos whilst Morag Macneil, Alison Randall and Heather Parrot, recorded the names of people identified and stories associated with people and places . Prior to the event commencing and during tea intermission Scottish music was played by Ernie Randal and Alex Sutherland .
The afternoon proved a great success and was enjoyed by the attendees as they recalled people and days of long ago from the Stratherrick and Foyers area .
From Glass to Clay and Lead to Steel a History of Stratherrick Gun Club a new book written by Margaret Fraser Knockcarroch Whitebridge detailing the local gun club in its various guises through the years from it inception in eighteen seventies as the Stratherrick Glass Ball to the present day as the Stratherrick Clay Target Club . The Book can be purchased directly from Margaret 01456486372 cost £7 + P& P where applicable
Lessons by Loch Ness written by Anne Fraser , is a study of the three hundred year history of schools on the south side of Loch Ness. This book traces the story behind educational provision in the area from its earliest beginnings through to modern day. It examines influences that shaped progression of the educational agenda and demonstrates how establishment of schools was inextricably linked with the role of local landowners and influence of the Church.But above all, this is a study of people. Detailed research has been carried out to trace those individuals who taught at each of the schools in the area. This research has been done from a genealogical perspective, which is inevitable, given the author’s background.
Anne Fraser was brought up in Scaniport where her ancestors lived from the 1820s. Anne was educated at Aldourie School and Inverness Royal Academy before subsequently qualifying as a genealogist through Dundee University. She is employed as Family Historian by High Life Highland where her role includes research and compilation of Family Trees for members of the public.
The book will be available to purchase locally for £12.50 at Camerons Tea shop at Foyers , Whitebridge Hotel and the Archive Centre, Inverness. There is also a website associated with the book http://lessonsbylochness.com/