Loch Ness heritage group letters
Loch Ness heritage group letters
In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, we cancelled our March talk “Maps, map makers and map making; stories from the Lovat Estate by Roland Spencer Jones . We hope to have this in 2021 sometime, dependent on the current situation at the time .
For our Summer event this year we had hoped have two trips ,one to Invergarry Railway Station to see the work done by the Invergarry Station Preservation Society + we hoped to visit the the restored Kirkmichael Church in the Black Isle to look at the restoration work inside the church and adjoining graveyard . In light of current restrictions these will not now go ahead , we hope to hold these trips some time in 2021, all dependent on situation at time . Our talk in October following our AGM was to be by Norman Newton , “”Inverness Klondikers in the Yukon, 1898: Four explorers and an eccentric Free Church minister”, again this was cancelled we hope to have this in 2021, dependent on the current situation at the time .
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.
Our autumn event will be on Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 7.30 pm in Stratherrick Hall, Gorthleck – we’re a little later than usual this year. We’ll start with the usual brief AGM, which will be followed by the main event, something we’ve been looking forward to for a while, Part Two of Morag MacNeill and Bob Main’s presentation on local Gaelic place names. Morag, a fluent Gaelic speaker, will explain the Gaelic meanings behind our local names, nearly all of which have Gaelic origins, while Bob will be at the projector with the relevant maps and pictures. Part One was very enthusiastically received, and we hope this follow-up will generate at least as much lively interest.
At a most successful meeting on September 12th, at which the chair summarised the challenges facing the Group, four of those present volunteered to join the committee, one of these as Secretary. These four joined two who had already come forward before the meeting, including one for the vital role of Treasurer. Taking account of those who are leaving or have recently left us, this gives us a committee of ten, which hopefully will enable us to spread our wings and take on new projects. Huge thanks to those now leaving, and who have helped to keep the Group going over the years, and a hearty welcome to those who will take us forward into pastures new. Our new volunteers will be properly appointed at our AGM, hopefully to be held in late October.
There was considerable lively discussion at the meeting about the direction a revitalised Heritage Group should take. The importance of good publicity was highlighted, and this will be a priority for the new committee to consider. A major topic for discussion was projects the Group could take forward – these can play a huge part in enthusing folk to get involved, and spreading the word that the Heritage Group is playing a positive and active role in recording and researching our past. The idea of some form of heritage centre was mentioned, and should the opportunity to establish something of this sort come up, our much-strengthened committee will hopefully be in a position to play an active part.
Many thanks to all who attended the meeting – your interest and support is vital!
First, the positive – in recent years, the Group has managed to put on an interesting illustrated presentation every spring and autumn, plus a summer outing. Alister Chisholm keeps adding to our superb website, which has attracted many comments of appreciation and praise. For some years he has produced excellent heritage calendars featuring old photos from South Loch Ness. The Group still has large stocks of two publications – Alan Lawson’s ‘A Country called Stratherrick’ and ‘South Loch Ness’, our own local heritage guide.
BUT… over the last few years our committee has slowly dwindled – we had four at our last meeting, and one of these is leaving. We have had no secretary for some time. Most seriously, Frank Ellam, our treasurer is leaving the area, and although the treasurer’s duties are not onerous, we can’t function without one.
In view of this situation, we are calling an open meeting in Stratherrick Hall, Gorthleck, on Monday 12th September at 7.30pm to discuss the Group’s future. Attendance at events suggests continuing interest in our Group, but we need more help with running it or closing it down may be the only option. Please do come along and offer us your help.
Alan Findlay, chair.
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
Regrettably the Boleskine Bulletin last ever issue after 17 years was Winter 2014. The Heritage Group was approached by committee of the Bulletin, with a view to having all the issues available to the public on the internet . We were delighted to accommodate this request. You can access them through the Library tab in a section called Boleskine Bulletin .
Before Anne Fraser gave her talk to the Heritage Group on 24th March, John Townshend chaired a brief AGM of the Wade Bridge Trust. Directors John Townshend, Bob Main and David Murray resigned and were re-elected. Current assets of the Trust were £10,264.25, and the meeting accepted the accounts. A major flood in November 2014 had taken a few cobbles from the bridge’s NW abutment, but grouting done in 2010 as ‘first aid’ saved the bridge from serious damage. It is hoped that further necessary work costed in 2010 at £250,000 can be carried out in stages once funding has been obtained. Fuller details can be found at https://southlochnessheritage.co.uk/wade-bridge-at-whitebridge/
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/