Past Programme


Healing Herbs and Traditional Remedies
Cornelia Hughes

A History of Highland Hospitals
Jim Leslie

'Murder at the Fort' and 'A Horrid Murder in Resolis'
Neiliann McIntyre and Chris Rendell

The Ross (Mountain) Battery in defence of The British Empire.                                                                    Dave Rendell                                                                                                 

Churchill and the Man from Fortrose
Iain Maclean

Hugh Miller's Visit to  Olney                                                                                                                                   Dr Lindsay Hemy                                                                                                       

The Sutherland Clearances
Dr Malcolm Bangor-Jones                                                                         

The latest results from Ness Gap, Fortrose                                                                                                         Jurgen van Wessel, Headland Archaeology                                                                                                               Evidence of some of the earliest inhabitants of Fortrose  



Local Heroes of World War 1                                                                                                                                           Chris Rendell

My Ancestor was a War Hero
Neiliann McIntyre

The Herring Gutters
Anne Coombs

Women's Suffrrage in the Highlands
Dr Susan Kruse

An Aerial Tour of the Black Isle
Gary Williamson

Donald MacDonell, Fighter Pilot, Diplomat and Clan Chief
Lois MacDonell

Rosemarkie People
Freda Bassindale

Ellen Fowler, a Highland Sewing Mistress
Dave Rendell

The Black Isle Railway
Jack Kernahan



Planned Estate Villages in the Highlands                                                                                                         Chris Rendell

Maps of The Black Isle                                                                                                                                       Dr Graham Clark                                                                                                                                                                   

Axe Men in the Woods: Canadians and Newfies in The Black Isle Woods                                                    Alasdair Cameron

The Davidsons of Tulloch and The Black Isle
Nick Hide

The North Atlantic Front
 Jim Miller

Avoch's Fishing Heritage                                                                                                                                      Sandy Patience



The Work of the Highland Archive Centre                                                                                                         Fiona MacLeod, Senior Archivist   

The Lordship of the Isles                                                                                                                                    Dr Ian MacDonald

Sheilings: their place in Highland Agriculture                                                                                               Anne Coombs

Distilling in the Black Isle and surrounding area in the 18th century                                                           Meryl Marshall

The Black Isle Combination Workhouse                                                                                                                Chris Rendell  

Exploring Groam House Museum                                                                                                                    Alastair Moreton

Rosehaugh, A work of its Time                                                                                                                      Kathleen McLeman

'The April Visit'                                                                                                                                               Mulchaich and The Ferintosh Whisky Distillery



Slavery and Inverness                                                                                                                                   Duncan MacDonald

A Scottish Camino, Modern Pilgrimage Locations in the Highlands                                                                 Chris Rendell 

Tarradale Through Time: community engagement with archaeology in The Highlands                                     Dr Eric Grant

Traditional Highland Stories                                                                                                                               Lizzie McDougall

Fortrose Cathedral, secret stories of the ancient Chanonry of Ross                                                               Verity Walker

Medieval Medicine                                                                                                                                              Kay Whittall      

 April Visit: ‘Tain Through Time’

Inverness, the shaping of the city. An urban biography.                                                                               Dave Rendell


Hector, The Hero Of The North                                                                                                                         Ewan McVicar

The Fearn Peninsular: A Potted History                                                                                                    Douglas Gordon

Aspects Of The Impact Of The First World War on Fortrose, Rosemarkie And Avoch                                       Robin Witheridge and Richard Jenner

Oats and Rice. A lighthearted look at food culture, comparing traditional Highland fare with that of Central Vietnam                                                                                                                                                         Chris Rendell

Walking With Cattle. In Search Of The last Drovers Of Uist                                                                              Terry J Williams

Pictwork, Poems and Pieces                                                                                                                            Ewan McVicar

The Finest Road In The World. The Story of Travel and Transport In The Highlands                                      James Miller

April Outing                                                                                                                                                     Dingwall and Dingwall Mart

A Long Way From Home, The Battle of Dunbar (1650) and its aftermath                                                          Dave Rendell



Stories from a lifetime in Bookselling                                                                                                                 David Duguid

The 1715 Jacobite Uprising                                                                                                                                 Anne Fraser

The Canals and Reservoirs of Scotland                                                                                                              Andrew Ross

200 Years of Black Isle Farmers                                                                                                                         Alasdair Cameron

The Highland Diary of a Victorian Lady                                                                                                           Jonathon McColl

Power of Water 'Killearnan's water mills?'                                                                                                            Graham Clark

The Civilisation of Moray                                                                                                                                          Dr John Barrett  



Coronavirus Update

The Coronavirus situation meant that we have to put the safety of our members and speakers first and to this end, in line with Government advice, we cancelled our programme of 'live'meetings and in the meantime a programme of 'Zoomed' talks was put in place.

AGM and an introduction to the 1950's project through the Newsletter.

Getting to grips with Zoom

Anne MacInnes, The Conan Stone. 

Norman Newton, Culloden House. 

Ken Wilson, The Kessock and Cromarty Bridges. 

Anne Fraser, The Mystery of The Lion Tamer of Inverness. 

Dr Jim Mackay, The HLI Route March across Ross and Cromarty, 1908. 

Nick Hide, More Davidson Connections with The Black Isle and surrounding districts.

Chris Rendell, A Virtual Visit to Edwardian Rosemarkie.



Groam House Museum and the New Pictish Trail.                                                                                                Doug MacLean

The Textile Industry, from flax to linen, sailcloth and twine.                                                                        Richard Sims

Tarradale, Mills and Stills.                                                                                                                                              Dr Eric Grant                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Old Leanach Cottage: a relic of the Battle of Culloden?                                                                                 Andrew Wright

The Place-names of The Aird and Strathglass.                                                                                                       Ronald Maclean                                                                                      

'They Might as Well Die by Being Shot as by Starvation'.                                                                          Professor James Hunter CBE

Annual Visit; Culloden Battlefield and Old Leanach Cottage.



Fortrose, The French Connection                                                                                                                Michael Gallon

Remote and Rural Remedies                                                                                                                                   Dr Daisy Cunyngham

Fortrose Trade Directories and Change in a small rural community                                                                  David Rendell

Monkstadt House                                                                                                                                               Glen MacDonald

Old Scottish Gravestones and Their Symbols                                                                                                   Mark Hatton

The Death of Young Glengarry                                                                                                                            Glen MacDonald

John Ross, Missionary                                                                                                                                           Jacqui Aitkin



'Highland Connections and the Scottish Crown' 

Jacquie Aitken 'Rebuilding Brora’s Salt Making Heritage' Jacquie Aitken, of Brora Salt Pans Research Group and Timespan, gave a presentation providing an overview of the archaeology, history, and rebuilding of a salt pan. 

Brora was one of the nation’s leading and most northern salt producers produced using coal mined from a small pocket of Jurassic rock. The Brora Salt Pans project built a replica 18th-century salt pan on the grounds of Brora Heritage Centre and trained volunteers to revive Brora’s lost salt-making heritage and again produce Brora Sea Salt.

Richard Littlewood, ‘Tain’s Architectural History’ Tain originally gained fame as a centre of medieval pilgrimage, attracting worhippers from across Scotland and beyond.To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Tain Civic Trust Richard has created a virtual tour of the town's unique collection of historic buildings, highlighting the three Grade A Listed Buildings (the Collegiate Church, the Sheriff Court and the Tolbooth) and the work of the Highland Architects Alexander Stronach, Andrew Maitland, James Smith and Alexander Ross.

Roger Young, 'General Sir Richard O'Connor of Rosemarkie ' General O'Connor had a distinguished military career spanning both World Wars and the interwar years.

Richard O'Connor lived in Rosemarkie after WW2 and during that time was appointed Lord Lieutenant for Ross and  Cromarty and Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland. Tonight's talk focuses on O'Connor's overwhelming success against a much larger Italian Army in North Africa in 1940-41, his accidental capture by the Germans close to the beginning of Rommel's campaign in 1941, his escape from imprisonment in Italy on his third attempt and his contributions to the gruelling British campaign against the Germans in Normandy and beyond in 1944. 

Roland Spencer Jones, 'The Wood in Vernacular Buildings in the Highlands' Wood has supported the roofs and sides of buildings in the Highlands for millennia. However, the way that it has been used has varied during that time. In this talk we will explore the structural support that wood gave to the vernacular buildings of the Highlands over the last three centuries, from posts to crucks to rafters.

Philip Paris, 'The last Witch of Scotland' The historical fiction, 'The Last Witch of Scotland', was inspired by the extraordinary story of Janet Horne, the last person in Britain to be executed for witchcraft (Dornoch, 1727). 

The witchcraft trials are the result of a vast, complex and fascinating period of social history and during his talk Philip Paris will discuss what was driving these persecutions in Scotland, a country where you were five times more likely (per head of population) to be accused of witchcraft than in the rest of Europe.

Shona Maclean, 'Fictionalising The Past' Historical novelist S.G. MacLean (Shona) will talk about the research methods behind her books, and look in particular at her Jacobite Thriller, ‘The Bookseller of Inverness’.

Jonathan McColl, 'The Early National Censuses of Dingwall' The early censuses of Dingwall make up an unusual set of survivors but are they of much use? Jonathan will attempt to pull out some of the information behind the data.

John McGregor, 'The Highland Railway besieged' Formed by amalgamation of the early Inverness companies, the Highland Railway was unchallenged into the 1880s. Thereafter the Company faced repeated attack but preserved a precarious independence until gathered into the inter-War London, Midland & Scottish Group (1923). Had their regional monopoly been breached, would the Highlands and Islands have benefitted? On that question historians remain divided.
























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