This year's programme of  talks (2023-2024) will continue to be 'zoomed'.

Talks will begin at 7.30 pm.

Members will be sent details of the Link, Meeting ID and Password before an event.

Monday September 11th: 'Highland Connections and the Scottish Crown' followed by the Annual General Meeting

Monday October 9th: Jacquie Aitken: 'Rebuilding Brora’s Salt Making Heritage'

Jacquie Aitken, of Brora Salt Pans Research Group and Timespan, will give 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.

Monday November 13th: 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.

Monday December 11th: Roger Young, 'General Sir Richard O'Connor of Rosemarkie; A hero of two world wars '                                                                                                                                                            

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. 

Monday January 8th: 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.

Monday February 12th: 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.

Monday March 11th: 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’.

Monday April 8th: Jonathan McColl, 'The Early National Censuses of Dingwall'

These 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.

Monday May 13th: 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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