Vol. 2 No. 4 October 1978
The summer programme seemed to offer a
satisfactory range of different things and most of the events were well
attended. One innovation was the July outing with a mountain walk for the
more energetic and a low level walk in the same area. Please let your
committee members know what you would like to have included in the
programme for next year.
The high cost of being accommodated by the Highland Region has prompted
the committee to reduce the number of winter meetings which are repeated
in both Wick and Thurso, and we hope that members will make the effort to
travel to events on the 'other side'. We will of course be reviewing the
success of this policy at the end of the season because it is not seen as
a satisfactory long-term solution to our problem.
After a long stint as Bulletin Editor Leslie Myatt has relinquished the
post. He deserves our sincere thanks for all he has done to establish the
journal, which is by any standards successful and widely read. He is
giving interim assistance to Peter Chare who takes over the leading
editorial role with the help of George Watson and Janet Ryrie.
There is still an encouraging steady flow of articles for the Bulletin
from members, and I am gratified to note that there is a wide spectrum of
topics and a good number of different authors. More members could yet, I
feel sure, make a contribution, and I hope will do so. It doesn't have to
be a long article, or yet too learned a topic, and if any assistance is
needed the Editor would be pleased to lend a hand.
The Club Management
This year's office bearers are as follows:
Honorary Vice Presidents:
Miss M. McCallum-Webster; Mr. J. I. Bramman; Mr. D. B. Miller; Mr. D.
Omand; Mr. J. Saxon; Mr. E. Talbot.
Chairman: J. K. Butler, 15 Brims Road Thurso. Thurso 3549
Vice Chairman: N. Izzett, Fairfield, Broadhaven, Wick.
Secretary: D. Oliver, Westerdale, Hood Street, Wick. Wick 2730
Treasurer: B. Hughes, 101 Pennyland Drive, Thurso. Thurso 3411
Committee Members: J. Ramsay; J. Ryrie; G. Watson; G. Leet; P. Chare.
Publications Management: J. K. Butler; J. Ramsay; J. Ryrie
Bulletin editorial: P. Chare; G. Watson; J. Ryrie
Publicity: B. Hughes; D. Oliver
Press writer: J. Ryrie
Buildings and Settlements Group
The group held two indoor meetings and one outdoors during the year, and
has laid out a work programme of fact gathering on the Broubster
settlement. This mainly involves making contact with people who lived in
the area, preparing and collecting maps and placenames, and searching
records such as the census for details of past inhabitants. Meetings are
planned for 30 0ctober, 11 December and 5 February. Contact Ken Butler for
The group held three outdoor meetings, all three of which were in dreadful
weather, and it says much for the keenness of the members that they turned
up at all. The outings were to places where a range of different sorts of
plants could be seen and compared, so that the differences between species
and the similarities within families could be observed. A small amount of
speciality work was done on wild roses.
In July the latest in our series of booklets became available. Entitled
'John Gow, the Orkney Pirate', written by George Watson, it tells the
story of Wick-born John Gow who took to piracy and eventually brought his
ship to Orkney, where, after various strange adventures he was captured.
He ended his days on a gallows-tree at Wapping Dock. The booklet is
illustrated by Lyndall Leet and is selling at 50p. It got good reviews and
has sold well in Orkney during the summer.
The other two booklets currently in print are:
Visits to Ancient Caithness 45p
Wild Flowers of Caithness 50p
The work of Miss Ramsay and Miss Ryrie in seeing to the distribution of
booklets to the shops during the summer should be acknowledged; it has
been particularly busy this year with the demand from Orkney to satisfy as
well as the local business. It brings a very useful income to the club.
On 15 November in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso the Caithness Group of
Scottish Ornithologists Club will hold a bookstall and slide show. In
previous years the bookstall has been a very comprehensive exhibition and
sale of books on natural history and related topics. This year it arrives
just in time for your Christmas present troubles to be solved.
The RSPB film show in Thurso is a popular event which is this year
scheduled for Friday 1st December. Further details will appear in the
Field Club Dinner
This year's annual dinner will be held in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on
Saturday, 2nd December. There will be a bus from Wick provided. Tickets
will be on sale from members of the committee.
Where do we put the posters?
Some time ago the committee decided that it was not worth putting adverts
in the press because the cost/benefit was not good. So information about
the club's activities is passed around by inclusion in the Bulletin and
putting out posters. The posters are displayed as follows:
Shearer, Drapers Shop at the Cliff
Turners, Drapers Shop in Bridge Street
Collett's Shop in Castlegreen Road
Corner Shop in Trail! Street
Ferrier's Newsagents in Princes Street
lan Grimble: Highland History: George Philip in association with the
Highlands and Islands Development Board, 1978, £1.25. This is one of four
maps in the series The Highlands Observed. It includes a map of the
Highland area produced to a scale of 10 miles to 1 inch. The map is
printed in two parts on each side of the sheet. Surrounding it is a very
well illustrated text, in excellent colour, which gives an account of
Highland history from early times up to the 1745 rebellion. The text is
generally very informative, although it seems strange to classify Class
III sculptured stones as Pictish. Also one wonders on what evidence the
standing stones of Stenness and Brodgar can be described as "temples" and
It is however, the accuracy with which
sites are shown and described on the map itself that one may take issue.
For the visitor north of Bonar Bridge a certain amount of fruitless
searching could be carried out in looking for sites such as St. Mary's
chapel at Lybster on the east coast and Kilphedir wheelhouse at Kildonan.
The latter site appears to have been misplaced some 150 miles from its
true site at Kilphedir in South Uist. In Thurso is indicated a runic cross
in St. John's churchyard. Apart from the fact that the dedication should
be to St. Peter, this cross has now resided for many years in the Thurso
museum. Dunnet Church is described as reformation. Surely this should be
pre-Reformation; and there is no indication that Canisbay church is
pre-Reformation also. The cross slabs at both Farr and Reay are described
as Pictish and on Stroma is indicated a "renaissance pigeon house". Keiss
west broch has been displaced to the south of Staxigoe. Although one of
the most spectacular castle ruins in Caithness, Girnigoe is not indicated.
It is unfortunate that the accuracy of
such an attractive publication could not have been better checked before
||Old Prints of
Caithness - L. J. Myatt
||Wick Assembly Rooms
||Images of a Vanished Era
- A. Johnston
Wild Flowers of North Scotland
- J. K. Butler
||Thurso Pentland Hotel
||Thurso Pentland Hotel
||A Fireside Chat
||Wick Assembly Rooms
||Pirates of the Pentland
- M. Gunn
||Joint Meeting with SOC
Is Shooting Compatible with Conservation?
- J.G. Young
Thurso Pentland Hotel)
- G. MacLachlan
||A. G. M. to be arranged.