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Caithness Field Club Bulletin

vol. 4 No. 6 October 1987



Last summer our outings consisted of two car runs, one weekend, one boat trip and four walks including a coastal walk and a river walk, details of which were published in the 1986 Spring bulletin. Our winter programme commenced with the Dinner at the Pentland Hotel. It was well attended and we have to thank Mr. Donald Omand for speaking at such short notice. The lecture on Biological Recording was very well attended and the coloured slides were outstanding. Five minute talks were on Old Thurso streets (Miss Ryrie), Dunbeath Preservation (Mrs. Scott), Airships Ancient and Modern (Mr. Abernethy) and Caithness Harbours and Fishing Boats (Mr. G. Watson). The Wild Northlands was well attended, mainly by members of the Ornithological Club and tonight at the A.G.M. there was tonight's very witty and informative lecture on the Three Firths.


The Committee decided last summer to accept Mr. Les Myatt's suggestion that publication should be advanced by one month to February and August. However, lack of articles has hindered this move; indeed, we had no articles at the end of the year for the Spring Bulletin and a frantic effort had to be made to obtain contributions. To avoid this, the Committee has suggested that we try to have articles in hand, and I appeal to members to write an article, or, if that is not your bent, persuade someone else to write one (not necessarily a Field Club member); even as a last resort suggest a suitable subject to one of the Committee members.


The Committee has outlined a number of possible lectures for next winter but none of these has been confirmed. Outings for the summer will include a visit to Bad Ryrie to see how our fenced-off wood is surviving and also a possible day trip to Orkney.


No new publication is being undertaken presently, but the possibility is being kept under review. Three hundred copies of our booklet John Gow have been sold to Mrs. Joy of Eday and the publishing rights have been offered to her for 100.

Visits to Ancient Caithness and Wild Flowers of Caithness continue to be sold to local shops and tourist offices albeit in small quantities.

Ken Butler who has been in charge of publications for some years has asked to be relieved of this duty. Charles Allen agreed to take over the selling side and to keep the stocks but unfortunately he is now in Edinburgh. I have taken on the responsibility myself and Miss Ryrie continues to be the Thurso representative for supplying the shops. I hope that Ken will still feel able to take charge of, or at least help in the production of any new publication.


The Treasurer tells me that there is no need to consider any increase in annual subscription which remains at 3 per head or 5 for family membership.


I would like to thank members of the committee for their support over the year and to Mrs. Agnes Jones for her work as Secretary; also to Mrs. Marion Owen who accepted as interim secretary when Mrs. Jones resigned. Mrs. Margaret Abernethy was then co-opted.

I would also like to record the Club's indebtedness to Mr. Charles Allen who was so enthusiastic and helpful while he served on committee. Lastly, I would remind you that Mr. David Oliver, Mr. Ken Butler and Mr. Les Myatt continue to give considerable practical service to the club.

The following list gives the present constitution of the committee.

Chairman: Alan Abernethy

Vice Chairman: George Watson

Secretary: Marion Owen

Treasurer: Geoff Leet

Committee Members:

Margaret Abernethy

Nick Roberts

Gordon MacLachlan


Saturday 7th November:

Dinner at the Rendezvous, Wick. 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. Price 7.

Speaker Mr. John Porter, Halkirk.

If you intend to be present, please phone Mr. Abernethy (1@lick 2702) as early as possible. The Committee would like to encourage formal dress.

Monday 7th December:

Lecture: "Lhasa to Peking" and "Sailing to Stavanger" by Mrs.

Lyn Leet and Mr. Geoff Leet - Pentland Hotel. Thurso at 7.30 p.m.

Wednesday 3rd February:

Five minute talks - Assembly Rooms, Wick at 7.30 p.m.

Tuesday 29th March:

Lecture in conjunction with other clubs "The Mountain Kingdom of Nepal" by Rob Howard, photo journalist and lecturer specialising in travel and landscape - Thurso Technical College at 7.30 p.m.

Wednesday 6th April:

Lecture "Caithness - The Archaeology of a Northern Landscape" by Mr. R. Mercer, M.A., F.S.A. Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh - Assembly Rooms, Wick at 7.30 p.m.

Thursday 28th April:

Lecture in conjunction with Aberdeen University "Dark Age of Scotland" by Dr. Anna Ritchie, well known archaeologist and broadcaster - Halkirk School at 7.30 p.m., field Club A.G.M. to follow.


Sunday 17th April:

Motor trip to Northern Harbours - details later


Weekend trip to Ullapool. If you are interested please contact Mr. A. Abernethy (Wick 2702) in December when details should be available.


Miss Elizabeth Rintoul has agreed to serve on Committee - Address: Moravia, Miller Avenue, Wick. Telephone No. Wick 2168.