1996 - 1997 CLUB OFFICERS

Chairman Geoff Leet, 
Vice Chairman Gordon Wilson, 
Treasurer Alan  Abernethy,
Secretary Marion Owen

Committee Members: 
Calum McKenzie, 
Ernest Jones,
Gordon McLachlan,
Marjory Scott,
Jack Barnaby
Editor Don Smith,


This year’s Bulletin follows the recent pattern by offering a varied diet for your, hopefully, enjoyable consumption. The regular contributors have once more provided a large proportion of the material. This is very much appreciated, but the plea for further items from the Club members must be re-iterated. I suspect that Caithness has an unusually large proportion of interesting inhabitants. Many have positively decided not to move away, even on retirement, and some have sampled life further south and opted to return to Caithness. One does not live here for the climate! So please, everyone, set your minds to the task of relating something for the Bulletin. A glance at this year’s contents page will indicate that our canvas is wide. The main criterion is that the article should be of interest to Club members. It can be instructive, amusing, or thought provoking (we have had some which have been simply provoking). The Bulletin depends entirely on the supply of articles and I am sure there are some good tales waiting to be told by Field Club members.

Marion’s account of last year’s events should serve as an entertaining reminder to those who participated, it should also encourage a casual reader to consider joining the Club. The programme for 1997 might well cause them to take the plunge and share our pleasures, that is why it takes a prominent position at the front of the magazine.

Hetty Munro’s memoirs are a fascinating reminder of by-gone days. Imagine telling a modern child that, as a treat, they would be taken on a horse-drawn cart specially fitted with wooden boards for seats, to Murkle; they might well enjoy the novelty. Also, I liked her June 1940 story about the official instruction, received while she was on duty in Orkney, to "Commence hostilities against Italy, repeat Italy, at 0100 hours". Thank goodness they had the sense to refrain from blowing up the local ice-cream shop, especially at that hour of the morning. Much of her story is set in Orkney and, for our cover picture, Jack Saxon has kindly provided a beautiful drawing of the interior of an Orkney cottage.When James Hogg moved from East Lothian to Reay, he found himself among a lawless community. With a percipience which touches on contemporary political debate, he explained sinful behaviour by noting that thieving and pilfering are the constant attendants of slavery and poverty. Times change and last year’s thieves and pilferers have become modern heroes. Some call them Rob Roy or Robin Hood; others call them robbing … (expletive deleted). To many people, especially Scrabster folk, The Mission is an established part of the life of the port. It was not always so and forty years ago it was not there. To find out how it started - read on.

Finally, there is a whimsical piece which might help some of us who came from urban backgrounds, to clarify the complex nomenclature of farm animals.

Good reading.