Unforgotten Highland Women – Isobel Gowdie, Auldearn

Unforgotten Highland Women – Isobel Gowdie, Auldearn

June 30 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

The Witch of Auldearn – Isobel Gowdie  (17th century). The story of Isobel Gowdie is embedded in the world of academia as part of the Scottish Witch Trial accounts.  Her story has also featured in a music composition by James McMillan and most recently an American novelist (Nancy Hayes Kilgore )has recently published a novel  – Bitter Magic – based on Isobel’s life.  What makes Isobel’s story different is that she confessed her witchcraft without the usual torture imposed.  She was regarded as a great story teller and her story has influenced later studies of witchcraft. 

Pauline Moore, BBC producer and reporter and experienced podcaster, will be in conversation with Melissa Davies, curator of Nairn Museum, Andrew Grant Mackenzie, Highland Historian and Helen Wright who designed the mural to Isobel that can be found in Auldearn. There will also be an opportunity to view some objects related to witchcraft from the local area.

This event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. 

Free

MHH

07388346626

museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk

Nairn Museum

Viewfield Drive
Nairn, Highland IV12 4EE United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01667 456791
http://nairnmuseum.co.uk/

Unforgotten Highland Women – Margaret Swanson, Castletown

Unforgotten Highland Women – Margaret Swanson, Castletown

June 24 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

Margaret grew up in Castletown, Caithness, the daughter of the village cobbler. Despite her humble beginnings she went on to influence the education of generations of girls.  After early schooling at the local school, Margaret was sent to board with an elderly lady to allow her to attend Wick Academy for further education. She became a pupil teacher in the town and embarked on teacher training in Aberdeen. She stayed in Scotland when her family emigrated to Nova Scotia.  It was her interest in the physical and mental development of  children which allowed her to change the “Code “ or requirements for sewing on the School Curriculum. The emphasis at the time was on the fineness of stitching on a delicate white material. This Margaret declared to be as meaningless as using black chalk on a blackboard. She became an instructor in the Glasgow school of Art,  Charles Rennie MacIntosh was among her associates.  She developed the “ Margaret Swanson System of Educational Needlework” revolutionising its teaching in Britain and abroad. Children were encouraged to choose the bright colours of thread they preferred , learning to stitch on unbleached calico with wool and cotton. Older girls were shown how to make their own embroidered garments, allowing imagination and creativity . Margaret continued to travel, research ,lecture and learn until ill-health put an end to her devotion to her craft.  

Pauline Moore, BBC producer and reporter and experienced podcaster, will interview Muriel Murray who first learned of Margaret’s story. There will be material relating to Margaret Swanson’s early years and examples of needlework on display for everyone to peruse over the tea and cake break. We will also be joined by the local school and local crafts groups as the audience is invited to make their own ‘sampler’ in Margaret’s memory.

This event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. 

Free

MHH

07388346626

museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk

Castlehill Heritage Centre

Harbour Road
Castletown, KW14 8TG United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01847 821120
https://www.castletownheritage.co.uk/

Unforgotten Highland Women – Megan Boyd and Caroline Ross, Brora

Unforgotten Highland Women – Megan Boyd and Caroline Ross, Brora

June 23 @ 1:00 pm 3:30 pm

Megan Boyd – salmon fly dresser (1915-2001)

Though she never fished herself, she is regarded as the finest maker of salmon fishing flies in the world. She took to the craft of salmon fly dressing under the supervision of a Sutherland gamekeeper. She won her first award in 1938 at the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow and received the British Empire Medal in 1971. Discussions are taking place about commissioning an art installation in her memory and erecting it at one of the gateways to the village of Brora. The move came after a Norwegian angler and Megan Boyd devotee made a pilgrimage to Brora to pay homage to her, but was shocked to find nothing about her there, although her life story is told at the Brora Heritage Centre.

Caroline Ross (1904-1985)

Caroline Ross was a 25-year-old, single schoolteacher who concealed her pregnancy and delivered her ‘illegitimate’ child alone in her room in her lodgings in a rural community in the Highlands of Scotland in 1930. The child was discovered dead the same day. 

She was put in custody and charged with Child Murder and appeared in court three months later. The case was widely reported in the papers at the time. Writer and historian Nick Lindsay writes that – ninety years on and the sense of the stress and tension of the terrifying court case in which she spoke not a single word of evidence, is tangible. The medical evidence appeared damning; the cause of the infant’s death was throttling, but the jury delivered a verdict of ‘Not Proven’. An absolute cliff-hanger to the end! It’s an extremely sad story with a tragic outcome but, it illustrates a lot about attitudes and lack of support for young woman who found themselves pregnant at the time. The court case was a media sensation at the time. How can stories like this be remembered and reflect on changing attitudes? 

Pauline Moore, BBC producer and reporter and experienced podcaster, will interview Dr Nick Lindsay, author and chair of Clyne Heritage Society. Pauline and Nick will be joined by Mary Warrior for Megan’s story and by Wattie and Angela MacBeath for Caroline’s story. There will be an opportunity to look at objects related to the stories and enjoy a cup of tea.

This event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. 

Free

MHH

07388346626

museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk

Brora Heritage Centre

Fascally
Brora, Highland KW9 6LE United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01408 622024
http://www.clyneheritage.com/

Unforgotten Highland Women – Mary Marjory MacDonald, Ullapool

Unforgotten Highland Women – Mary Marjory MacDonald, Ullapool

June 21 @ 10:30 am 12:30 pm

How is a notorious story which would have been thought of as shameful and shunned at the time remembered now?  Mary Marjory was the only child of a local Gaelic speaking fishing family who had a successful business in town.  She was orphaned in her teens and took to London society, travelled across Europe and became a very successful jewel thief – gaining the trust of the Ladies she worked with  in high society circles.  She was caught and tried a number of times, including on the platform at Strathpeffer Old Railway Station where this event will be held.

Pauline Moore, freelance BBC producer and reporter and experienced podcaster, will be in conversation with Siobhan Beatson, curator at Ullapool Museum and Morven Macdonald, curator Highland Museum of Childhood to uncover Mary’s story. There will be opportunities to explore the platform where she was caught, look at the museum display in her memory, enjoy some tea and cake and to be interviewed for a podcast, giving your thoughts on the story.

This event has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. 

Free

MHH

07388346626

museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk

Highland Museum of Childhood

The Old Station
Strathpeffer, IV14 9DH United Kingdom
+ Google Map
01997 421031
https://highlandmuseumofchildhood.org.uk/