An Invite from Cromarty & District Community Council

Sarah-Anne and Issie were delighted by the invitation by Cromarty & District Community Council to make a brief presentation about the project at their April meeting.  The meetings are held in The Hugh Miller Institute which is the local library.  It was built for the community in 1903-4 with funds from Andrew Carnegie via The Carnegie UK Trust and dedicated to ‘Crom’ writer and geologist Hugh Millar.

Later in 2014….

Sept 2014: The Cruise of The Betsey Project

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society are partnering with The Friends of Hugh Miller on The Cruise of the Betsey project this September. This replica voyage will follow Hugh Miller’s route in the Cruise of the Betsey, the yacht in which he sailed the Inner Hebrides with Free Church minister, the Rev John Swanson, in the summer of 1844. The crew will visit Tobermory, Mull, and on the Small Isles, Eigg and Rum, and, if there is time, Skye.

The crew comprises an intergenerational mix of geologists, geographers, artists, writers, ecologists, storytellers, theologians, historians (including Gaelic speakers). This reflects Hugh Miller’s remarkable ability to think across disciplines. Geology, landscape, people and story will be at the heart of the journey which will begin in Oban. Our floating ‘manse’ is the sailing boat ‘Leader’ built in 1892 which sleeps nineteen people, including five crew. The Friends of Hugh Miller are sponsoring a place on board for one local secondary school pupil. Mairi Gilmore, who is from Culbokie and attends Fortrose Academy, is delighted to have been selected on account of her strong interest in geology. She is in the process of completing Advanced Higher Geography as well as an open learning course in Higher Geology. She will then take up a place at Glasgow University studying earth sciences. Representing Cromarty researcher Issie MacPhail is also joining ‘the crew’ of The Betsey.


We Are Cromarty Sept 2014 – Friends of Hugh Miller Society

The various schools and communities participating in The Betsey Cruise Project are undertaking associated projects and events of their own. In Cromarty the Friends of High Miller Society has an action packed mini-festival programme organised for an event called ‘We Are Cromarty’:



We have assembled a very exciting package of events to tempt you, one of which will be a film presentation of the Leader ‘s voyage. Another will be a new banner being especially made for The Friends of Hugh Miller by Cromarty Crafters. We will have exhibitions in the arts from water colourist Mary Maclean, driftwood sculptor Leon Patchett, botanical illustrator Julie Price, and potter Barbel Dister. Most of their work will be original pieces commissioned from The Friends, to be shown for the first time at this event. We will have three “talks and walks” on succeeding days, the first, on Tuesday, 23rd September, given by our own chairman, Professor Nigel Trewin demonstrating some of his prize fossils, and leading a field trip to some of the fish bed deposits Miller made famous. The second talk and walk (Wednesday24th September) will be led by renowned natural historian Kenny Taylor. And the third (Thursday 25th September) will be a wander amongst the magical world of Miller’s legends by folklorist Bob Pegg.


Member Gavin Berkenhegger, a professional mineralogist, will also be bringing a display from his collection of precious metals, and ready to answer questions on how to search in Scotland for these valuable products. We hope to round off the event with poetry and prose, including Miller’s, on the Thursday afternoon, interwoven with some beautiful harp music from Katie Mackenzie, who played so finely for us the opening of Miller’s Garden of Wonders in June 2008. And we have invited the Cromarty Youth Cafe to provide us with a rousing finale in the Victoria Hall, by “Wanda’s dancing divas,” and some of the town’s best young musicians.’ 

Extract from the Spring 14 Newsletter, ‘Hugh’s News’, by The Friends of Hugh Miller.

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