History of Brough Harbour Goes Digital
14th March 2014
The Brough Archive, created from photographs, artefacts and memories from the local community, was initially collected by members of Brough Bay Association, all volunteers, as part of a project to renovate the Brough Harbour in 2011. They have since continued to update the digital archive, and last week launched an new database at Castlehill Heritage Centre where the public can view it.
As well as hundreds of photographs, the archive includes stories from Danny Begg, many of which will make you smile. Did you know there was a ‘Wolf in Brough’‘ ? Another story tells of ‘Robbie’ from Sinigoe, who, while beachcombing was lucky enough to find a large wooden crate, unfortunately it was on the Sabbath. A more sobering story recounts Danny’s own beachcombing finds at Brough Harbour in the 1930’s, while along with his cousin Dan Calder, found a message in a bottle. The message read:
ST May Island
This turned out to be the last message written by one of the crew on the ship the May Island. Danny Begg, aged about 13 at the time, travelled to Shetland with the police, to give evidence at the inquest, as all crew were lost and this was the only evidence of what happened. Danny’s find made news in the Scottish newspapers at the time.
Listen to recordings of memories of other villagers and hear about the many travelling shops, when electricity was first introduced, keeping the light going at Dunnet Head Lighthouse, salmon fishing from Brough Harbour and the intricacies of building a peat stack.
More recent photographs document this winters storm damage to the seawall in front of the lighthouse store and bothy with emergency repairs by local contractors and volunteers.
The archive is available to view during Castlehill Heritage Centres normal opening hours or by special arrangements with the heritage centre volunteers who are also keen for the public to make use of the new resource.
Castlehill Heritage Web Site
Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour road, Castletown. Every Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday - 2.00pm - 4.00pm..
Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour Road, Castletown Tuesday 24th November 2015 - 7.30pm..
Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour Road, Castletown. Saturday 21st November 2015..
Saturday 15th August Join Melissa and Romain of the School of Ancient Crafts as we explore how plants and herbs were used in the past. This workshop will include a spot of foraging as well as making soap with native herbs, using pot-boilers (hot stones) to heat milk and make a soft cheese, baking bread next to an open fire, and much more! Join us again on Sunday 16th August to learn how to build a prehistoric oven in which we will bake fish and bread.
Castlehill lies just outside Castletown, Caithness. The area was once famous for its flagstone industry and the nearby harbour is evidence of that.
Wed, Sat, Sun 2 - 4pm All Year Winter exhibition - Domestic Artefacts Over Time – Looking at the change in technology in the home as the years have gone by. Marine Exhibition – Models of ships that carried flagstone from Castlehill, marine charts, artefacts from marine life.
Friday 31st October, --- Caithness Astronomy Group talk and observation evening. "An Even Briefer History of Time".
The success of the exhibition, which opened to a capacity audience of well over 100 people on the evening of Wednesday 2nd July at Castletown Heritage Centre, was down to the artistic talents and generosity of locals and others further afield. Businesses near and far also gave generously to support the event.
Just to let you know what is going on in the near future at the Castlehill Centre, Castletown. We have our final talk in the present series on Tuesday 15th April at 7:30pm in the Castlehill Centre.
Castlehill Heritage Centre has just been graded by Visit Scotland, and they achieved three stars at their first attempt. Needless to say everyone at Castletown Heritage Society is delighted with the outcome - and they have already set thier sights on a higher target for next year! The grading was revealed by our Chairman, Hugh Crowden, at the Boxing Day Opening.
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