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"My Hearts in the Highlands" August Events

1st August 2014

The Highland involvement in the Great War, a historic woolmill, Highland family history, a clan gathering, traditional Highland stories, and the things Highlanders took with them when they had to leave the North are the themes of August's programme of the "My heart's in the Highlands" Homecoming Scotland 2014 events in the Highlands and Moray.

Newtonmore, Fochabers, Knockando, Thurso, Tain, Cromarty, Strathpeffer, Wick and Glencoe will all be hosting events this month encouraging local people and visitors to explore and celebrate what makes the Highland special to them.

On Monday 4th August, the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war against Germany and the beginning of WWI, there will be special events in Newtonmore and Fochabers.

· On Monday 4th August, the Clan Macpherson Museum in Newtonmore, will be remembering all who fought in WWI with a wreath-laying ceremony at Newtonmore War Memorial followed by the official opening of a new exhibition, "Macphersons in WWI", at the Museum. 499 Macphersons, including two women, died during the war. The exhibition runs till 31st October 2014.

· Also on Monday 4th August, Fochabers Museum and Heritage Centre will be running an evening candle light commemoration, with WWI songs, pipe tunes and fiddle music, looking at Fochabers in 1914, the call to arms locally - especially the involvement of the Seaforth Highlanders - and the local men and women who were involved at home and abroad.

During August, there will also be a number of other events exploring different Homecoming themes.

· On Tuesday 5th August, the historic Knockando Woolmill, Knockando, which has been manufacturing woollen textiles continuously since 1784, will be inviting to visitors to explore its history. As well as displays of photos and blankets, Graeme Stewart, son of the second last owner of the Woolmill, will be sharing his memories of growing up at there.

· Wednesday 13th August sees a family history session at Caithness Horizons in Thurso, The session has been specially designed for the Year of Homecoming 2014 by the expert Family Historian from the Highland Archive Service, to help you discover what your roots are and how to find out about your ancestors. This event at Caithness Horizons complements the “Needed on a Journey” roving Homecoming exhibition which will be in Wick during August (see below).

· Also on Wednesday 13th August, as part of a three-day Clan Ross Gathering hosted by Tain and District Museum and Clan Ross Centre and attended by Chief David Ross of Ross and Balnagowan and his family, there will be a concert showcasing a wealth of Ross-shire talent in the Duthac Centre, Tain. “Ross Music” is a celebration of the music of Ross-shire featuring Duncan MacGillivray and Family, Dagger Gordon, Fiona J MacKenzie and Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail.

· On Wednesday 27th August, the important role of the seashore in Cromarty will be the theme, with a special workshop organised by the Hugh Miller Birthplace Cottage and Museum, Cromarty, aimed at the “Smartphone generation”. Participants will be using photography and poetry to explore themes such as the natural world of the seashore, food from the sea, and the Cromarty seashore as the last view of the Highlands which many emigrants saw as they left the port bound for the New World. The workshop will be the basis of a temporary exhibition to be staged at the Museum later in the autumn.

· On Sunday 31st August, The Highland Museum of Childhood in Strathpeffer will be running its “Ceilidh Quilt” activities for children aged 4 years old and upwards, when children will be able to enjoy traditional Highland stories with local artist Lizzie MacDougall then make lovely wall hangings based on a story to take home. Places are free but must be booked in advance on 01997 421031.

Meanwhile, the “Needed on a Journey” roving Homecoming exhibition reaches the next two stops on its travels this month, opening at the Caithness Archive Centre, Wick, on Monday 4th August till Tuesday 26th August and at Glencoe Folk Museum, Glencoe, where it can be seen from Monday 4th August till Thursday 28th August. The exhibition, which is part of the “My heart’s in the Highlands” Homecoming events programme, has been put together by High Life Highland. It is visiting various locations around the Highlands and exploring what those who left the Highlands took with them, from physical objects to things people carried in their minds such as stories, songs and recipes.

Lorna Cruickshank, chair of the “My heart’s in the Highlands” steering group said: “We’ve been very pleased with the response to events so far, and we hope that the July programme will be enjoyed both by local people and visitors. Over the coming months, there will be 80 events in total funded by the project and a further 200+ being run by project partners.”

For further details of August’s events and the many other “Heart” events happening in the Highlands and Moray this year, please visit www.hearthighland.org.

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