News 2008

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Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath dhuibh uile

Happy Christmas and a Good New Year to you all

Tain & District Museum volunteers on their visit to Alness Heritage Centre in November

The year is swiftly drawing to a close and looking back at our activities it is clear we have been busy but next year is going to be even busier. Our theme throughout the year will be The People of Ross - Emigration and Homecoming. We will be holding an exhibition on Tain man James Thompson, Dr Jim Hunter and Dr David Worthington will be giving evening talks, we will be having a Story Telling evening in May and of course we will be hosting our first Clan Ross Gathering on the 12th and 13th of August, attended by Clan Ross Chief, David Ross of Ross and Balnagowan and his family. Take a look at the Clan Ross section for a provisional programme for the Gathering. If anyone has any stories of emigration and homecoming that they would like to share with us please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you.


Tain Through Time closed for the season at the end of October but the work goes on for the volunteers. We took time out, though, for a visit to Alness Heritage Centre where we were treated to a guided tour of their newly refurbished and extended premises and then provided with a delicious tea of home made cakes. Our thanks to all the volunteers at the Heritage Centre who made our visit so enjoyable.

Joan Ross tells us about the Heritage Centre's new wood chip central heating boiler.

Liam and Alistair are regaled with stories by Alness local Farquhar Ewing

Liz S, Liz B and Margaret

Carol, Sheila and Kathleen



Highland Archaeology Fortnight; Stone Age Day at Tain & District Museum - Saturday 4th October proved to be cold, wet and windy but this did not deter the 30 visitors keen to find out more about our ancient past. There was an opportunity for people to handle replica tools and watch Alistair Jupp, Tain & District Museum Trust Chairman, demonstrate how ancient man started fires. There was also a chance for budding artists to try their hand at ice-age art and make a Neolithic style clay pot.

Michelle, Lottie, Alistair, Tom & lady from Alness

Alistair showing Tom how to make fire

Don, Irna, Mrs Munro, & Alistair



On the 30th of August we held the opening ceremony for our Scouting in Tain & District Through Time Exhibition. the exhibition celebrates the last 100 years of scouting in our area and looks forward to the next 100.

The team responsible for putting the exhibition together.

Our Chairman, Alistair Jupp, welcomed the assembled crowd and introduced John Gordon, former Tain wolf cub and scout, who made an excellent speech before introducing Mrs Marjory Strachan and her daughter Mrs Anne Gilbertson. Marjory is the widow of the late Donald Strachan who was a great servant to the Scouting Movement in Tain and District.

1st St Duthus Scouts lower and raise the flags in the opening ceremony

Marjory asked for the old flags to be lowered, representing the past 100 years. Anne asked for the two new flags to be raised, representing the next 100 years.

Mrs Strachan and Mrs Gilbertson with their bouquets.

Marjory and Anne were each presented with a bouquet of flowers by two Tarbat Cub Scouts and then the guests and participants adjourned for a welcome cup of tea.

Tain Highland Gathering

The Museum was well represented at Tain Highland Gathering on the 14th of August. It was a glorious day and the team started early, erecting the tent and laying out the table.

Margaret & Alistair, former members of the Scouting movement, put their tent building skills to good use.

Catriona, Heather, Calum, Margaret, Alistair and Hugh ready for the gates to open

We were joined by Hugh Ross, Younger of Ross and his family, Heather Catriona and Calum.

Catriona, Heather & Margaret enjoy the sunshine

It was a great day with good sales and the opportunity to see the competitions and stalls as well as rest in the sunshine. We were also joined by various Ross visitors to the Games.

Jonathan, Hugh & Nicholas

Jonathan Land and his son Nicholas made a special detour on their motorbike trip to Orkney especially to see Tain Through Time and visit us at the Games. Jonathan and Nicholas have Ross ancestory and are hoping to travel North next year for our Clan Ross Gathering on the 12th and 13th of August 2009.



We had a sales table at the Vintage Car Rally held in Tain this year. This picture shows museum stalwarts Sheila, Margaret and Simmona ready to sell our goods to the public.

Sheila, Margaret & Simonna


Peter & Susan with the book and it's cover made with wood from the original Regent Murray Pulpit

Peter and Susan Schweigman called into see us with a very interesting book they had brought from their home in New Zealand. Susan is the great-great grandaughter of Dr Angus MacIntosh who is commemorated on the East window of the Collegiate Church along with his son Dr Charles Calder MacIntosh. Dr MacIntosh was minister in Tain. Dr Calder MacIntosh donated the money to build the Gatekeepers Lodge which is the building now containing our museum. The book is "Researches into the History of Tain Earlier and Later" by the Rev. William Taylor and was published in 1882. The fascinating thing about this book is that it's cover is made from the wood of the original Regent Moray Pulpit from the Collegiate Church. The present pulpit is a copy. It was lovely to see this wonderful artefact and meet Peter and Susan.

Clan Ross Gathering August 2009; David Ross of Ross and Balnagowan, Chief of Clan Ross, visited us recently to discuss our Clan Ross Gathering planned for August 2009. He is seen here with his wife Eileen and Trust Chairman Alistair Jupp.

Eileen, David and Alistair

 Show Scotland 2008

Participants and helpers take a break in the sunshine before greeting our visitors.

The Show Scotland Museums Weekend was a great success with lots of visitors flocking to our event. The weather was beautiful, the music was a delight and the textile experts were very knowledgable and willing to chat to the visitors to explain their various crafts. A great day!


Betty Patterson shows young Kirsty Ritchie how to knit and Myra Byars explains some details about patchwork.

Sally Wild shows Jim Ritchie how to spin.



Show Scotland 2008, Textiles in the Highlands Saturday 3rd of May, 11am - 4pm in St Duthus Collegiate Church

Displays, demonstrations, music and entry to the museum exhibition

This year Tain & District Museum has used the theme "textiles" for its displays. These include a wedding dress from 1878, a christening gown used in 1820 and a stunning Paisley shawl. Other interesting objects include irons, sewing machines and a spinning wheel.

To complement this year's theme the museum is showcasing the amazing talents of people who work with textiles in the Highlands. The stunning venue of the St Duthus Collegiate Church, within the grounds of the museum complex, will host Textiles in the Highlands. There will also be demonstrations of spinning, embroidery and other specialist skills. T

The event will take place on Saturday 3rd of May, from 11am - 4pm. Admission will be £2.50 for adults, £1.50 concessions and £1 for children over 5. This will include free entry to the museum exhibition.

Co-ordinated by Museums Galleries Scotland, Show Scotland is a programme of exciting and unusual events held in museums and galleries throughout Scotland over the Bank Holiday weekend between Friday 2 and Monday 5 May.

Golspie Heritage Society made the trip down to Tain to visit us on Wednesday 2nd April.The group were given a short talk about St Duthus Collegiate Church by Philip Ward before they visited the Pilgrimage and Museum.


A chilly start to the season but more than made up for by the warm welcome from Morag and Sheila as they open up Tain Through Time on the 24th of March 2008.

Tain Through Time Tower Street, Tain IV19 1DY Scotland IV19 1DY

Tel: 01862 894089