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What was happening in Sutherland 25, 50 and 100 years ago

By Caroline McMorran

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The appointment of the headmaster's wife on to staff of the new £3 million Kinlochbervie High School is causing a stir in the local village, with claims of nepotism being made. Mrs Dianne Smith, wife of rector Dr Ian Smith, was selected for the position of administration assistant to the school last week after six people were interviewed for the 14-hour a week, £4500 a year job. The school only opened last month with a roll of 20 pupils and a staff of nine, and is due to be officially opened by Prince Charles next Friday.

A tartan which has not been woven for 100 years, has been reproduced by Ousdale Weaving Ltd, the Berriedale textile firm. Managing director Mike Smith was approached some months ago by Donald McRuraidh of North Uist. The only sample Mr McRuraidh had was a 100-year-old rug thought to be the only example of the McRuraidh design. Mr Smith took two weeks to conquer the exact colour match and another month to produce the fabric and deliver it to a grateful Mr McRuraidh.


First and second-year secondary pupils from the north and west who live in hostels and lodgings while they are being educated on the east coast, are to continue to have transport provided so that they can go home every second week-end. This was agreed by Sutherland Education Committee at Helmsdale on Wednesday, when there was a lengthy debate on the subject.

Sutherland may get sand yachting and be upsides with Caithness. The area tourist organisation has decided to investigate the possibilities, and, as a start, Mr Dawson Macleod, secretary of the Scottish Sand and Land Yachting Federation, is coming here this week-end to have a look at the beaches on the east coast. This is merely exploratory and Mr Macleod will not have a boat with him. He is expected to be accompanied by Mr Alfred Levens, development officer for Caithness, and he will be met in Dornoch by Mr A. M. Barbour, the Dornoch Town Council's representative on Sutherland Tourist Council.


It is a pleasant duty to chronicle a gathering where the real spirit of comradeship was predominant from beginning to end. Such a gathering took place in the Drill Hall, Golspie, on Saturday, where the Comrades of the Great War of Brora, Rogart and Golspie branches were entertained at luncheon by His Grace the Duke of Sutherland. That the Comrades appreciated the Duke's thoughtfulness was evident from the large number who responded to his invitation.

They flocked to the call as comrades of a comrade, and assembled, as they were, in the ideal spirit of comradeship. The function could not be anything else but the pleasant one that took place. As Dr Simpson, Golspie, said in the course of his remarks, the "Duke was not present as the Duke or as the Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland. He was there as one of themselves – as a Comrade of the Great War." His remarks summed up the whole gathering in its true light. They were all assembled as comrades to enjoy themselves as comrades and to foster and strengthen the bonds of comradeship.

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