2020/21 Winter Programme December Update
We look forward in 2021 to holding our regular monthly meetings once again in the Grant Arms. However, we have no idea yet when that will be. In the meantime we are, instead, running a series of specially created powerpoint presentations by Zoom. We aim to present these on the third Friday of each month (January to March). Invitations will be sent out to members. These virtual meetings are free, as were our regular meetings previously. However, those attending are invited to donate to the Society as this is our main source of income. This may be done by bank transfer to
The Grantown Society SCIO RBS account number 00139104 sort code 83-22-19
March 19th 2021 "Brewers, Distillers and Purveyors of Fine Drink" Virtual Heritage Walk meeting by Zoom (invitation will be sent to members) Others wishing to take part sghould email the membership secretary for an invitation.
February 19th 2021 "Health and Welfare Heritage walk" 7.15 for 7.30 Digital: Members' Meeting by Zoom (invitation will be sent to members) Others wishing to take part sghould email the membership secretary for an invitation.
January 15th 2021 "A Walk in the Woods" Digital: Members' Meeting by Zoom (invitation will be sent to members)
November 20th 2020 The Music of Strathspey Digital: Members' Meeting by Zoom (invitation will be sent to members)
October 16th 2020 The Grant Raid on Elgin Digital: Members' Meeting by Zoom
September 7th 2020 update.
Winter programme 2020/2021. This will be annunced shortly. It is likely to include a revamped Fiddler of Strathspey Weekend replacing that of 19/20 September. Because indoor meeting are difficult at this time the winter programme will include digital presentations by video.
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September 19th and 20th 2020 newsletter
The 2020 Fiddler of Strathspey Festival as such is cancelled. Nevertheless it is hoped to provide a celebration of community and culture to recognise the great strengths of the community and the generous work done during lock down.
The 2020 Fiddler of Strathspey Festival is under review because of the current crisis. However, if we have the all clear we will need something to brighten the world and cheer us all up.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings there will be musical rambles. In the afternoon we plan to have music in the High Street and Square to celebrate "Totally Locally" and the regeneration of our community. On Saturday evening there will be music in the park - Grant Park opposite the Craiglynne and beside the Skating Pond. That will be the venue on Sunday afternoon for a picnic in the park with traditional music.
This year's fiddle compettions will unfortunately be cancelled but we shall have a music/artand craft competition! This will take the form of a "cardboard orchestra". Individuals and groups are invited to make and decorate musical instruments out of cardboard (either 2D or better 3D) and we shall endeavour to display them in local shops where they will be judged on festival Saturday.
Currently there are plans for a possible River Spey Festival as part of the 2020 Year of Coasts and Waters. This will include the Fiddler of Strathspey and numerous musical and other events.
Note: The current health crisis may well mean the cancellation of these events.
20 March 2020
We are working on a programme of talks for the 20/21 season some of which may well be on-line.
"The Grant Raid on Elgin" by Bill Sadler - commemorating the events of March 1820
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the last time "the fiery cross was raised in the Highlands" (figuratively at least)
WINTER PROGRAMME OF TALKS 2019-20
21 February 2020
"Then and Now" by John Halliday - based on modern views and old postcards.
Grantown has a rich heritage in the form of postcards, left by many local and national photographers .
These help tell a fascinating tale of Grantown's past and development.
17 January 2020
"Inverallan Church Past and Present" by Bill Steele
From the first church at Old Inverallan to the first building in Grantown and then the magnificent Seafield Memorial Church, there is a long and interesting story. Dr Steele, from his research, will present the story of the latter building.
15 November 2019
"Timber Floating" by Bill Sadler
The transport of timber by water was a saga in the history of more than one river. The roads were, of course, little better than rough, rutted tracks and transport was consequently slow and and costly. Transport by water was relatively cheap, simple and swift.
In the middle of the 18th century the Spey, 95 miles from its source to the Moray Firth, was of considerable importance commercially, and timber floating created work for a large number of men.
One of the most famous of the floater was Alastair Grant Mor, the Laird's champion, painted by Richard Waitt as one of the iconic Grant pictures.
8 October 2019
"The Regality of Grant" by Charles Fletcher
In a charter of 1694, their Majesties King William and Queen Mary ordained that, "the town formerly called Castletown of Freuquhie, now and in all time to come to be called the Town and Burgh of Grant, and to be the principal burgh of regality, a market cross to be erected therein and proclamations to be made thereat ......
Wrong-doers might have been tied to the cross and scourged by the hangman. For example we know from the Regality Court books that in 1703 three women were charged with the crime of "conveying aquavite clandestinely to prisoners in Castle Grant, who drank to such excess that they died." The women were tied to the Regality Cross at Grantown, their bodies made bare from the belt upwards, and scourged with cords by the hangman, each receiving thirty stripes."
The modern version of the Regality Cross in New Grantown.
27 September 2019
Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer bought Lynbreck Croft in March 2016. With no farming background, they set about building a new farm business where people, wildlife, farm animals and nature live and work in harmony to build soil, increase biodiversity and produce nutrient dense healthy food. In their own words they "farm to be wild" and are passionate about helping reconnect people to land they live in and the food they eat.
PROGRAMME OF TALKS 2018-19
February 15th 2019 Grantown East End
This part of Grantown was, through the decades home of a great many worthies and the source of many tales. It was the territory of the East Enders whose clan lands ran from the Court House to the last houses at the end of what is now Castle Road East. Of the youngsters one author wrote, “Our sports were generally held on the street, shinty and football played between the end houses and the Court House. Marbles. Skipping. Bonnettie and lots of other games would be indulged in. Dogs and Hares. Hide & seek through the Back yards and gardens all going well until some man or woman would make an appearance raging on us for the noise we made. …… On Saturdays and School holidays with barrows and bags some of the boys would go down to the Spey for sand for the use of our Mothers in scrubbing the floor…….” Reports such as this, stories of residents gone but not forgotten and memories of times gone by are the source of the February Society talk. Grant Arms Hotel - 7.30pm.
Bridge over the East End Burn looking along Castle Road
January 18th 2019 The A 939
Through the Eastern Highlands there are a great many main and minor roads, roads old and new; trails, tracks, drove roads, thieves roads, smugglers trails – military roads, parliamentary and statute roads, estate and church roads and all have legends, stories to tell, scenes to admire and interesting places to visit. The A 939 and its associated military road from Royal Deeside to the Moray Firth as well as being one of Scotland’s valued scenic routes it is almost certainly one of the most historic. January’s presentation is a selection, a mere taster, along the route running from Braemar to Nairn and Inverness across some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. Grant Arms Hotel - 7.30pm.
November 16th Strathspey Farmers’ Club
October 19th Ballindalloch Castle
September 21st AGM and Place Names around Grantown
June 8th, 9th & 10th Fiddler of Strathspey Festival
April 6th Castles of Strathspey
March 26th Highland Textiles (Newtonmore 2pm)
March 16th Sgt. John Minnery MC, DCM
February 16th “Kompani Linge” & Scottish Civic Trust
January 26th “Grantown on Glass”
November 17th The Square & Castle Road
October 20th 250 years of Grantown Grammar
September 15th Conference - Joint with Museum - Richard Waitt
July - October Richard Waitt Exhibition at Grantown Museum
June 23/24 Fiddler of Strathspey Festival
March 17th March Meeting “Textiles”
February 17th February Meeting “The Bookie Stuarts”