Clyne Heritage Society mark 25th anniversary with festival events

04 April 2023
Experimental archaeologist, Dr James Dilley of Ancientcraft
Clyne Heritage Society is marking its 25th anniversary with a programme of 25 heritage events, including demonstrations of ancient crafts.

With a membership of around 200, the Clyne Heritage Society has operated the seasonal Brora Heritage Centre since 2016, and holds a full programme of talks, guided walks and special events, such as archaeological excavations, all to promote its unique Highland heritage.

To mark its silver anniversary, the Society has put together a programme of 25 heritage events spread over five weekends in March and April 2023. Already, there have been 13 workshops, guided walks, talks and children's events at Brora Heritage Centre.

Brora Primary School pupils investigating the remains of the 16th C salt works on Brora's Back Beach

Amongst the festival’s remaining events, two upcoming workshops catch the eye. Experimental archaeologist, Dr James Dilley of Ancientcraft in Norfolk, is spending the weekend of April 8th/9th in Brora. On Saturday, April 8th, his workshop participants will discover the art of the oldest craft in the world: flint-knapping. He will show people how our earliest ancestors made tools to survive in the Stone Age. The aim of the day will be for attendees to go home with a variety of different stone tools they have made, new flintknapping skills and a new appreciation for prehistoric technology.

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Next, Neil Burridge will be making the journey from Cornwall, to demonstrate the Bronze Age art of smelting copper and casting swords, axe heads and spears. Neil is the UK's foremost expert of Bronze Age metalworking, with over twenty years’ experience making replica artifacts and rediscovering techniques used in past metalworking processes. 

There is a charge for both of the weekend metal-working events – e-mail for details.

Redevelopment project

Also, approaching fruition, the most ambitious of all the Society’s projects, over and above the silver anniversary heritage festival, is the planned £4m redevelopment of the semi-derelict Old Clyne School as its own community heritage centre and museum. The building, which the Society now owns and has gained planning consent for the project, is situated on the busy A9 trunk road, which is part of the poplar NC500 tourist route. Tenders for the work have been sent out to contractors for an end of April return.

If all goes well, a start on the ground could be made in early summer, with a view to a summer 2024 opening. 

For the full events programme, visit the Clyne Heritage Society website.

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