A study weekend was held in East Sutherland by the Scottish social section of the Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW), part of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). It was organised by FoFNL member Robin Sutherland.
The visit explored the area's infrastructure including the effect of the contribution made by the extremely wealthy Marquis of Stafford, husband of the Countess of Sutherland.
Our member and friend John Yellowlees was on the trip and gave us these notes of the itinerary:
Thursday: Dornoch Bridge and Meikle Ferry, Tain Platform 1864, Little Ferry North Pier, Culmailey Burn outlet and canal works.
Friday: Torboll fish ladder, Shin hydro, Rosehall House and Canal, Achness and Cassley Falls, Oykell Viaduct, Bonar Bridge, Spinningdale lade, turbine house and mill. Clyne Heritage Centre.
Saturday: Brora Salt Street, harbour, coal mine, brickworks, tramway, locomotive works and river bridges. Past distillery and gunnery range observation posts to Helmsdale Harbour and Timespan. Train Helmsdale-Rogart, slowing to view drain. Pittentrail ford and mill, Rogart Station and Sleeperzz. The Mound old station and sluice, observe Dornoch Light Railway, visit Dornoch old station. Film show at Dornoch Library about the rise and fall of the light railway and about the opening of the Dornoch Firth bridge by the Queen Mother.
Sunday: Sutherland gathering stone, Big Burn bridges, railway viaduct and lade. Dunrobin Castle Station, Golspie drill-hall, Duke Street, drove road, ford and observe Gunnery HQ. Golspie Station with plaque and train to Inverness.
A full, detailed report of the weekend, by Robin Sutherland, is available here.