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Translocation Festival brochure

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  • H e l m s d a l e R i v e r

    Strathnaver StreetSutherland Street

    Shore Street


    ent -











    ta o

    rd S





    Old Caithness Road






    WELCOMEWelcome to Helmsdale. Welcome to the Strath of Kildonan.

    This year we are commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Kildonan Clearances. The large scale removal of the many tenants who lived in the Strath of Kildonan has changed the lives of our people and our landscape forever. The displaced people moved to Helmsdale and the coast, to the big cities, and to new lands across the seas, especially Canada, with the promise of a better life and to make way for thousands of sheep.

    Visiting these past events makes us re ect on the trauma of the dislocation, the Diaspora, the 200-year history that came afterwards, and how these events have in uenced our lives today.

    Join us for the two-week long Translocation Festival with highlights including Helmsdale Harbour Day, Loth and Helmsdale Flower Show and Helmsdale Highland Games. Choose from a variety of activities for everyone - from international book launches to local ceilidhs, a visit to the Virtual World of Caen to a Shinty match and bus tours to the cleared townships o ered by our volunteers.

    We hope that you enjoy your time with us.






    Timespan Centre


    Kildonan Clearances Trail Helmsdale to Kinbrace 28 km (one way)


    Community Centre

    Helmsdale Primary School

    Couper Park

    Othin House

    19:30 Transatlantic Session Timespan 3.00 Live music from both sides of the Atlantic. Licensed bar. Families welcome.

    11:00 RNLI Helmsdale Harbour Day Harbour Free(17:00) A day of activities and entertainment including highland dancing, raft race and ra e as well as stalls selling local produce.

    SUNDAY 4 AUGUST11:00 Bicentenary Service Bunillidh Church Free Service and display of historic communion vessels followed by refreshments.

    19:30 Film Screening: Silver Darlings Timespan 2.50 The 1947 lm version of Neil Gunns portrayal of the Highland herring boom.


    TUESDAY 6 AUGUST10:00 Learable Township Tour meet at Timespan 2.50 (13:00) Guided walk of the township at Learable, Kildonan. Transport provided.

    12:00 Lunchtime Lecture: Anthony Schrag Timespan Free Join artist Anthony Schrag for a short lecture titled Shinty! Again!

    18:30 Supper and Quiz Timespan 5.00 Food and endish questions with a special Translocation round. Prizes.

    WEDNESDAY 7 AUGUST10:30 Helmsdale to Bettyhill meet at Timespan 5.00 (16:00) Bus tour to Bettyhill (and back) with a visit to Strathnaver Heritage Museum.

    19:30 Talk: Dr. Elizabeth Ritchie Timespan Free The Two Cuthbert Grants: Fighting and Fur-trading in the Canadian NW.

    THURSDAY 8 AUGUST14:00 Caen Township Tour meet at Timespan 2.50 (17:00) Guided walk of the township at Caen, Kildonan. Transport provided.

    18:00 High Tea Timespan 9.50 Enjoy traditional meal and baking prepared by local volunteers.

    FRIDAY 9 AUGUST14:30 Loth and Helmsdale Flower Show Community Centre 2.00(18:00) Day 1. Flower displays, entertainment and afternoon tea.

    17:00 Shinty Match: Locals vs. Canada Couper Park Free Artist Anthony Schrag leads a shinty match. Spectate or take part...

    500 ft

    100 m


    22:00 Outdoor Film Screening Othin House Free Watch Ach na h-uai, a lm by artist Hugh Watt, made on residency at Timespan.

    10:00 Loth and Helmsdale Flower Show Community Centre 2.00(15:30) Day 2. A welcome from Lord Thurso and an auction of produce following the presentation of cups at 15:30.

    19:30 The Gathering Timespan Free A traditional ceilidh night to welcome our friends from overseas including music by Christine Stone, MOD Gold medalist . Licensed bar. Families welcome.


    MONDAY 12 AUGUST10:00 Translocation Workshops (drop-in) Timespan Free(16:00) Create your own commemorative token for the evening ceremony.

    19:00 Translocation Ceremony Harbour Free An event to mark the landing of the settlers at Churchill, Canada on the 12th August 1813 followed by music and bu et at Timespan.

    TUESDAY 13 AUGUST10:00 Kilphedir Township Tour meet at Timespan 2.50 (13:00) Guided walk of the township at Kilphedir, Kildonan. Transport provided.

    18:00 High Tea Timespan 9.50 Enjoy traditional meal and baking prepared by local volunteers.

    19:30 Talk: Jenny Bruce Timespan Free Migration of some Border shepherds to Caithness and Sutherland.

    12:00 Lunchtime Lecture: Je Rule Timespan Free Sutherlands in a southern land: Tracing the migration of ancestors from Alba to Aotearoa.


    19:30 Talk: Cameron Taylor Timespan Free Its time to come home: some re ections on ancestral tourism.

    14:00 Clearances Trail meet at Timespan 2.50 (17:00) A minibus tour following Timespans Clearances Trail through the Strath of Kildonan.


    18:00 High Tea Timespan 9.50 Enjoy traditional meal and baking prepared by local volunteers.

    19:30 Whos Afraid of the Big Bad Sheep Helmsdale School 5.00 The premiere of Helmsdales Clearances play, followed by live music.

    FRIDAY 16 AUGUST12:00 Lunchtime Lecture: Frances Davis Timespan Free A talk about Tim Knowles Post Box on show in the gallery.

    Tim Knowles presents Post Box, a box with a camera that has travelled the British postal system. Join the parcel on its journey from London to Barra and imagine what happens to the letters we send .

    Also on show is Sock Sampler, a trans-Atlantic knitting project inspired by a letter taken from Scotland to the Red River Settlement in 1815. Have a go yourself and join our knitting group in the Timespan Cafe on Tuesdays from 2-4.

    You can also see the nds from our recent longhouse excavation shown in conjunction with work by artist and photographer Carolyn Le ey who joined the dig in June 2013.

    Are you interested in your familys history? Drop in and meet our genealogy experts in Timespans archive each Tuesday and Thursday from 10-12. Find out more about our genealogy services and browse our local records. Other times by appointment.

    Discover our new Museum Displays focused on the characters of the Clearances, and re ect on the local heritage through the eyes of the Countess of Sutherland or Catherine MacPherson.

    Let the Virtual World of Caen transport you back in time to see how people lived in the township of Caen 200 years ago developed in partnership with St Andrews University.

    The rst Scottish Clearance Trail App leads you on a journey from Helmsdale to Kinbrace. Packed with information, stories, maps and images it illustrates our history and gives you all the background you need to understand the events of the Clearances from di erent viewpoints. Download the App from iTunes or borrow an iPod at Timespan.

    Venture on a day trip north. Take the Clearances Trail App as a guide up the Strath of Kildonan, visit the Flow Country at Forsinard and continue with the Strathnaver Trail that leads you to Bettyhill. At Borgie you will nd an unusual sculpture overlooking the empty lands: The Unknown by Kenny Hunter, a sculpture commissioned by Timespan in 2012.

    19:30 Talk: Prof. Jim Hunter Timespan Free Inhuman Treatment: One familys experience of the Clearances in Sutherland.

    19:00 Book Launches: Parting/Fgradh Timespan Free UK launch of two books from Cape Breton Press with talks and music.

    15:00 Commemorative Service Kildonan Church Free A special commemorative service with Rev. Dr. John Sterrett and Melvich and Lairg Gaelic Mens Choir followed by tea in Kildonan Hall. Transport available.

    14:00 Talk: Esther McDonald Portgower Hall Free Portgower: the story of a crofting community. Tea and sandwiches provided.

    Visit our website for more detailed information about all of these events, as well as regular updates and news. During the festival, watch out for ad-hoc events and updates on sandwich boards and signs around the village.





    7 Kildonan Church

    8 Portgower Hall

    ( 3km)8

    Download Clearances

    Trail App

    ( 13 km)

    by email: [email protected]

    by phone: +44 1431 821 327

    in person: Timespan, Dunrobin Street Helmsdale, KW8 6JA

    We are happy to help. Contact us:

    Inbetween the festivi