Rogart Heritage Society was formed to record and preserve the history of the parish. The quest is ongoing in that we are constantly finding fresh information and coming across new images and documents for our archive. Now that we are developing our website we are able to make so much more available, wherever you may be in the world.
If you have documents, pictures or stories that you would like to add to our archive please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!
Despite the global pandemic an annual meeting of the society is necessary so that we can file the relevant documents with the Scottish Charities Regulator before the end of the year. As a physical meeting is not permitted we are holding the Annual General Meeting by email.
We will circulate the documents to existing members (anyone who has been a member since September 2019) by email. If you are not a member but would like to take part in the AGM please contact us to join the society. Membership is £5 a year.
We were just about to hold a cèilidh night to launch our latest book when lockdown shut down everything. As we’re still not able to host any sort of event we wanted to make Reflections of Rogart Parish During the Great War available now.
When we started the project back in 2018 we didn’t want to write a traditional narrative of the progress of the war or try to capture the full consequences of this epoch-ending period. Instead we wanted to show how the men, women and children of Rogart were affected and lived, or died, through the crucible of the Great War.
Our historian, John MacDonald, had collected material over the decades. He had studied the rolls of honour and asked questions of folk who had personally known those who had served. So our new book includes tributes to the men of the Rogart who fought in the war. Their family members have donated photographs and shared their ancestors’ stories.
We also draw on letters home. Written by soldiers at the Western Front they reveal the day-to-day concerns of the men. They also show how travel broadened their horizons. Astonishingly some of them managed to explore parts of France and southern England, almost as tourists.
The book also dips into contemporary Highland newspapers. The local press recorded celebrations of medal winners and the funerals of those men who were buried locally. The papers also reported on the shortage of manpower as a result of the men’s absence and the work of women and children to support their menfolk.
During the research we have also tracked down men whose names appear on the war memorial at Pittentrail but whose connection with Rogart had faded from general knowledge. We identified a number of these ‘unknown soldiers’.
The book is now for sale in the Post Office store at Pittentrail for £7. Or we can post it out if you don’t live locally – additional cost of postage and packing in the UK is £2.40. The cost of sending outwith the UK will be publicised shortly.
If you would like to buy a copy please send us a private message using the Contact button at the top of the page and we will get back to you:
On Thursday 20 December there’s a chance to see one of our famous Rhilochan cèilidhs on national TV.
The much loved programme, This Farming Life, featured our former Chair, Penny Calvert, and husband Robin on their Reidchalmai croft. Shortly after filming ended Penny and Robin semi-retired to a small 36 acre farm on Sanday, Orkney.
Ceilidh at Rhilochan School
One of the TFL episodes included snippets from a Craic & Cèilidh where you can spot several well known faces. If you want to catch up with this 2016 event then check out BBC 2 at 7.00 am on Thursday 20th December. Yes, that is 7 o’clock in the morning, not evening!
Our next event will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railway’s arrival in Rogart. A must for anyone who would like to see what the station once looked like, the numerous staff that were necessary to run this busy place and its twists and turns through time.
The short talk accompanied by photographs will be followed by an informal house cèilidh.
Every year, in the autumn, Highland Archaeology hosts a festival to showcase the magnificent history of the area. Community heritage groups often arrange local walks as part of these celebrations, and Rogart’s is no exception.
This year Alex Campbell, Eiden, is giving a guided walk around Reidh Chalmai (sometimes referred to as Rhichalmy of Torboll) where the landscape is littered with interesting archaeology and fascinating history.
In 1909 archaeologist Alexander Curle described the tumuli, chambered cairn and hut circles at Reidh Chalmai at great length in his diary and sketched one of the more intact cairns at neighbouring Torboll. Maps reveal significant signs of former habitation and there is plenty of evidence to be seen today.
It should prove a fascinating morning.
Please meet at 10:30, Pittentrail Hall car park. The walk will last about 2 hours. Afterwards, tea and coffee will be available in the hall.