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United Kingdom Branch

c/o Ben Chisholm-Broomfield, Chairman
11 Croyard Drive
Beauly, By Inverness, Scotland
United Kingdom

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Current News

The Last Ent of Glen Affric

Glen Affric has for many years been on the Trail of the Lonesome Pine, with the gradual demise of the native Scots Pine, sadly reduced in numbers over the years. Some selected areas have neen fenced off and seedlings replanted with encouraging success through the ongoing conservation efforts by Forest and Land Scotland, landowners and partners. This includes managing the deer population and non native species.

Recently a centuries old Wych elm in Glen Affric has become the centre of attention in the battle against the devastating Dutch Elm disease.
Designated a Tree of National Special Interest by the Woodland Trust, the old elm of Affric has escaped the ravages of the disease, a remarkable survivor perched on a rocky outcrop in Glean nan Ciche, a spur off the main glen.

It has been christened The Last Ent of Affric after the name of the tree creatures in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings - the tree creatures which are depicted as guardians of the forest, so suggesting The Last Ent as a sentinel standing over the rebirth of native woodland in Glen Affric.

As part of the Scottish Plant Recovery Program, seedlings have been bred from large Wych elms in the Scottish Borders that have survived the fungal disease, suggesting they may have a natural resilience. The seedlings will be the first of 200 planted over the next 2 years as part of a joint effort between the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Forest and Land Scotland and landowners themselves.
In Glen Affric, a few dozen of these seedlings have been planted in the shadow of the isolated Affric elm, and it is hoped cross pollination between the new elms and The Last Ent will help recover the species from decades of loss. It is the general make up of these survivors that holds the key to the future recovery of the wych elm.

Dutch Elm disease arrived in England in the 60’s and has since spread across the British mainland. The fungal infection is spread by bark beetles and can quickly wither and kill healthy trees. Although Wych elm is not generally considered a threatened species according to the Woodland Trust, losses have been so severe that survivors are thin on the ground and are unlikely to interbreed without assistance.

Last year saw the demise of the famous Beauly Elm which had stood at the entrance to nearby Beauly Priory for 800 years until it succumbed to the fungal disease. Reference to the elm can be found going back to medieval times. The only elm native to the British mainland, it was believed to have been the oldest Wych elm in Europe.

Association of Highland Clans

The current newsletter of the Association can be found here. There is also a supplement here.

Further information can be found on the website of AHCS or on their facebook site

New Publication

The Chisholms of Lietry by Michael Cope

The Chisholms of Lietry are a cadet family of Clan Chisholm that have their origin in in the early seventeenth century in Strathglass in the former county of Inverness-shire.
In the early 1700s Colin Chisholm (of the fourth generation) moved his family to Lietry in Glen Cannich and later generations would farm there until the late 1830s before moving to the Aird on the coast of the Beauly Firth and subsequently to Inverness itself and the wider world.
The lives of Colin’s descendants can be traced against a background of immense social change in the Highlands of Scotland: upheavals of the Jacobite rebellions; the decline of the clan system and changes in land tenure; land clearances and waves of emigration to North America and Australia; and the emergence of a new mercantile and middle class before the First World War.

‘Overall this work shows the dedication of the author to tell his family’s history in a highly informative manner, and the use of family photographs adds so much more to the story throughout the book’
- Chairman, Highland Family History Society

Further information on purchase of the book can be obtained here.

Do you recognise any of these family members?

Diane Whitney of Houston, Texas has posted a family wedding photograph from Brighton, England dated 1950. (click on image to enlarge)

Some of the family members are as follows:
1 Grace Winifred Guy
2 Thomas Guy her son
3 Sheila Town (daughter on my Uncle Fred 11 and Aunty May 13)
4 Rosetta Town (formerly Packham née Collins)
5 Aunt Nellie Town wife of Arthur Chisholm
6 Arthur Chisholm (husband of Nellie)
7 Ruby Ann Barber bride
8 Dennis Trangmar groom (son of my half aunt Florence May Packham)
9 Uncle Albert John Town
10 Aunt Doris Mabel Town (née Nevatt)
11 Uncle Frederick Charles Town
12 Grandfather Frederick Arthur Town (the guy to left of twelve in similar hat I bet this was his brother George Henry Town)
13 Aunt May Town (wife of frederick Charles Town)

If you recognise any of the guests please contact Diane.

The Affric Kintail Way

The Affric Kintail Way is a 45 mile long distance trail for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders from Loch Ness through Glen Affric National Nature Reserve to Morvich in Kintail on the West coast.
The Strathglass Marketing Group is looking to upgrade part of the long distance route to replace sections that currently rely on local roads, by reworking some existing forest trails in Glenurquhart between Cannich and Drumnadrochit.
Volunteers have already been working on the route since 2017 with generous support from several organisations but the organisers are still looking for further funding to complete the project.

A crowdfunding scheme has been organised and interested parties are invited to make donations to support the project. Further details are available here.

For more information on the Strathglass Marketing Group and the Affric Kintail Way, visit their website here.

UK newsletter

The current UK newsletter is available here

The Aigas Community Forest

Near Beauly in Lower Strathglass, is the Aigas Community Forest
A community effort which has been running since 2015, the forest provides recreational facilities for visitors as well as operating as a productive enterprise.

New book "Lest You Forget – Stratherrick"

A new book has been published by the author Alister Chisholm telling the story of the men who have their names engraved on the Stratherrick War Memorial and the story of the memorial itself.
The memorial is a very evocative structure in a dramatic location on Cragan na Faranaich, Gorthleck on the south side of Loch Ness.

It is difficult to comprehend the devastating effect of the First World War had on the district, when thirty-four young men from the area lost their lives. Fourteen further names were added after World War Two.

The book gives family information on the names of all the fallen of both World Wars that are listed on the Stratherrick War Memorial. The book also details events in the district during the First World War, including recruitment locally to the forces, and how the manufacturing and agriculture of the area managed during WW1 when so many men were away at war.
There is also information on fund raising for help and comforts to be sent to the local serving men, as well as military service tribunals and land raids by returning demobilised servicemen.
Finally it also includes a Roll of Honour of servicemen from the district who served during WW1 and the List of Subscribers who contributed to the memorial.

Printed by Lucid Racoon.
Published by the Spouth Lock Ness Heritage Group.
ISBN 978-0-9553188—2-5. UK £7.00

Aigas Field Centre news

The Aigas Field Centre in Strathglass is just along the road from Erchless Castle.
The home of the writer and naturalist Sir John Lister-Kaye, the Field Centre runs a variety of residential week-long courses from April to October each year.
Run by professionals in their fields, the weeks include wildlife observation and wildlife photography, and their current programme can be found here.

The Field Centre also run an online ECO SHOP where local ecological products and gifts can be purchased.

Publication of an historical novel "Romance and Reality"

Author Alastair Chisholm of Alyth in Perthshire, has written a romantic historical novel capturing the highlights of life and interests of a Highland family over the years 1890-2020.

Further details and ordering information can be found here.

Strathglass Heritage Association

The Strathglass Heritage Association is running a research project on The Highland Clearances.

Focused on Strathglass and the surrounding area - the ancestral home of the Clan Chisholm - the project is planned to cover all aspects of the Clearances from the causes through to how people who were cleared managed to resettle and how they fared in their new homes.

Anyone with relevant information such as family stories, documents, records, sketches or photographs is welcome to send them to the organiser Jim McAuley.

Photographs of Archie Chisholm

The photographic works of Archie Chisholm have been drawn together from several different sources - museum archives, private collections and published images.

Procurator Fiscal at Lochmaddy in North Uist at the turn of the last century, Archie was a keen amateur photographer and chronicler of events throughout the islands. He captured images of life and work in the Western Isles during the period 1881 - 1913.

A flyer for the book is shown here and further information on purchase of the book can be obtained here.

Restoration Appeal - St. Mary's Church, Eskadale

St. Mary's Church in Eskadale is badly in need of restoration. Major works are required in reharling, drainage and heating, so help is badly needed to preserve this iconic church.

Eskadale is located on Eilean Aigas near Beauly at the eastern end of Strathglass and Chisholms have been greatly involved with St.Mary's since the early days - many are buried in the churchyard.

Further details of St.Mary's can be found here as well as a beautiful piece on its history here.

An earlier article submitted by Peter Chisholm of Canada on the Bishops of Strathglass and the Catholic Mission can be found here.

Please contact Susan Chisholm of Chisholm if you are interested in helping with this appeal.

British Stamp Issue for the Commemoration of Passchendaele

As part of the World War One Commemorations, six British postage stamps have been issued to commemorate Passchendaele - the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium, fought between July and November 1917.

Amongst these is a stamp showing Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, volunteer nurses on the front line.

The other stamps in the series are:

Highland Archive Centre News

Kilmorack Heritage Association Publications

A series of books and booklets describing the history and other details of the old parishes of Kilmorack, Kiltarlity, Kirkhill and Urray has been assembled by the Highland Archive Centre.
These areas all lie at the eastern end of Strathglass and were home to many Chisholm families over the years gone by.
The current list of these publications can be found here with prices, and they can be purchased from the archivist at the Highland Archive Centre.

Chisholm archives

The Highland Archive Centre has a number of fascinating records.
Amongst them a number of interesting seals can also be found including The Chisholm Seal.

Yesterdays Child

A recent UK Newsletter carried an article on the late Christina Morrison (née Chisholm) who passed away in January 2016 aged 96.
Originally from the Isle of Lewis, Christina was a member of the Society for many years and contributed several articles to the Clan Chisholm Journal. She had also recently completed a book on her own life - entitled "Yesterdays Child".
If you are interested, the book can be obtained from The Islands Book Trust, Laxay Hall, Laxay, Lochs, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9PJ.

Glen Affric friends say NO!
Campaign against Wind-Farms in Strathglass and Glen Affric

Proposed Wind-Farm Developments on Beinn Mhor, Tomich and in the area of Erchless and Kilmorack

Posted on December 31, 2015
There will be no further appeal made by WPD.
A message of thanks to Susan Chisholm of Chisholm, our Society secretary, for the help with the campaign is shown here.

Posted on July 9, 2015
Fantastic news today!! The Scottish Government’s Reporter has today rejected WPD’s application and appeal. This was always the wrong place for a wind farm and the decision is a triumph for common-sense and people power. The Reporter has taken on board many of the points that you raised in your individual objections and every objection.
Detailed information can be found in the report here.

Posted earlier in 2015
The proposal from WPD Scotland Ltd was to erect 7 turbines, each with a maximum height 392 feet, on the upper slopes of Beinn Mhor, Tomich Village and was initially under review by the Highland Council’s planning department.
Support for the campaign against Wind-Farm development in this area, is organised by the campaign secretary Mr Ian Campbell:
Strathglass View, Mullardoch Road, Cannich, Inverness-Shire. IV4 7LX.

The reasons for which an application of this kind could be rejected were quite prescriptive and the campaigners focused their individual objections on:

The campaign organisers have set up a website which is well worth a visit.

Another campaign in the area of Erchless / Kilmorack with the same issue has been started.

Would you like to know more about the founder of the Society?

As well as staging a play at the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival, the writer Diane Atkinson has written a book about Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker, and their heroic service in Belgium during World War I. Mairi was responsible for the revitalization of the Society in the 1950s. Check out this flyer (PDF) for details. Currently the book is only available in the UK and Europe, but we are looking into how to get the book elsewhere.
Please contact Susan Chisholm if you'd like any more information.

Also a statue of Mairi and her companion Elsie Knocker has been unveiled recently in Ypres, Belgium, close to where they performed their service.
Under the title "The Madonnas of Pervyse" this was done to coincide with The Great War commemorations which took place in 2014. The monument has been designed by a renowned local sculptor and is located in the town of Ypres near the coast where they did much of their work.
More information on the project is contained in a document prepared by the author Diane Atkinson who has also written a book on their heroic efforts.

A description of the ceremony held in Ypres the 22nd November 2014 is also available, based on an earlier description in The Clan Chisholm UK Branch Newsletter of December 2014.

News from Duncan Chisholm's Kilt Shop

To add to the traditional Chisholm Dress Tartan and Chisholm Hunting Tartan, there has now been added the Chisholm Colonial Tartan. Just arrived at Duncan Chisholm's Kilt Shop is a new batch of the Colonial Tartan .

This is available by the metre or yard and is suitable to be made up in Kilts, Skirts, Trousers or Waistcoats. Also available are Tartan Lambswool Rugs.

Available from: Chisholm's Kilt Shop, 47-51 Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU, Scotland.

For the background to the creation of this tartan see the earlier announcement on the US home page.

New albums from Duncan Chisholm 2012

For the last six years Duncan Chisholm been working on a suite of fiddle music recordings called The Strathglass Trilogy. The Trilogy comprises three albums titled: Farrar , Canaich and Affric. The much anticipated concluding part, Affric, went on general release on Monday 3 September 2012. These works are Duncan's musical representation of one of the most beautiful wilderness areas of Scotland. With such a personal interest in, and connection to these Highland Glens, Duncan has worked hard to instil great pride and passion into three individual but very much connected musical masterpieces.
Affric moves from the dynamic and charismatic sound of The Flooded Meadow to the breathtaking beauty of Rubha Nam Marbh (pron. roo-va nam mar-iv). From Duncan's Waltz of the Grey River which captures perfectly the movement and flow of the River Glass to his piece Running The Cross which evokes the vitality and spirit of the great Highland Cross run.
More information on Duncan and his music can be found here

The CDs can be purchased by post. Please send a note detailing which albums you would like together with a cheque ( payable to Copperfish Records ). Please note that orders from abroad should be accompanied by a bank draft.

The distributor's address is:

 Inverness IV3 8RN,

The three CD's can be purchased individually at £ 9.99 each, or you can buy The Strathglass Trilogy, tied in Chisholm Hunting tartan for £ 25.00.

Earlier albums include The Door of Saints and Redpoint

Post and Packing is extra - prices are as below:

United KingdomEuropeInternational
1 CD£ 2.00£ 3.00 £ 4.00
2 CDs£ 3.00£ 4.00£ 5.00
3 CDs£ 3.00£ 4.00£ 6.00

Wilfrid Medlams Seat at Cannich Brae

This seat was placed in memory of Wilfrid G. Medlam, who as a member did so much for our society. It sits next to the Chisholm Stone, overlooking Comar Lodge, which was built for a Chisholm in 1740.

Thanks to Ben and Juliette Chisholm-Broomfield for the photos.

Culloden Moor

Visiting Scotland? Why not visit the Culloden Battlefield and the new visitors center. Check out the Culloden Moor Web Site for more information.

The Society has acquired a stone in the Culloden Walk leading up to the new Visitor Centre at Culloden Moor. This part of the Culloden Walk is another reminder of the Chisholm's place in this part of Scottish history.

Cnoc Ciuil Ceilidh Band CD

The U.K. Branch launched a C.D. of "Highland Tunes" with the Cnoc Ciuil Ceilidh Band in July. Cost is £4.00 plus P/P. Please enquire for prices abroad. Contact Susan or Juliette if interested.