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‘History in the making’ as Dunbeath and Berriedale groups prepare for week of coronation activities Published on 13th July 2024

Check out this article in the John O’Groat Journal >>Click Here<<

It’s “history in the making” for community groups in the Dunbeath and Berriedale area as they prepare for a week-long programme of coronation events.

There will be activities for all ages, ranging from a children’s party to a tea dance, as well as local walks and an exhibition at Dunbeath Heritage Centre featuring royal photos and memorabilia and an exhibition of local primary school pupils’ artwork.

The programme is being delivered from May 1-8 by eight local groups, with Dunbeath and District Centre as lead organisation. Funding has come from the Caithness Beatrice Community Fund, through a participatory budgeting exercise, and from local donations.

Margaret Sutherland, chairperson of Dunbeath and District Centre, said: “It’s history in the making, no matter whether you are a royalist or not. We in Dunbeath are very intergenerational – we mix the generations as much as we can, and it just came together.

“All the other groups have been wonderful. They really have embraced this and it’s almost going to be like a gala week.”

Coronation activities are taking place at Dunbeath and District Centre each day during the week leading up to coronation day on Saturday, May 6. Booking in advance is essential for all events in the centre (01593 731335). Along with a mix of both in-house and outreach lunches, highlights include a Crafters’ Afternoon King’s Tea on the Monday and a Sing for the King and Afternoon Tea on the Thursday.

On the Saturday, the centre will be live-streaming the coronation ceremony and tea/coffee and sandwiches will be laid on.

Dunbeath Strollers are organising a series of walks suitable for varying levels of fitness. There will be a Dunbeath walk on the Thursday and then, on the Sunday, a choice of two one-hour walks in the Berriedale area.

Both the Berriedale walks start at 12.30pm, with one classed as easy and one as difficult, with the latter taking in part of the John O’Groats Trail. Walkers are asked to dress appropriately, wear stout footwear and take a stick if necessary.

Berriedale is the focus for the Sunday activities. A Songs of Praise will take place in the church (2pm-2.45pm), led by Leslie and Maureen O’Neill, with music by Steven Sinclair.

Then, from 2.30pm-4.30pm, Portland Hall will be the venue for a tea dance hosted by Berriedale SWI with music by Frankie Sutherland along with tombola and bottle stalls.

On Monday, May 8, youngsters and families from Dunbeath Primary School and the Dunbeath and Berriedale district will join together for a coronation children’s party from noon to 2pm in Dunbeath community hall.

There will be a bouncy castle, courtesy of Messy Nessy in Thurso, games, a scavenger hunt and lunch. Children must be supervised by a parent or carer during this event.

The exhibition at Dunbeath Heritage Museum is to open on Friday, May 5, and will continue throughout the month.

Margaret added: “The coronation celebration events have been in the planning for a number of months. The award from Beatrice gave us the funds necessary to deliver an extensive programme in response to requests from local residents and organisations.

“As ever, many volunteer hours, lots of goodwill and donations have all contributed to the planning, organising and delivery.”

Margaret Sutherland and Daniel Macleod, operational growth manager at Dunbeath and District Centre, were among the many Caithness community group representatives who were introduced to the then Prince Charles at an event in Wick’s Carnegie library building last July.

Leaflet for the programme of coronation events in Dunbeath and Berriedale (page 1).Leaflet for the programme of coronation events in Dunbeath and Berriedale (page 1).Leaflet for the programme of coronation events in Dunbeath and Berriedale (page 2).Leaflet for the programme of coronation events in Dunbeath and Berriedale (page 2).
The 1st Wick Scout Group will be holding a tea party to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

Tea, cakes, hot dogs and more will be laid on at the event in the Scout hall on Sunday, May 7, from 11am until 3pm.

Dunbeath & District Centre would not exist if it wasn't for the generous support of the following funders

Dunbeath & District Centre
7 Neil Gunn Road

Tel:01593 731335