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Highland journalist and former Cromarty museum curator dies aged 75

By Val Sweeney

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Martin Gostwick, former journalist and curator of the Hugh Miller Museum.
Martin Gostwick, former journalist and curator of the Hugh Miller Museum.

Martin Gostwick, of Cromarty, worked for the socialist daily newspaper, the Morning Star, for many years.

He was also the curator of the Hugh Miller Museum in Cromarty and credited with raising the profile of the 19th century geologist and writer to a broader audience.

Mr Gostwick, who died suddenly in Raigmore Hospital, leaves a wife, Frieda.

One of two sons of a university professor, he was born and grew up in London.

He attended St Paul’s School before going to sixth form college and then into journalism, initially joining the Acton Gazette.

After working on various titles in Canterbury, Worcester and Reigate, he joined local government magazines, Municipal Journal and Municipal Engineering.

Encouraged by the editor, he joined the Communist Party and subsequently joined the Morning Star, becoming its Parliamentary correspondent.

He became the paper’s Scotland correspondent after he and his Inverness-born wife moved to Glasgow.

A perk of the job was that the couple enjoyed several paid-for holidays in Russia.

They later moved to Cromarty where Frieda was the National Trust for Scotland manager of Hugh Miller’s birthplace,.

Mr Gostwick worked as her assistant until he took over the role when she became ill.

A founder member of the Friends of Hugh Miller, he also wrote The Legend of Hugh Miller about his life plus A Noble Smuggler, based on Miller’s early journalistic career on the Inverness Courier.

His brother, Giles, said he loved writing.

“He was a very natural writer,” he said. “Writing was his passion. He was also a natural storyteller.

“He was a very warm person and passionate about the community.

“It was about supporting people and the common people which was why he was a Communist.”

Historian and Cromarty resident David Alston said Mr Gostwick would be greatly missed.

“He made a big contribution to the recovery of understanding the importance of Hugh Miller not just locally but throughout Scotland,” he said.

A private service and cremation took place yesterday.

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