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PICTURES: Dounreay families' leisure time captured on camera for exhibition relating to iconic Highland development

By Alan Hendry

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Meeting Santa at the 1958 Viewfirth children's Christmas party. Picture: NDA
Meeting Santa at the 1958 Viewfirth children's Christmas party. Picture: NDA

Nostalgic photos capturing the fun and excitement of leisure activities in Caithness during the early years of Dounreay have gone on show in a new online exhibition.

Under the title Atomic Recreation, it has been put together by Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives. This latest offering follows on from the successful exhibition Atomic Housing: Thurso Transformed, which showcased changes to the built landscape of Thurso when a nuclear reactor was built at Dounreay in the 1950s and hundreds of new homes were needed to accommodate a population that tripled in the space of 10 years.

The new online exhibition explores the recreational opportunities that developed because of this influx of predominantly young people to the area. They brought with them a fresh energy and a desire for fun and entertainment outwith work, so sports and social clubs connected to Dounreay were established and flourished for many years.

The exhibition focuses on the Ormlie Lodge Club, the Dounreay Sports and Social Club at Viewfirth (both Thurso) and the Dounreay Club in Wick. It includes images of dances, parties, folk festivals and sports days from the Dounreay photographic archive, accompanied by memories of social and sporting events from an oral history project conducted by James Gunn, Dounreay’s heritage officer.

The exhibition can be viewed on the Nucleus website.

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