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Open day at Hilton of Cadboll site with storytelling gig will be part of Fisherfolk Festival 2022

By Federica Stefani

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Hilton of Cadboll Pictish stone.
Hilton of Cadboll Pictish stone.

AN Easter Ross storytelling festival will be welcoming audiences to a special open day unveiling the stories behind a famous Pictish stone.

The Fisherfolk Festival, which is organised at the Seabord Centre in Balintore, near Tain, will be running at the end of the month, with a special open day focussing around the historic Hilton of Cadboll stone.

On Saturday, May 28, participants will be able to learn about a site survey run by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Rose Geophysics at the time of the festival, as well as hearing Pictish stories from local storytellers Bob Pegg and Pauline Cordiner.

Cromarty-based storyteller and festival organiser, Ewan McVicar, said him and Maureen Ross of Balintore Seaboard Centre were delighted to hear from Dr Laura Harrison, Cultural Resources Adviser at HES, who told that the festival dates coincided with the planned investigation of the Pictish site.

Ewan McVicar. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Ewan McVicar. Picture: Gary Anthony.

He explained: "We had already planned to include a storytelling visit to the Hilton Pictish Stone by Bob Pegg of Strathpeffer, who is not only a famed musician and teller of Pictish lore, but also a former Balintore resident. His book Highland Folk Tales shares local stories he got firsthand in the Seaboard Villages.

"But then we learned that HES and Rose Geophysics would be on the Hilton site for the two weeks leading up to the Festival, using aboveground geophysical equipment to investigate and learn about the medieval chapel beside the stone without digging.

"We realised that we should expand our Festival plans, and have a joint Open Day on Saturday 28th May. The archeological experts will be on hand to tell about their work and findings, we will not only bring the Rhynie Wifies re-enactment group along from their Seaboard Centre pitch to show domestic Pictish skills in action, but have resident storytellers Bob Pegg and Pauline Cordiner on the site to entertain."

The Open Day is only one part of three days of concerts, exhibitions and other performance events, ending in a Stories Galore on the evening of Sunday 29th May in Nigg Old Church, which also houses a wonderful Pictish carved stone.

More information on the festival can be found at seaboardstories.co.uk/fisherfolk-festival-2022

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