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A photograph of Muriel Murray and Neil Buchan

Muriel Murray and Neil Buchan

Boyhood Memories of Ham Farm by David Finlayson

Born: 0

Duration: 10m 59s

Type: Audio

Filesize: 8.5 Mb

Recorded: 10 October 2022

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About this recording

Muriel Murray and Neil Buchan, representatives of Castletown Heritage Society, talk about their involvement in the publication of David Finlayson's book Boyhood Memories of Ham Farm.

Muriel explains how they were first approached by Nancy Houston from John OGroats, asking if the Castletown Heritage Society would be willing to publish the memories of renowned physicist David Finlayson, a native of Caithness.

Muriel recalls, "As we read through the script, there emerged a wonderful description of the boyhood in Caithness of this man, David Finlayson. He transported us to our Caithness way of life that was all but gone. He reminisced about his early school days, his farm duties, the household chores that people had to do, the great idyllic free time that they had in those days, in which he explored rock pools and fishing along the shore and the cliffs, and also the daily routines and mealtimes of the family. He also wrote about the farm of Ham with its buildings, its field, its mill and the mill pond. The whole thing was recounted in his own particular way, in a style peculiar to himself, which was a wonderful mixture of the authoritative, so you knew that you could trust what he was saying, and yet his couthie style, which betrayed his Caithness past,”

David left Caithness at the age of eighteen when he went to study Physics and Mathematics at St Andrews University. His association with this institution continued for more than seven decades, while he achieved worldwide renown for the teaching of physics and research into semiconductors.

Muriel talks about the process to gain permission from the family of David Finlayson to publish the book while Neil Buchan explains the process of converting the typewritten sheets into book format, through the use of an optical character reader OCR, He also describes how photos were gathered from various sources to illustrate the book and he talks about the lengthy proof-reading process.

David's daughter Mairi Finlayson attended the book launch. She said how nice it was that members of Castletown Heritage Society were doing this for her father's memory and the fact that this was resuscitating memories of a bygone era.

David Finlayson was born on 2nd May 1919 and died 21st May 2012.

Boyhood Memories of Ham Farm by David Finlayson

Published by Castletown Heritage Society

Printed by Inky Little Fingers Ltd

Cover design by Neil Buchan

Cover photograph by Mairi Finlayson


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