Following the Cruise of the Betsey

  • Simon Cuthbert (Organiser)

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition


Our journey, which celebrated the life and achievements of a great Scot, a great scientist and a remarkable observer of the social history of the time. Hugh Miller, of Cromarty, recorded his voyage of discovery on the Betsey, around the Inner Hebrides, in the summer of 1844. Our journey recreated this 170 years later with a crew of geologists, writers, musicians, geographers and other talented people. including three young Earth Scientists who were sponsored to participate in the journey. The Cruise of the Betsey voyage for 2014 took place between the 6th – 12th of September 2014, setting out from the North Pier in Oban. Our sailing boat for the voyage was Leader – a gaff-rigged ketch, built in Brixham, Devon in 1892. Leader was one of the largest of the Brixham sailing trawlers, known, despite their Ketch rig, as the ‘Big Sloops’. Public events took place in Cromarty and on the island of Eigg to coincide with the voyage. The Hugh Miller Festiva on the Island of Eigg (7th – 10th September, 2014) was led by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, Lochaber Geopark and Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust and including contributions from visiting palaeontologists, geologists, artists and storytellers. The Festival engaged the local community and visitors to the island with the story of Hugh Miller’s exploration of Eigg and his wide-ranging scientific discoveries.The programme included guided walks for small groups to explore sites where Miller discovered plesiosaur bones and which follow Miller’s footsteps in investigating the formation of Eigg’s famous landmark, An Sgurr. The "We are Cromarty event (23rd – 25th September, 2014) was led by The Friends of Hugh Miller, ‘We are Cromarty’ was the title given to the mini ‘Hugh Miller’ festival which ran in Cromarty from 23rd, Festival activities included a walk to the fish bed deposits made famous by Hugh Miller, a walk led by ecologist and broadcaster, Dr Kenny Taylor focusing on Hugh Miller’s interest in natural history, a session exploring the magical world of Miller’s legends with folklorist, Bob Pegg, and a hands-on session sharing a display from his collection of minerals, and revealing how to search for minerals in Scotland. Local artists exhibited work inspired by Scotland’s landscapes. The festival included music & dance contributions from the Cromarty Youth café. It finished with poetry and prose from Norman Bissell (Scottish Centre for Geopoetics). Two exciting new resources have been developed for primary and secondary schools which are based on Hugh Miller’s voyage on the Betsey and have a focus on ‘Learning about Scotland’. For a video about the voyage see .
Period6 Sep 201430 Sep 2014
Event titleFollowing the Cruise of the Betsey
Event typeOther
LocationUnited KingdomShow on map