Festival Programme

John Rae Society Festival 2017

To celebrate the first step in September 2016 towards the acquisition of the Hall of Clestrain over a five year period, the John Rae Society is holding a John Rae Festival from 5th to 8th May 2017. We are thrilled to be joined by Dr Russell A. Potter, Professor of English and Media Studies at Rhode Island College, and author of Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search (2016), and also by John Rae’s Canadian great-great-grand-niece, Jane Hamilton, who will be launching her book, Finding John Rae.

We have put together an exciting programme of events, at the centre of which is an open weekend at the Hall of Clestrain to enable local people and interested visitors to Orkney to meet members of the John Rae Society and hear about our plans for the restoration and future of the Hall.


All events are free to attend, but donations towards the restoration of the Hall of Clestrain are welcome. There will also be raffles!

We look forward to seeing you there!

TIMETABLE

Friday 5th May

7.30pm Stromness Hotel, Stromness

Public lecture by Dr Russell A. Potter, The Habit of Exact Observation: the Legacy of John Rae

Dr Russell A. Potter, Professor of English and Media Studies at Rhode Island College, and author of Finding Franklin, will talk on the significance of Rae’s 1854 journey and the fresh insights on the relics and Inuit testimony he collected. There will be some lovely (and never before seen) images of Rae's Franklin relics to share.

Dr Potter and Jane Hamilton will be available to sign copies of their books. Other books from Stromness Bookshop will be available to buy.

Saturday 6th May

John Rae Society Open Day 

11 to 5pm Hall of Clestrain, Orphir

Join us to learn more about our exciting plans for the restoration and future of the Hall. There will be stalls selling books, John Rae Society merchandise and raffle tickets. Light refreshments will be available.

11am and 2.30pm - Jane Hamilton will introduce her new book Finding John Rae

 

3.30pm - Falconry display by Skaill House Falconry (small charge)

Don’t forget a visit to Stromness Museum and the Kirkwall Cathedral to see more of the John Rae story.

 

Sunday 7th May

John Rae Society Open Day 

12 to 5pm Hall of Clestrain, Orphir

Join us to learn more about our plans for the restoration and future of the Hall. There will be stalls selling books, John Rae Society merchandise and raffle tickets. Light refreshments will be available.

Foraging walks with chef Sam Britten throughout the afternoon

3.30pm - Falconry display by Skaill House Falconry (small charge)

Monday 8th May

7.30pm  Town Hall, Kirkwall 

Public lecture by Dr Russell A. Potter, Things Worthy of Record: the Legacy of Dr. Rae’

A talk on the impact of Rae's discoveries -- beginning with McClintock, then on to Rae's later connections with Arctic figures such as the painter William Bradford, and his consultation over plans for the Schwatka expedition. Finally some of the new things we've learned in recent years that are based on Rae's finds, and the current state of archaeological work on Franklin sites on land.

 Jane Hamilton will explain how she came to write Finding John Rae.

Dr Potter and Jane Hamilton will be available to sign copies of their books and there will a raffle in support of the John Rae Society. Light refreshments will be available.

There are lots of ways you can help us, perhaps by making a simple donation, becoming a member, you could volunteer and offer occasional help or join one of our working groups if you have a little more time?

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