View Full Version : Wick HarbourFest Notice

Bill Fernie
24-Jun-09, 21:38
Come early for a good view – urges HarbourFest Chairman

Preparations for next weekend’s Wick HarbourFest are now well under way with a number of visiting boats already berthed in the newly commissioned marina, and others arriving daily. The Herring Queen Pageant, on Friday evening, is attracting much attention, and the organisers have urged visitors to arrive in plenty of time if they wish a grand-stand view of the Royal Procession and Crowning Ceremony.

Gordon Doull, Chairman of the HarbourFest Committee said “Friday Evening’s celebration of the Herring Queen pageant has attracted an amazing amount of interest from far and wide. It will be a truly evocative occasion and we have tried to follow the pattern of the early celebrations as far as possible. I urge folk to arrive early if they wish to get the best views of the ceremony. Although the Herring Queen will arrive at the Queen’s steps, on the South Pier at 7.15pm, early visitors will be able to see the Herring Queen and her Ladies-in-Waiting leave the Harbour Office to board the Isabella Fortuna on the new pontoons at 6.15pm before they sail out into Wick Bay to rendezvous with a full flotilla of heritage and more modern boats. The whole flotilla, led by the Isabella Fortuna, will sail into harbour at 7.00pm with the Royal Court coming ashore at 7.15pm. Obviously, exact times are dependent upon the sea and weather conditions, but the long-range weather forecast is good, so we hope to keep to the published times.”

The Herring Queen will be piped ashore in traditional style by a Sea Cadet, before being greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Caithness, Miss Anne Dunnett and HarbourFest Chairman Gordon Doull and a delegation of harbour dignitaries. Pipers will then lead the procession to a specially designed and decorated HarbourFest stage, alongside the new Harbour Offices, where the formal crowning ceremony will take place. The 1949 Herring Queen, Mrs Ray Richard, will crown Herring Queen elect Lynsey Bremner with an exact replica of the original Herring Crown, first used in 1937, and she will hand over the Royal Sceptre, made to the same design as that carried by Mrs Richard exactly 60 years ago.

After the Crowning Ceremony, the Herring Queen and Court will lead the Royal Procession around the Harbour, before walking to the Wick Heritage Centre in Bank Row, where Wick Society Chairman, Donald Sinclair, will invite the visitors to view the original Crowning Pageant regalia and other memorabilia, upon which this year’s celebrations have been based.

Gordon Doull added “Visitors will have ample opportunity to take photographs of the Herring Queen and her Court, both before, during and after the Crowning Ceremony, as they walk around the harbour, but I would ask visitors to observe the HarbourFest stewards who will have the difficult task of ensuring that the route of the procession is kept clear. Friday’s Crowning Pageant is only the beginning of an exciting weekend of community celebrations based upon our maritime and cultural heritage. There is something for everyone and our weekend programme (printed elsewhere in this paper) gives full details and times of all the events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. HarbourFest’09 will go down in the Caithness Calendar as something we can all be proud of!”

Special arrangements have been on Friday evening and Saturday for disabled vehicles to park in the Wick Medical Centre or Wick Swimming Pool car parks (which will be signposted), where a disabled shuttlebus will operate to the harbour as for the 2007 HarbourFest. Limited capacity public car parking will be available on the North Pier, (entry by the slipway), and on the streets of Lower and Upper Pulteneytown. Overflow car parking will be opened in the Bignold Park if required, and will be clearly signposted. However, the organisers request that wherever possible people walk oh the harbour.