Thurso Oak Tree from Caithness Courier 1951 snippet by Herbert Sinclair
The Thurso Oak
How did that oak tree grow in Rose Street, as told by me last week? Here is the answer, as supplied by Christina R Miller of Barrock Street. As acorn was sent from Helensburgh “to a much respected citizen of the town, Mrs John Mackay, bookseller, better known by the name of ‘Katie Cormack’ who was very proud of her tree.” The lady who supplied me with that information should know, for she was with Mrs Mackay for 13 years until she died. There are few trees in or around Thurso, as compared to Wick, and it might well be the first consideration of the Thurso Town Improvements Committee to better the perspective of Thurso to visitors by providing a bit more greenery, to contrast with the drab colour of the buildings. Wick’s bits of planting, here and there, make good pictures from the right angles and I am sure that the Thursonians who have done so much for Thurso already will take Katie Cormack’s pioneer effort to heart.
If they will allow an onlooker to make another suggestion, I think the spate of speaking (through a very indifferent public address equipment) on the last night of Gala Week should be cut down to a trickle. Standing outside the premises of Mr Cameron, grocer, and in the midst of some of the town’s celebrated citizens, all I could hear was a blare of words, with the result we held a conversation between ourselves and never heard one complete utterance from the temporary platform behind the War Memorial. The people did not come there to listen to speaker after speaker – they came to be entertained, and they get tired waiting for the procession to make its appearance from Janet Street. A little less speaking and more of the comic element, like that of the Absent Minded Professor, with his trousers and braces on his arm, but otherwise quire correct in his nether under-garment., morning coat and top hat. Make the people laugh and they’ll put their hands more often into their pockets for the pennies which go to improve Thurso