Barrogill Mission Hall
Long before the Pulteneytown Mission Hall, later Barrogill Hall, was proposed, a Sabbath School was introduced by Wick Free Church, later Bridge Street.
The Northern Ensign of November 25th 1875 reported: -
“A Sabbath school in connection with Wick Free Church congregation and under the supervision of Mr Robertson of the Railway was opened in Wellington Street Pulteneytown on Sabbath evening. The Rev Renny attended the inaugural proceedings and 117 children attended with about 20 being found to be connected with existing Sabbath schools they were told that the object of the school was not to interfere with others and requested not to return. Of the others it is a sad fact that 46 between the age of 5 and 13 could not read! We trust this effort to reach and benefit a class in a district that has been greatly ignored will be abundantly successful.”
During the Cholera outbreak of 1832 a hospital was opened in Wellington Street and it is entirely possible that the above building was the former hospital.
In late 1884 the Office Bearers of Wick Free Church (Bridge Street) saw a need for a hall of their own in Upper Pulteneytown which they could use as a base for outreach into that community and to try to meet some of the social and religious needs. Although the fishing industry of the day brought great benefits to some, there was great deprivation and poor social conditions for many.”
As soon as the doors to the bazaar were opened on Thursday, shortly before noon, visitors arrived in large numbers and the hall was quite crowded by the time that business was formally commenced. Among those present, not including the stall holders and their assistants whose names are given below were:
The right Hon the Earl of Caithness Sir Tollemache Sinclair, Bart MP, Sir John Sinclair Bart Dunbeath and Lady Sinclair, Mr & Mrs. Barry of Keiss and Miss Goodart; Mr & Mrs Horne of Stirkoke; Mrs Bentley Innes of Thrumster, Miss Bentley Innes of Yorkshire and Mr Harry Bentley Innes; Admiral Rutherford & Mrs & Miss Rutherford and Miss Cox, Pulteney House; Rev G Renny, Wick; Sheriff Harper and the Misses Harper, Bellvue; Provost Rae, Wick; Mrs Adam of Lynegar; Mrs Phin, High Street; Mr Gilchrist, Commercial Bank; Miss Reddie Free Church Manse Pulteneytown; Mrs & Misses Robertson Elgin Villa; Mrs Grant, Gillock; Miss Lizzie Etta Grant, Killimster; Mrs James Stephen Thistle Cottage; Mr J T Reid, Wick; Mrs Meiklejohn, Halkirk; Mr, Mrs & Miss McEwen, Wick; Mr D Bremner, High Street; Miss Thompson, Lybster; Miss Stewart, Lybster; Mr &Mrs Magnus Baikie; Miss Bella Baikie, Scalesburn; Miss Cormack, Harbour Place; Rev Mr Clark & Mrs Clark, Wick Parish Church, Dr Banks, Wick; Dr Elder, Edinburgh; Dr John & Dr A Alexander, Wick; Mr & Mrs D Swanson, Wick; Mrs J M Sutherland, Wick; Mr A Sutherland SSC, Wick; Mr Shepherd, Solicitor, Wick; Misses Kirk, Wick; Mr & Mrs Gunn, and Mr John & W Gunn Sibster; Mrs Henderson Royal Hotel Thurso; Mrs Brown, Watten; Rev Mr Connon and Mrs Connon, The Parsonage; Mr A Rae, Bookseller, Mr & Mrs Nicolson, High Street; Mrs Stobie, Pulteneytown; Mr Donald Sutherland Liverpool; Miss McAdie, Union Street; Mr Scott, Noss; Mr Cormack, Solicitor; Mr C Bruce, Merchant; Mr & Mrs Nicolson, Dempster Street; Mr John Sandison, Merchant; Mrs G M Sutherland, Sinclair Terrace, Mr Barron CE; Miss Bruce, Mowat Lane; Mr Andrew Louttit, Wick; Mr & Mrs R Sinclair Union Street; Mrs Thomas Murray Thurso; Miss Keith, Thurso; Mrs Henderson Gow, Pulteneytown; Mrs D Miller, Pulteneytown; Miss Stewart, Barbara Place; Miss Gunn & Miss Bara Gunn, Union Street; Miss Geddes, High Street; Miss Miller Mowat Lane; Mrs W Brown, Rumster; Miss Mackay, Kirk; Miss Low Willowbank; Miss Steven, Trinity, Edinburgh; Miss Steven, Rose Street; Mr Robertson, Fishery Office; Misses Manson, Louisburgh; Mr & Mrs Tait Harbour Road; Mr Young, Godorich, Canada; Misses Bain, High Street; Miss Flett, Pulteneytown; Mrs J B Bruce, Hawthorn Villa; Mr & Mrs Jas. Sinclair, Coach Road; Mrs Angus, Coach Road; Mrs Dundas, Kincardine on Forth; Mrs John Sandison, Coach Road; Mr James Bremner Greenigoe Manor &c &c There were many other arrivals at a later part of the day and a complete list would include the names of the whole community.
In September of 1885 the members of the congregation held a three-day Bazaar in the Temperance Hall in Louisburgh to raise sufficient funds for the erection of such a hall. Local lore has it that the fishermen of the day each sold a sample, or cran of herring and the proceeds went to meet the cost of the hall but that seems no more than myth and there is no record of that ever happening. There is however a record of Buckie fishermen giving the money from a nights fishing toward the cost of erecting the Roman Catholic Chapel in Wick in 1832, so perhaps events were scrambled. The cost of the New Pulteneytown Mission Hall appears to have been borne solely by the congregation.
A Bazaar for the erection of a new mission hall in Pulteneytown was held in the Temperance Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday last. It is intended that the proposed hall shall, among other purposes offer accommodation for the District Sabbath School which for a number of years has met in the South Public School.
An active committee of ladies with Mrs. Doctor Banks as secretary exerted themselves to make the Bazaar a success and it may be said that there most sanguine expectations were more than realised. An immense quantity of useful ornamental work was provided, much of it by the ladies themselves and the rest contributed by friends from all parts of the country and some living in faraway lands. Many of the articles were of a more bulky and substantial character than are usually seen at Bazaars and for the disposal of these it was found necessary to issue subscription tickets.
The Temperance Hall was tastefully decorated for the occasion and when all was ready for the opening, the heavily laden and well arranged stalls presented to view one of the most attractive fancy fairs which have been seen in Wick.