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29th November 2008

Monday 1 December is a significant date in the local calendar, as it marks the reopening of the Thurso Town Hall and Carnegie Library. Magnificently restored, it now houses Caithness Horizons, an outstanding new museum and community facility for Scotland's most northerly county.

The cultural flagship building, which will be opened by Margaret, Viscountess Thurso of Ulbster at 10.00am, tells the story of mankind's past and present interaction with the environment of north east Scotland.

Caithness Horizons' chairman, Paul Cariss said: "We are delighted to finally be able to throw open the doors and give the Thurso Town Hall back to the people of Caithness. It is the culmination of six years' hard work and meticulous planning and we hope that folk will come along and see just what Caithness Horizons has to offer.

"This stunning refurbishment project blends many of the building's original Victorian features with contemporary facilities in a welcoming, light and airy space. The result is an enthralling visitor attraction that truly reflects the rich heritage of Caithness."

Once inside, visitors will be able to uncover the stories and people of Caithness's dramatic past. The photographic archive is a particular treat, showing many aspects of local life over the years, all of which can be viewed on a large screen.

Another highlight is the collection of stone items, which take you on a journey through the remarkable eras of the Iron Age, Bronze Age, the Broch dwellers, Picts and Vikings. Forming part of the dramatic entrance are the two newly returned standing stones - the Skinnet and Ulbster Stones.

Complementing the historic objects and story of Caithness's past, the exhibition moves on to include Caithness as it is today, unearthing man's impact on the planet. A state-of-the art interactive map in the main hall will act as a signpost to the area, and aims to inspire people to get out and explore the rich diversity and great natural beauty that Caithness has to offer.

Manager of Caithness Horizons, Beki Pope concluded: "We have a fantastic programme of talks, events and exhibitions lined up. We'd urge the community to come along and enjoy them and to check out the variety of rooms we have for hire."


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