The Museum houses a wide range of artefacts, documents and photographs that reveal the rich variety of the Town's civic life.
The ceremonial robes of the Provost and Councillors of The Royal Burgh
of Wick are displayed, together with photographic records of the events
and personalities that significantly shaped the life of the community
before political reorganisation disbanded the Local Council in favour
of a Highland-wide centralised administration based in Inverness.
For many years the 'Herring Queen' Festival was the highlight of
every summer. (After the demise of the herring fishing the Gala Week
took its place.) Our photograph shows the Herring Queen of 1953, Miss
Christine Gunn, coming ashore at the harbour with her attendants. On
display in the Heritage Museum are the cloak and crown worn by
successive 'Herring Queens'.
Among the many artefacts on display is the Ceremonial Mallet that
was used at the laying of the foundation stone of the ill-fated
breakwater in Wick Bay that was to protect harbour from winter storms.
The building was started in 1863 by Thomas Stevenson, father of Robert
Louis Stevenson, and one of the famous family of lighthouse builders.
Unfortunately, the construction was destroyed in a succession of severe
storms and the project was eventually abandoned in 1873. Some of the
photographs in the Heritage Museum of the Herring Fishery at this time
clearly show the breakwater under construction.