Forres will be a hotbed of activity later this month when 15 premises open their doors to the public as part of a nationwide initiative.
Half of the 30 locations taking part in the Moray Doors Open Day regional event are located within the Forres area and the buildings involved are encouraging visitors to create their own mini tour.
The Moray Doors Open Day is part of Doors Open Day, Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. It offers free access to over a thousand venues across the country throughout September every year.
The aim of Doors Open Days is to ensure that Scotland’s built heritage, new and old, is made accessible to people living and visiting the country on weekends in September.
New to the schedule this year is AJ Engineering with owner of the fabrication and construction firm, Alan James deciding to take part to mark the company’s 20 years in business.
The company will provide tours, a BBQ, face-painting and bouncy castle and will also have some hands-on activities for youngsters provided by the T-Exchange.
Alan said: “This is an ideal opportunity for us to showcase what we do to the public and to invite people in and we are thrilled to be one of 15 locations within our locality opening our doors. It’s fabulous to see that there is a stronghold of premises in the Forres area who have chosen to take part in this great scheme and we really hope that visitors head our way and decide to make a day of enjoying all that Forres and the surrounding area has to offer.”
Talking about why he decided to join in, Alan said: “We are one of the biggest employers in the town but I think for some, it is still a mystery as to what we actually do here, so to give people access will hopefully unveil some of the mystery. I am delighted that we also have the T-Exchange on board. They encourage young people in the use of new and old technologies and are huge advocates for STEM activities. They will be bringing with them some gadgets and gizmos that our visitors will be able to enjoy and who knows, maybe we will inspire the next generation of engineers.”
Also new to the line up is St John’s Church where guests can enjoy a flower festival along with organ music and refreshments on the lawn outside the church.
Reverend Dr Hamilton Inbadas said: “We are delighted to participate in Moray Doors Open Day and to welcome everyone to our church. St John’s offers a quiet and serene place of worship, which has unique architectural characteristics and the exquisite murals, including wall-size originals by William Hole. All are welcome to enjoy the place, the flowers on display and listening to live organ music. We hope all who visit St John’s will discover a place for peace and quiet, and a space to be.”
Opening their doors for the third year in a row are our own sites, the Forres Tolbooth and Nelson’s Tower.
Two years ago, the Tolbooth was the most popular venue in Moray with over 350 people visiting throughout the day and members of the Trust hope to replicate that again this year with the unofficial opening of a new visitor attraction.
George Alexander, chairman of the Forres Heritage Trust said: “We are thrilled to be taking part in Doors Open Day again and this year within the Tolbooth people will be able to get a first glimpse of our new visitor attraction. Over the past year we have had a team of dedicated people working hard to restore the old police office and cells and Moray Doors Open Day will be the first opportunity that the public will be able to experience this.”
He added: “We have also recently completed renovations on the courtroom which is now looking beautiful and of course a visit up Nelson’s Tower which stands proud on Cluny Hill is always worth the trek as once at the top it offers panoramic views over the region. We really do hope that people will take the time out to enjoy a number of properties across the region, as we boast such beautiful and interesting sites.”
Locations within Forres area:
The premises taking part within the Forres area are: AJ Engineering; Darnaway Castle; Dalvey House; St John’s Church; Forres Town Hall; Newbold House; Nelson’s Tower; Findhorn Foundation Eco Village; Pluscarden Church of Scotland; Findhorn Heritage Ice House; The Tolbooth; Edinkillie Church; Dyke Church; Cluny Hill Findhorn Foundation; Falconer Museum Store.
Please be advised that some premises require booking.
All of the locations opening their doors within Moray can be viewed at http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/places/moray/