Nelson’s Tower will not re-open as planned next month, but custodians of the building are still encouraging people to enjoy its environs whilst they can.
The opening of Nelson’s Tower which was due to take place on April 3 will now be postponed until further notice following UK Government advice that all non-essential contact and travel should be prevented.
The Tower is looked after by the Forres Heritage Trust and other events the Trust had planned have also had to be put on a backburner.
George Alexander, chairman of the Trust which also owns the Tolbooth explained: “The decision has been taken to postpone the opening of Nelson’s Tower which was due to take place next month, but our message is, whilst you can, get out and enjoy the fresh air and the views that you can still take in from the bottom of the Tower. The pathways have just been improved by Forres Features Limited who staged Colours of Cluny, so it’s a great walk up there. It’s a great area to explore and kids love going into the woods on the hill. I think that a bit of fresh air and a good walk is probably a great idea right now.”
He added: “The opening of the Tower relies on the volunteers and also the footfall from tourists and local people looking for a good day out and we cannot rely on either of these things at the moment.
“We have spoken to the volunteers and it was agreed that whilst we are in the midst of this Coronavirus outbreak, the safest and most sensible course of action is to remain shut just now.”
Other events that had been planned by the Trust have also been affected: “It is a huge blow and the knock-on effect of this outbreak means other activities we had planned are now also being re-arranged. For example, the Historic Photographic Exhibition won’t run although there is another in September. Our Family Fun Day to mark the Tower opening will not go ahead, but again, we will maybe try and do it later in the year. We also had a tasting organised for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and that has gone too. Again, we are working with the host Struan Grant Ralph to see if we can rearrange this.
“It’s a tricky time, but we are also looking forward. Depending on how long this lasts, we have some great things planned for the Tower and Tolbooth in the coming months. People will want something to look forward and we hope that the Forres Heritage Trust will be able t help with this when the time is right.”