A young boy who was the first person to visit a north-east monument when it re-opened for the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic hit was invited back to help close it for the season.
The Tower is usually open from the start of April, but only re-opened for the first time at the start of August following the outbreak of Covid 19.
Volunteers were delighted when they arrived at the Tower to find Teddy queuing in the rain to ensure he was the first visitor and they thought it was only fitting he was there to close it too.
Trustees from the Forres Heritage Trust which looks after the tower invited nine-year-old Teddy Gadalla to lower the flag which symbolises it is now closed.
Peter Haworth, the volunteer co-ordinator for the Forres Heritage Trust which also looks after the Tolbooth on Forres High Street said: “We were so impressed with Teddy and to learn that he had been waiting in the rain for over an hour to make sure he was the first visitor to Nelson’s Tower, that we wanted to allow him to be the last person of the season too.
“It’s fantastic that a young boy has such an interest in his town and history and that before the pandemic he was a regular visitor to the Tower.”
As well as allowing Teddy to lower the red ensign which flies to indicate the Tower is open, Teddy was also gifted a t-shirt and will be given a print of the Tower.
Teddy said: “I was really happy and excited that I was asked to close the Tower. I have been up to the Tower lots of times over the summer. We go to Grant Park a lot and I usually run up to the tower, up to the top and back down again.”
He added: “It was quite easy to take the flag down and I think I might like to be a volunteer with the Trust in the future.”
Teddy’s mum Rayne said: “We feel really honoured that the Trust remembered Teddy and that they asked him back. We have all been really excited in the lead up to it. He’s got an interest in history and it’s great to have the availability of Nelson’s Tower which we can freely visit. The volunteers have always been so kind and friendly to Teddy.”
Speaking generally about the season, Peter said despite opening almost four months later than usual, it had been busy: “Over the two months we have been open we have had 824 visitors which is on a par with previous years. This last weekend was very busy which was a really nice way to round off what has been a difficult couple of years.”