Fundraising is underway to restore two historic paintings which are in desperate need of a clean.
The Tournament and The Riding of the Marches both from 1841 by Thomas Cranmer hang in the courtroom of the Tolbooth which is owned by the Forres Heritage Trust.
Now, Alex Ross, a volunteer with the Forres Heritage Trust is leading on the project which is expected to cost in excess of £20,000
Alex said: “The Forres Heritage Trust is seeking funding from various bodies and we are waiting to see if our applications have been successful. However, with the cost of restoring the two paintings being in excess of £20k, we are hoping that people may consider donating too.
“The restoration work must be undertaken by a registered member of the Institute of Conservation. These paintings are a significant part of the heritage of Forres and are integral to the Tolbooth.
“The Riding of the Marches shows Forres Town Council on the 1st October 1840 ceremonially checking the town’s boundaries, whilst The Tournament depicts a scene in Sir Thomas Dick Lauder’s book The Wolf of Badenoch during the reign of Robert II (1371 – 1390) whose son-in-law, the Earl of Moray, held a tourney at St John’s Mead on the banks of the River Findhorn close to Darnaway Castle the home to this day of John Stuart, 21st Earl of Moray.”
Alex added: “Due to the historical significance of these paintings, the Trust feels it is vital to undertake the work to the highest standard possible. Both paintings are of considerable local importance and the Trust feels that it is our duty to have them restored and conserved for future generations.
“The present condition of the paintings is not at all as vibrant as they should be, suffering as they have from nicotine, condensation and temperature changes following years of meetings within the building by the former Forres Town Council and others.
“We have quotations from two accredited restorers who have visited the Tolbooth to inspect the paintings, now we just need to get the funding to make the project happen. There is an expectation from some of the funders that we do a certain amount of fundraising so we are urging the people of Forres, past and present to get involved.”
The Forres Heritage Trust took ownership of the Tolbooth 10 years ago following a community asset transfer from Moray Council who wished to close the building.
Over that time, a team of volunteers have been restoring and refurbishing the building which is a popular venue for groups and organisations for meetings and exhibitions, lectures and recitals.
The Forres Heritage Trust also stages its own events including the popular winter talks series and in the spring and summer months, the volunteers also conduct guided tours of the building.
To make a donation please visit: www.justgiving.com/forres-heritage