Exercise and meeting people from around the globe are just two of the reasons to volunteer at one of the town’s most historical buildings, it has been said.
The Forres Heritage Trust looks after the opening of Nelson’s Tower between April and September which last year welcomed over 3302 visitors from 54 different countries.
And the Trust is now appealing for more people to come forward and get involved with an open evening, to find out more being held in March.
Grace Reid, one of a team of 12 trustees who look after the Tower and the Forres Tolbooth is entering her third season at the monument, said she loves her stints at the Cluny Hill-based monument.
She said: “It is such a pleasure being involved with the Forres Heritage Trust and I am in the fortunate position that I get to meet and work alongside a fantastic pool of volunteers. However, whilst we don’t ask too much from each of our helpers, we would benefit from more input.”
Volunteers are asked to do one two-hour stint each month and the Trust will accept help from those aged 16 and over.
“We give full training to our volunteers and it would be great to get a more diverse age range of people helping us. We are happy to welcome youngsters who want to do something for their local community or need to do some volunteering for something at school or their Duke of Edinburgh for example.
“We have two people man the monument at any one time. One at the top and one at the bottom. They are asked to do a two-hour stint and swap over half-way through their shift. We only ask people to commit to one, two-hour shift a month, but of course if people want to do more, we would welcome that.”
She added: “Everyone takes something different away when they help at the Tower. Some people like the history and learning about and sharing information about it, others love meeting the different people who visit the Tower. Some use it as a wee bit of exercise, and to enjoy the sensational view, for me it’s a combination.”
The Trust is currently looking at upgrading the information boards at the monument which was erected by public subscription as a memorial to Admiral Lord Nelson, finally opening in October 1812 after six years of construction.
“We have lots of information on why and when Nelson’s Tower was built and of course we have lots of information on Lord Nelson himself,” explained Grace, “but there is not so much about who was involved in building it, or where the stone came from for example. We are appealing for people who may know something, even if it’s just a snippet, to let the Trust know. One of our dreams would be get hold of architects drawings or plans, so we can display them.”
To find out more about volunteering at Nelson’s Tower you can attend the event at the Tolbooth on March 18 at 7.30pm or visit www.forresheritage.co.uk