Doors thrown open for public viewing

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Kirrie residents will have an opportunity to hear and see more about plans for one of the town’s more unusual attractions, 85 years after it was gifted to the community.

The camera obscura on Kirrie Hill will be open to the public on June 7, which is the 85th anniversary of its opening by Peter Pan author JM Barrie.

And the Kirriemuir Regeneration Group is keen to invite along as many interested parties as possible so they can have their say on the building’s future development.

A keen cricket fan, Barrie funded the construction of the cricket pavilion which houses the camera obscura, which he then formally handed over to his home town on June 7, 1930.

One of only three in Scotland, is was run latterly by the National Trust for Scotland on behalf of Angus Council which paid the trust £10,000 annually. Doubt was cast on its future earlier this year, however, after Angus Council withdrew funding due to budget cuts.

The regeneration group intends to develop the building to secure its future; proposals so far include a cricket museum and a ‘Barrie’ room, telling the story of the pavilion, the author and Kirriemuir. There are also plans for a cafe and souvenir shop to help to generate income.

At their recent meeting, Kirriemuir community councillors were updated on the group’s progress which, they heard, has moved along quickly.

A group spokeswoman said: “We’ve been spending a lot of time cleaning and meeting with council officers to move things along.

“The camera isn’t working properly, so we need to get that addressed although the part was ordered this week.

“We won’t be open officially on the open day, but it will be a chance for people to see what we’ve done, make their own suggestions and even make a donation.”

Local councillor Ronnie Proctor praised the project as a “cracking example” of community support while fellow councillor Jeanette Gaul confirmed that the recent transfer of the pavilion to the regeneration group had been approved at last week’s Communities Committee meeting.