Strong support for camera obscura plan

The camera obscura on Kirrie Hill.
The camera obscura on Kirrie Hill.

A Kirriemuir group set up to take on the running of the town’s camera obscura has been overwhelmed by the “amazing” public response to its plans.

The Kirriemuir Regeneration Group was formed after Angus Council withdrew annual funding of £10,000, paid to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) to manage the attraction on the authority’s behalf.

An agreement with the local authority has now been reached and the group has revealed details of how it hopes to develop the attraction in the future.

Member Irena Krasinska-Lobban said that immediate plans are to open the facility, housed in the town’s cricket pavilion, for the summer.

She said: “While we would still like to effect a community asset transfer to bring the pavilion and obscura back in to the hands of the people of Kirriemuir as Barrie wished it to be, that is a very long way down the line.”

Proposals include a small cricket museum telling the story of the ‘Allahakbarries’, the team founded by ‘Peter Pan’ author J.M. Barrie and a ‘Barrie’ room, telling the story of how the pavilion came to be and the story of the author, his books and Kirriemuir.

There are also plans to have a cafe - ‘Cafe Obscura’ - and souvenir shop to help to generate income.

Irena added: “The response to this has been amazing. The Kirriemuir Regeneration Group on Facebook has over 200 members and our Kirriemuir Camera Obscura page has had over 500 ‘likes’ in a week. We’ve had tremendous support from our elected councillors and from Angus Council to get the project up and running.

“We have had some offers of help from local tradespeople and hopefully some more will come forward.”