Saved Tolbooth opens for season

SIR Robert Smith MP cuts a ribbon to officially open the Tolbooth Museum for the season, watched by, from left, Margaret Sutherland, Councillor Wendy Agnew, Councillor Peter Bellarby, Nigel Don MSP and David Fleming, chair of Stonehaven Community Council.
SIR Robert Smith MP cuts a ribbon to officially open the Tolbooth Museum for the season, watched by, from left, Margaret Sutherland, Councillor Wendy Agnew, Councillor Peter Bellarby, Nigel Don MSP and David Fleming, chair of Stonehaven Community Council.

THE Tolbooth Museum in Stonehaven, opened for the 2011 season on Saturday. The museum, which was first opened by Her Majesty the Queen Mother on September 11, 1963, faced closure due to Aberdeenshire Council spending cuts, but has been saved thanks to the efforts of three local bodies.

Councillor Peter Bellarby, chair of Stonehaven Town Partnership, who, together with Stonehaven Heritage Society and Stonehaven and District Community Council, will run the facility this season, welcomed everyone to the opening ceremony.

He introduced Sir Robert Smith MP, who cut a ribbon to formally open the museum and the newly elected MSP for Angus North and Mearns, Nigel Don.

Councillor Bellarby said: “The efforts of a community group, working together with Aberdeenshire Council Museum Service, has ensured that this museum has not closed and will remain open as it has for many years.

“The artefacts on display have come from the museum service and also from generous donations or loans from members of the public.

“We are particulatly grateful to Jim Bruce, who has a large collection of farming and household items and has loaned some of these items for display.

“I’d like to thank all the people involved, including the museum service, Willie Munro (area manager) and all the volunteers who have helped or will help in the season ahead.

“A lot of work has gone into collecting, transporting and displaying items and into setting up the shop from which we will sell souvenirs and things of that nature.”

Councillor Bellarby gave special thanks to Margaret Sutherland who has run the Tolbooth Museum for many years and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Sir Robert Smith thanked the three partners involved for their efforts in preserving Stonehaven’s Heritage.

He said the local people should appreciate that it is their museum and perhaps come forward with more items for display.