Fettercairn’s Heritage to go on show

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A heritage event is to be held in Fettercairn next weekend, detailing the history of the village’s Public Hall, as work goes on behind the scenes to re-open the building for public use.

The Public Hall was forced to close in June 2015 due to the discovery of major areas of both wet and dry rot within the building.

The Fettercairn Public Property Committee have been working hard organising fundraising events and bid applications, in order to raise the money needed to restore the Hall to its former glory.

On the weekend of April 29 and 30, the Committee will be holding a Heritage Event in Fettercairn Church, by kind permission of West Mearns Church. Come along and read for yourself the difficulties which have been faced by the community in their efforts to get their hall re-opened, while also learning some of the fascinating history of the building.

There will also be plenty to see about the history of the village itself and its people, both past and present. You will find sections on the Public Hall, Fasque House, Fettercairn House and Balbegno Castle, Fettercairn Church, Royal Connections, Wartime, Village life, School days and Local

Memorabilia. There will an area where children can learn a little about the history of Fettercairn, with worksheets and where they can play some board games from a past era.

The story of the History of the Public hall is a fascinating one. It was built in 1890 for the princely sum of £900, largely through the efforts of the families of those two great estates of Fettercairn and Fasque. Fettercairn Public Property is in the fortunate position of holding every minute book since its inception in 1888. Add to that the recent discovery in an outbuilding in one of the houses in the village of the double page advert publicising the first event – A Bazaar held in Fettercairn Public School on August 22 and 23 1888 to raise money for the hall – the sum of £550 was raised, more than half the required amount.

Committee chairperson Helen Thomson said: “The Patronages make for interesting reading – The Countess of Kintore, The Lady Clinton, The Lady Jane Grey Trefusis, Lady Gladstone Fasque, Lady Ramsay, Balmain and Mrs McInroy of the Burn. Within the two- fold leaflet is a list of 55 ladies who agreed to receive Donations and Contibutions of Work.

“The surprise of this list is there are ladies from Manchester, Moffat, Largs, Edinburgh and Glasgow, to name but a few, as well as those nearer to home. The document itself is a focus for a research project. It made us smile to realise that the gentlemen took all the decisions while the ladies did all the work!

“The importance of the Gladstone and the Forbes-Trufusis families in giving us such a wonderful hall, cannot be over emphasised. Charles Forbes Trufusis, later Lord Clinton who was Chairman for over 25 years donated the land, Sir Thomas Gladstone and Sir John Gladstone donated the sandstone for the hall from Cauldcots Quarry.

“Recent research in the Newspaper archives, details a visit to Fettercairn Public Hall in October 1889, prior to its opening, by the great man himself, Sir William Gladstone, one time Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister of Great Britain. Find out a little of his relationship with Fasque. He is surely our most famous son of the Victorian Era. As yet, we have nothing concrete to acknowledge his visit.”

For more information, contact Helen Thomson on (01561) 340309, or email hthomsonfettrey@live.co.uk