Tolbooth volunteers wanted

The Tolbooth Museum, at Stonehaven Harbour is looking for volunteers so that its opening hours can be extended.

The Tolbooth is the town’s oldest building and was built by the 4th Earl Marischal of Scotland in 1550. Originally a store house for Dunnottar Castle, the Tolbooth has been a magistrates court and a prison and in 1963 was opened by the Queen Mother as a local community museum.

Budgetary savings and redesign of Aberdeenshire Council’s Museum Service meant the Tolbooth Museum was earmarked for closure. The Stonehaven community, recognising its importance to Stonehaven’s local heritage and as an attraction to visitors were prepared to work with the Museum Service to keep it open, which was achieved on May 28 this year.

This initial success was entirely down to people within the Stonehaven community giving of their “time” and on Friday afternoon, Diane Fleming, Liz Johnston and Jamie Andrew, three of the volunteers on duty, presented the 1,000th visitor of the season, Pat Deans from Findon with a certificate.

The Tolbooth Museum’s current opening days and times, until the end of September, are Friday, Saturday and Sunday 13:30 -16:30. However, if more volunteers are forthcoming, then it is intended to increase the opening days to six days, Wednesday to Monday each week.

Volunteers of all backgrounds, ages and skills are encouraged to come forward to help. In the first instance contact Connons of Stonehaven on 01569 762971 and leave contact details. The volunteer co-ordinator from the Tolbooth Group will then make contact.

Young people who may currently be without a job are encouraged to volunteer their services.

Working in the museum could be a valuable addition to a young person’s CV in that they will be dealing with the public, handling cash etc.