Keys presented to community group

Pictured at the handover are Councillor Ronnie Proctor, Elaine Findlay, Morag Duncan, Councillor Jeanette Gaul, Jenni Brown and Irena Krasinska-Lobban.

Pictured at the handover are Councillor Ronnie Proctor, Elaine Findlay, Morag Duncan, Councillor Jeanette Gaul, Jenni Brown and Irena Krasinska-Lobban.

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The keys to Kirrie’s camera obscura have been officially handed over to the community group taking over its operation.

In the latest step in the move towards the facility becoming fully community-run and owned.

The Kirriemuir Regeneration Group (KRG) was formed earlier this year with the purpose of taking on the project 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.

Last week the group also revealed plans to develop the cricket pavilion, which houses the camera obscura, as an attraction incorporating a small museum telling the story of the local cricket 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 for a cafe and souvenir shop.

Irena Krasinska-Lobban, KRG spokeswoman, said the next step will be to recruit volunteers to keep the camera obscura, one of only four in Scotland, running over the summer.

She said: “It has all been quite fast, but we’ve had tremendous help from local councillors and without their backing we couldn’t have got on as quickly as we have. It’s now just a case of hard work to get it open as soon as we can but so far we’ve been swept along by the enthusiasm from the people of Kirrie too.

“We’re on the look-out for volunteers to put together a list so we can open it up as often as possible. Ideally that will be every day if we can.”

Mrs Krasinska-Lobban added that the group hopes to provide an attraction that will have appeal in all weathers.

She continued: “That’s so weather-dependent and if it’s not good, clear weather it’s pointless having it open, but if we have something else, somewhere for mums to have a coffee while their kids are at the play park, and the museum, that would be great.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the group by e-mailing kirrierg@gmail.com, calling 07866 767005 or leaving their contact details at the Access office in Reform Street, marked for the attention of KRG secretary Elaine Findlay.