Support for Kirrie’s camera obscura

The presentation from Emma MacDonald.
The presentation from Emma MacDonald.

A new chapter in the life of the historic camera obscura began on Sunday at an open day to mark the 85th anniversary of the opening of the attraction by Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie.

Kirrie residents were given the opportunity to hear and see more about the plans for the asset when the Kirriemuir Regeneration Group invited interested parties to go along and have their say on its future.

Elaine Findlay, secretary of the group, said: “We had a fantastic turnout and raised over £500.

“We were gifted the lovely handmade picture by Emma MacDonald from the Card Shop in the town and also were visited by Cliff Bertram from Bertram’s Butchers who asked me to visit him the following week and he gave us a donation of £60 from his carrier bag sales.

“We are now open and expecting a busy weekend as on Saturday (June 20) there is the Annual Family Fun Day on Kirrie Hill run by Strathmore Christian Fellowship and also a Gala Day to raise funds for Kirrie Thistle Youths FC.”

A keen cricket fan, Barrie funded the construction of the cricket pavilion which houses the camera obscura, which he then formally handed over to his home town on June 7, 1930.

One of only three in Scotland, it was run latterly by the National Trust for Scotland on behalf of Angus Council which paid the trust £10,000 annually. Doubt was cast over its future earlier this year after the council withdrew its funding due to budget cuts.

The regeneration group intends to develop the building to secure its future; proposals so far include a cricket museum and a ‘Barrie’ room telling the story of the pavilion, the author and Kirriemuir. There are also plans for a cafe and souvenir shop.