“The Moffat Heritage Group (HTN Start-up Member) is in the process of being constituted with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, and will shortly become the Moffat Heritage Trust. The Group has been formed by people who care about the town’s history and culture and who are ever mindful of where we have come from, and where we need to go. The aim is to ensure that Moffat’s built, natural, cultural and economic future is protected and furthered in order to help secure the physical and emotional wellbeing of all its residents.
More than 80 people attended the Group’s first public meeting in September of last year, in the Proudfoot Institute, introduced by Sir Neil McIntosh. Several speakers from around Scotland demonstrated how heritage projects had provided opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy their historic, natural and built environments. The key message was that of social togetherness and pride. Some explained how these potentially wide-ranging projects had enabled them to promote the arts, support hands-on training and create new workplace opportunities, enhance the care and repair of their town centres, and engage all parts of the community. This meeting provided the inspiration for the Group to go away and come up with some initial ideas for Moffat.
Since September, the Group has been busy consulting and collaborating with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). As a result, the Group are delighted to announce that SPAB will showcase Moffat as part of their Annual General Meeting, which will be held in Moffat, on the 28th of March this year (details of AGM here). During the AGM day, there will be two lectures 2-4pm, open to everyone and will be of great interest to Moffatonians: the first by the Dumfries Archival Mapping Group, showing and discussing historic maps and features of the region; and the second by Dr Peter Burman MBE FSA, architectural historian and archivist of Hopetoun House, who has been Director of Conservation at the National Trust for Scotland and has had a lifetime of commitment to heritage conservation in the UK and beyond. Peter Burman’s talk will be on “Moffat – a precious historic environment on the threshold of climate change” Tickets cost £6, and can be booked online (details to be advised) or paid for at the door.
On April 3rd, twenty Moffat Academy pupils will have a training and information day at the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Training Centre, in the Engine Shed, Stirling. The Group sees this as an excellent opportunity for some of our young people to gain new skills and understand how they too can help enhance their town.
The Group is currently in discussion with HES, asking them to sponsor and supply lime pointing tools and equipment for training events in the town in April. This equipment can then be retained as a community resource for further community building repair projects. Such projects will not only improve the appearance of the town, but have the potential to bring people of all ages together.
Last but not least, a Moffat Heritage Trust website is under construction and will be the reference point for all news, events, heritage stories and learned articles! The long-term aim is to seek as much community involvement as possible and to shape activities to encompass those that the people of Moffat would like to see.
The Group warmly welcomes everyone with an interest in Moffat’s past and future to the first public meeting of the Moffat Heritage Trust at 7pm on February 20th, in the Moffat Town Hall. There is much in Moffat of which we can be truly proud.”