Grant awarded to new ‘green museum’ experience in Alyth

The sixteenth-century Packhorse Bridge in the centre of Alyth, framed by willow and flowering cherry trees.
The sixteenth-century Packhorse Bridge in the centre of Alyth.

Culture Perth and Kinross has secured funding from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) to develop a new ‘green museum’ experience which will also act as an orientation base for the Cateran Ecomuseum in Alyth Museum.

The grant of £60,000 will provide visitors to the museum with interactive and engaging information on how to explore the region, its archaeology and biodiversity and will highlight local green issues and how these are being addressed.

The experience aims to deepen visitors understanding of the climate and biodiversity crisis that we are facing on a local level and encourage them to participate in change through social activism.

The funding, secured from MGS’s Museum Development Fund, will allow the museum to install displays developed with sustainability in mind using content created by curators from Culture Perth and Kinross in partnership with the Cateran Ecomuseum. 

Creating the new facility will involve working directly with the community in Alyth to create a sustainable and vital future for Alyth Museum and the collection relating to the area. The funding will also provide a base from which the Cateran Ecomuseum can inform visitors of their annual engagement programme.

Clare Cooper, co-founder and co-director of the Cateran Ecomusuem, said, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Culture Perth & Kinross to develop Alyth Museum into an interactive orientation base for the Ecomuseum, especially given our focus on mobilizing heritage for climate action. Not only will this provide a valuable service to both local people and visitors interested in experiencing the 1,000 square kilomteres of natural and cultural heritage that our ‘Museum Without Walls’  promotes, it will also be a transformative project for the Alyth Museum, raising its profile and enabling it to promote the key role that heritage has in the climate and biodiversity crises we face.”

Russell Willis Taylor, Secretary, Alyth Development Trust, said, “The beauty of our natural surroundings is treasured by all of us. It contributes so much to the character and welcoming nature of our town.  The Cateran Ecomuseum is an innovative and successful project that helps all of us see, understand and protect this irreplaceable and sometimes fragile natural heritage. Having a “portal” into the work of this ‘museum without walls’ inside our own museum ‘within walls’ is important for both museums and all of us who love this area.  The Alyth Development Trust is delighted to support the Ecomuseum and to see the revitalisation of the Alyth Museum in our town square as part of the rebuilding and recovery after Covid”.   

Rhona Corbett, Head of Culture and Heritage at Culture Perth and Kinross added “We’re absolutely delighted this funding has been secured from Museums Galleries Scotland. Working closely with the Cateran Ecomuseum and the local community has been a pleasure, and we’re looking forward to developing the next stage of this partnership by creating the orientation base at Alyth Museum and engaging visitors in discussions around the climate and biodiversity crisis that we are facing as a society on a local level

Successful AGM

We had a great AGM last night, with attendees from all across Alyth. If you weren’t able to join us, don’t worry – you can still download the AGM papers here: https://lovealyth.org.uk/about-alyth-development-trust/annual-general-meeting-2021/, including the minutes of the 2020 AGM, the 2020/21 annual accounts, and a review of the year’s activities. We hope you enjoy it!

https://lovealyth.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/AGM-2021-SLIDESHOW.pptx

REMINDER: AGM this Thursday, 16 September

Don’t forget – you and your family, friends and colleagues are cordially invited to our 2021 AGM on Thursday 16th September 2021 at 7.00pm via Zoom. Everyone is welcome.

There will be updates on our projects and funding, and information on how the community can get involved.   We really hope you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.  If you’d like to join the Zoom session, or you have any questions in the meantime, email us at alythdevelopmenttrust@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlythDevelopmentTrust 

You can find the papers for the meeting here: https://lovealyth.org.uk/about-alyth-development-trust/annual-general-meeting-2021/, including:

  • Agenda
  • Minutes of last year’s AGM (2020)
  • Proxy Voting Form (if you are a member who cannot attend this year)

New tracksuits for Alyth Amateurs

Members of Alyth Amateurs Football Club wearing their new tracksuits.

Alyth’s very own football team is well-dressed for the new season thanks to 25 new tracksuits purchased with the help of a grant from ADT’s Community Projects Fund.

Alyth Amateur Football Club has been in existence for over 40 years and is well supported by the local community.  The Club is self-funded, with 22 signed players, and before the pandemic would regularly attract crowds of 50-60 people to home games in the Jubilee Park.  

All the players wear tracksuits on game days, home and away, showing their pride in representing the town.  Scott Hodge of the Club explained: “As a club we strive to ensure the players look smart, but our previous tracksuits were five years old and needing replaced.  The covid restrictions meant we had been unable to fundraise using our normal routes such as a coffee morning, a race night or a bingo tea, so the ADT grant for new tracksuits is a fantastic boost for us.”  

The Club is well supported by the local community, with supporters from all age groups including pensioners who look forward to coming along to home games, meeting friends and enjoying a few hours out of the house. 

Scott continued:  “As an amateur football team, playing football is clearly our primary role, but as a club we treat the health and wellbeing of our players very seriously.  

“As is now well-known, depression and anxiety in young men is a big problem and some of our players have experienced that at times; many have said that just being part of the team and being able to come along to training and have a chat with coaches and team mates has helped them.  These new tracksuits will strengthen those feelings of belonging to a group with shared aims, as well as pride in representing Alyth around the country.”

The Community Projects Fund distributes monies donated to the town by Temporis Ltd, operators of the Tullymurdoch Wind Farm just north of Alyth.

We’d love to see you at our 2021 AGM!

You and your family, friends and colleagues are cordially invited to our 2021 AGM on Thursday 16th September 2021 at 7.00pm via Zoom. Everyone is welcome.

There will be updates on our projects and funding, and information on how the community can get involved.   We really hope you can join us and we look forward to seeing you there.  If you’d like to join the Zoom session, or you have any questions in the meantime, email us at alythdevelopmenttrust@gmail.com, or message us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlythDevelopmentTrust 

Community Projects Fund open again

Do you have a big idea that could help improve life in Alyth?  We’ve re-opened our Community Projects Fund (CPF) for applications for funding up to £2,000 and the deadline is 27 August. If you have a big idea but need funding to turn it into a reality, don’t delay and get your application in today!

http://lovealyth.org.uk/projects/alyth-community-projects-fund/

Old Alyth Fire Engine gets a new home

Alyth’s old horse-drawn fire engine has gained a new home thanks to a grant from ADT’s Community Projects Fund.

Classic Restorations Ltd on Pittnacree Street have been the custodians of the original horse-drawn Burgh of Alyth Community Fire Engine for many many years, but it was stored out of the way where nobody could view it.  The £800 grant has enabled Classic Restorations to instal a special “carcoon” – a see-through protective air chamber – in an area of their workshops where it can be easily viewed by residents upon request.

The air chamber will prevent further deterioration of the fire engine until a full restoration plan and costings can be put together.  The air chamber has a small electric fan running at the rear which keeps filtered air moving around the object being stored in it.  Classic Restorations already store a number of classic cars in this way.  Eventually, after restoration, the fire engine would be available for use as a display at future events in the town.  

Graeme Johnstone of Classic Restorations said: “This project will help save part of the town’s heritage from total loss. We do not want to lose the fire engine to a museum in Perth or Dundee. This historical piece of fire-fighting equipment should be kept in the town and available for the community to use and see at local events.  The carcoon will stop further deterioration of the fire engine by preventing any dust/dirt build-up on the engine, and more importantly to prevent moisture affecting the wood and causing it to decay further. 

“If somebody wants to see the fire engine then they can call us on 01828 633293 and as long as social distancing is observed then there’s no problem, the shed is well ventilated and the fire engine is at the door,” he added.

The fire engine was built in 1854 by an Aberdeen shipbuilder and was supplied to David Smith & Sons Jute Mill in Alyth by their insurance company.  The machine was used by the jute mill workers to fight fires in Alyth before there was a dedicated fire-fighting crew.  The last recollection of the fire engine being used was by a man called William White, known locally as London Bill.  It was used when the Post Office went on fire, but the fire engine was of little effect because the fire was in a two-storey building and the pump had no pressure. 

The jute mill closed in 1950 and the fire engine was put into storage. It was found again when Forfar Carpets acquired the building in 1964. The fire engine had been damaged so George Ferguson joiners repaired it.  About 1970 it was re-sprayed so the current paint is not original. The fire engine was frequently loaned out to local fire stations for open days (Perth, Dundee, Arbroath etc.), but the owners insisted that the machine must always be housed in Alyth.  The carpet factory closed and Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd owner, Charles Palmer, purchased the building for storage of vehicles being restored. The fire engine was still in the building when Charles acquired it and has been stored there ever since.

If you have a local project that would be of benefit to Alyth and its community, look out for the next round of our Community Projects Fund opening in the autumn.  More details here: http://lovealyth.org.uk/projects/alyth-community-projects-fund/