News from the Cabrach Trust.
The work with researching the Cabrach’s history, heritage, and culture is gathering pace and will be ongoing. However, there have been a few special highlights over the last few months.
Peoples’ Parish Project
In March the Trust finished the first part of a storytelling project with Mortlach Primary School and Jackie Ross, the storyteller. This project is part of a larger initiative under the Peoples’ Parish Projects that seeks to study local stories, folklore, culture and focus on the Doric language. In this first part of the project, pupils from P6/7 made a series of stories focusing on the Cabrach and some of the place names here. Out of the many exciting stories three were chosen to be made into storytelling videos. Hopefully, we will be able to share the videos with you soon.
Black Middens Excavation
In April the Cabrach Trust led the first excavation in Scotland of a historic farm distillery at Blackmiddens Farm on the edge of the Cabrach. The distillery dates to 1828. We were keen to uncover more information about how a distillery from this period worked, how it was set up and what had survived in terms of artefacts and internal features. Whilst excavating the distillery we found far more of the structural layout had remained than we had dared hope for and we also discovered lots of internal features like cobbled floors, as well as personal items such as pieces of broken glass flasks and a clay pipe. We are still analysing the results, with the excavation having given us lots of information that will be used to further our research in to the history of historic whisky distilling and in setting up our own historic distillery. Our special thanks to Historic Scotland and to Forestry Land Scotland who supported the dig
Family Community Day
In June we held a Family Community Day in partnership with the Cabrach Community Association (CCA) at the Acorn Centre, where we had over 70 people sharing old photos, memories and memorabilia. The day was also host to other activities including a raffle, face-painting, children’s games, woodworking demonstrations and of course lots of tea and cakes. However, the most important thing was fundraising for defibrillators for the community.
From our Family Community Day, together with other events held over the last few months, funds have been raised for 3 defibrillators within the Cabrach – this has been supported by a generous private donation and special thanks go to Deborah Smith and daughter Erica for the excellent job they did in organising the prize bingo on behalf of the CCA. They raised £1,552 pounds which is fantastic. Also a big thank you to Lumsden Community Association for the £300 donation towards the defibrillators and to everyone who has supported the initiative. The CCA is in the process of purchasing the equipment and organising the training in conjunction with the Sandpiper Trust.
There have been some new faces welcomed to the small staff team at the Trust.
CEO of The Cabrach Trust Anna Brennand.
Anna Brennand joined as Chief Executive at the end of March 2019. Anna joins us from one of the UK’s largest independent museums, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Based in Shropshire England, Ironbridge is a World Heritage Site and Anna ran the Trust’s 10 museums that welcome over 600,000 visitors a year. Anna brings a wealth of experience in multi-million pound redevelopment projects and creating sustainable operations. A qualified accountant, Anna also worked as Finance Director for a FTSE 100 company and also in the leisure and hospitality industry as well as central government.
Grant Muir has recently joined the team as Finance & Administration Manager replacing Elaine Murray. Grant is responsible for looking after the Trust’s accounts as well as our property portfolio and membership. Grant has previously worked in a range of sectors most recently in the oil and gas industry in Canada and Switzerland as well as within the UK. Elaine has left to pursue running her own accountancy service but still pops in to see us from time to time and we wish her well with her new venture.
Imogen Assenti joins us a Development Director. Imogen works from home based down in Sterling and has extensive experience of fundraising for large capital projects within Scotland. Imogen will be working with Anna to raise the funding for the conversion and redevelopment of Inverharroch steadings.
We are fortunate to be working with some of the UKs leading experts and consultants as part of our design and project team. With the support of our funders we are finalising all of the detailed designs for the Visitor Centre and Historic Distillery. Our main focus will then be on raising the capital funding to make the project a reality. Some bids have already gone in and others will shortly follow so we will keep you up to date with our progress.
The Cabrach Trust AGM
The Cabrach Trust AGM is always a great opportunity to catch up with friends old and new and to hear about the Trust’s progress over the course of the year and our future plans.
This year the AGM will be followed by an interesting talk from Dan MacCannell – British editor, multi-award-winning screenwriter and bestselling author. He co-authored, with Charles MacLean ‘Scotland’s Secret History: The Illicit Smuggling and Distilling of Whisky’. His other published titles include ‘Lost Banff and Buchan’, ‘Oxford: Mapping the City‘ and ‘How to Read Scottish Buildings’.
The AGM takes place at the Grouse Inn between 6.00 – 8.00 pm on Tuesday 24 September 2019. Light refreshments will be provided during the evening and we hope to see you all there.
The CCA will be holding a coffee morning in support of Macmillan Cancer on Saturday 28 September, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Acorn Centre, Lower Cabrach – everyone welcome.
Scottish International Storytelling Festival
The Cabrach Trust is pleased to be part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and everyone is warmly invited to an afternoon of captivating stories for all ages. We will have a special guest with the famous storyteller Louise Profeit-LeBlanc visiting from Canada. Louise has ancestors in Towie just south of the Cabrach. We will also have our house-storyteller Jackie Ross share with us local stories with a folklore twist.
Please come and join us Saturday 26 October at the Acorn Centre in the Cabrach from 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Find more information on the Cabrach Trust’s web or Facebook page nearer the event.