Increased visitor numbers

At the recent annual general meeting of The Friends of Brechin Town House Museum, Chairman Brian Mitchell praised the efforts of members in encouraging an interest in the history of the local area and for their support of the museum.

“We have aided the museum staff in quite dramatically increasing the footfall in the museum,” said Brian.

“While much of the credit for this has to be attributed to the hard work of museum staff, ‘The Friends’ have consistently contributed immensely to this in a variety of ways.”

This increase in visitors was done, in part, by continuing a programme of increasingly popular presentations held in the Gallery of the museum with a variety of subjects mostly relevant to the history of Brechin and Angus.

A number of presentations with a variety of subjects have taken place over the last year. These include: ‘Brechiners at War’ and ‘Angus Victoria Crosses’ by Steve Nicoll, ‘Working in the Factory’ by George Mitchell, and ‘Images and Memories’ by Brian Mitchell. The last speaker of the year was Sarah Kettles, Brechin THI Manager, whose subject was ‘Brechin THI – The Merchant’s House & Other Key Projects’.

While the current programme is coming to an end, plans are soon to be started on the next series starting in the autumn.

Delivering his annual report, Brian reminded members of the recommencement of the collection of photographs relevant to the Brechin area.

These are copied and stored electronically in the local photographic archive and this process will continue for the foreseeable future.

Several images have been received of areas not previously held, such as the west end of River Street taken in the 1960s and Ward’s Park, featuring Brechin Gala, around 1950.

Brechin Oral History Project was extended thanks to a grant from Brechin THI allowing the children of one of the last occupiers of one of the retail units of the Merchant’s House to be interviewed and their memories recorded.

In addition, their aunt, now in her nineties and resident in England, was also interviewed and her early memories of the building recorded for posterity.

Brian also thanked Brechin Town House Museum staff for their cooperation and assistance as well as congratulating them on their hard work over the year in producing a diverse programme of exhibitions.

“These are not just maintaining but expanding the visitor numbers entering the building helping to keep it vibrant,” concluded Brian.

Office bearers were elected as follows:- Chairman - Brian Mitchell; Vice-Chair - Ruth Leslie Melville; Treasurer - Anne Mitchell; and Secretary - Steve Nicoll.