President’s Report and Request for Support

Monifieth Local History Society

Friday 11thMay 2018.

President’s Report.

After so many years as Society President you would think it would become easy to write a monthly report of the happenings, and concerns involving our group.

This has been the hardest ever report that I have been obliged to write.

April has seen us past the fourteenth year since leasing the premises at 55 High Street, a rather dilapidated and run down empty retail outlet, and with the sole purpose in mind, that it would be a central meeting place for members, to carry out research work associated with their combined interest in the history of the local area. The numerous members worked hard to bring the accommodation up to an acceptable and habitable level, The public at large became interested in our activities and joined in with offers of help, support and finance. it then became apparent, that our talks, website, exhibitions and displays, involvement in community events, was much appreciated, and creating a need for retaining historic related items and memorabilia, within Monifieth. From small beginnings by the acceptance of items to be taken into our care, the House of Memories evolved.

Years have seen it flourish and now it has outgrown the current premises which are totally unsuitable for the extensive services our volunteers provide free of charge. Donations are acceptable.

The ‘down side’ to this success story being, membership numbers have fallen, most probably due to the ageing process, leaving few able and willing volunteers to carry on what has been so often described by others as doing a fantastic job on behalf of the community’. The “fantastic job”, has taken up much of our time, with little left for planning and carrying out the necessary funding raising events to meet the £9000 per annum to finance the House of Memories community project.

The cold harsh winter, inability to meet rising costs to heat the premises, which are in desperate need of external maintenance, brought us to the conclusion, despite the ‘willingness of a few committed members the future looked grim.

We were back to the circumstances faced in 2002, looking for appropriate accommodation, but this time with a vast amount of precious artefacts, memorabilia photographs etc in fact the keys to Monifieth’s heritage. Recognising this as being an indication for the need for a formal Monifieth Heritage Centre.

As our legal right to do so, on behalf of, and as part of the Monifieth community we made application for an Angus Community Asset Transfer Lease of the former Angus Council Access Office, which is very suitable and appropriate for adaptation to a Heritage Centre. (Disabled parking & Access).

Notice of this transfer request will be published online at www.angus.gov.uk and notices displayed in the vicinity of the former Angus Access office Monifieth.

MLHS lease application has been accepted for consideration, and we will be notified of a decision in due course.

With the granting of a lease, the ambitious project, of a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre management and financing is not within the remit of Monifieth Local History Society, nor the constituted objective, and must be addressed.

Community projects require the involvement of its members, and we as such have done what was necessary to find, and made application for the lease of premises considered suitable to house community property i.e. contents of the House of Memories, for relocation.

A new body; Monifieth Heritage Centre Management Group, must be established by those willing to undertake the responsibility and necessary commitment involved, with representation from Monifieth Local History Society, Schools, Churches, Businesses, Community Council, Local Council, Groups and organisations all together at the table.

MLHS will continue to meet their constituted objectives, and operate from the proposed Heritage Centre.

MLHS have accepted signed declarations of support from hundreds of individuals who respect our work and the services we provide for Monifieth.

Now we must ask them in return to share the responsibility of what between us, as a community, we have created, a local, national and international tourist attraction and information centre, envied by others.

The future of the House of Memories a Heritage Centre lies with the choice of the community, by their actions either to support it or lose it.

Hopefully fourteen years of the time, effort and skills, given willingly and freely by members of Monifieth Local History Society for the benefit of all, will not be wasted.

Please support us in our application by emailing Angus Council place@angus.gov.uk  and telling them you support us or how much help/information we have given you.

Any representations made to the Council about this request, or our website

www.monifiethhistorysociety.co.uk

have four weeks allowed for answers.

The response period 7th May—4th June 2018.

Thank you in anticipation.

 

Margaret Copland. President

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