Monifieth Local History Society (MLHS) Public Meeting 20th June 2018
Monifieth Community Cabin.
- Platform party: Norman Atkinson OBE, Chairman Angus Museums & Heritage Forum, Margaret Copland (President MLHS), Cllr. Sheila Hands, Cllr. Beth Whiteside, Rhonda McFarlane Economic Development & Funding Officer, Angus Council, Sylvia Breen , Communities officer Angus Council, Marianna Buultjens (MLHS).
- Present: 21 Monifieth residents and supporters.
- Apologies: Jean Lee, Chairperson MCRG), Madge Buntin (MCRG), Al Buntin (MCRG), Cllr. Fothringham, Clive Goldstraw , Voluntary Action Angus, Lynsey le Grice (Befrienders).
- Welcome: Margaret Copland introduced the platform party and thanked everyone for coming. She then gave the reasons for the meeting. Monifieth Local History Society was formed in 2000 by people with a similar interest in preserving the heritage of Monifieth, their `home town`. They became a constituted registered non profit making charity.
With the number of items loaned and donated by those who wished them to be displayed “ in Monifieth where they belong” the House of Memories, a community project undertaken by volunteers, members of MLHS, soon developed into what has become not only a link to the past, providing the services of a heritage information centre, it has grown into a tourist attraction.
The leased premises are no longer appropriate or suitable for purpose, and the planned improvements, require relocation to accommodation with proper display area , disabled access & facilities. Areas available for research etc.
Application for a Community Asset Transfer lease has been made by the group, to Angus Council for the vacant former Access Office which would meet all the necessary requirements of A Monifieth Community Heritage Centre.
This would however require the support of the hundreds who pledged their support for such a “benefit for all” to consider becoming Members or giving time as volunteers, should the Lease be granted.
It is not the constituted objective of MLHS to manage and finance A Community Heritage Centre, and others would have to commit to making Monifieth`s reputation as being “Monifieth the town that has nothing to the town that has a Community Heritage Centre”
Together with MLHS at the table, and a good Management Committee it can be done.
She then asked Norman Atkinson to address the meeting.
- Norman Atkinson: spoke on: ‘Preserving our heritage for the future’. All other burghs, apart from Monifieth and Carnoustie have museums. Heritage is for the future – away beyond any of us here. Heritage is not just a hobby, but good for tourism and Family History is now big business. Most heritage centres/museums start off as voluntary organisations. Heritage gives civic pride to both the professionals and volunteers concerned.
- Request for Members and Volunteers: Marianna Buultjens drew attention to the membership and volunteer forms which had been handed out. Members are necessary to provide finance for the Society to help it continue its work and if there is to be a new Heritage Centre, volunteers with a range of skills are vital.
- Open to the floor: questions and answers chaired by Norman Atkinson: Questions and topics raised by members of the public and councillors were: Heritage Trail/Pictish Trail; Disappointment at lack of young people at the meeting; Topics which could be addressed in the Access Office building if Lease application successful, for example: Reminiscing therapy; history research and related design and artistic skills; organising visits from schools (Friday afternoon was mentioned as being good for senior pupils who could use this experience on their CVs for university application.) Date for renewing of getting membership of MLHS (1st June 2018). Many of these and the other practical suggestions, have been carried out over the years in the House of Memories.
- Angus Council Representatives: Rhonda McFarlane and Sylvia Breen talked about ‘Asset Transfer’ which MLHS has applied for and is at the Representation Period stage where members of the public can comment, until 7th We should hear if application is successful by November. Funding sources for equipment were mentioned.
- Margaret Copland thanked the meeting for the constructive ideas and said that should the lease of the building be offered to MLHS she hoped we would have volunteers!