Category Archives: Society News

President’s Report October 2018

House of Memories Tuesday 2nd October 2018

President’s Report

The 2nd of October 2017 was a memorable day for us, as we received a communication from the Chair of Angus Community Asset Transfer Group, acknowledging our potential interest in community asset transfer lease of the former Angus Council Access Office.

On 27th February 2018 following discussion and consideration of any other options, available to us, a formal Community Asset Transfer Lease was submitted, with the attached relevant requested information. Throughout the year there has been much discussion and many meetings in an attempt to resolve the dire circumstances facing Monifieth’s House of Memories. We few remaining Monifieth Local History Society members who manage the community project found it impossible to continue shouldering the responsibility as custodians of the memorabilia and artefacts for display within Monifieth at the request of the benefactors. The property leased by the MLHS due to varying factors, but mainly Health and Safety reasons, was closed to the public, until alternative and more appropriate accommodation for relocation can be found.

On going enquiries and a search for storage accommodation has to date proved unsuccessful.

There is just no where to go in Monifieth unless we get a favourable answer from Angus Council regarding our Community Asset Transfer Lease application, which unless there is another delay, should become known to us after the meeting of the Procedures and Resources meeting on Tuesday 9th October.

Should the lease be granted.

There have been many local residents who have `signed up’ offering their support for the establishment of a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre, and the time has come for them to now uphold that commitment. More members will be necessary to form a new Monifieth Community Heritage Centre Management Committee, which will include representation from MLHS and the recognised world wide services provided by willing committed volunteers. Bringing benefits to all age groups while at the same time providing the link to the past in Monifieth’s special place. Room for expansion and new ideas. Together we can do it.

If the lease application is not granted then MLHS volunteers cannot continue with their community project The House of Memories, and fourteen years of commitment and dedication to the wishes of the people will be lost similar to other Monifieth’s Heritage associated buildings.

Margaret Copland. President MLHS

 

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President’s Report September 2018

Monifieth Local History

7th September 2018

It is now September and the situation regarding the future of Monifieth House of Memories is no clearer than it was over a year ago. According to an email from Sylvia Breen, Angus Council Communities Officer, we might possibly have a response from Angus Council regarding our Community Asset transfer Lease Application for the vacant former Angus Council Access Office! Police office, by the end of this month.

We the MLHS volunteers have reached the stage where we can no longer provide services as custodians with sole responsibility to the community for their property , which is on display at 55 High Street. We need assistance of committed volunteers of all ages, prepared to give time towards preserving Monifieth’s Heritage for the future.

The premises leased by MLHS, through Blackadders, property agents, is no longer suitable, or for many varied reasons appropriate to needs. Due to circumstances out with our control, not only are we risking our own health & safety, due to adverse conditions, we are exposing members of the public who visit the House of Memories to those same dangers.

The update on the owners legal obligations and necessary maintenance requirements, discussions and progress, will be found in a separate report.

What ever the outcome of all discussions I believe that the time has come , when we must ‘pack up’ and close the doors of ’55’ , either for relocation , which would be my preferred option, for many valid reasons, or temporarily, for time to allow extensive structural repairs to be made bringing the currently leased property to habitable standards.

With no storage accommodation available in Monifieth will the dream of a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre ever become a reality?

Only time will tell.

Thank you all for your commitment, support and help, through the difficult situations we have faced together, and the good times as friends do.

Margaret Copland.

President’s Report – August 2018

Monifieth Local History Society / House of Memories 3rd August 2018

The past three weeks since our last meeting can only be described as being hectic. Our gallant remaining volunteers have managed to keep the doors of the House of Memories open against all odds ,on a regular basis. However it has been necessary to review the hours. Visitors have commented on their disappointment at the enforced closures. Our volunteers appeal has created interest and we have a few offers of committed support, which are currently under discussion. We need those hundreds who signed up offering support to honour their obligation.

Invitations to deliver talks to groups & organisations continue, with the promise of donations for this service. We are currently working to assist the Librarian at Monifieth High School by lending material for a Monifieth in 1918 project. Angus Alive have also borrowed several items and using our researched information for their “Seven Towns , One County” exhibition in the Meffan Institute, Forfar. Our popular website is still attracting tourists to Monifieth.

The warm dry summer ended last week and it was brought home with the drastic realisation that the current building housing the House of Memories memorabilia etc, is in urgent and desperate need of extensive structural repairs to keep it ‘wind and water tight’. This is something we have already brought to the attention of the leasing agents on numerous occasions, to no avail. From information received our Community Asset Transfer Lease Application for the vacant premises, formerly used as Angus Council Access Office /Police Station, would be given consideration at a full meeting of the Angus Council in the next few weeks.

The future of the House of Memories and the services provided by Monifieth Local History Society are totally dependent on being granted the requested 3 to 4 years lease, and with volunteer support from members of the community to manage and support a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre.

We could have a place beneficial for all the people, managed , financed by the people, and the envy of many other people, Locally, Nationally and Internationally,

With a fourteen years of experience head start, we along with the members of Monifieth Community can do it.

The Search for Volunteers Begins

The following posters………… requests for volunteers  have been posted by Clive Goldstraw, Voluntary Action Angus, to all their contact sources. Clive, following discussion this morning will be using the House of Memories as a base for meeting volunteers, on Tuesday afternoons, between 2pm / 4pm

Hopefully with the ability to recruit some for the establishment of a Community Heritage Centre.
He has also promoted the request for more members of a management Committee, of which MLHS will be represented.

Volunteers Needed

President’s Report – July 2018

Monifieth Local History Society /House of Memories

Friday 13th July 2018

President’s Report.

The Community Asset transfer Lease for the former Angus Council Access Office is being given serious consideration.

We should in the next month or so be notified whether or not we have been successful.

We have held a Public meeting to alert the community of their obligation regarding the management and financing of a proposed Monifieth Community Heritage Centre, should the lease be granted to our group. As you are aware this would create the need for the formation of a Heritage Centre Management Committee with representation from MLHS, whose volunteers members have managed the House of Memories , for fourteen years , as a Community project.

The time has come for the community to play a greater role in the displaying of their items etc, which indicates their desire to retain the Monifieth Heritage story in the place where it belongs Monifieth.

Monifieth Local History Society would continue to use a Community Heritage Centre as their ‘work base’, and provide most the services established at the House of Memories, with additional benefits for all ages.

If relocation is not possible, due to lack of suitable or available affordable premises the MLHS would be forced to revert to its constitutional objectives. ” Educating the public at large by sharing researched information, by all means possible to them, regarding the Heritage of the Local Area.”

Talks, exhibitions and participating in fund raising and Community events, being still part of their Agenda, with continued monthly committee meetings and the Annual General Meeting held on the first Friday in November.

The Community property of which we are the custodians, some of which was loaned for display, will be returned to the rightful owners.

Items gifted to MLHS for display and their property will be given consideration as to their disposal by the Society members.

The ‘dream ‘ Heritage Centre for the future lies  with the people of Monifieth , who have pledged their support and will be required to honour the action, by becoming committee members or volunteers. We can only make it happen by working together with them.

Public Meeting – Minutes

Monifieth Local History Society (MLHS) Public Meeting 20th June 2018

Monifieth Community Cabin.

  1. 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).
  2. Present: 21 Monifieth residents and supporters.
  3. Apologies: Jean Lee, Chairperson MCRG), Madge Buntin (MCRG), Al Buntin (MCRG), Cllr. Fothringham, Clive Goldstraw , Voluntary Action Angus, Lynsey le Grice (Befrienders).
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Public Meeting – Address by the President

Monifieth Local History Society.

Public Meeting 20th June 2018

Welcome and Thank you all for accepting the Monifieth Local History Society invitation to attend the meeting tonight.

We have in attendance Norman Atkinson. OBE, Chairman of Angus Museums and Heritage Forum, who will talk on “The importance of Heritage”. Office bearers of MLHS  Also representatives from Angus Council , who support our proposed plans for Monifieth`s House of Memories future development, and  will perhaps deal with  some of the questions you would like answered.

For those of you who do not already know, I am Margaret Copland, President of Monifieth Local History Society, and spokesperson on their behalf.

Why are we here ?

This is a question I have asked my self many, many times since the establishment of MLHS  in September 2000. The organisation was formed by people with a similar interest in finding out about the heritage of what we had chosen to be `Our Home Town`

The Society very quickly became a non profit making registered Scottish Charity SC034053. whose constituted objective was to “educate the public at large of the Heritage of the Local area, from researched information by various means available ”

In 2002 we were finding difficulty in locating premises to meet, give talks, and display some of our work.  Something that sixteen years later has become even more of an extreme problem , with the closure of halls, hotels, demolition of buildings formerly used by groups and organisations to meet or socialise.

In 2003 after lengthy negotiations MLHS leased the former retail premises at 55 High Street. The building was in a sorry state of disrepair, that`s probably an understatement, but the MLHS members with a great amount of support and help from members of the community, businesses, and some financial funding from Awards for All and Angus Council, in April 2004 , opened what was to become Monifieth House of Memories, free of charge to the public at large.

The community project is managed and financed by unpaid volunteers, who are also members of MLHS.  Over the years the services provided by the group has steadily grown, and improved. A bit like Topsy. Our website is very active, an information source viewed by people throughout the World. It creates an interest in Monifieth, with local, national and international visitors , making the House of Memories a recognised tourist attraction.

What do they find at 55 High Street.

 Displays of photographs, memorabilia and items, identifying the past history of the area, from  prehistoric times to the present day. Everything held in the custody of MLHS having been gifted or loaned by members of the public, who have expressed their wish to “Keep them in Monifieth where they belong”

We have faithfully honoured this request, but time is against our willingness and ability, we are getting older, membership numbers and committed volunteers dwindling. The premises are no longer, fit for purpose, and due to pressure of work providing services similar to a Heritage Centre, we do not have time to organise and run fund raising events. 

To keep the doors open we have to find £9000 per annum.

The MLHS /House of Memories Management Group in order to find a new home for the contents of 55 High Street and move forward plan to establish a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre

With this in mind, following months of discussion and negotiations with representatives of Angus Council, in February 2018 made formal application, as is their legal right to do so, for a Community Asset Transfer Lease of the former Angus Council Access Office.     The building is appropriate for the needs of a Heritage Centre, with all the necessary facilities, a large open display area, toilets, access and parking for the disabled. There is also the added bonus of several rooms, which could be used for research, small group meetings, at the discretion of the  Management Committee.

Our application has been accepted and is currently being considered before being presented to the Angus Council for their approval or disapproval.

Here comes the `nippy bit`.

It is not part of MLHS `s constituted objective to manage and finance a Heritage Centre and should we be offered the short term lease of 3/5 years for which we have made application, before accepting and signing such a binding contract we need the assurances from the Community that they will support the planned project in every way possible.

Together we can do it for the future benefit of all generations.

MLHS need more members of all ages and committed volunteers to make this dream reality.

The history of Monifieth reveals that the “Glory Days” were when Monifieth services etc, were managed by the Burgh Council formed by unpaid volunteers, with no political or religious aspirations, only the desire to get the best for the Monifieth residents.  Sad to say that is not what is happening today, political and geographical boundaries, and financial greed are strangling what was a vibrant community. Monifieth residents are sleep walking, and will waken up in a dormitory location with no way back.

We have an opportunity to start turn this situation around, and together change the reputation of “Monifieth has Nothing to Monifieth has a Community Heritage Centre”.

We chose Monifieth as our home then let us once again make it a town  to be proud of what it has to offer.

 A time to take heed of the Monifieth Community Motto

“United Strength is Strongest”