Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 15 August 2006

Wallace Bandstand, Nairn - renovations almost complete

The protective fencing which has surrounded the Bandstand was at long last removed early today, after several months during which the structure has been extensively renovated. Hooray! I write Hooray! because I look straight out at it from my apartment so it is of personal interest to me.

The Wallace Bandstand, Nairn links - 15th August 2006

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The Bandstand was constructed in 1884 in honour of John Wallace, an eminent citizen of Nairn who became a pioneer in the Victoria colony in Australia. It is made mainly of cast iron, with a lead roof. It has just undergone several months of costly renovation, made possible by a grant of £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, approved in August 2005. It had fallen into considerable disrepair in recent years and had, moreover, suffered a certain amount of vandalism over the past two or three years. It is an A listed structure. The (almost) completion of the restoration has been done just in time for this year's Nairn Highland Games scheduled for Saturday 19th August; the grass behind and to the left of the photographs is the Nairn Cricket Pitch, with the clubhouse visible at bottom-left; the building where I live is to the left of the photographs. The cricket field is also used for the Nairn Highland Games; the tall white pillars are only erected for this event and will have been removed again by early next week after the Games are over. It has been restored using the same colours as records indicate were used when it was originally constructed, not the black colour which was used in recent years. There are plans for the Bandstand to be used once more by the community, for example for musical performances during the annual Nairn Jazz Festival and performances by the local military brass band during the summer. The remaining work to complete the restoration of this fine landmark is, I understand, the laying of a tiled floor in the Bandstand (currently plain concrete), the design of which will be the result of a competition open to local schoolchildren.

As it was a nice sunny day after a grey sky in the morning I decided, however, to take some photographs of another fixture of Nairn links - 'The Toorie'. It was constructed anonymously, overnight, in August 1859 and the alleged background to this event is recorded on a brass plate affixed to it:

'The Toorie', Nairn links - 15th August 2006

The structures behind 'The Toorie' are part of the Fun Fair, which comes to Nairn every year about a week prior to the Nairn Highland Games, scheduled for later this week. It is located just beside the Wallace Bandstand and is adjacent to the cricket pitch, just to the left of the photograph

The plaque explaining the history of 'The Toorie'
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