Buchanhaven Heritage Society looks back on successful year

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The Buchanhaven Heritage Society have reviewed their progress during 2014 and are delighted with the work delivered for their area.

The society successfully organsied a number of exhibitions and events throughout they year that received the full support of the local community.

Some of those events included a commemorative event to remember those lost in WWI; a general exhibition looking at the industries now long gone from Peterhead; an in-depth look at the fishing industry; and a look at rural life which also had linked to the fishing industry the society also hosted a health fair; model display and most recently a very successful Christmas Fair, closing the year with their ever popular Carol Service on December 20.

At this event the team also performed for the first time as their recently formed “Dickensian Christmas Choir” in full period costume and to ensure others could enjoy the experience the team also visited some local care homes and hospitals to ensure those that could not come to them did not miss out.

Looking back on their community action plan which was formed after their first Planning for Real event in July 2012, the society were also pleased to see the actions listed are now complete, which included new railings between the historic harbour and Birnie Bridge, new lighting along the same stretch and a bench re-located that used to be the source of anti-social behaviour.

In addition to their work safeguarding the past for future generations to enjoy and learn from, the society developed and delivered a brochure highlighting the benefits of visiting the area called “Visit Buchanhaven” which was supported by Augean North Sea Services.

This linked into their strategic aim of increasing tourism in the area to further support their social and economic development aims and objectives.

The brochure has already seen some significant benefits as visitor numbers have increased from various areas across Scotland.

The work of the society has also benefitted the local economy with visitors arriving in the area from America, Australia and Belgium with more planning visits in 2015.

During the development of the brochure, the society members picked up from the local community that the area had “lost it’s identity” and the members set about creating a new project to resolve this.

Later this year, supported by experts in the various fields, they will create a Buchanhaven tartan, pipe tune and own blend of malt whisky, while working with the local community throughout the process.

This will culminate with a launch that will include the new tune being performed and the agreed tartan going on display along with the new blend whisky available to taste.

The society also aim to launch their own website this year in addition to their existing Facebook page and are looking at increasing their current evening class provision that includes a knitting and crochet class, camera club, art class and fitness classes for all ages and abilities to include Scottish Country Dancing, and creel making all linked into their aim of safeguarding the heritage of the area and Scotland in general.

Alex Geddes chair of the society said: “ We are delighted with our progress to date and very excited about the future and watching the area develop further as our projects become a reality.

“There is a clear difference in the area as community spirit once more returns and this in turn this can only increase the momentum of our work.

“We are delighted to have received our charitable status and to have become a provisional member of the Development Trust Association for Scotland which we will work towards full membership of during the next few months.

“The team have been exceptional in their belief in the project and the society certainly looks towards a bright future in the year’s ahead”