They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, well how about moving the whole house from one part of the Cairngorms National Park to another!
Only for Phil and Mary Hay, they are staying put in their brand new house at Lochanhully, Carr-Bridge and the 1920’s croft house they were living in, situated on the same site, is being dismantled and moved to the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore.
Helping museum staff with this ambitious relocation are trainees from the Cairngorms Construction Skills Project who were on site last week – marking the beginning of the deconstruction phase – by removing the front porch of the house. The wooden house will eventually be rebuilt at the Highland Folk Museum and be used to interpret life on a croft in 1950’s rural Scotland.
Bob Powell, Principal Museums Officer with High Life Highland – based at the Highland Folk Museum – explained: “I first viewed the Lochanhully house back in January 2010 and thought it would make an excellent addition to our collection. The strength of the project was not just the vernacular construction, or the fact that it would provide such a good house for the museum but that it had great documented family and local history – with photographs, plans and receipts relating to the house’s construction. And it was also being donated with its contents!
“Another first class exhibit like this also takes us a step closer to our goal of being able to open the Highland Folk Museum year-round, providing more employment opportunities and becoming another visitor attraction for those who like to come to the National Park out with the summer months.”
The croft – adjacent to the Lochanhully Woodlands Club – has been in Mary Hay’s family since around 1890. Mary and Phil’s new house is the third property to be built there. Mary said: “We are delighted that the house and all its contents can be recycled in such a way, providing a long lasting educational resource for the museum and adding to the visitor’s experience.”
The project is costing £80,485 and is being funded by the Highland Folk Museum and LEADER, via the Cairngorms Local Action Group. The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is proving the trainees through the Cairngorms Construction Skills Project, which itself is supported by the CNPA, The Highland Council, Scottish Government, the Henry Smith Charity and LEADER.
Fraser Cardow of HSCHT said: “The Highland Folk Museum is one of our great training partners and we are delighted to be working with them again, with our trainees having played a role in the relocation of the Boleskine Shinty Pavillion from Strathpeffer to the museum earlier this year.”
Patricia Methven from the Cairngorms Local Action Group commented: “Effective partnership working is the key to successful projects and this is a perfect example. It brings together the cultural heritage of the area with training opportunities for young people, who are our future in the Cairngorms National Park. I very much look forward to visiting the Lochanhully house in its new home at the museum.”
It is hoped that the porch of the house along with the kitchen extension will be removed before Christmas, leaving the original carcase of the building which will be worked on in the New Year. The reconstruction of the croft house in its new location is due to get underway in the Spring and should be fully rebuilt by the Autumn. However it will be 2014 before the new exhibit, interpreted for the 1950s, is ready to receive its first visitors at the museum.
Bob Powell added: Projects like this are long-term but very much worth it when you consider that you are preserving important examples of Scottish history and lifestyles. I personally would like to thank Phil and Mary Hay for their generosity towards the project and their very valuable input.”