Opening doors to a world of East Dunbartonshire treasures

Throw open the doors...at St Mary's Church in Kirkintilloch.
Throw open the doors...at St Mary's Church in Kirkintilloch.

There will be no excuse for moaning that there’s nothing to do this weekend. For a variety of iconic locations in East Dunbartonshire will welcome visitors on Saturday and Sunday as part of Doors Open Days.

East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture and the council have co-ordinated a packed programme of events for the Doors Open Days festival.

Kick-off point...for a variety of activities this weekend, Milngavie Town Hall.

Kick-off point...for a variety of activities this weekend, Milngavie Town Hall.

Marking the 20th year the area has taken part in the festival, there’s a bumper programme on Saturday and Sunday – and it’s all free!

A number of long standing contributors are open, as well as venues returning to the Doors Open line-up following face-lifts and refurbishment.

On Saturday, some 12 properties will throw open their doors with a further three opening on Sunday.

Kicking off in Milngavie on Saturday, Clober Farm will be open from 1pm to 4pm. The ground floor of this Grade C-listed property in Milngavie was bequeathed to Spinal Injuries Scotland.

Historic story...in the pipeline at Milngavie Waterworks.

Historic story...in the pipeline at Milngavie Waterworks.

It forms part of an early 18th Century farmhouse which includes an extensive garden, previously featured in The Beechgrove Garden.

Milngavie Heritage Centre will host an exhibition from September 8 to September 15, entitled Milngavie Waterworks: an Incredible Story.

And it certainly is. Constructed in the 1850s as the source of treated water supply for Glasgow and the surrounding areas with water piped from Loch Katrine, the display tells the story of this major heritage attraction, comprising the magnificent Craigmaddie and Milngavie reservoirs, and their Victorian treatment works.

There will also be a waterworks walking tour on September 15 from 10am to noon.

Call me...Kirkintilloch has a long and proud history with the traditional phone box and now is the ideal time to find out more.

Call me...Kirkintilloch has a long and proud history with the traditional phone box and now is the ideal time to find out more.

Meanwhile, the Kirkie Kiosk will be the focus of a display at Kirkintilloch Town Hall on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Prepared by Kirkintilloch Antiquaries, it will show how telephone boxes made in Kirkintilloch fitted into the overall programme of telephone kiosk production by the GPO.

While there, take the chance to explore the town hall, which was originally opened to the public in 1906.

It has recently enjoyed a new lease of life and a short film will take visitors through its construction and refurbishment story.

Visitors can also take part in family fun activities or visit the drop-in workshop to make a Kirky postcard!

Opening the doors...to the marina in Kirkintilloch.

Opening the doors...to the marina in Kirkintilloch.

A walking tour will leave the town hall at 2pm on Saturday to explore the site of the town’s passenger station at Eastside, which closed in 1964.

Or if boats are more your thing, the Forth and Clyde Canal Society office at the Marina will be open to the public with displays about the Forth and Clyde canal restoration.

Short boat trips will also be available on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Also opening on Saturday are St Mary’s Parish Church in Kirkintilloch and Cadder Parish Chuch and the library in Bishopbriggs, along with Cawder House and Grounds and Springfield Cambridge Church and Halls.

On Sunday, Baldernock Parish Church and Watch House will open for guided tours between 2pm and 4pm.

The Watch House, which was built to guard against body snatchers in the 19th century, also houses a small exhibition.

St Cyprian’s Church in Lenzie – the first church in the town – will also welcome visitors on Sunday from 10am to 1pm, as will New Kilpatrick Church in Bearsden.

Building began in 1807 on the site of an earlier church; it was extended and the tower built in 1888.

The church boasts a very fine collection of stained glass including windows by Stephen Adam, Alfred and Gordon Webster, Norman M Macdougall, C E Stewart, James Ballantine and Eilidh Keith.

Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the place, neighbourhood and corporate assets committee, said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to take the opportunity to enjoy this year’s programme, which offers a range of visits, tours and guided walks in East Dunbartonshire.

“We have been involved in Doors Open Day for 20 years now and it continues to be a very popular celebration of local history and heritage.”

And Sandy Marshall, chair of EDLC Trust, said: “It is great to see so many buildings taking part, particularly in this European Year of Cultural Heritage.”

For further information on local events, call 0141 777 3143, pick up a leaflet in local outlets or visit the website www.doorsopendays.org.uk.

Events staged across Scotland

Doors Open Days is co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust.

It is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, which is co-ordinated by Archaeology Scotland.

Both Doors Open Days and Scottish Archaeology Month are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Area co-ordinators, who work for a variety of local authorities, civic trusts and heritage organisations, create and manage local programmes.

Across Scotland, more than 1000 buildings will be open and free to enter this September.

Many of them are not normally open to the public and some are opening for the first time. Castles, churches, mosques, museums, fire stations, offices, theatres and even a distillery are among the buildings taking part this year.

You can visit a winery and ciderhouse in Perth, an historic artist’s house in Angus, a secret bunker in Skelmorlie, a candle-factory in Glasgow and Adam Smith’s birthplace in Kirkcaldy.

There truly is something for everyone, with talks, tours, heritage trails and other events for all ages.

Susan O’Connor, director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said: “Doors Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for communities up and down the country to show off the best of their buildings.

“We’re thrilled with the range of architectural wonders on display this year and we can’t wait for people to enjoy as many sites as possible.”

Doors Open Days are held each weekend throughout September, giving people the chance to visit as many of the properties as they can fit in!

For the full programme of events, visit the website www.doorsopendays.org.uk.