Hospitalfield tours open for bookings

A SMALL band of volunteers and Friends of Hospitalfield are training furiously in preparation for the launch of Hospitalfield House’s First Wednesday Tours on March 7.

Booking is now open to groups, clubs and individuals for guided tours of the Grade 1 listed building. Tours run between 2.30 and 4.30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month and cost £5. Afternoon teas will also be on sale.

To book contact 07825 872370 or e-mail friends@hospitalfield.org.uk

Hospitalfield director Willie Payne and local history enthusiast Graham McNicoll have worked together in coaching the volunteers both in the rich history of the house, which goes back to the 13th century, and also in its unique collections including original art works by founder of the Trust, Patrick Allan-Fraser, and his London art set, the Clique.

Volunteer Helen McDiarmid said: “I feel privileged to be to have been able to gain further knowledge of the building. We received a very informative insight into the Patrick Allan-Fraser legacy and very much look forward to having the opportunity to share this with members of the public on the up and coming tour programme.”

The introduction of regular bookable tours is the Trust’s latest initiative in making ‘Angus’s hidden gem’ more accessible to the community.

Meanwhile Louis Grassic Gibbon’s Mearns classic ‘Sunset Song’ will come to Hospitalfield on March 3 when Vivien Heilbron, who starred as Chris Guthrie in BBC Scotland’s television adaptation, will appear in conversation with fellow actor, Michael MacKenzie, best known for his role as Dr Magnus Baird in ‘Taggart’.

‘Sunset Song’ was first published in 1932 and was adapted for a television series by the BBC in 1971 with Vivien Heilbron taking the lead as Chris Guthrie, following her intellectual and sexual development within rural North East Scotland before the onset of the First World War.

The series featured BBC Scotland’s first nude scene. Over 70 years after its first publication, the book’s enduring popularity was demonstrated when in 2005 ‘Sunset Song’ was voted the country’s top book at Edinburgh International Book Festival, beating Irvine Welsh’s cult ‘Trainspotting’ to the leading spot.

Tickets, including a complimentary drink, cost £12 at the door and can be reserved via 07825 872370 or e-mail friends@hospitalfield.org.uk

The performance starts at 7.30 p.m.

Twitter:@Arbroath_Herald