Published: 15/07/2016 13:44 - Updated: 15/07/2016 13:51

Exhibition puts town's past into the frame

TAKE a step back in time at the Tolbooth this week during the 10th historic local photography exhibition.

The photo exhibition at the Tolbooth, taking place this week, is always popular with everyone.
The photo exhibition at the Tolbooth, taking place this week, is always popular with everyone.

A feast of memories will be on new display boards showing what life used to be like in and around the ancient Royal Burgh.

Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) will be your guide as you discover familiar and long-forgotten faces down Memory Lane.

“Folks should come along for a bit of photographic Forres history and nostalgia,” said organiser Ray Mills.

“In terms of people, places, pastimes and professions, and possible glimpses of themselves or their family members or friends, in days gone by.”

In total there will be over 1000 pictures to see, with refreshed content so visitors can see shots they have not seen before. 

All pictures are available to see on the board displays or filed in subject-related folders for visitors to browse through.

The collection has been put together by Ray, and local historians Franny Duncan and Ross Dalziel of FHT.

Ray owns around 5000 negatives he got from his parents who took photographs for the Forres Gazette and the Forres News between 1946 and 1964.

“My father came to Forres in 1929 as manager of the Forres Picture House, so I also have a few shots dated between 1929 and 1946,” he said.

“I digitally scan the negatives, process them as black and white photographs then pass on those I think might be of interest to the Trust.

“Ross and Franny have both received contributions from folks in the local community who have personal photo collections including the former minister of Castlehill Church Rev Smith,  former editor of the Gazette Mr Ian Urquhart and former leader of the Forres Boys Brigade Mr John McKenzie. 

“Ross also has pictures from his father’s own collection, including many of Forres Gala Week. Local people have also handed in pictures, some of which date as far back as the 1870s.”

It is hoped that local residents, and folk who have moved further afield, will turn out to reminisce and share memories of old haunts long gone.

Younger people will be amazed to find out what the town used to look like, and visitors will also be able to tour the old Tolbooth, built in 1838, and connecting jail, built in 1846.

“I am hoping to have a retired policeman visit on at least one of the exhibition days,” added FHT chairman George Alexander.

“He served from 1949 to 1953 and on his last visit could tell in great detail how the police office, courtroom and cell block operated at the Tolbooth.”

The Exhibition of Forres and District, Past and Present is on July 13, 14, 15 and 16 from 11am-4pm.

Entry is by donation and all visitors are welcome.

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