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Forres Heritage Trust Tolbooth tour now includes views from the clock tower

By Garry McCartney

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George Alexander at Forres Tolbooth...Picture: Becky Saunderson..
George Alexander at Forres Tolbooth...Picture: Becky Saunderson..

A LOCAL tourism attraction is set to open this month with a brand new part of its tour.

Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) has created a new tour at the Tolbooth which includes the old police office and cells, the courtroom and a trip up to the parapet and around the clock tower which has never been open to the public before.

The tours will initially be available on Thursdays and Saturdays for a six-week pilot.

FHT chairman, George Alexander, is delighted the tours are finally open in time for the tourist season.

The original Tolbooth jail gate.
The original Tolbooth jail gate.

He said: "It starts in the old police office where visitors can play prisoner and see what life was like in the cells. People can have their prints taken and take their own picture up against the 'mugshot wall.'

"The tour continues through the back corridors to the historic court room and then onto the clock tower, where, for the very first time, people will be able to step outside and enjoy beautiful views across the town of Forres. "

The tours take around an hour and will be facilitated by volunteers.

The Tolbooth bobby.
The Tolbooth bobby.

Trustee Peter Haworth, confirmed FHT have had a team working on the tour for the best part of two years.

He said: "Trustees have pulled together the police office and cells part of the project. The courtroom has been given a tremendous make-over by volunteers, and George and other trustees have worked on the clock tower part of the development.

"Now it's time to launch the tours and we have a keen volunteers ready to welcome folk to delve into the Tolbooth's history."

FHT has also run successful tours of Nelson's Tower between April and September for many years.

Historic truncheons, handcuffs and keys.
Historic truncheons, handcuffs and keys.

Visit Moray Speyside operations and marketing coordinator, David Wilson, believes the energy, effort and commitment of FHT trustees and volunteers should be commended.

He said: "The trust has already proved it can run a successful attraction with Nelson’s Tower, so Visit Moray Speyside welcomes this new addition to Forres’ tourism offer. We wish the trust all the best with the opening."

Tour bookings can currently be made by calling George Alexander on 07875 034220.

The first will take place on Saturday, June 18.

The cost is £5 for visitors aged 16 and over. Under 16s are free but must be accompanied by an adult.

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