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Volunteers will guide visitors around Forres landmarks Nelson's Tower and the Tolbooth

By Garry McCartney

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Nelson's Tower volunteers Mike Martin, Michael Ellison, Grace Reid, Peter Howarth and Bill Laing. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Nelson's Tower volunteers Mike Martin, Michael Ellison, Grace Reid, Peter Howarth and Bill Laing. Picture: Becky Saunderson

A MORAY landmark is set to re-open next weekend for a full season, the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic hit.

The event will mark a decade since Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) took on the responsibility for opening Nelson's Tower to the public as a visitor attraction.

The monument will open on Saturday, April 2 and will resume its pre-pandemic opening schedule of seven days-a-week, from 2-4pm until the end of September.

The monument was open in last August and September on a reduced schedule.

Peter Haworth co-ordinates the volunteers who man the tower.

He said: "It's very exciting to be getting back to normal and opening for the whole season. It’s even better that we are marking 10 years of the tower being in the trust’s safe hands.

"It would be great if we had our usual overseas visitors, but we urge locals to enjoy what the tower and surrounding area offers. A visit to Grant Park and Cluny Hill is a great day out ... you may even come across a dragon!"

He added: "The tower is owned by Moray Council but is looked after by FHT so we rely on visitors coming, liking what they see and making a donation if they wish."

In 2019, over 3000 people visited the memorial to Admiral Lord Nelson that was erected by public subscription.

An appeal for more volunteers to help open the tower had been successful but the trust, which also owns the Tolbooth, can always do with more hands-on deck.

Peter said: "We have so many different projects that there is always something to do. Volunteering with FHT is really rewarding.”

FHT also hopes to open a new visitor attraction in the Tolbooth which will allow visitors to experience a tour of the building including the police office and cells, historic courtroom and parapet around the clock tower.

FHT chairman, George Alexander, said: "The trustees and volunteers have been working hard to get the tower ready for opening and this new project at the Tolbooth off the ground.

"We are putting the finishing touches to the Tolbooth and hope to get it open to the public in the very near future."

Nelson's Tower's Red Ensign will fly from the building's mast to indicate when it is open.

Visit www.forresheritage.co.uk for more information.

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