A group of dedicated volunteers have produced a much-awaited new publication devoted to reviving and sharing memories from Moat Brae House and Gardens in Dumfries – the inspirational ‘enchanted land’ behind JM Barrie’s story of Peter Pan.
This fascinating insight into the history of Moat Brae during the twentieth century, when it was a busy private medical facility, is based on interviews with some 30 people, collected over the last two years.
The fond memories of staff, patients and local residents make a wonderful read and, such is the affection with which people hold the old Moat Brae Nursing Home, it is already sparking the imagination and encouraging more people to come forward with their own ‘Moat Brae Memories’ – the Trust will be delighted to hear from people who want to share their own memories of their connection with the building, particularly from anyone who was born there.
Compiled by Balmaclellan-based volunteers Sheila MacKenzie and Alan and Phillipa Pallister. The idea stemmed from the number of people who attended a Moat Brae Open Day in September 2011 with memories of the building and stories they wanted to share. Project Director Cathy Agnew said: “The book will be a vital resource for the interpretation and understanding of the history of Moat Brae and the special place it holds within the Dumfries community.”
Since the time JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan, played in his ‘enchanted land’, the garden at Moat Brae has inspired the telling of stories, the Trust hopes this is the first of many new chapters in Moat Brae’s history and an adventure which will continue for generations to come. ‘Moat Brae Memories’ was produced with the generous sponsorship of Bibliographic Data Services and designed and printed by Alba Graphics. Copies of the book priced £4 are available from Midsteeple Box Office in Dumfries 01387 253 383. Proceeds from the sale of ‘Moat Brae
Memories’ will go to the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust to support its work in restoring the house and creating an adventure garden as a visitor attraction and Centre for Children’s Literature.
Copies of the book will also be on sale at the current exhibition of The Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society on Glasgow Street which celebrates J M Barrie’s links with Dumfries and how the legacy of Peter Pan has inspired the project at Moat Brae for a Centre for Children’s Literature. Part of the display is the statue of Peter Pan from the garden at Moat Brae. You can find out more about the book, how it was made and how you can add your own Moat
Brae Memories to the collection at www.peterpanmoatbrae.org