Galloway gallops to O’ Shanter’s aid

Jim Reid from the management committee pictured outside Dalry Town Hall.
Jim Reid from the management committee pictured outside Dalry Town Hall.

A helping hand has been offered from Galloway “across the border” to Ayrshire to help complete a network of tourist attractions at sites important to the whole region’s history.

Work is getting underway in Dalry Town Hall to introduce heritage interpretation features around the building.

These will help celebrate the rich history of the Dalry area from the 17th century through to today, with an emphasis on the Covenanter activity.

The project will install information boards and display cabinets around the building, with pride of place being the production of a video on the history of the town, to be displayed on new audio-visual equipment.

The project is costing £25,000 and is funded by the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme and by Blackcraig Wind Farm Community Fund.

This project forms part of the Galloway Glens ‘Heritage Hubs’ suite of proposals, seeking to make a trail around the area telling the story of the region, attracting both visitors and residents alike.

Jim Reid, from the Dalry Town Hall Management Committee, said: “The latter part of the 17th Century was a time of turbulence and a clash of belief with deadly outcomes.

“We hope to present our visitors with a story, not so much about armies and battles, but about how a small incident of threatened cruelty amongst the humblest of folk in Dalry led to national consequences.

“We are grateful for the support we are receiving from GGLP and the Glenkens District Trust in developing this small part of our local story.”

Nick Chisholm, Galloway Glens Project Officer, said: Throughout our region we have gems of history that have often been forgotten about. Nowhere epitomises this more than the historic St. Johns Town of Dalry.

“The covenanter risings are a complicated but important part of Scottish history. Their fight against the injustice meted out by the troops of King Charles II was ultimately futile but has lived long in the folklore of the area. Other perhaps less factual happenings in the area will also be documented in due course.

“Did Tam O’Shanter really run from the witches across the Ken from this location and did Rabbie Burns immortalise this story having spent some nights imbibing in a local Inn?

“Perhaps the truth does not fully matter here and instead the richness of culture and story that can be displayed here is more important!”