Venture behind the doors and unlock years of history ...

Douglas Academy. Photo by Emma Mitchell.
Douglas Academy. Photo by Emma Mitchell.

If you fancy taking a peek inside heritage centres, churches and town halls across East Dunbartonshire you will have a unique opportunity to do so next month.

People are being invited to take a glimpse into the past by taking part in Doors Open Day 2017 – which takes place locally on Saturday, September 9.

This is the 19th year that East Dunbartonshire has taken part in the Scotland-wide event and there are a range of buildings and events in the 2017 programme – including the chance for an advance look at the rejuvenated Kirkintilloch Town Hall.

All activities are free, but please note that you must book where places are limited.

The programme has been organised by East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture with support from the Council. In Milngavie the buildings opening are: The Glasgow Academy (formerly Atholl Preparatory School) from 10am until 1pm; Milngavie Heritage Centre Railway to Milngavie exhibition from 10am to 4pm and Douglas Academy from 10am to 1pm.

Douglas Academy’s current building opened in 2009 providing modern, bright, spacious facilities fit for purpose. It has extensive indoor and outdoor sports areas including a large games hall and fitness suite and also has a modern library and performance area.

People can enjoy tours of the building, music recitals by pupils from Douglas Academy Music School, art work and local history displays. Tours throughout the morning are on a first come, first served, basis.

There will also be a Milngavie railway walk which leaves from Milngavie Heritage Centre at 10.30am.

In Bearsden the buildings which are opening include St Andrew’s RC Church which is marking its 50th anniversary. It will be open from 10am to 4pm. Other venues are: New Kilpatrick Parish Church from 11am to 2pm; Arts Centre Tour ‘‘The Story So Far’’ Kilmardinny House, 11.15am tour and noon walk to the hub/library and a family fun workshop ‘‘Print A Postcard’’ at Kilmardinny House from 11am to noon.

The buildings opening in Kirkintilloch are: St Mary’s Parish Church from 10am to 4pm and Kirkintilloch harbour walk which leaves from The Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, at 2.30pm.

This guided walk will describe harbour facilities at the original Kirkintilloch basin which was laid out on the site of the present marina during the years 1834-35. The walk is intended to link with Doors Open Day at The Park Centre, where Kirkintilloch & District Society of Antiquaries will contribute a display on ‘‘Unlocking Kirkintilloch’s Past’’.

Other venues which will be accessible are: Forth & Clyde Canal Society, Kirkintilloch, from 10am to 4pm, The Park Centre from 10am to noon and Kirkintilloch Town Hall with guided tours at 11am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm and 2pm.

Cawder House and Estate is one of the venues opening its doors in Bishopbriggs at 3.30p.m. A walk will leave from the canal bridge on Cawder Road.

Other venues which people can visit are the John Kay Print Exhibition at Huntershill Village ‘‘The Times of Thomas Muir’’ from 10am-4pm.

This unique display explores the times of Thomas Muir of Huntershill through prints by celebrated 18th century artist and cartoonist John Kay. The exhibition forms part of a programme of events celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Muir by the Friends of Thomas Muir.

Other buildings opening are: Springfield Cambridge Church and halls from 1pm to 4pm and Cadder Parish Church from 10am to 4pm.

Baldernock Parish Church and Watch House is also opening its doors from 2pm to 4pm and in Lenzie St Cyprian’s Church will be accessible from 10am to 1pm.

Councillor Jim Gibbons, convener of the place, neighbourhood and corporate assets committee, said: “I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to enjoy this year’s programme, which offers a range of visits, tours and walks in East Dunbartonshire.

“We have been involved in Doors Open Day for almost 20 years and it has proven to be a very popular celebration of local history and heritage.”

Sandy Marshall, vice-chairman of EDLC Trust, said: “I’m delighted that a number of new venues are included in the 2017 programme, which ties in with the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“All of the events are free, but please note that you will have to book some in advance – particularly the tours of Kirkintilloch Town Hall.” For further information telephone 0141 777 3143, e-mail: culture@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or visit www.edlc.co.uk.