The History of a House in Townend Kirkcudbright

31 St Mary's Place
31 St Mary’s Place

The 20016/17 programme for Kirkcudbright History Society finished with a talk by Vivien Dania on the history of 31 St Mary’s Place, Kirkcudbright. A borrowed book from the library gave Vivien the inspiration to research the development of the house and the people who had lived there. The title deeds showed the house had been built in the early 1850s but there are documents from 1808.

When Vivien and her husband, Carl, moved into the house in December 1996, they found a rotten skirting board and on trying to fix it, uncovered a fireplace thought to date around 1850. Four layers of wallpaper on the staircase were found one of which had been treated with a thin oil which enabled it to be wiped clean and was marketed at the time (around 1920’s) as ‘sanitary’.

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Chairman’s Report 2017

With attendance still encouragingly high for our monthly talks the Society remains in good fettle. I am most grateful to members for their continued support of the Society and especially to the committee team for their efforts in bringing the annual programme of lectures to fruition. Special thanks are due to our Secretary Marion Garroch for keeping the administrative wheels in motion. As intimated at last year’s AGM we have revamped the website www.kirkcudbrighthistorysociety.org.uk and I am very grateful to Helen Bowick for taking on the bulk of the work in updating and energizing the website. The site has a fresher look and is building up an impressive library of interesting articles and images and links to other local history sources. The club remains in a reasonably healthy financial position thanks to the diligence of Treasurer Donald Cowell and he will be outlining plans to ensure we remain viable in the future. Thanks to Ron McHugh for managing the audio system at all the meetings, a major benefit to our continually aging membership base. Thanks also to David Collin for producing the eye catching posters, David Devereux for running the magazine library and to both for their advice and guidance on all local history matters, and to Tania Gardener and Margaret Scott for providing refreshments and all-round assistance.

We have had a most enjoyable and informative series of lectures and I am very grateful to members of the committee who, as well as delivering the votes of thanks, have taken it in turn to write up reports on the talk for the Galloway News and the website. Thanks, are also due to Donald for lending us the use of his audio visual equipment for our speakers. We are still investigating the possibility of the Society purchasing its own equipment.

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