Abernethy Old Kirk, Nethy Bridge

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As a charity we rely on your generosity to ensure the future of the beautiful Abernethy Old Kirk building.  Donations, of any amount, are gratefully received and you can donate with or without a PayPal account.

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Lots of information to report; during February and March we fulfilled another main goal, the property has been greatly improved in both efficiency and comfort with the completion of a modern ceramic heating system and LED lighting. This has also reduced the CO2 emissions and improved “green awareness”. The extensive work necessitated a “big clean”, thank you to everyone who came to help.

We have recently acquired a substantial amount of good quality books and even though our Book Bonanza Sale in March was very well attended and raised £340, a good amount remains; we sell the hardback books for £2 each and paperbacks for just £1each, so lots of bargains to be had!

BBC Alba very kindly offered to interview the Directors on the afternoon of 18th April; a very interesting experience and a nerve-wracking one for some of us! A few shots of locals happily enjoying their tea and cake were included as well as the scenery surrounding the kirk. We were very pleased with the two and a half minute clip which was aired on the News Channel, An La the following day. The film will soon be added to our website.

Did you know the kirk is a “Bird Magnet”?! When we are on duty at the events it is wonderful to hear the birds singing on the roof and we regularly guess which bird is serenading us. Last year we took a photo of masses of house-martins that decided to visit the bell tower for the afternoon; an amazing sight! In fact Edward Mayer from the Swift Conservation Group will be including the photo in his Talks/Slide Show around the country; we are hoping he will include us in his itinerary. The photo is attached; doesn’t the bell tower look lovely against the blue sky?
We believe it is common knowledge the swifts return each year to nest in the kirk’s eaves. As they are due to arrive in early May we decided to act quickly and purchase two cameras to place in two bays of the eaves. There are 7 bays, please keep your fingers firmly crossed we have placed them in the correct ones. We are very grateful to our photographer friends who have given us two small TV monitors and a donation towards the cost of the cameras. Thank you to Alison Greggans, our local Ranger, who has offered her help and support. We will be shouting (or chirping) from the rooftops if we are successful in our attempt to monitor our swifts (or the devil’s birds as they are sometimes known) through their breeding season.

Keeping to the “creature” theme, if you have ever searched for the “kirk mice” with your children or grandchildren, beware, the ten resident clay mice have now been relocated around the kirk, so this “keeping the children entertained” activity has been revived. Seemingly, it has been equally entertaining for adults too!
The kitchen area of the vestry has been transformed with a new worktop, inset sink with space underneath to accommodate our new fridge and substantial shelves to hold crockery making a more efficient space for serving our tea and cakes.

The Photofest in April, a 3 week event, achieved £700 towards our funds, slightly less than last year’s 4 week event.

Currently, the 19th/20th Century Wedding Gowns and Vernacular Chairs Exhibition from the Highland Folk Museum is attracting lots of visitors. By popular demand, one of Queen Victoria’s iconic black gowns, displayed last year, has returned. We requested locals to loan their vintage wedding gowns for the community section and we haven’t been disappointed with the response. Nine beautiful gowns, all different styles accompanied by their story are on display with more gowns promised. The event closes on Monday 1st June.

As we are hosting two weddings in June, the next exhibition will open on Saturday 4th July. The very talented Creative Cairngorms group of artists will be displaying and selling their beautiful and inspiring work including items of pottery, art, felting, tweed, fused glass, photographs, jewellery, wood; something for everyone to enjoy. The event will run until Sunday 2nd August.

Our WW1 display has been re-organised to accommodate more artefacts and information; it is added to regularly and we have received many compliments from visitors appreciating the tribute to the bravery of our ancestors. This poignant display is permanently available to view alongside our other events.
AOKA will participate in the “Doors Open Days” again this year; the first weekend in September, when impromptu guided tours/talks will be available. Our neighbour Castle Roy will be participating too. More information will be released nearer the time.

Anne Glen, AOKA Director, has recently resigned for personal reasons; we thank Anne for her help and commitment to the project and wish her well for the future.

Finally, please help to spread the word, “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter @oldkirknethy where we post regular updates.

Kindest Regards from the AOKA Team
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 01479 821944 / 07934413063