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Banffshire area set for Royal visit

By Kyle Ritchie

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Three community buildings are set to get the royal seal of approval this Monday when HRH The Duke of Rothesay visits the area.

Prince Charles (below) will tour the refurbished 1st Macduff Scout Hut at School Lane; Vanilla Ink at The Smiddy at Old Market Place, Banff; and the town’s Museum at the High Street.

A Royal Family spokesman said: “The Duke of Rothesay will visit the newly refurbished 1st Macduff Scout Hut and meet Scout leaders and members.

Prince Charles will visit Banff and Macduff on Monday.
Prince Charles will visit Banff and Macduff on Monday.

“The Duke of Rothesay will also visit Vanilla Ink, a social enterprise business that is bringing silversmithing and jewellery-making skills development opportunities to communities and who are particularly focused on working with isolated and vulnerable young people.

“The Duke of Rothesay will tour Banff Museum and view their collection of Banff silver wear which includes examples of many of the known Banff silversmiths.”

Members of Macduff Scout Group raised £129,000 to restore their hut. The building was one of the oldest properties in the town and was falling into disrepair, which forced the group into action to fund its renovation.

With a mixture of grants cash and fundraising the group was able to turn the hut into a multi-purpose facility, which can also be used by other groups.

The Smiddy is Vanilla Ink’s second location in Scotland, with it also having a base in Glasgow.

It was once a blacksmith’s workshop and lay derelict for more than 30 years until Aberdeenshire Council rebuilt it as part of Banff’s Regeneration Programme.

In September 2018, Vanilla Ink opened and it offers silversmithing and jewellery making classes for beginners, intermediate, advanced and professional crafters. It also has an in-house silversmith for custom silver pieces and commissions. The Museum of Banff is run by Banff Preservation and Heritage Society and recently also underwent a refurbishment and has an extensive collection of Banff silver wear, which the town was renowned for.

Banff Museum was founded in 1828 as the Museum of the Banff Institution and is the oldest in Scotland north of Perth.

The Banff Institution was dissolved in 1875 and the collections passed to the town council. The present museum and library building were built in 1902.

The society currently run it in partnership with Aberdeenshire Museums Service.

The exhibits show a vast range of interesting artefacts from the Celtic period up to the modern day. They reflect life in Banffshire and show some stunning examples of the historical past in Banff and Macduff.

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