(adapted from an email sent by Judy Crabb of the Newhaven Heritage)
Here’s a date for your diary — Saturday 23rd September: 2.30pm until 4.00pm.
Newhaven Heritage is delighted that our application to the Cockburn Trust to host a ‘Doors Open Day’ was accepted and that, thanks to the support of Laura Thomson, Victoria Primary’s Head Teacher, and the co-operation of the City of Edinburgh Council, we will be able to give the public access to the oldest working school in Edinburgh.
The school was designed by James Lessels and Harry Taylor of George Street, Edinburgh and opened in 1845 with later extensions in 1874 and 1875. The firm of Lessels and Taylor were architects of renown responsible for a number of buildings in the New Town or for revising their design. It is a rare example of an early Victorian educational establishment with many period features.
Guided tours will take place at 2.30pm and 3.30pm and talks will be given at 2pm and 3pm. Visitors will also be able to visit the ‘Wee Museum’, the pride and joy of Victoria’s pupils. Local Newhaveners will be on hand to answer questions and members of the committee of Newhaven Heritage will be available to share their vision of what the school could become as the village’s Heritage Centre and Community Hub.
There will be activities for children, too, and refreshments for all available.
Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. The aim of the festival is to ensure that Scotland’s built heritage, new and old, is made accessible to people. The first Doors Open Day first took place in Glasgow and Ayr in 1990 where it formed part of the European City of Culture celebrations. The success of the event encouraged other areas to participate the following year and has now grown to cover almost every area of Scotland with more than 800 buildings expected to open, generating over 200,000 visits to sites and hidden architectural gems such as Victoria Primary School.
With approval for a new school being given at the end of June 2017, it is imperative that this jewel of Victorian architecture is preserved with its original timber sash and case windows, a relatively unchanged interior retaining timber boarded dado panelling, iron radiators, stone stairs, cast-iron banisters and double-height hall making the school an impressive and virtually complete example of its type.
We anticipate a busy day on September 23rd and for safety reasons, the numbers on the tours will be restricted. You would be advised to register your interest at email@example.com at the earliest opportunity.
For more information, please contact
Judy Crabb: email firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 07962 171747
Gordon Young: email email@example.com, mobile 07706 632300