. Our aim is to transform our Mission Hall into a comfortable and safe place for our meetings and annual exhibition. We will provide secure storage for our archives. We will commission interpretative panels that would be open to the public, turning the Hall into an attraction for tourists to the village. To make the building safer and more easily accessible, we plan to install a disabled door and ramp.
Our project is in three parts.
1. We wish to equip the interior of the Hall to make it a safe and comfortable place for meetings and to provide secure housing for our archives.
By providing secure cupboards for our archives
By installing projecting equipment and a screen – to be permanently fixed to the wall and roof of the Hall
By improving our lighting
By purchasing comfortable chairs
By laying better and safer carpeting
2. We wish to provide a Heritage Centre that will attract tourists to the village by commissioning 11 illustrated interpretative panels telling the history of Yetholm and the surrounding area from earliest times to the 1900s. Eight of the panels would be fixed permanently to the walls of the Mission Hall and three, telling the story of the church in Yetholm from the 1100s on. would be sited in the Upper Room of the Kirk. There would also be a display of some of the twelfth century stones of the first stone kirk. The Mission Hall and the Kirk would be open to visitors to view these panels during daylight hours during the summer months. (For an impression, see picture on left) The interpretative panels would include among other topics:
Yetholm’s bronze age shields and the iron age forts on the hills
Border warfare and reiving
Kirk Yetholm’s gypsy heritage
Yetholm’s festival and Shepherds’ Show
3. By making access to and egress from the Hall easier for people in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties by inserting a disabled access to replace the middle window on the West side of the Hall. This would lead to a ramp. The entrance path will be changed to lead more directly to the road. Low level lighting will be installed to light the path. The disabled access could be used as an emergency exit if necessary. (See plan and sketch of the disabled access and ramp, below).
Funding We have already completed the first part of our project: conserving the outside of our Mission Hall and providing it with safe and cost-efficient heating. To pay for this we used £5000 of YHS money (some of it from donations) and received approx. £2000 in grants from the Apple Fund and from SBC Community Grant Scheme. We have raised nearly £2000 from sales of our Guide, so please continue to recommend it to all your friends and neighbours. We are actively applying to other sources of funding with particular interest in the Borders or in the preservation of culture and heritage. These include the Fallago Fund, the Hugh Fraser Foundation and the Weir Charitable Trust. For our ‘Statement in support of Grant Applications’, please see HERE.
If anyone can suggest any other potential sources of funding, please let us know.
Summary of progress on archive and heritage centre project – February 2020. In the course of 2019 we secured grants, totalling £27,160, from the Fallago Environment Fund, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Community Fund of Scottish Borders Council, our own Apple Fund and personal donations. We are very grateful indeed to all these sources of funding and everyone who has contributed. In addition money raised from our Village Guide and saved from our own resources will contribute an extra £2000 - £3000. We have already begun the first stages with the installation of our new audio-visual system and screen, and, more recently, the fitting of energy-efficient lighting and the addition of spotlights which can be focussed either on the interpretative panels that will be fixed to the walls, or on our temporary display panels for the annual Festival Week exhibition. The next stage will consist of Kevin Lee fitting a new door to replace the middle window on the NW side of the building. We can then get on with internal work: a new lectern and steps; fitting an audio-loop; new carpeting; fire-proof cupboards to house our archive boxes; and, eventually, new chairs. The ramp to meet the new door will be built in late Spring or early Summer. We have produced one mock-up for a prototype historical display panels that will adorn the walls of our Heritage Centre to inform visitors to the village about the history of our area. The demanding work on these is progressing slowly but we hope this part of the project will be completed over the next year and a half.