A MUCH-valued Easter Ross facility which reflects a town’s rich heritage has re-opened to the public after a major revamp over the winter.
Honorary president Joan Ross, who has put a power of work into the project since it was first opened back in 2001, was asked to take centre stage in recognition of all her efforts down the years.
The main shop has been revamped with items from local crafters added to some of the heritage centre’s own products, which include slate, Celtic jewellery, leather and tartan handbags and knitting.
The centre has opened with three new displays. One marks the centenary of the RAF, which had links with the town. Another showcases the history of Bridgend and West End schools since 1872 while the third is a display containing military and household artefacts.
Committee vice-president Mike Staike paid tribute to volunteers who put in "many hours over the last three months to get the place ready – it was quite a big job".
Motivated volunteers cleaned, restored and painted the building when first acquired to create an exhibition and shop space. They started gathering the photographs, artefacts, documents and memories to tell the social history of Alness.
In January 2000 Alness Civic and Heritage Centre was opened to the public and since then, through generous donations of photographs, artefacts and information from the local area and across the world, an amazing and eclectic Collection has been built for future generations.
In 2009, the volunteers made their final payment on the loan from the Charity Bank and Alness Civic and Heritage Centre finally belonged in its entirety to the people of Alness.
Pictures include precious 1944 images of a Sunderland Flying Boat on the Cromarty Firth with Alness Point and Fyrish in the background.
RAF Alness was an operational training unit for Sunderlands and Catalinas during World War Two. Sorties were undertaken to the North Sea and Iceland.
More on the centre can be found at www.alness.com/heritage