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Dingwall High Street venue The Picture House set to live on as Fodderty craftsman turns talent to quirky project from Alchemist Gallery


By Hector MacKenzie

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Bowl in the making
Bowl in the making

WOOD from a former popular Ross-shire venue now being converted into a flats and retail development is set to live on for years to come in very different form.

The Picture House on Dingwall's High Street will kindle memories of many a night out for locals under its various guises down the years.

It is now part of a multimillion-pound revamp being carried out by Ark Estates – but will live on in a quirky, creative endeavour by Fodderty woodturner, Ansgar Vinke.

He had been working on the renovation of the former Dewar & Hays Chemist shop just down the High Street into the Alchemist Gallery, that showcases and sells a wide range of craft, art and design, with a particular interest in quality local and unusual items.

When the carpenter was offered some wood from the roof beams that had been removed from the Picture House, gallery owner Hazel Gordon was very keen to have items made from it on offer. They are now turning up as travel mugs, bowls and more in the old chemist’s shop.

Ms Gordon said: "We have had all types of memories shared with us whilst working on the shop, so we know that these public buildings are of real interest to those that have lived, worked and socialised in them. It’s a real privilege to hear these stories as it they also bring the buildings back to life”.

Travel mug
Travel mug

“People really appreciate what we have preserved and been able to put back on show in our shop, and as The Picture House has been the home of many a night out in the town over the years, these roof beams are bound to have witnessed some local legends in the making!

"Possibly a few visits were made to Dewar & Hay Chemists, the morning after a night at the Picture House. Now they can come for a coffee mug made from the roof!"

Ansgar Vinke of Fodderty Woodturning
Picture: Gary Anthony
Ansgar Vinke of Fodderty Woodturning Picture: Gary Anthony

The current range of Dingwall roof beam products includes turned travel mugs, bowls and a lamp with old hand-forged blacksmiths nails still embedded in the wood.

Ansgar, who also has a range of other items for sale in the gallery, said: “As it was built in 1870, there`s a fair chance that this beam is celebrating its 150th birthday this year”.

Related: Gallery revamp rolls back the years

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