Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Moat House – the story that just keeps going

Moat Brae © Copyright Darrin Antrobus

Funny how you can innocently note a little story… think you will just make one post… then find you have started a life’s work. (I haven’t counted how many posts I’ve made on this, or rolled together in later entries when I realised the story was going to run.)

Such seems to be the case with the restoration of Moat House in Dumfries.

For those not yet aware, I first noticed this house was hopefully going to be rescued and restored in memory of writer JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and who had credited the house as having been inspiration in the story.

That was over 5 years ago: Tourism opportunity missed.

As you’ll see from that short little ramble, my interest then was not so much in the house and its history, but the problems that those wishing to save it were in having in raising funds and support to save it, and I had a little kick at those who were calling for tourism to Scotland to be grown – yet they were not chipping in a penny to bring visitors to a place then could be widely recognised.

Since then, I’m glad to say that the supported of the project have managed to raise finance and support, and recently Dumfries Peter Pan house project reaches milestone.

Metal theft

However, only a matter of days after the project reached this point (making the house watertight) it fell victim to the  scum which is plaguing the country at the moment, metal thieves.

These cretins will steal any metal, regardless of the danger, cost, or inconvenience cause to others. They rip out live distribution cables and rail systems, raid substations, tear out phone and telecommunications cabling, smash war memorial to tear out the brass plaques, and as happened to Moat house, strip the lead flashing used to make roofs watertight.

Usually, they will get only scrap metal value for what they steal, while the original owners are left with bills of thousands to make good the damage they cause – in the case of Moat House, the cost was estimated at £2,000.

However, attacks on electricity supplies or phone cables can cost much more, and more significantly, put lives in danger.

There are so many stories about this online now that there is no need for me to post links – just search ‘metal theft’ and you will find many current stories, for example:

£40,000 of damage caused as thieves rip metal from Benarty Primary School | Edinburgh & East | News | STV

Lewis Macdonald fears lives could be lost unless metal theft is tackled | Aberdeen & North | News | STV

New laws planned to tackle £12m metal theft boom – Top stories – The Scotsman

This action has probably eaten still further into the money the Moat House project has raised, since it means: Dumfries Peter Pan property security stepped up.

See also:

Police launch Operation Nickel to catch tool and metal thieves – Dumfries and Galloway Standard

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July 27, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , , ,

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