Open house at Logie for traditional cream teas

The refurbished Logie Schoolhouse. Refurbished as part of the Little Houses Improvement Scheme (LHIS). September 24th, 2008.
The refurbished Logie Schoolhouse. Refurbished as part of the Little Houses Improvement Scheme (LHIS). September 24th, 2008.

IT WILL be open house at Logie again this summer when local man Joe Wishart will host his popular monthly cream teas.

This will be the third year that Mr Wishart has thrown open the doors to his historic home in Logie Schoolhouse to raise funds for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).

But he is also keen to share the restored NTS building, which is unique in Angus, with the public and said the response since he started the open afternoons after moving in two years ago has been “fantastic”.

He said: “It has proved tremendously successful, the history and setting of the building is an attraction and it’s all been fantastic. The National Trust is delighted I’m doing it and the public should see it.”

Dating from the early 19th century, the A-listed schoolhouse is one of the last surviving examples of mud-wall buildings in Scotland.

In the past the clay and straw building was used as a school and a church, but it fell into disrepair after being abandoned in 1990 and was earmarked for demolition.

It was saved at the 11th hour when neighbour Michael Maltman recognised its significance and taken over by the National Trust for Scotland’s Little Houses Improvement Scheme.

The £390,000 project to restore the house as a one-bedroom home received funding from Historic Scotland, the Scottish Government and Angus Council.

In 2009 it won the highest accolade for building conservation in Europe. The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage recognises outstanding work in conserving cultural heritage and the judges were impressed with the use of traditional materials and skills to carry out repairs, while ensuring the property met modern housing standards.

As a condition of the Scottish Government grant the schoolhouse was made available to a local tenant at an affordable rent for six years before being sold.

Mr Wishart said: “I’m under no obligation to do this but when I attended the opening ceremony in 2008 I thought it would suit me perfectly, and I also felt it would the last chance the public would have to get in to see it.

“I contacted the trust in Edinburgh and said I’d be interested in taking it and doing this. Since then I’ve been overwhelmed with people, many of whom have a local connection, and I’m now on to my second visitors’ book.”

Mr Wishart will serve teas on the last Sunday of the month, from 2 to 4pm, between May and September and is backed up by a small team of local ladies who provide home baking.

He said: “It’s by donation and people are very generous. Local people have also been very supportive - Reverend Graeme Bruce and his wife gave me a 25-piece tea set and the neighbours have been very understanding about car parking.

“It has become a bit of a tradition now and been popular with local groups and historical societies. I had a group from Historic Scotland up from Edinburgh in January and the National Trust Angus Members’ Centre will be here in May.

“I hadn’t expected that level of interest but it has been great.”