Welcome to the news, blog and contact pages for the Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust.
Above is a slideshow with a few local historic images
Almost exactly a century ago, local merchant John Hastie acquired a piece of land adjacent to the town centre of Strathaven, our historic Lanarkshire market town, and established a public park, which was gifted to our community. It’s still known as The John Hastie Park and rubs shoulders with a second park gifted to the townspeople, The George Allan Park, given by a Strathaven clergyman in memory of his son, who died in a tragic accident. Together, these parks have recently been voted best in Scotland.
But that’s another story! From his estate, John Hastie provided funds for the building of a Hall, to be a museum for the people of Strathaven. It became a prominent feature of The John Hastie Park, which it overlooked, and it operated until 2011, when South Lanarkshire Council closed the building, in an effort to save money. By this time, the John Hastie and Strathaven Collections had amassed thousands of items: perhaps they would be hidden away for good.
From the public outcry at the closure of Strathaven’s own museum there emerged a group of volunteers, who shared the vision and determination that a new museum must be established – a genuine community museum, fit for the 21st Century. Not only would this museum tell the ongoing story of Strathaven and its beautiful valley, Avondale (named after the River Avon which runs through it), but its volunteer team vowed to bring the artefacts in the John Hastie and Strathaven Collections out of the shadows (not all at once – there are too many!) so that the people of Strathaven and Avondale had the opportunity to see them, some of them shown for the first time.
And that’s what we do. The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust is a registered Scottish not-for-profit company. It is also registered as a Scottish Charity, number SC 043189. The website you are visiting is just one part of the work of our volunteer group.
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Impact of COVID-19 Revises Trust’s Plans
THE STRATHAVEN John Hastie Museum Trust (SJHMT) has been pursuing a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the Ballgreen Hall in its drive to set up a museum and community facilities for Strathaven. It is therefore disappointed to report that, despite vigorous efforts by its funding team and its consultants since July 2020, and as a result of many funds being closed or diverted to respond to the Covid 19 Emergency, to date the Trust is unable to identify sufficient available funding streams.
Its aim was to purchase, make safe, renovate and adapt the Ballgreen Hall and ex-Library Facility so being unable to engage with potential funding bodies to secure confirmation of when suitable funds will be available or the likely magnitude of Grant Funding means the plans for a community asset transfer cannot proceed at this time.
Continual constructive dialogue with South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) has taken place throughout the CAT Process with the process being mutually paused to allow the Trust further time, in the expectation of the re-opening of Grant Funding which would allow Funding for the full proposal to be identified.
Regrettably, this has not occurred. Consequently, the SJHMT Board of Trustees met using “Zoom” on Monday 8 February and after much deliberation unanimously decided to withdraw their CAT Application for the Ballgreen Hall and ex-Library Facility.
The Trust’s Chairperson, Gordon McAllan, commented. “Whilst our Trustees are very disappointed to have felt it necessary to make this decision, this action enables the Trust to revisit its plan to secure a permanent Modern Volunteer-Run Community Museum and ensure that the facilities offered within both the Museum element and those for use by the Communities of Strathaven and Avondale, fully align with the needs of the Community as we emerge from the Covid-19 Emergency and enter the much-cited “New Norm”, whatever that may be. Our search and determination to find and secure a permanent home with Community Facilities continues undiminished. I wish to take this opportunity to extend my and the Board of Trustees. Thanks also to all those who have assisted in our mission to date and particularly to SLC for their help and support”.