Ayr residents updated on campaign to save Seafield House at Public Meeting

Local residents turned up to the Public Meeting on Friday 11 October 2013 at The Old Racecourse Hotel in Ayr to hear an update on the campaign to SAVE Seafield House. Chic Brodie MSP also attended.

The meeting was opened by FoSH Chair, Rob Close, who welcomed those who attended. He then passed over to Patrick Lorimer, the FoSH Architectural Adviser who reported on the Developers’ Open Day for Seafield House that NHS Ayrshire & Arran held in Ayr on 16 September as part of its new marketing campaign to sell Seafield House.

There followed an illustrated presentation by FoSH Committee member, Brian Williamson, on Seafield House. Kirsty Menzies, FoSH Committee Member then gave a report on the Induction of Sir William Arrol into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame at the James Watt Dinner 2013, on 4 October.

Kirsty’s report was followed by a Question and Answer session. Questions were raised around the developer intent for the site. Patrick Lorimer responded that FoSH understood the enabling development would be for a number of appropriately sized and sited houses in the grounds and not a flatted development. Suggestions and ideas were received from local residents and a member of the public provided an update on the fire at Seafield House that was caused by arson in 2008 and that so damaged the building. FoSH intend to follow up on this new information.

The Secretary then took membership requests & renewals.

Read a full Report on on the Proceedings at the Public Meeting.

FoSH are very grateful to The Old Racecourse Hotel for providing the room and tea/coffee for the meeting at no charge.

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FoSH Public Meeting on Friday 11 October

Find out about recent developments in the campaign to save Seafield House

Friends of Seafield House (FoSH) is marking the approach to the first year of campaigning, together with SAVE Britain’s Heritage, to save Seafield House with a Public Meeting in Ayr on Friday 11 October.

The focus of activity over the past months has been the NHS Trust’s new marketing campaign to sell Seafield House. This new approach could see restoration of Seafield House by way of enabling development. FoSH & SAVE were present at the Developers Open Day last month that formed part of the launch of this new marketing campaign.

Members of the public are invited the meeting where FoSH Chair, Rob Close, and architectural adviser, Patrick Lorimer, will give an illustrated presentation & campaign update followed by an open discussion.  We look forward to seeing all those who can attend the meeting in Ayr and hearing your ideas and suggestions for the campaign and/or would like to renew membership or take out membership of FoSH.

FoSH Public Meeting
Friday 11 October 2013
12:30 – 13:30
The Old Racecourse Hotel, 2 Victoria Park, Ayr KA7 2TR

Download the flier with details of the meeting.

Tea and Coffee will be served at the meeting.

For those who are unable to attend we would still love to hear from you with your ideas via the website Contact page.

Sir William Arrol inducted to Hall of Fame

At the 2013 James Watt Dinner on 4 October the latest inductees to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame were announced. Friends of Seafield House (FoSH) were delighted to hear that Sir William Arrol was one of the inductees. As part of the public nomination process, FoSH Committee members & Friends had nominated Sir William for induction in 2013.

Photograph of presentation at the James Watt Dinner with screen displaying the entry for Sir William Arrol

Announcement of Sir William Arrol being inducted at the James Watt Dinner

Four renowned engineers – past & present – were inducted: William John MacQuorn Rankine (1820-1872), engineer, polymath, educator, and pioneer of thermodynamics; Sir William Arrol (1839-1913), engineering entrepreneur, steel bridge builder, designer and manufacturer of cranes, heavy machinery and automobiles, innovator in construction methods; Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt (1892-1973), engineer, inventor and pioneer of RADAR; & Hugh Gill (b. 1958) engineer who developed the multi-articulating bionic hand for Touch Bionics.

Read Sir William Arrol’s profile in the Engineering Hall of Fame website.

The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame was conceived and developed in 2011 by Gordon Masterton during his term of office as President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (IESIS) and is endorsed by Scottish Engineering, the support group for the engineering industry in Scotland. As Gordon Masterton said, “The life stories of these great engineers are truly inspirational. We need engineers of the same calibre today to stimulate our economic recovery and improve our quality of life.”

Professor Charles McKean

Friends of Seafield House (FoSH) were saddened to hear of the death of architectural historian, Professor Charles McKean on 29th September 2013.

Charles McKean was a professor of Scottish Architectural History at the University of Dundee.  He was the author of many books, including “Battle for the North”, a study of the war between the two rival railway companies, the North British and the Caledonian, to offer the fastest route from London to Aberdeen and the north of Scotland. In this book Charles McKean, highlighted the vital role that William Arrol had played in ensuring the successful construction of both the new Tay Bridge and the Forth Railway Bridge. In addition to his teaching and research, Charles McKean took an active role in several organisations which supported the preservation of of Scottish architectural heritage and he had been very generous in offering advice to FoSH on the campaign to save Seafield House.

Read his obituary in The Herald.