After our busiest month ever last month - smashing our occupancy and financial targets, and having over 1,000 people through our doors between projects, events and other users of the building , we are now winding down from what has been an incredible year.
We are the first charity in Scotland to transition from a charity (SCIO) to a community benefit society with charitable status (CBS). This has allowed people to become part-owners of the Farmhouse and allowed us to raise over £70,000, an incredible amount which will ensure a strong start for the New Year ahead as well as ensuring we complete the kitting out the building.
We have seen our average weekly numbers rise from 50-100 to over 400 on weeks when we hold an event.
We have hosted major events and staff away days for key Edinburgh based charities such as the Welcoming, Crisis, Inspiring Scotland, Thistle Foundation, Positive Realities, Slow Food Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland, The Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh, Lone Fathers Edinburgh, the Orchard Project, to name but a few. We were part of the Tradfest, Power of Food Festival and International Storytelling Festival and held many other events for locals throughout the year.
We have hosted a funeral tea for 120; a christening; a 70th birthday party; children’s parties; pop-up dinners and have 2 weddings and a hen party (daytime!) now booked for next year. Come us speak to us, if you would like to discuss any events or celebrations we could host for you. All packages are bespoke.
We have also held a range of learning activities on site from Spoon Carving to Chair Making, Permaculture, Foraging, Natural Cosmetics, Cafe training skills, Up-cycling, Cooking, Pizza making, Oatcake making, Oral History gathering, Lime pointing, Arts and Crafts workshops and summer programmes with free workshops for families featuring mosaics, animation and more.
Over the year we have run the building supported by over 80 volunteers offering food projects, history sessions, and welcoming visiting groups like the Dirty Weekenders, student volunteers, international visitors and local folks. All of which couldn’t happen without local support. If you fancy getting involved next year, we have a host of new plans – watch for more information in our January newsletter.
Our main projects...
Come Dine with Us has run for 2 terms this year, feeding local folks, as well as ensuring 14 volunteers gained qualifications and skills working under a professional chef.
The Place, Work and Folk project has gathered oral history from over 30 locals, worked with schools, and held major events. All of which will culminate in events early next year which will highlight their marvellous work over the last 18 months.
Our Drop-ins on Wednesday and Sundays have been busy and productive with a steady stream of new volunteers coming to take part in a wide variety of activities which have all helped us to achieve great things on site.
Our Acorn Fund has kick-started a youth outdoor group; a singing group; medicinal dahl classes, a wormery build and a drumming group. Coming in the New Year - a guitar group and woodwork group.
It’s been an incredible year, but more importantly, we want to say a huge thank you to all our supporters, partners, member/shareholders and of course our wonderful volunteers and wish everyone the best for the festive season and for a fantastic 2019.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Bridgend Farmhouse.
You’ve maybe heard about our Place, Work and Folk community oral history project.
Over the past year and a bit, our 20 volunteers have been interviewing, researching and gathering wonderful living memories, from dozens of local folk who recall the working farm and the community around it (1940s-1990s). They’ve brought it all vividly back to life for us and I can’t thank them, or our amazingly dedicated volunteers, enough.
It’s been a joy, a privilege, an honour – sometimes also a host of surprises, a flurry of unexpected outcomes and a hoot! Now it’s time to present it all back to you, and to establish an archive that community groups and learners of all ages can engage with and take inspiration from in the future.
We’re creating a booklet with photographs, excerpts from our interviews, features on the wider story of the farm (putting the farmers themselves at centre stage), a full account of our project activities, public events, school workshops and much more. There will be a film featuring the Darlings, the Binnies and other key interviewees, a full range of Soundcloud recordings and soundbites, plus a marvellous mini-museum upstairs featuring our exhibition, creative displays and all our tales from the past. And wait till you see our Mosaic Timeline of Bridgend! All to be launched this February.
Contact me for more information - we hope you’ll want to visit us and make use of all we’ve collected. Heritage Lottery Fund have generously funded us up to the end of February, but our legacy will live on in all kinds of activities and creations - well into the future.
Mobile (Monday-Thursday): 07976 882038 (on leave 20 Dec-13 Jan)
We’ve had more animation workshops this summer – see our SuperPig classic!… plus a masterclass in traditional oatcake-making (messy but tasty)… more interviewing of locals with remarkable recollections (stay tuned for more additions to BridgendPWF on Soundcloud… a doubling-down on our editing of existing recordings… the start of plans for a November gathering, Our Changing City (24-25 November - contact me if you’re curious!), setting up workshops with Castlebrae Community High School… further workshops towards our Mosaic Timeline, based on Greater Liberton Heritage Project’s incredible research… and preparing for Doors Open Day on 30 September - we can’t wait to see you there for late 50s/early 60s treats, games and other entertainments, featuring extracts from our informants’ most youthful escapades!
Our volunteers can highly recommend The National Museum of Rural Life, where we got a much clearer sense of how things might have looked at Bridgend in the days of the piggery and of the dairy farm. We loved the Tamworth pigs, the Clydesdale horses, the rare hens (we didn’t check whether they had teeth), petite Ayrshire cattle and a splendid farm cat. They do a fine soup at the café, and the museum is so good we need to go back for further study. But maybe the tractor trip up to the old farmhouse was the best of all, close to milking time and with the opportunity to handle vintage baking implements, wax nostalgic at the retro furnishings throughout the meticulously-preserved house (donated by the Reid family in the 1990s) and chat to superb, dedicated volunteers like George – who were most interested to hear all about Bridgend! Many thanks to Marion Lawton for our educational visit at no charge, and to the wonderful Venchie for minibus transport!
There are new volunteers still joining us and a trip to Whitmuir Organic Farm coming up on 4th September, many events and projects to plan for, plus the usual Tuesday evening meetings at 6pm. We can give you great things to do - join us for more adventures!
Carol.firstname.lastname@example.org. Mob: 07976 882038
Carol and some of our PW&F group visiting the National Farming Museum
We’re up to 17 history volunteers! This superb team have been carrying out more brilliant interviews. Recently we learnt first-hand how roses were grown at the nursery that used to be here, from Margaret Lowrey, who worked there with her husband. We’re also putting on a series of summertime Family Workshops: How to Record Family Oral History Memories, How to Make a Radio Podcast Interview, Make Art into Animation (using our oral history as inspiration), Make a Mosaic (turning a Bridgend timeline into art - thanks to the researches of Greater Liberton Heritage Group!) and Make the Best Oatcakes (frugal, healthy, delicious)!
The history group are also leading on Doors Open Day (30 Sept), our Storytelling Festival event in partnership with Bridgend Growing Communities (28 Oct) and an exciting autumn weekend gathering/celebration, Our Changing City, with the Patrick Geddes Centre (24-25 November). This last one will look at the role oral history, identify and culture can play in the community development of land and assets today, and will include the outcomes of this project. We hope you’ll want to get involved in all of these.
Not to mention planning for our final publication, digital map, film and mini-museum… phew! Come along on Tuesdays, 6 pm at the Farmhouse to meet us.
Carol.email@example.com. Mob: 07976 882038