Stonehaven’s Tolbooth Museum celebrated New Year’s Day with a donation of £250 from Stonehaven’s Lions Club.
The popular museum, located at the harbour, had a visit from Michael Hopkins who presented the cheque to the group.
The Tolbooth is celebrating another successful year, as the annual number of visitors passed 20,000 for the first time, making it one of the most-visited museums in Aberdeenshire.
Volunteers at the attraction, who throughout the year take on backroom tasks as well as greeting visitors, can take pride in the latest numbers. The visitor book records show that, during the year, visitors came from no less than 88 different countries from around the world.
Although the museum is currently operating its winter “Saturday and Sunday only” schedule, the facility extended its opening hours to include Hogmanay and New Year’s day.
The 11am – 3:30pm session on Hogmanay had 81 visitors, while the 8pm- 12:30am evening session saw 162 visitors through the door - a total of 243 for the day.
Opening again at 11am on New Year’s Day, and despite the biting wind and rain, the museum became progressively busier, so much so that committee member Ian Balgowan, who had been on earlier, returned to assist.
In total, there were 137 visitors before the closing time at 3.30pm, with the museum shop doing a roaring trade in souvenirs.
Tom Macpherson, a volunteer at the Tolbooth, said: “Visitors were from ‘a’ the airts’, including the USA, Europe, Australia, the Far East and many parts of the UK.
‘‘They expressed their delight that somewhere was actually open on New Year’s Day and what a great idea it was.
“Our first visitor on New Year’s Day was Michael Hopkins, from Stonehaven and District Lions Club, who ‘first-footed’ us with a cheque for £250.
‘‘The museum receives excellent support from Aberdeenshire Council, but as a registered charity it is highly dependent on donations, not only to support the day-to-day running but for the purchase of new artefacts like the recently-acquired print of 18th century Stonehaven Harbour.
“We were delighted, therefore, to receive the Lions’ substantial donation and our grateful thanks go to all the members of the Stonehaven and District Lions Club for their generosity.
‘‘The committee will give careful consideration to how this can be used, to further enhance the museum experience.”
Museum opening times are now back to the standard winter schedule of Saturday & Sunday from 12.30 – 3.30pm.