This observer was talking to one of our regular readers recently and the conversation harked back to the good old days of 1993 and local government reorganization, there was an abortive attempt by the then District Council to have Nairn join up with Moray – that attempt was annihilated at a rather large meeting in the old community centre on a fateful night when a campaign to “Keep Nairn Highland” reached its vociferous zenith. Fast forward 20 years however and our correspondent said:
“Personally I think it makes no sense for Nairn to be tied into the Highland region. Nairn has much more in common (geographically, socially, historically, economically) with Moray than with Highland (so much of which is remote, sparsely populated, wild and mountainous). The problems we grapple with (A96 access, the rail service, tourism-marketing, agricultural viability, jobs and housing) are problems almost identical to the rest of the Laich of Moray to the east. The western isles and most of the Highlands have different problems (of remote rurality, and in the case of Inverness, of urban overload).”
Bearing that in mind we were also recently recommended to visit a website “We make Moray. Our Place. Our Culture. Our Future.” The site bills itself as: “We Make Moray is a project exploring the culture and
identity of Moray. Participants have been invited to submit their ideas for making Moray a culturally better place through this Ideas Bank, Freepost Postcards, Online Surveys, Community Events and Interviews. The outcomes of this participation will make up a cultural strategy for Moray to be published in February 2014.
You can read more of that on the site's about page here.
The main page here exhibits all the ideas submitted so far; some of them will be familiar to Gurnites and would dovetail perhaps with elements of the Nairn festival and other cultural activities in the town.
The initiative has a draft strategy which, quoting one of the contributors, begins:
“Creativity is part of the fabric of life... Supporting creativity across learning, community, health, tourism and more; arts and culture is not something you can place in a box, of to the side and separate from daily life... Creativity is in the daily fabric of life: from the clothes we wear, the TV and dramas we watch, and the music we listen to... Great inventions and designs all require creative thinking... A community that nurtures creativity, enriches businesses and creates a community of creative thinkers... Develop an arts and culture tourism strategy… Encourage visitors to the area because we do have a rich heritage and culture... Support our museums and libraries, develop creative learning in schools, put on events and activities in the community halls, support a variety of festivals and events that celebrate the incredibly rich cultural oferings that Moray has to offer.” More here.
We’re not part of Moray and not part of this initiative but it presents an excellent opportunity to
steal observe and learn from any good ideas that emerge from Morayshire communities that have a lot in common with ourselves.