Come on in... East Renfrewshire buildings are just waiting to be discovered

The public will be given access to historic and interesting buildings across East Renfrewshire this weekend as part of Doors Open Day.

Churches, mosques, fire stations, theatres and even a cemetery are just some of the venues taking part in this year’s festival.

Across the weekend, a series of talks, tours, heritage trails and plenty more will be taking place.

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Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust. It is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, which is coordinated by Archaeology Scotland. Both Doors Open Days and Scottish Archaeology Month are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Susan O’Connor, director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said, “Doors Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for communities up and down the country to show off the best of their buildings.

“We’re thrilled with the range of architectural wonders on display this year and we can’t wait to enjoy as many sites as possible.”

Thomas Knowles, head of Grants at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Historic Environment Scotland is proud to support the annual Doors Open Day initiative as it ticks all the right boxes for projects we consider for grant funding.

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“Not only does the initiative share our values to promote public access to the historic environment, but it also delivers benefits for communities like driving visitation to, and developing knowledge about, properties and places not open year-round.”

For more details on the buildings taking part, visit Doors Open Days

Local venues will also be taking part in Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival which runs from September 10-16.

For further information, visit Glasgow Doors Open Day

Churches, fire stations, and more open their doors to the public:

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• Barrhead Community Fire Station; September 1-2: Opening in 1964, Barrhead Fire Station is a local community fire station serving the Barrhead, Neilston and Uplawmoor Communities. The station is offering tours around the fire appliance and there will also be children’s activities and refreshments available.

• Barrhead Men’s Shed; September 1: Barrhead Men’s Shed is a place for both men and women to get out their house and enjoy company in the shed, chatting with other members. There will be displays of woodwork and other hobby interests that members take part in. There is also optional guided tours available.

• Cathcart Cemetery; September 1-2: Cathcart Cemetery contains the graves of several prominent Glasgow architects, including John Campbell McKellar, the tenement designer and builder. Join Roger Guthrie, of the Alexander Thomson Society, at the Brenfield Road entrance for a guided walk around this late Victorian cemetery. Paths are uneven and are not suitable for wheelchair users. Stout walking shoes are necessary.

• Clarkston Community Fire Station; September 1-2: Opened in September 1970, there will be a tour of the fire station and a show and tell on the appliance/equipment. This is a great opportunity to go along and view at close hand the fire fighting equipment and vehicles on display.

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• Eastwood Park Theatre; September 1-2: Eastwood Park Theatre re-opened in February 2007 after being transformed, at a cost of £1.75 million, into a lively and exciting arts venue. Come along for a guided behind the scenes tour of the dressing rooms, stage and technical box. Tours will include a technical theatre demonstration.

• Greenbank House and Gardens; September 1-2: Built for Robert Allason in the 1760s, he made his money as a tobacco merchant and slave trader in the days when Glasgow was the second city of the British Empire. The walled garden was built at the same time as the house, and both are surrounded by tall swaying beeches. After the American Wars of Independence, Allason went bankrupt and lost the house and estate. There will be guided garden walks throughout each day, which you can sign up for on arrival. There will also be ‘grow your own activities’ for children and a woodland trail for all the family. The house will be open from 2-4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

• Lodge Union & Crown, Masonic Temple; September 1-2: Now the oldest organisation in the town, the light of Masonry first shone in Barrhead in 1824. About this time, Barrhead was a mere collection of four different hamlets, Ralston, Dovecothall, Grahamston and West Arthurlie, names which are still known and recognised to this present day. The Brethren of the lodge will be available for guided tours , answering questions and providing information for visitors. Refreshments are also available on request.

• Neilston Parish Church; September 1: It is known that there was a chapel in Neilston Parish around 1165 at the time of the building of Paisley Priory (now Paisley Abbey). It is believed that the monks from Paisley Abbey conducted worship in Neilston. A settled ministry was established in 1589 and this has continued unbroken to the present day. The current building dates from 1760 and is an excellent example of 18th century Scottish ecclesiastical architecture. With nearly £1million spent on its restoration, the new renovated church opened in 2004. There will be organ recitals, activities for children, and refreshments available.

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• Newton Mearns Parish Church; September 1: While the present church was built in 1939, the church’s roots can be traced back to 1739. Perhaps you or members of your family were baptised or married here. Perhaps you attended the Sunday School or visited with your school. Perhaps you were in the Boys Brigade or Guides. Perhaps you live nearby and have often wondered what lies behind these doors. Now is the time to visit. There will be the chance to take a self guided tour with members on hand to help and provide further information, as well as details on all current organisations meeting in the church halls.

• Whitelee Visitor Centre and Wind Farm; September 1-2: Whitelee is the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, with more than 130 kilometres of trails to explore, on foot, by cycle or by horse. Guided Bus Tours will be available both days at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm. Bus tours can be booked on the day at reception or in advance by calling 0141 614 0851. Children’s crafts will run both days between 11am-noon, 2-2.30pm & 3-4pm. All children’s activities are drop in. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

• Williamwood Parish Church; September 1-2: The history of Williamwood Church stretches back to December 26, 1936, when the Foundation Stone was positioned. The remainder of the church was built in 1937 and began with the opening of a church and hall, and the appointment of a minister.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view a photography exhibition from Christian Aid entitled, Uprooted. This features stories of displaced people in Nigeria, Kenya and Iraq and raises awareness of the 40 million people displaced internally around the world. There will also be guides available to answer questions, background music and possibly refreshments.

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• Young Enterprise Scotland; September 1: Young Enterprise Scotland took over the semi-derelict buildings tucked away within Rouken Glen Park in 2014 to deliver Pathway Programmes for young people who are disengaged from further education.

There will be two guided tours of the site including visiting the social enterprises on-site, growing areas, gardens and beehives.

There will be one tour at 11am, with refreshments at noon; and another tour at 12.30pm, beginning with refreshments and then having a tour from 1pm - 2pm.