Flags will fly with ease at historic building.

Plans to make a safe access onto the roof of one of Forres’ most historic buildings are gathering pace with the new steps due to be installed this month.

AJ Engineering has been working with the Forres Heritage Trust to create a way for trustees and volunteers to safely access the roof of the Tolbooth in order to raise flags at key times of the year.

AJE has worked with the team at the FHT to engineer steps, but due to the project involving a historic building which incorporates a sloping roof, how the access was handled had to be done carefully.

However, this month, the stairs will be installed and just in time for the King’s Coronation when the trustees of the building will be asked by Moray Council to erect the Royal Standard.

Project manager, Andrew Fyvie explained: “It is great io see this project reaching a conclusion. We have worked really closely with the FHT who are a charity. They own the building and they work extremely hard to maintain this budling which is not always easy when they have to adhere to safety regulations but also be sympathetic to the structure and historical significance of the budling. The current access is not ideal and could potentially be unsafe particularly in certain weather conditions. Thankfully, due to the location of the access to the flagpole, it is hidden from public view, so on this occasion, we have not had to worry too much about the aesthetics.”

Andrew added: “On the face of it the project sounded fairly straightforward, but it’s actually been quite tricky because where the roof hatch is, there is a gully and two sloping roofs to contend with. However, we have managed to come up with a solution that will be safe and importantly for the FHT is not too costly.

“To ensure the installation foes smoothly, we will be doing a trial assembly in at AJE HQ. We hope to be able to take the steps up through the inside of the building, so it’s crucial we give this a trial run. Once we have done that, the steps will be sent off to be galvanised and once back, will be installed.”

Over the last few years, major renovation works have taken place at the Tolbooth.

AJ Engineering was involved in the design, fabrication and installation of a new staircase which gives access to the clocktower which has now been opened to the public for the first time.



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