Gunsgreen House Trust chair hands over reins

The Trustees on the occasion of the handover of the Chairmanship: left to right James Bream; Colin Grieve; David Smout; Professor Rowan; Colonel Furness; Marjorie Hume; Les Mitchell; Allan Swan (the Trust's architect)
The Trustees on the occasion of the handover of the Chairmanship: left to right James Bream; Colin Grieve; David Smout; Professor Rowan; Colonel Furness; Marjorie Hume; Les Mitchell; Allan Swan (the Trust's architect)

THERE’s a new face at the helm of the Gunsgreen House Trust now that chairman Professor Alistair Rowan has stepped down.

Professor Rowan, who chaired the Trust since its launch in 1998, is one of the leading experts on the Adam Brothers architects, and together with Eyemouth architect Allan Swan, was responsible for setting up the body 13 years ago.

After many years of fluctuating fortunes, Gunsgreen House was officially opened in March 2010 as an exciting visitor attraction, telling the story of this important house, which was built by local smuggler John Nisbet to the designs of John Adam, the oldest of the three famous brothers.

Professor Rowan is succeeded by Colonel Simon Furness, who lives at Netherbyres in Eyemouth.

Colonel Furness was heavily involved with Trust during the often demanding period of the restoration of the House, when he chaired the Operational Management Group. Before that he was the founding chairman of Eyemouth Museum Trust.

At his last Trust meeting, Professor Rowan expressed appreciation for the support his colleagues had given over the years. Simon Furness, speaking on behalf of the Trustees, quoted the well known epitaph of Sir Christopher Wren in St Pauls Cathedral “If you seek his Monument, look around you”.

He said that Professor Rowan had been responsible for saving Gunsgreen House. It was his drive and vision that had ensured that the House was now such an asset to Eyemouth and the Borders.

Professor Rowan, who will continue as Convenor of the Trust’s Curatorial Panel, was presented with an album of “before and after” photographs, to remind him of how far the House has come.

The Trustees agreed that Professor Rowan should in future be formally recognised as the Founder of the Gunsgreen House Trust.