Tony takes over the reins at Gunsgreen House

Derek Janes, Colonel Simon Furness and new manager of Gunsgreen House, Tony Bolton
Derek Janes, Colonel Simon Furness and new manager of Gunsgreen House, Tony Bolton

Eyemouth’s Gunsgreen House, one of Berwickshire’s most famous buildings, has a new man at the helm.

Derek Janes, who has managed the house for the past five years, has retired to focus on his PHD studies. However he remains an integral part to Gunsgreen House and is staying on in the voluntary role of Honorary Historian/Curator.

His successor is Tony Bolton from Ayton, who is excited to see where he can take the house from here.

“I’m thrilled to be able to pass over the reins to Tony,” Derek commented.

“I think the house is in very safe hands, and though I will certainly miss being in the house every day I’m looking forward to spending more time uncovering the fascinating history of the house and Eyemouth.”

New manager Tony spent 30 years at BT, 15 of those as a senior manager, before moving to Ayton to create a new home in Berwickshire.

“I remember walking through Eyemouth with my wife when I first moved here and seeing Gunsgreen House across the harbour,” he said.

“I said then, wouldn’t that be a great place to work? Little did I know that just three years later I would be taking over as manager. Gunsgreen House is a fantastic place and I’m excited to get started and see where I can take the house from here.”

And Tony admitted that the first few weeks in his new role had been a real learning experience.

“Gunsgreen House is a place steeped in history,” Tony continued.

“You can’t fail to be inspired by it. It’s been absolutely fascinating to learn more about the history of the building and its links with smuggling. Seeing the looks on people’s faces as they walk round the house learning all of this is very rewarding.

“I want Gunsgreen to be a place for all ages to enjoy from young children to retired people.”

With this in mind, Tony who as well as working for BT, has also been a partner in both a newsagent firm and a nursery, said he was keen to develop the accomodation and function side of the famous mansion house.

“We’ve got seven weddings booked so far for this year but I’d like to see some more,” he continued.

“At the end of the day Gunsgreen House is a business and unfortunately its history, as amazing as it is, can’t support its future.

“The house is ideal for groups of people who are visiting Eyemouth for a weekend away or for an annual event and we’re also looking into the possibility of hosting a residential art course later in the year when the visitor centre closes for the winter.”