Barr’s human sundial is heritage boost

Merlin Currie and Mrs Sheila Farquhar with some of the children who helped create Barr's human sun dial.
Merlin Currie and Mrs Sheila Farquhar with some of the children who helped create Barr's human sun dial.

A new human sundial has been launched in the village of Barr as part of the Carrick Community Heritage trail in the area.

It was ideal weather on the afternoon of Sunday June 22 for the unveiling of the human sundial which is set to be the latest attraction for Barr.

Villagers and pupils from the local primary school have been working for over a year now to bring their innovative project to fruition as the village’s contribution to the Carrick Communities Heritage Trail.

Situated across the road from the village hall the sun dial is set into the ground on the banks of the Gregg Burn.

A flat embedded mosaic central panel incorporates the infamous Laird of Changue’s footsteps where people can stand and cast a shadow to tell the time.

Barr residents of all ages have been involved in the project.

Whether it was measuring up for the mathematical accuracy of true north and the markers’ positions, donating unwanted crockery for the mosaic and, together with the school children, designing and creating the roundels which mark the hours as the sun changes direction, everyone has helped out.

All the roundels portray an aspect of the life and times of the village.

Project leader, local artist Merlin Currie praised everyone who had contributed and participated in the project and said that it had been “a real community effort”.

The sun dial was unveiled by resident Mrs Sheila Farquhar who congratulated everyone on a very fine effort and expressed the hope that many visitors would come to the village to see it - even if the sun wasn’t shining!

The Carrick Community Heritage trail was officially launched in Maybole in November last year.

The heritage trail aims to tell the story behind the local communities in Carrick such as the village of Barr.

The first installation took place in Maybole where six etched stainless-steel panels in the shape of boots marked the old locations of the shoe factories that dominated the area during the 19th century.

Over one million pairs of boots and shoes were exported worldwide from the small town annually, while the industry employed approximately 1,600 people.

The heritage trail project has been spearheaded by the Carrick Community Councils’ Forum (CCCF) which established the Carrick Tourism Development Project in 2012.

The Project, part-funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Ayrshire LEADER 2007-2013 Programme, attracted additional finding from Carrick Futures, Hadyard Hill, South Ayrshire Waste and Environment Trust, South Ayrshire Community Planning, Scottish Power Renewables and SSE.

In total, the Project has contributed nearly £200,000 towards boosting tourism in Carrick.

The website details the heritage trail in greater depth as to what each of the communites in Carrick are doing to promote their own town or village.

At the launch last year South Ayrshire Council provost Helen Moonie said: “What is so special about the Carrick Community Heritage Trail is that it was shaped by the local people who know the area, its assets and history best.

“Whether you have an interest in art, culture, industrial achievement, folklore, wildlife or protecting the environment, there really is something for everyone.”