Highlands & Islands

Banned author Lorna Moon's Strichen home to be saved

Lorna Moon
Image caption Lorna Moon's works were previously disapproved of in Strichen

A former home of a Scottish writer is to be saved in the Aberdeenshire town that previously refused to stock her best-known work.

Lorna Moon, who died in 1930, upset residents of her home town of Strichen with her book Dark Star.

Its characters were deemed to closely resemble people in the community and Strichen library banned the book.

A project to save and convert a lodge where she lived is among schemes across Scotland to secure lottery funding.

Initiatives in Glasgow, Mid Lothian, Stirlingshire, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway and on the Western Isles have also secured money from a £6.9m-package put together by Big Lottery Fund Scotland.

High ranking

Strichen Community Park Company has been awarded a grant of £135,000 to save the lodge where Moon and her family had lived.

The property is to be converted into a community-run cafe.

Company director, Hebbie Fowlie, said: "For a small village like ours this news is a huge thing.

"The lodge restoration will be a place for people to meet up, have a coffee and a snack and hear about the history of Strichen."

Moon was born Nora Helen Wilson Low in 1886. Her parents were employed by Strichen Estate.

It was understood that locals disapproved of Moon's colourful love life and written works after she left the town for North America.

Dark Star, about a girl with fantasies of romance and high ranking lineage, was banned for many years from the library's collection.

Hall project

She died in New Mexico from tuberculosis and her ashes were returned to Scotland to be scattered on Mormond Hill, near Strichen.

Scottish film director Alison Peebles is working on a script for Dark Star.

Other projects to secure funding include Enterprise and Community Centre Technical Assistance in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, which has been awarded £54,657.

Building on Success: A Sustainable Future for The Ecology Centre in Kinghorn, Fife, has a grant for £742,462.

Glasgow's Townhead Village Hall Project has secured £1m and Gorebridge Community Hub, Mid Lothian, £835,000.

Tolsta Community Wind Development on Lewis, in the Western Isles, has a grant for £420,000 and Aberfoyle Services Hub in Stirlingshire has been awarded £419,398.

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