Cambo seeks memories of its history

The coachhouse and stables at Cambo.
The coachhouse and stables at Cambo.
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DID you ever work on the Cambo Estate, Kingsbarns, or have memories or stories of what it was like there in the past?

If so, the trustees of the Cambo Institute would like to hear from you.

The institute is currently seeking funding for the restoration of the historic 18th century stables and coachhouse on the East Neuk estate, and trustees are also trying to build up a picture of what life used to be like there.

A spokeswoman at Cambo said: ”Recently, trustee Jo Roger spoke to Willie Greig, brother of former head gardener, Jack, who was born on the estate and whose father started life there as groom/chauffeur to Sir Thomas Erskine.

“Willie remembers well the stable area in the 1920s, all the tack, the coaches and the horses and what life was like on the estate and in the village at the time.

“The institute is keen to speak to anyone who may have worked on the estate, or have relatives’ memories of their employment there and would be grateful to hear from them.”

Cambo Institute was set up in 1998 to create opportunities for learning in heritage, environment, arts, culture and horticulture at the estate.

Restoring and converting the stables – they date back to the 1760s and have been unused since before the Second World War – is a key part of the future plans to form an education centre and visitor hub.

In the summer of 2011 it was awarded a first round pass of £84,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the ambitious proposals being led by Sir Peter Erskine and his wife, Lady Catherine.

It allowed them to advance to the next stage to produce detailed proposals for a further £854,000 towards the total project cost of £2.2 million to develop and restore the buildings, which are currently dilapidated, as well as the estate gardens, including the walled garden, much needed for the practical training of student gardeners.

The vision is to revive the stables and coachhouse to be fully operational, providing a sustainable and sympathetic conversion. Public access and involvement with the estate will be increased by providing space for interpretation, a learning loft for groups/conferences, tearoom/restaurant, shop, offices and toilets, and accommodation for volunteers.

By restoring the glasshouses and extending their use throughout the year will help to broaden volunteering, participation and training opportunities, such as Fife Employability Service.

•Anyone with a tale to tell about the estate is asked to email cambo@camboestate.com or telephone 01333 450054.