Thursday 30 June 2011

Up The Flue With a Frozen Banana

A certain sort of madness prevails at Balintore: one finds oneself doing things that when viewed objectively in the cool light of day appear very strange indeed. One evening after tea, my friend Andrew walked in on me, standing inside the huge fireplace in the castle kitchen. My head had disappeared up the chimney. In my hand was a frozen banana - which was my simple, delicious and economical dessert for the evening. I was studying the shape of the inside of the flue, as an experiment earlier in the day has revealed the draw was not yet correct for an open fire.

Needless to say, Andrew burst into laughter at the eccentric spectacle in front of him! :-)

And for this blog entry's picture. A local friend alerted me to the fact that the local church (Lintrathen) had closed down and was selling off its fittings. Two charming church personnel, greeted me outside the church this morning at 11AM and showed me around the remaining pieces. I am now better off by a redundant communion table. :-) This is a lovely piece in oak in memorium of one Charles Chree who was minister there between 1855 and 1893, and I feel there is good karma in keeping this in the locality: Lintrathen is the closest church to the castle. I was also offered the pulpit at a very good price. This is a marvellous monumental piece which you can see in the picture behind the communion table. As much as I would loved this, even with a castle, I was wondering where I would put it. Should I have gone for it?

By an irony of timing, the deadline for offers on the property was at midday today, while I was looking around the building. They are looking for offers in the region of 50k, and I understand that at least two sealed envelopes have been deposited with the solicitors.

My slater Andy came with me as an informed second opinion on the pieces for sale. However, he was straight in with a workable solution to sensitively convert the building into a domestic dwelling. So many churches and chapels have been badly converted, but Lintrathen looks very convertible modulo planning permission. Andy was admiring the brass and iron umbrella stands, and was offered these for free! Some people are just lucky. However, he has generously donated some to the castle.

I reflected upon the sadness of a building's well-coordinated fittings leaving and of a building ceasing to function as originally intended - it had been a church since 1801. De-consecration is the emasculation of a church. Yet, a new life awaits this picturesque building, and I wish the new (as of today) owner the very best of luck.

My new communion table,  and behind  the pulpit which I left at the altar. :-)

Lintrathen church - a snip at 50k (OIRO)


  1. Some casual geneological research reveals Charles Chree probably died while in the ministry at Lintrathen (b 1827 d 1893) serving at the church between the ages of 28 and 66.

    Even more interesting is that he sired a family of over achievers. His eldest son Sir William Chree was knighted and took King's Council. His
    second eldest son, also called Charles Chree, became a famous physicist. The date of the "in memorium" communion table is interesting : 1928. This is the date Charles Chree junior died NOT
    Charles Chree senior. My hunch is that Sir William, by then the only surviving child, commissioned the memorial for his father due to this "namesake" connection with his recently deceased brother.

    And it is true, than when a family member dies, it puts one in remembrance of other family members who have passed away even if, in
    this instance, it was 35 years previously. And there would appear to be no doubt of the strong impression Charles Chree left with his
    children. Never, as Gordon Brown would say, underestimate the power in being the son of the Scottish manse.

    The facts are here:

    The deductions are purely my own.

  2. The church sold in the end for £54,000.

  3. That is a beautiful building that anyone should be proud to own. I just couldn't imagine having some of the history that y'all have to look at on a regular basis, here. ::::sigh::::