A new national children’s literature centre
I have a passion for literature and I get ridiculously excited when I read about enthusiastic projects that share my love for books.
And there is a real goody going on at the moment.
Supported by the actor Joanna Lumley, who has a holiday home nearby, the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust has launched a global appeal for £4m to save the house from ruin and return it and the garden to their original splendour.
The derelict and decaying building and its garden were saved from demolition by a local trust and the aim is to transform the mansion and the accompanying land into a national children’s literature centre.
Alongside the shop and cafe catering for tourists and visitors, the house will operate as an educational and cultural centre for local schools and JM Barrie enthusiasts and scholars.
Moat Brae, a late Georgian villa in the rural town of Dumfries, was the playground for acclaimed novelist JM Barrie.
The sloping, terraced garden that overlooks a gentle river inspired Neverland, the magical kingdom where Peter Pan and Tinkerbell flew into battle against Captain Hook, an adventure that has captured the imaginations of millions of real-life children.
Recapturing the essence of Neverland – its magic and freedom – is a great way to inspire a love for reading in children. Not only that, in rescuing Moat Brae a piece of cultural history is being preserved; and culture is important in the establishment of identity within a social structure.
I have been reading to my nearly-two-year-old daughter since she was a wee mite. I do not want to force books down her throat but I hope to encourage a love of reading through my own great love of words and stories. Happily, she loves her books and adores story time. I hope that never changes.
For more info on this awesome initiative, visit Peterpanmoatbrae.org.
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