Kirriemuir pavilion to house painting of cricket-loving JM Barrie

Peter Pan creator JM Barrie’s love of cricket was captured in a new painting donated to the pavilion the author donated to his hometown Kirriemuir.

Talented local painter Angela Hamper’s artwork was due to be presented as part of the 160th birthday celebration of Barrie’s birth in 2020.

Covid-19 thwarted the program and plans for the 90th anniversary of the opening of the pavilion on Kirrie Hill.

The pavilion houses one of Scotland’s three Camera Obscuras and was a reciprocal gift from the author and playwright on the occasion of the bestowal of the Liberty of Kirriemuir on June 7, 1930.

Angela with her painting of Sir JM Barrie bowling on the hill.

91 years later, Angela’s artwork was donated to the Kirrie Regeneration Group, which saved the attraction from possible closure in 2015.

Volunteers stepped in after the National Trust for Scotland was withdrawn.

You keep the camera running and keep the pavilion open.

Well-known local artist Angela had wanted to create a piece for Kirriemuir for a while and had the idea for the painting depicting Barrie’s love of sport.

Kirriemuir Pavilion JM Barrie

Jim Smith, chairman of the JMB 160 committee, gives a brief presentation in the pavilion.

She has been drawing and painting since childhood and has taught art in England, Nassau and Scotland.

While in the Bahamas. she was commissioned by the Nassau Amateur Operatic Society.

As a member of the Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Room, Angela has held a number of exhibitions of her work in Scotland.

Venues included the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, Edinburgh Drawing School, Forfar’s Meffan Museum & Art Gallery and Hallgreen Castle in Inverbervie.

Kirriemuir Pavilion JM Barrie

Angela’s play features Barrie bowling the opening ball on City Red Letters Day.

She is inspired by nature and the coasts of Scotland and mainly paints landscapes and seascapes in oil on canvas, supplemented by etchings.

Irena Krasinska-Lobban from KRG said, “It’s a beautiful painting and will be proudly hanging in the pavilion.

“At the moment we only make tea, coffee and refreshments to take away, but hopefully it won’t be long before we can open the café to visitors.”

The Allahakbarries

Barrie’s love of cricket began as a boy watching the games on the hill with his pals.

He and his friends made homemade bats and used the railing of Kirrie’s cemetery gates as gates.

The author, who was made a baronet in 1913, formed his own team of avid players and called the team the Allahakbarries.

There were several notable literary figures in its ranks, including Arthur Conan Doyle, AA Milne, PG Wodehouse, and Jerome K Jerome.

The team played for the love of the game and fun rather than winning.

Barrie also wrote two little books about the team, recalling the happy memories of days on the hill.

The opening of the pavilion on June 7, 1930 was followed by a town hall ceremony that granted him the freedom of Kirrie.

Sir JM Barrie at the opening of the Barrie Pavilion in Kirriemuir on June 7, 1930.

Thousands of people enjoyed Barrie’s entertaining speech from the pavilion steps.

The Allahakbarries then competed against a team from the west of Scotland and won the game sovereignly.

The building’s place in Scottish sporting heritage was celebrated with its inclusion in a 2014 book.

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