When Foot and Mouth devastated our community in 2001 we pulled together, formed Moniaive Action Project (MAP) with the aim of putting ‘Moniaive back on the map’. We re-invented ourselves as a tourist destination producing a series of leaflets, a website, community plan and the first Moniaive Folk Festival and Comic Festival. It worked. The village recovered. Businesses stayed open. The school roll increased. Artists, writers and families were attracted to the village and surrounding area. Later, after the economic downturn of 2008, we re-invented ourselves again as Moniaive Festival Village (MFV) bringing in a £50,000 grant for winning the 2015 Creative Place Award. We ran a two year programme of over 160 wide-ranging events including poetry, live theatre, music weekends, workshops, talks, craft sessions and more. The village thrived, festivals and events brought in over £70,000 annually to the village economy. The school roll increased again.
Now in 2021 we find Covid-19 has hit our rural region hard. Small communities like ours struggle to access government and other grants. Our businesses, the school and many community groups are struggling to survive. The community is pulling together and helping each other but, we need to find a solution for the long-term economic damage this pandemic is causing. It is time to look ahead at the wider challenges facing us all. With this in mind we have launched ‘revitalise moniaive’ – seeking new ways to sustain and rebuild our businesses and our community.
Moniaive, the ‘Hill of Streams’ (from the Gaelic monadh-abh), nestles in stunning countryside where the three glens of Craigdarroch, Dalwhat and Castlefairn meet.
It’s a bustling village with a long history and strong community spirit. It has always been popular and notable visitors over the centuries include King Robert the Bruce, King James IV, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert Burns.
Charlie Chaplin’s son eloped here with his girlfriend and got married in a council prefab and more recently the Hollywood Actor Andrew Bryniarski spent a few days visiting comic book writer Alan Grant. Andrew was Lex Luther’s son in the Batman movie and played Leatherface in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its 2006 prequel, The Beginning. While we’re on the subject of movies, Moniaive was transformed into a small Irish village (and starred many locals) for Peter Mullen’s harrowing film The Magdalene Sisters.
Bonnie Annie Laurie was born just outside Moniaive and lived here her entire life; Artist James Paterson, one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’, moved to the village on his marriage and portrayed it in his most famous painting The Last Turning, Winter, Moniaive in 1885. The internationally acclaimed writer Rumer Godden spent the last years of her life in the community.
Moniaive is currently home to a wide range of talented and highly skilled individuals including designers, builders, computer experts, joiners, artists, foresters, doctors, writers, teachers, photographers, farmers and musicians. We even have a couple of plumbers. They all have one thing in common, they enjoy life. That’s probably why we have so many activities and events.
Moniaive is an enchanted place that casts its spell over visitors and many decide to settle here. They claim it’s because of the friendly people, the social life or its exquisite beauty but we know it’s magic. Why not visit and find out for yourself. You’ll be very welcome.