To implement the terms of the bequest, a Trust was established and the trustees sought to build premises to commemorate the benefactors.
The original design was to have featured a tower and possibly a dome, but the necessary finance was not there and the present day building had to suffice. The final cost of the museum was £1,564. This used up all the Trust’s funds, including what had been set aside for running costs, and left a deficit of £238. A public appeal for funds had little success and an admission charge of 6d (2½ pence) was imposed, modified to 3d (1¼ pence) for members of “the working classes”.
After its completion the museum quickly acquired a substantial collection of antiquities, fossils, natural history specimens and coins but finance was a continuing problem. Charles, a brother of the founders, bequeathed £500 but over £200 had to go to repay loans.
Further bequests of some £1,700 over a period of 25 years, came from nieces of the founders, which helped alleviate problems but dry rot in 1924 and again in 1955 severely depleted funds.
Securing The Future
Financial security and long-term sustainability were not assured until 1975 when the management of the museum was transferred from the Falconer Trust to Moray District Council.
In return for a legal transfer of the Museum’s building and Collections in the early 1990s, the Moray Council assumed full responsibility for the building and its contents. On 22nd March 1995 “The Friends of the Falconer Museum” was formed under the chairmanship of the late A A Kean, a local solicitor, to support the activities of the Museum and nearby Nelson Tower.