GREENOCK'S very own architectural masterpiece - the Municipal Buildings - will be seen worldwide this weekend.

It is one of 10 buildings in Inverclyde to feature in the first ever virtual Doors Open Day tours.

Once a year the public gets the chance to see inside some of the area's landmark buildings but with the Covid-19 outbreak, organisers have had to get creative so the cultural event can still go ahead.

Firm favourites like the council chambers and the Greenock Fire Museum will be joined for the first time by the newly refurbished Watt Institution.

Provost Martin Brennan gave the Tele a behind-the-scenes preview at the council's Clyde Square HQ, sharing his own highlights of the great H & D Barclay building which was hit during the Blitz.

He hopes the public will go online to see behind the scenes at the area's most grand building.

The civic leader and retired history teacher said: "It is certainly the most impressive municipal buildings I have visited, rivalled only by the Glasgow City's chambers.

"There is so much to see.

"I love the Provost's room with all the artefacts, in particular the thank-you card given to all returning soldiers from Second World War from the Provost at the time, Daniel Morris.

"The detail in the cornices in the Grand Corridor is something else.

"But you wouldn't get that now, it is too labour intensive.

"This is classic 19th century architecture."

The annual event takes place this weekend and it would normally see thousands of visitors take a sneak peek behind the doors of landmarks that are not always open to the public.

Instead Doors Open Days 2020 has gone online and there will be a series of virtual tours and videos available on Saturday and Sunday.

Other places involved include the adjoining former fire station on Dalrymple Street, which is home to the museum run by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service Heritage Trust.

Provost Brennan added: “We have a wealth of beautiful buildings and fascinating places of interest here in Inverclyde and it’s a real shame we can’t show them off in person this year because of the pandemic.

“But the council and participating venues have collaborated brilliantly to produce a series of virtual, online tours and videos showcasing some of the amazing architecture, historic buildings and focal points and the stories behind them.

“Visitors from near and far can admire the places in this year’s Doors Open Days from the comfort and safety of their own homes and whet their appetite to, hopefully, discover Inverclyde for themselves in the near future when the time is right.”

The other locations on show will be Belville Community Gardens, St Mary’s Church and Wellpark Mid Kirk, all in Greenock, Old Gourock & Ashton Church, Wemyss Bay Railway Station, Wemyss Bay & Skelmorlie Parish Church and the Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Post hidden bunker in neighbouring Skelmorlie.

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