Mackintosh property passes children’s water pistol test

The historical design was attacked by a group of children armed with water pistols.

Reported by Ryan Maher.

A gang of children armed with water pistols have attacked a century old Charles Rennie Mackintosh attraction in Helensburgh.

But it wasn’t an act of vandalism from the children who were recruited to test out a protective cover built from 32 million chain mail rings set up to protect it from water damage.

Around 200 people turned out to test out the chain mail, which is protecting one of Scotland’s most historic designs, by soaking it with water on Saturday.

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This summer the National Trust for Scotland erected the mesh around the Hill House in Argyll and Bute, to stop it dissolving “like a sugar cube”.

The property is considered the architect’s domestic masterpiece, but due to its experimental design and materials it has been soaking up water “like a sponge” for more than 115 years.

And organisers of Saturday’s Douse The House event say the mesh worked perfectly and stood up to the onslaught of water.

Caroline Smith, operations manager at the Hill House, said: “The mesh worked perfectly and despite the efforts of the finest collection of water pistol sharp shooters I’ve ever seen, not one drop got to the house.

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“The rain gauges we placed inside the mesh next to the building were bone dry, which is more than can be said for some of the people doing the shooting.

“It was great to be able to show that the box is really doing what it was designed to do and thank you to everyone who came along to take part in our experiment.”

And while it was for a serious cause, it was also a fun day out for the children.

One youngster told STV News: “It’s been so good. I’ve been squirting people with water and I got soaking wet as well.”

Another said: “It’s been super good fun and I got super soaking wet.”


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