CALLING all water pistol owners in Helensburgh: the owners of the town’s most famous building need your help!

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has put out a call this week for owners of water pistols – of all ages – to come along to the Hill House later this month to put the building’s £4.5 million weather protection system, known as 'the Box', to the test.

To find out whether the metal mesh – the world's biggest chain-mail structure – is working, the conservation charity is hosting what is believed to be the first event of its type: a mass ‘wet weather test’ with the public invited to bring along water pistols to test out whether the 32.4 million chainmail rings are doing what they’re supposed to.

The experiment takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 28 and anyone with a water pistol is welcome to join in the exercise.

READ MORE: Hill House reopens as protective 'box' is completed

Entry to The Hill House grounds is free so no booking is required, but as a thank-you for joining in the test, all attendees will be entitled to a voucher for free family access to The Hill House and box any time throughout September and October.

Emma Sweeney, visitor services supervisor at The Hill House said: “We’ve had some pretty wet days since the box went up but we really need to test out the chainmail from all angles to see how it’s working.

"We came up with the idea of the water pistol wet weather test as it’s something that everyone can get involved in and it should show how well the chainmail is doing its job.

“Anyone with a water pistol – the bigger the better - is invited to come down and douse the house and we’ll have National Trust for Scotland experts on hand to monitor the experiment and explain why the box is needed.”

READ MORE: Thermographic survey reveals true scale of Hill House damage

The Hill House box is part of the National Trust for Scotland’s multi-million pound project to conserve this internationally-renowned building and interiors for generations to come.

The roof and chainmail mesh are designed to shield the building from the elements, allowing the building to dry out and for crucial conservation work to take place.

The ‘Box’ – which features a solid metal roof and walkways around the inside of the structure and over the top of the house – opened to the public in June and is expected to lead in its own right to a significant increase in visitor numbers at the property.

Completed in 1903, the Hill House was finished in an experimental render which has proved incapable of withstanding the rain and salty seaside air of the west of Scotland.

READ MORE: Work starts on £4.5m scheme to save the Hill House

The NTS bought the building in 1982 and has been investigating short-term and long-term options for tackling water ingress ever since.