An ambitious project to develop a virtual museum celebrating Mearns links to the Cutty Sark has started 2017 on the crest of a wave.
Managed by Mearns Heritage Services, the project has been working in partnership with local schools since last summer to highlight Inverbervie’s position as the birthplace of Hercules Linton, the designer of the famous clipper now berthed in Greenwich.
After local objections led to plans to site the museum in Inverbervie being dropped, a new strategy is being pursued to pull together a variety of historic threads, including Mearns connections to Robert Burns, Tam o’ Shanter, William Burnes, the father of the Bard, Linton and the Cutty Sark,
Bervie, Glenbervie and Auchenblae primary schools have been working with Mearns Heritage Services on projects to develop the integrated Cutty Sark project in the form of an interactive ’virtual’ museum, with information, design, audio links, graphics and photography informing the final design and size of the museum building.
Gourdon company Fotheringham Property Developments has come on board and project director Dave Ramsay said the support extend well beyond the firm’s generous financial backing.
“What we have through this sponsorship, is access to high quality, specialised, architectural and property development and project management to industry standards.
“When it comes to the final specification of the museum, and identification of a building to suit our needs, we then have the expertise of a highly experienced property development team, who can assist with all the specialist information required for grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding bodies.”
Company managing director Allan Fotheringham Snr, said: “As a local business we see great value in supporting other local organisations and endeavour to do so.
“When Dave approached us about the prospect of creating a Cutty Sark Museum, we could see his vision and enthusiasm for the project and were delighted to support it both financially and with our expertise to help make this vision become a reality.”
The ambitious scheme already has support from Aberdeenshire Council, Viscount and Viscountess Arbuthnott, the Cutty Sark museum at Greenwich, and Eyemouth Maritime Heritage centre, the birthplace of Jock (White Hat) Willis, who commissioned the Cutty Sark for the tea trade.
Ronan Littlejohn of Johnshaven is putting together a team of cyclists for a sponsored ride from Invervbervie to Dumbarton, where Cutty Sark was built and launched in November 1869.
The website and ‘virtual’ museum are due to be formally launched at a special event on May 15 to commemorate the death of Hercules Linton on that date in 1900.