Moves to open a Scottish museum to the Cutty Sark tea clipper were strengthened by a fundraising cycle ride on Monday.
Ronan Littlejohn and Gary Thomson from Johnshaven set off for Dumbarton at 5am to raise funds for the Cutty Sark Museum Project, which celebrates the legacy of the only surviving tea clipper ship.
The project celebrates the links between the clipper’s designer Hercules Linton, his Inverbervie birthplace, and the town where it was built in 1869.
Project director Dave Ramsay waved the pair off from the Linton memorial in Inverbervie, on their way to Dumbarton’s maritime museum 138 miles away.
The project will launch in November this year following fundraising by the pair and help from Fotheringham Property Developments in Gourdon.
A “virtual museum” will precede a search for property to establish the museum.
Mr Ramsay said the Mearns has little-known connections to the ship through Robert Burns’ poem Tam O’ Shanter and his father William Burnes, and the life of Ceylon’s “father of tea” James Taylor of Auchenblae.
Inverbervie, Auchenblae and Glenbervie schools have been acknowledged by education minister John Swinney for their contributions to the project.
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: “This imaginative and home-grown initiative to establish a Scottish and Mearns Cutty Sark Museum represents not only strong local interest and commitment but taps in to a rich reservoir of history, tradition and culture.
“The active involvement of three primary schools in the Mearns in the project, which has been publicly acknowledged by the Scottish Government, is a further recognition that heritage and education can combine to highlight the importance of our local history in exploring the Scottish dimension on the Cutty Sark story.”
The pair, of the Anchor Hotel, were supported by driver Terry Brown and were welcomed by a reception party.
They will be joined by Graham Farr and driver Steven Paton for a sponsored ride from Johnshaven to Oban in September.
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cuttysark-jobancycleruns?utm_id=2&utm_term=BXmwWaD92 for more information on fundraising.