A Ferryden man who well remembers the days when Spitfires flew from Montrose reckons he may have solved the mystery of a boat wreck washed up at the mouth of the harbour.
Speculation has grown over the origins of the wooden wreck since it became exposed after a storm earlier this month.
Marine archaeologist Dr Colin Martin, of St Andrews University, was quick on the scene to record the fascinating find and has surmised the heavy timbers may be the remnants of a 19th century goods vessel.
But John Thompson (73), who runs the Esk Hotel in Ferryden, reckons it’s the wreck of a flat-bottomed barge used during the war for target practice by the Spitfires that flew from the old Montrose aerodrome.
He said, “These barges were towed out to sea and had upright poles maybe 40-50ft high on them as targets for the planes to shoot at.”
He recalls walking out to Scurdiness lighthouse at Ferryden to see the action. He said, “There must be a lot of lads around here who remember the barges. They were great big things.
“After they were all shot up and shattered by bullets they would be towed back into the harbour and undergo repair by Arbuthnott’s the boat builders.”If you can help solve the mystery, leave a comment below or email our Montrose office.