Historical local treasures uncovered

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Research for a heritage education project between Mearns Heritage Services and five Mearns primary schools, has uncovered some interesting treasures.

Bervie primary school, who are leading on the project, along with Auchenblae, Glenbervie, Gourdon and Catterline schools, are researching the history of Inverbervie – born Hercules Linton designer of the famous Cutty Sark, and the links between Linton, Robert Burns and his ancestors, with Invervbervie Burgh Council.

With the assistance of Aberdeenshire Council Museum Services, various heritage treasures have come to light, with a set of three 19th century wooden bowls for holding change at Inverbervie Post Office.

In addition there is a diploma in favour of William Petrie dated 1874, who was admitted by the Town Council of Inverbervie as a Burgess, and this information was extracted from the records by Robert Burnes and dated April 26th 1874. This Robert Burnes of the Mearns, was related to Robert Burns our National Bard.

A copy of a 19th century nomination form for municipal elections is also in existence, with details of registration to Arthur W. Kinnear, Esq., Town Clerk of Inverbervie. This form would have been used for the nomination and election of Hercules Linton, as a Councillor of Inverbervie Burgh Council.

Perhaps the most stunning exhibit is the Provost’s Chain of Office for Inverbervie, displayed in a leather sculpted case, with letters of provenance attached. The case is held inside a leather heart – shaped carrying case, for “the transfer of the Chain of Office between public and official engagements.”

Two significant shields on the Chain of Office bear the name John Burnes, who was Provost of Inverbervie between 1929 – 1930. He was re – elected later as Provost and served between 1944 – 1947. Again the link to the ancestors of Robert Burns in the Mearns is connected here.

The letter of provenance shows that the chain was crafted by James Ramsay, goldsmith, Dundee, in 1914 for the princely sum of £75 sterling.

Dave Ramsay, Project Director of Mearns Heritage Services, said “This will be a privilege for all school pupils involved, to gain a glimpse into the past official heritage of Inverbervie. It is a pity that there is no museum or public display space in Inverbervie, where these treasures would have their rightful place and portray that community sense of civic pride.”