A new book of poetry from the coastal village of Gourdon, near Inverbervie, was launched at the local primary school last week.
The book is the result of two years of work by Celia Craig, a native of Gourdon, and a committed heritage enthusiast.
Some of her own work as an author is included in this comprehensive collection of poetry and songs associated with the rich maritime heritage of Gourdon.
The book has been produced to celebrate the part which poetry has played in all aspects of village life in this fishing community, and to raise funds for the award winning Maggie Law Maritime Museum. The museum has had the benefit of strong support from the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee of Aberdeenshire Council, and Visit Scotland.
Celia said: “Researching and compiling the Maggie Law Maritime Museum Poetry Anthology was a rewarding, enriching and illuminating experience, enabling me to pay tribute to Gourdon where I grew up – and to its men, women and children.
‘‘The poems, which range over a 150-year period, reveal significant aspects of Gourdon as a community and afford a unique insight into the thoughts and feelings of the people as they faced disaster, death and adversity as well as their joys, happy times and social interaction: a rich heritage.”
The book was launched as part of a ceilidh celebration last Friday at Gourdon School’s Senior Citizens Club.
The book also features original poetry by the pupils of Gourdon Primary School, through their various community heritage projects.
Headteacher Sandra Japp said “What better way is there for children to learn than through the lives and experiences of their own village?
‘‘Our pupils have had the wonderful opportunity to work with Dave Ramsay and Celia Craig as well as finding out about our village and its history from our senior citizens and class teachers. This book will no doubt be read and enjoyed by Gurdeners both at home and abroad.’’
The book was launched by Alex Johnstone MSP, who received a signed copy of the first of this first edition. Alex has been heavily involved in supporting the museum on a range of fundraising activities, and made a generous donation to support its publication.
Alex said “This anthology both demonstrates, and draws upon, a deep local tradition of expression through verse which continues right up to the present day. By recording these words, it will play a significant part in recording the history and events which have shaped the Gourdon community over the last century and a half.”
The launch of the book is one of a wide range of fund raising initiatives to support and promote the work of the Maggie Law Maritime Museum community initiative.
Dave Ramsay, project director for the museum, said: “The idea of producing such a book was always there, but it needed someone with both a background in literature and heritage to produce a book of this stature.”
“I believe that Celia has captured the real personal, family and community spirit of Gourdon through this collection.’’