Back in the Day Great Tay Whale exhibited

A local artist and singer joined forces this week to tell the story of the Great Tay Whale which was featured in the Mearns Leader in 2009.

Friday, 3rd October 2014, 8:00 am
Dave Ramsay and artist Stuart Buchanan pictured with Stuart's painting "The Tay Whale" which is part of the exhibition. The Gourdon museum is open this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4-30pm. Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES

Catterline artist Stuart Buchanan, and Catterline singer / songwriter Dave Ramsay, joined forces for the mini exhibition about the remarkable story of the Great Tay Whale, which included a chase and capture episode that took place between Dundee, Gourdon and Stonehaven.

Due to popular demand, the exhibition has been extended so people can get a chance to see the exhibition this weekend.

In 2009, the Mearns Leader ran a “Back in the Day” supplement which featured the story, which dates back to 1883, when a whale entered the Tay estuary, and began a chase which stretched along the coastline from Dundee to Stonehaven.

The whale was harpooned but escaped, and was next noticed off Bervie Brow, by Alex Ritchie, skipper of the Gourdon fishing boat the Olive Branch.

Two other boats became involved and got a line across the tail, and towed the whale to Stonehaven, where it was auctioned and bought by John Woods of Dundee for £200 and was towed back to Dundee to be stripped of the blubber.

Unknown to each other, Dave and Stuart had been working on separate elements of the story, and it was only when Stuart produced his painting of the whale, that Dave disclosed that he had written a song about the story, as a result of the Mearns Leader article.

Dave said: “It was as a result of this chance cliff top conversation, that I decided that there was a chance to bring this story to life for the Maggie Law Museum in Gourdon, given the strong local connections, and also to feature Stuart’s work, as he has other pieces of his art on display in the Museum at present.”

Stuart said: “I have been fascinated with the story of The Tay Whale since a visit to the McManus Galleries in Dundee where it’s bones are on permanent display.

“I am interested in many aspects of the old whaling industry, especially the strong connections with the towns and ports in this area and have incorporated these subjects into recent paintings.”