Heritage project to transform lost garden

primary 4 visit the site they will be doing up
primary 4 visit the site they will be doing up

A garden which was created in Inverbervie in 1974 is to be brought back to life by a community heritage project.

The garden was made as a celebration about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and has long since been overgrown.

This initiative between Inverbervie School, parents, and community volunteers, will work in partnership with local businesses and sponsors to reclaim and preserve this lost and important hidden “jewel” of the rich maritime heritage of this part of the Kincardineshire coastline.

Ten weeks ago, when James and Linda Mowatt of Inverbervie were tidying away some of her grandfather’s possessions, a large RNLI flag was discovered, which was the property of John (Jack) Gillanders (Sen). Linda offered this to the Maggie Law Maritime Museum in Gourdon, given the local connections between the life saving record of the Gourdon surf boat the Maggie Law, and the work of the RNLI.

Immediate research indicated that the flag had been designed to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Inverbervie RNLI Ladies Guild.

In addition, John Gillanders had created a concrete replica garden in the size of the flag, with the RNLI crown and anchor symbols and lettering, and planted with red white and blue flowers, as his contribution to this 25th anniversary event in 1974.

Linda and James showed the overgrown garden to Dave Ramsay, Project Director of the Maggie Law Maritime Museum, who began to formulate a community project to help reclaim and preserve the garden.

Dave said “On seeing the garden, I was immediately struck by the seafaring connections between Gourdon and Inverbervie, the RNLI, and Hercules Linton the designer of the Cutty Sark, and could see valuable heritage connections being discovered and saved for future generations, and also bringing out the story of Jack Gillanders, and his contribution to heritage.”

“I approached Inverbervie school, as this Project seemed to fit the Curriculum for Excellence criteria, and Mrs Smith Head Teacher, Mrs Simpson, Depute Head, and Miss Madden class teacher.”

Pupils of Primary 4 are planning the work schedules, utilising their school gardening group, recording and producing a heritage portfolio, and using other community resources, to restore the garden by Easter 2014.

Clearance work at the site has already begun, with Linda and James Mowatt being instrumental in the first stages, and Aberdeenshire Council, Landscape Services, have surveyed the site and offered further valuable help and advice.