The Maggie Law Maritime Museum has a proud record of providing innovative approaches to heritage and community education.
The Museum has sponsored many Projects with schools and Community groups, and now has a fully operational computerised learning centre, which was opened by the Aberdeenshire Council Director of Education in May 2015.
The learning Centre is called the Linton – Mowatt Education Suite, (Hercules Linton / James Mowatt) as an acknowledgement of the part both men played in the rich maritime heritage of Kincardineshire.
Prior to the refurbishment of the Museum in 2013 a partnership was forged with Lathallan School, an independent educational establishment at Johnshaven.
Through their Citizenship programme, pupils and staff became involved in learning about the rich maritime history of Kincardineshire, and through their fundraising efforts, raised nearly £500 to pay for a new sign above the main door of the Museum.
A “Danceathon” also produced funds for technical equipment, and perhaps the major contribution of the school was the design and trialling of educational games and activities for children and pupils.
This led to educational heritage collaboration between Lathallan and Gourdon Primary School, where the pupils at Gourdon, refined and added to the range of educational activities, games, and information provided for the Museum. The value of this collaboration was recognised in a lettter from the First Minister , Alex Salmond.
Gourdon Primary School:
Tales of the Sea and the Maggie Law:
Again prior to the re – opening of the Museum, Gourdon School became involved in a fund raising project managed by Dave Ramsay.
The pupils created poetry, music and song. This was translated through a live recording in Montrose in front of an audience of parents, heritage organisations and local Councillors, to produce a double CD featuring “Tales of the Sea and the Maggie Law” for fund raising purposes.
At the re – opening of the Museum in 2013, another live recording was produced at a concert to celebrate the opening of the Museum, with poetry and song featuring the pupils and their creative work.
In 2014, a thee day Heritage Fair , saw the Gourdon Community converging on the Mission Hall to bring along photographs and artefacts to help expand the knowledge base and heritage of the Museum. Many new areas of heritage information came to light as a result of this initiative
This was organised in conjunction with Professor Gabrielle Ivinson of Aberdeen University, and involved students from the Museum Studies course, help them understand different ways in which heritage education could be shared and gathered.
This led to University funding and filming of the Gourdon pupils, in a documentary illustrating inter – generational learning and heritage education, and parents and pupils had the opportunity of a public viewing of this important heritage education documentary in June 2015.
The Gourdon Documentary:
In 2015 The Museum was awarded £1,000 for the production of a documentary to record preserve for heritage education, the village of Gourdon, the community and the fishing industry. The working title of the documentary is “From Sea to Tea” and tracks the complete process of fishing, fish processing, and preparation, cooking and serving to your table.
A wide range of community groups including fishermen, singers, musicians, are all featured, showing the tremendous breadth of community based activity in this village, with one of the few remaining working harbours on the Kincardineshire Coastline.
The documentary also shows the range of outlets and countries to which Gourdon sea food is delivered, and contrasts the present industry with the fishermen of Gourdon in the past.
The documentary will be shown to the local community on completion in September 2015, and it is also hoped the BBC Alba, may consider the documentary for wider viewing.
The documentary will be available on this website on completion.
This time the school became involved in writing a song for the documentary soundtrack, and this was recorded and performed live at the parents and pupil award ceremony in June. The pupils also researched each species of fish landed at Gourdon, and prepared a recipe book, and illustrations.
These will all form part of the various school and pupil portfolios in the Museum.
Inverbervie Primary School:
The RNLI Garden:
In 2014 The Museum sponsored a Project with the Primary Four pupil, to restore a derelict garden which had been dedicated to the RNLI. The Project completed in March 2014, with the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire performing the opening ceremony.
Pupils produced a portfolio for the Museum about the rich maritime heritage of Kincardineshire, featuring Inverbervie born Hercules Linton, designer of the Cutty Sark, James Mowatt boat builder of the Maggie Law, and Jack Gillanders, the designer and gardener responsible for the RNLI Garden.
A wide range of community groups, and individuals, including the local Council, all contributed to a highly successful Project, and the portfolio which the pupils produced is now in the Museum and local library.
The pupils also wrote, and recorded a song about the garden, and the CD was produced as a fund raising item for the school.
The pupils and school received a letter of acknowledgement from the First Minister , Alex Salmond for their work and contribution to local heritage.
In January 2015, the Museum sponsored another4 Primary Four class to carry out a study of the life and times of Hercules Linton.
The purpose was to produce a portfolio which could be sent to the home of the Cutty Sark, at the Royal National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
Other portfolios were produced for the school archive, the Museum, the Burgh Hall and the local library.
The pupils researched and wrote about the Bervie angle on Linton’s life, to plug a gap in the Greenwich Museum information.
They researched the crew members of the Cutty Sark and compiled a list of all the Scotsmen connected to this famous clipper, and this list is now portrayed in the Museum.
The pupils wrote and recorded a song called the Ballad of Hercules Linton, which was performed for parents and community groups, and will feature on the Maggie Law website.
A highlight of the Project was a visit to the pupils by Martin Woodget, the great- grandson of the longest serving Master of the Cutty Sark. Last year Martin had presented a family heirloom, a model of the Cutty Sark, to the Maggie Law Maritime Museum.
As an acknowledgement of their work and contribution to heritage education, they received a letter from the First Minister , Nicola Sturgeonfor embracing the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.
Since 2007, heritage education Projects have been promoted working with:
· Forest View Centre, Stonehaven
· Catterline School
· Kinneff School
· Johnshaven School
· Gourdon School
· Lathallan School
· Dunnottar School
· Inverbervie School
The new school term of August 2015 will see the Museum sponsoring another education heritage Project with Johnshaven School, researching the Second World War connections between Norway and the North East of Scotland.
Working with schools is such a positive experience because of the enthusiasm of the staff and pupils, and inevitably the involvement of parents and the wider community, within the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.
The contribution which these schools and pupils have made to our local heritage, is quite remarkable, and has given everyone a renewed sense of civic pride, and a deeper understanding of the importance of our heritage.
Best of all, is the fact that these pupils of today are contributing to their own sense of heritage and laying this down for future generations.
If your school or youth group is interested in following this up, please contact: