New town heritage buffs are calling for the historic ceremonial chains of Markinch and Leslie to be put back on public display.
The call was sparked by an exclusive report in the Gazette (June 18) which revealed the whereabouts of the two chains, locked away at Kirkcaldy Museum since 1996, when Kirkcaldy District Council disbanded.
Now history enthusiasts want the decorative items, which museum experts have said are irreplaceable and priceless, to be put on show so that the public can enjoy them.
Linda Ballingall, chairman of trustees at Glenrothes and Area Heritage Centre said the public “had a right” to see the former Provost regalia.
“We have often been asked by members of the public if we knew where these chains were, together with other items gifted to the area, but until the Gazette article published their location, we could only hazard a guess,” said Linda.
“As the only heritage centre within the Glenrothes boundaries whose permanent exhibitions also covers the history and culture of Markinch and Leslie, we will be making application directly to Fife Cultural Trust, requesting we be considered as a permanent location on a loan basis, so as the community may view within their immediate locale.”
However, any such display would have to secure enough to protect the chains, both of which are made of 18 carat gold.
“We are presently awaiting promised funding from Fife Council for toughened-glass museum-standard cabinets which hopefully will be in place in August for our WWI exhibition,” added Linda.
“It is hoped we will be able to work with Fife Cultural Trust on this issue.”
Linda has now written to Heather Stuart, Fife Cultural Trust’s chief executive seeking their assistance to see if a secure way of displaying the regalia can be found.
Historic chains are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’
Glenrothes Heritage Centre trustees say the Leslie and Markinch ceremonial chains represent just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of historic items that currently could be on display across Fife if only there was ample facility to do so.
“There is a great deal of interesting and culturally significant items, documentation,painting, artefacts and objects of interest that I’m convinced the public would love to see, if they only knew about and had the chance to come and see,” Linda Ballingall from Glenrothes and Area Heritage Centre (GAHC)told the Gazette.
“We have strong links with the Leslie family who currently have some amazing items on loan to us and we’d display more if we had the facility to do so,” she added.