A UNIQUE photographic collection focusing on virtually all aspects of the history of the town’s Byre Theatre has been donated to the St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum.
The stunning compilation, which covers the entire period of the Fife theatre’s existence in its three different homes since its foundation in 1933 in a one-time cow byre to its present multi-million pound setting, has been gifted to the museum by prominent local man Jimmy Bone.
Dealing with a period of over 80 years, the collection is contained in 19 volumes and most of the albums have details of the photographs included with the relevant years and the names of the shows concerned.
A trust spokesman told the Citizen:”Our museum curator Jennifer Reid has still to go through the albums carefully, but she has already decided that this should remain a distinct, separate collection and not be merged in any way with the Byre photos already held by the museum.
“Jimmy has himself undertaken with patience and care the onerous task of organising the photographs.
”As part of the agreement entrusting the albums to the care of the trust museum, access to the collection is to be provided for anyone nominated by the Byre. Anyone researching the history of the theatre or any aspect thereof will find the collection significant and helpful.”
Many of the photographs are the work of the late George and Andrew Cowie, a father and son, who were renowned local photographers. Memorabilia and collections of this kind fully relevant to St Andrews are welcomed by the trust.
Mr Bone has been involved in the theatre in many capacities, including as a former chairman of its board.
He has also been a member of various local theatre groups — among them the Auld Byre Players — appearing on stage in many different productions, including a number written by the founder of the theatre, the late A.B.Paterson.