Duke to visit Methil maritime exhibition

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METHIL Heritage Centre will be the focus of a rather special visitor on the afternoon of July 1.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who served on the Destroyer Escort HMS Wallace, part of the Rosyth Escort Force during the Second World War, will view the current exhibition ‘Methil & the Merchant Marine’.

The visit marks a welcome return for the Duke, who last visited Methil Heritage Centre in 1996.

A committee member from Friends of Methil Heritage revealed they had asked him to open the exhibition because he had naval links with the area – but thought the request a tad ambitious.

“To be honest, we never thought it would happen but we got a reply saying, although he was unable to open it, he was able to visit.

“We are absolutely delighted,” she said, “It’s all systems go!”

TS Ajax sea cadets from Methil Docks will form a guard of honour for the Duke, who will be greeted indoors by the centre’s staff and volunteers.

The exhibition, researched by Bill Gold, runs until August 27 and tells the story of Levenmouth’s ports when Britain’s merchant fleet was the largest in the world.

At one time Methil shipped out over three million tons of coal annually and West Wemyss ships were even rumoured to have played a part in the transportation of slaves and convicts.