Project to preserve East Neuk history

Four elderly residents in an East Neuk village have shared their stories for a new project celebrating local history.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 2:18 pm

The St Monans residents, three of whom are in their 90s, were interviewed about their memories growing up and living in the village for the ‘Tales of the Toun’ project, which has been set up by the East Neuk Salt Co, partnering with Slate Productions.

Snippets of the videos have been shared on the East Neuk Salt Co Facebook page, with plans for the full films to be showed during a heritage event in February.

Darren Peattie, founder of the company, which produces gourmet sea salt, said the event will feature historic photographs of the village, as well as films by the company and the ‘Tales of the Toun’.

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The event will be raising funds for two local projects.

The first is the Bring Back the Beauty campaign, which has successfully purchased and brought back a historic fishing boat back to the East Neuk, with the aim of restoring it back to its former glory.

The event will also raise funds for the East Neuk Salt Co’s other major project, which will celebrate the area’s salt heritage.

The company plans to restore salt pan house number nine, turning it into a visitor centre. It is hoped that this work could be completed in the next 24 months.

“It’s all about preserving the history of the place,” said Darren.

“We’re a fantastic village and young people don’t know enough about the history.”

Darren grew up in the village but left with “smoke on my heels” when he was a teenager, moving to London and then the Highlands.

Darren later moved back to the village with wife Mhairi and children Esme and Eliza.

He was contacted by local resident Billy Morris, who suggested that he transform the salt pan house and preserve a piece of the village’s history.

“I thought it was brilliant,” Darren said.

“When I returned all these memories came flooding back.

“I came back, but the boat building had gone, the slip was empty. I don’t think we should lose our heritage.

“There is an identity crisis where we don’t know what we are.”

Darren explained that while the East Neuk Salt Co is a commercial business, the East Neuk Salt Heritage Co had been set up to help the local community.

For more details about the project, and to see the five minute videos, visit www.facebook.com/EastNeukSalt/.