Special exhibition to mark 25 years of Burntisland’s heritage on display

Ian Archibald, convener of Burntisland Heritage Trust. Pics by George McLuskie.
Ian Archibald, convener of Burntisland Heritage Trust. Pics by George McLuskie.

Thousands of people have passed through the doors of Burntisland’s Heritage Centre over the years.

And with this year marking the 25th anniversary of the annual exhibition, held over the summer months, to celebrate the town’s unique history and heritage, it will be an extra special event.

Ian Archibald, Willi Henderson and George McLauchlan

Ian Archibald, Willi Henderson and George McLauchlan

To mark the occasion the exhibition will take a look back over all the previous themes, providing an in-depth look into the past covering subjects from Mary Somerville and sunken treasure to wildlife, Kirkton Church and wartime exploits.

The catalyst for the very first exhibition, before the trust was even created, was the hype surrounding the search for The Blessing of Burntisland, King Charles 1’s ship which sank while crossing the River Forth from Burntisland to Leith during a storm in 1633.

A support group had been set up to assist the team looking for the treasure which went down with the ship, and they put together a display of photographs and items of interest around the search to let people in and around the town know more about what was going on.

From that group came the Burntisland Heritage Trust, and there has been a display of photographs, information and artefacts every year since on a huge variety of topics.

Kirkton Churchyard before its renovation

Kirkton Churchyard before its renovation

The launch of the exhibitions coincide with the town’s Civic Week to attract more visitors, but locals are just as welcome.

Initially it was held upstairs in the town’s Burgh Chambers, but this was impractical when it had to be taken down for other events such as the Exiles reception on Burntisland Highland Games day, and when the trust took on its own premises it found a new home downstairs.

“It started off with the search for sunken treasure, but we soon realised that we had a wealth of other treasures on our doorstep, from our unique church to our natural heritage and lots more,” explained Ian Archibald, one of the main instigators of the Trust and exhibitions.

“It is good to think that we now have a huge collection of photos, aretefacts, information, documents, films and much more on so much of the town’s heritage for future generations.”

Aerial shot of the churchyard after renovation. Pic by Mike Dooley.

Aerial shot of the churchyard after renovation. Pic by Mike Dooley.

This year, a large section of the exhibition will feature the extensive restoration work carried out on Kirkton Church, the town’s oldest surviving building.

The exhibition launches on June 16 at 11am and runs on Wednesdays 1-4pm and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 11am-4pm until August 25.

“Last year we had around 1100 visitors and it would be good to see a good turnout in our 25th anniversary year,” said Willie Henderson, a friend of the Heritage Trust for 23 years.

Seal swimming off Burntisland. Pic by Gavin Anderson.

Seal swimming off Burntisland. Pic by Gavin Anderson.