Ten years to the day …
Guests, trustees and supporters of Cupar’s Museum & Heritage Centre gathered at the property – at Cupar’s railway station – to celebrate a decade since the the project got the go ahead in 2011.
Chair of the Museum’s Trustees, Guthrie Hutton, made a short speech welcoming all to the event – and provided a precis of the museum’s first ten years, naming some of the highlights and challenges along the way. A very special welcome was extended to John Yellowlees of ScotRail, “without whom, none of this would have been possible”.
Guthrie explained: “We may have been keen on the idea of creating a museum in the vacant premises at the station, but without John’s help, determination and invaluable support, we would not be here today.”
Guthrie ran through some of the landmark exhibitions they have held – featuring the Sugar Beet factory (or was that the Beet Sugar Factory!), the town’s associations with the RAF at Leuchars, connections with Ste Menehould in Argonne – Cupar’s twin town in France – as well as the role the town and its people played in the Great War, coinciding with the centenary of the Armistice in 2018. He also spoke of the numerous artefacts that have been gathered – donated or secured by the museum for the benefit of the community – not least of all, their decision to acquire the ownership of Cupar Corn Exchange Co. Ltd. … not the building itself, but the trading company that – to this day – is Scotland’s second oldest company in existence.
He explained the enormous challenges faced by so many through the last 18 months – created by lockdowns and restrictions – and touched on the museum’s work throughout that time to ensure all has been maintained.
Guthrie unveiled one of the museum’s latest exhibits – a silver medal dating from 1880 that has been gifted to the heritage centre. This was to have been ’the latest’ donation, but was pipped at the post by a vellum document – an 18th century Instrument of Sasines – received only this week from a retired Edinburgh solicitor, featuring a property on Bonnygate. Guthrie told those assembled: “As with many historic documents, the property has a name only – and so our investigative work begins to discover more.”
Murdo Fraser MSP and Cllr Tony Miklinski were on hand to cut the celebratory cake – made by Isabel Copland – enjoyed by all with a glass of fizz to mark the occasion.
Those involved in the project at its outset gathered for a photo-call – to create another photo for the archive. Left to right they are: Gavin Waddell, Bruce Reid, Isabel Copland, John Yellowlees, Fiona Henderson, Guthrie Hutton and Ian Copland.
Need more? Recently, we interviewed Guthrie as one of our ‘conversation with’ podcasts. To listen, just click below …
Thanks for reading!