Take The Angus Maritime Trail


2nd June 2015

Take The Angus Maritime Trail

The new Angus Maritime Trail booklet is packed full of fascinating information about the people and places of the county’s unique and stunning coastline.

The Angus Maritime Trail hugs 35-miles of stunning shoreline, from the expanse of golden sand at Montrose right along to Monifieth beach, stopping off at the towns and villages in between with a handy guide to the history and heritage of each area.

“There are so many remarkable stories connected to the towns and villages along the Angus coastline,” said Colin Easton, curator of Arbroath’s Signal Tower Museum and author of The Angus Maritime Trail. “Each settlement started out as a small fishing village but some developed into bustling ports, such as Montrose, others, including Carnoustie and Monifieth, enjoyed spells as top holiday resorts while East Haven has changed little over the last eight centuries.”

As well as the picturesque towns and villages along the Angus coast, the county’s lighthouses, caves, ancient castles, majestic cliffs and, of course, the sea, all play an important part in the Angus Maritime Trail. However, it’s the seafarers of Angus who have the starring roles in this booklet, including the fisher families of the now deserted clifftop village of Usan, the smugglers who made good use of the caves in the vicinity of Lunan Bay, the fearless Arbroath lifeboat men lost at sea and, of course, the Auchmithie fishwives who carried their men to their fishing boats so their feet didn’t get wet.

“Thanks to the research I carried out while working on this leaflet, whenever I see Montrose Basin, I’m reminded of the financial acumen of the fishermen from Ferryden and Usan,” revealed Colin. “They refused to pay the amount charged to non-Montrose fisherman for collecting mussels from Montrose Basin to use as bait. Instead, they formed their own Mussel Society and rented a stretch of the mussel beds, which worked out much cheaper.

“Another story I uncovered was of a brave Arbroath fisherman, William Swankie, who, in 1922, swam 50 feet in very stormy seas to secure a line to a ship which had been grounded on rocks near Carnoustie, enabling the crew to be rescued.”

The Angus Maritime Trail is illustrated with images from the Angus Archives, which perfectly capture the county’s coastal towns and villages in days gone by. “It’s good to be able to compare the places featured in the Angus Maritime Trail with how they look today and also to see how people lived and worked along the coast,” said Colin.

“Some of the skills which appear in the booklet, such as baiting the lines at Auchmithie, are long gone, while others, such as making Arbroath Smokies, are still very much in evidence.”

Pick up a copy of the new Angus Maritime Trail booklet at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries, museums and tourist attractions across Angus. The booklet is also available to download from www.angusheritage.com.   

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