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.
Colin Easton, curator of Arbroath’s Signal Tower Museum and author of The Angus Maritime Trail, said: “There are so many remarkable stories connected to the towns and villages along the Angus coastline.
“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 is the seafarers of Angus who have the starring roles in the 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 and the Auchmithie fishwives who carried their men to their fishing boats so their feet did not get wet.
Colin added: “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. 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 booklet is illustrated with images from the Angus Archives, which perfectly capture the county’s coastal towns and villages in days gone by.
Colin continued: “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.”
Copies of the new Angus Maritime Trail booklet can be obtained at leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries, museums and tourist attractions across Angus. It is also available to download from www.angusheritage.com.