Barrie memorabilia ringing any bells?

Peter Pan
Peter Pan

WHAT do “Kirrie Herald” readers know about bits and pieces of ‘Barrie’ memorabilia which has been unearthed in recent months?

That’s the question David Orr, vice-chairman of Kirriemuir Heritage Trust would like answered, following the unearthing of a couple of brass bells and some toasting forks.

The first of the brass bells, measuring 14 cms high with eight cms wide, was passed into the hands of the Heritage Trust in the lead-up to the cricket match staged on the Hill in the autumn, as part of the year-long celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of J. M. Barrie.

“The bell, which is inscribed with “Sir J. M. Barrie, Sports Pavilion, Kirriemuir” was the property of an old lady, now deceased, but how she came by it is unknown,” explains Mr Orr.

“The current owner wishes that the bell should remain in the town.

“It was assumed that it was made for the opening of the sports pavilion on June 7, 1930, when Barrie was given the freedom of the town.

“However, an appeal for information resulted in little response until, just before Christmas, a lady contacted me to say she had an identical brass bell in her possession.

“This news seemed to suggest to me that the bells were made as some sort of souvenir to co-incide with the opening of the pavilion.”

Mr Orr then got a telephone call from a lady who had a brass toasting fork, and a further call from a lady in Crail across in Fife, who also had one of the bells.

“The lady with the toasting fork also explained that she had , many years ago, seen a brass fireside brush and pan set, promoting the camera obscura.

“That would seem to suggest that someone, perhaps even Barrie himself, saw a money-making opportunity, and that several souvenirs were made around the time the pavilion on the Hill was built and opened.

“However, if someone can come up with any other explanation as to why these pieces of memarobilia were created then Kirriemuir Heritage Trust would like to hear from them.”

“Where, for example, did the various pieces originate? Were they made locally or much further afield.”

Meanwhile, Mr Orr explains that one of the forks is on view at the Kirriemuir and the Glens Museum in the Square, while another is privately held. One of the bells remains in the hands of Kirriemuir Heritage Trust, while another is held locally in private hands.