Activities and Time Line

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Heritage Trust Activities

• The annual heritage exhibition and historic walks are the Trust’s core activites. The exhibitions have been held every year with many varied and changing themes since 1994. The free summer exhibitions have attracted many thousands of visitors from Burntisland itself, from other parts of the UK, and from many other countries.

• In 1998 the Trust set up the Charles wRex Project to search for the wreck of the 'Blessing', King Charles I's baggage ferry which sank off Burntisland in 1633. Much work has been done, including a recent sub-bottom survey in 2013 which validated the presence of remains buried deep in the seabed. Efforts to identify the remains are ongoing.

• The Trust deals with a large number of enquiries on all aspects of Burntisland's heritage. Most of these come from visitors to the annual exhibition, although there is a steady stream all the year round. A large number are now received by e mail. Trust volunteers do their best to answer all these enquiries.

• In 2005, the Trust set up its oral history project, to record for posterity the memories of the older folk in the town. The first phase was completed in 2005, and resulted in the publication of a book based on recorded memories. The project re-commenced in 2006, and further interviews are currently being carried out.

* The Trust was the lead organisation in the Kirkton Church and Graveyard restoration project, which began in 2014 and was completed in 2018.

• The Trust maintains a comprehensive database and indexing project with details of all its heritage information relating to Burntisland and its people.

• The Trust has a significant educational role. It has close links with Burntisland Primary School, which has benefited from the Trust's donations of various educational materials and from talks by the Trust's Convener. School parties are shown round the Trust's exhibitions. The Convener also gives frequent talks to a variety of other groups. The Trust has been closely involved in educational projects run by the local Development Trust and Rotary Club. The Trust also has close links with the Museum of Communication, Burntisland.

• The Trust has produced and published a number of books and DVDs.

Heritage Trust Time Line
Projects, Publications and Exhibitions
(The items in red below are NOT hyperlinks!)

1993 - Burntisland Community Council established the Burntisland Heritage Group to support the search for King Charles I's baggage ferry the 'Blessing', which sank off Burntisland in 1633.

1994-98 - Summer heritage exhibitions held in the Burgh Chambers

1997 to present - Project team formed by heritage group for the search for the baggage ferry, 'The Blessing'

1999 - Burntisland Heritage Trust formally established as a registered charity

1999 to present - Summer Heritage exhibitions held at 4 Kirkgate. Burntisland

1999 to present - Guided town heritage walks from 4 Kirkgate in June and July

1999 - The Search for the King Charles Baggage Ferry ‘The Blessing ' - Exhibition

2000 - Shipwrecks of the Forth and the Search for the King Charles Baggage Ferry- Exhibition

2000 - ‘Dishes to Dive For’ a celebrity recipe book published as a fundraiser for shipwreck project

2001 - The video ‘Burntisland’s Blessings’ is produced (now re-mastered as a DVD)

2001 - Burntisland Parish Church and the King James Bible- Exhibition

2002 - Highland Games Exhibition

2003 - Traditional Exhibition

2004 - ‘Burntisland: Port of Grace’ published

2004 - Postcards Exhibition

2005 - Oral history project (ongoing) and publication of ‘Burntisland Voices’

2005 - ‘Burntisland Fallen 1939-1945’ booklet published

2005 - Burntisland Now and Then - A Contemporary Photographic Exhibition by Allan Hutchison

2006 - ‘The Growth of Burntisland’ Exhibition

2007 - Data indexing project commences (ongoing)

2007 - ‘Burntisland Fallen 1914 -1919’ booklet published

2007 - Schooldays – the story of schooling in Burntisland from 17thc to present day – Pt.1 Exhibition

2008 - Schooldays –the story of schooling in Burntisland from 17thc to present day – Pt.2 Exhibition

2008 - Heritage trail leaflet produced and Outer Heritage Trail walks introduced

2008-10 - Commemorative Plaques for ‘Burntisland’s People’; Kings, Queens and Cromwell; David Danskin and William Bald

2008 - ‘Burntisland: A Social History’ published

2009 - Old Burntisland Industries, Businesses and Families Exhibition

2009 - Burntisland 1883 Railway Exhibition

2010 - ‘Mary Somerville: Reach for the Stars and Burntisland’s People’ Exhibition

2011 - ‘Changing Landscapes’ Exhibition

2011 - ‘Burntisland Now and Then’ DVD produced

2012 - ‘A Scottish Fair and the other works of Andrew Young’ Exhibition

2013 - ‘Burntisland at Play’ Exhibition

2013 - Scanning of Erskine Church records

2014 - Shipwreck seabed survey

2014-18 - Kirkton Church Restoration project

2014 - ‘Burntisland and the Forth in Conflict’ Exhibition

2014 - Shipwreck seabed survey confirms scientific evidence of buried wooden wreck

2015-16 - Interpretation panels update and finger post signage

2015 - ‘Crossing the Forth’ Exhibition

2016 - ‘Our Natural Heritage’ Exhibition

2017 - ‘Burntisland’s Gifts and Treasures’ Exhibition

2018 - ‘25th Anniversary Exhibition’ and ‘Burntisland 1883’ Exhibition

2019 - ‘Island Jewels of the Forth’ Exhibition

2019-20 - Common Good paintings restoration project

2020 - Introduction of Burntisland Heritage Trust YouTube Channel

2020 - Restoration of red telephone kiosk with Burntisland time line (completion Dec 2020)

2020 - Partnership with British Transport Trust for ‘Red Wheel’ plaque at Burntisland station buildings

2021 - 'Portrait of a Town' Exhibition

Ian Archibald
Convener, Burntisland Heritage Trust
September 2021

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