Re-discovered Culter poet celebrated

The family of Culter poet John Clark (courtesy of Margaret Kitson)
The family of Culter poet John Clark (courtesy of Margaret Kitson)

The Heritage Centre in Peterculter, which re-opened to visitors in April after the winter maintenance closure, has several new projects and exhibits this year.

One “work in progress” currently being worked on by a group of volunteers is a Heritage Tapestry, designed by local woman Lorrie Bilsborrow, helped by the donation of a tapestry kit of Aberdeen landmarks. Visitors to the Centre have the opportunity to sew themselves into Culter history by adding a stitch or two to the tapestry.

Another project is underway to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the death of Culter poet John Clark and the re-discovery and collation of much of his published and unpublished poems. Clark was born in 1910 in Malcolm Road, the son of a local builder, and his poems, written in the Aberdeenshire dialect or ‘Doric’, praised the beauty of Deeside and the warm-heartedness of local people. It is hoped there may be an evening of John Clark’s poetry sometime this summer.

New visitors to Culter Heritage Centre and Hall will discover the older Rob Roy statue which stood over the Leuchar Burn from1926-1991, a reconstructed “village shop”, a Pell fairground organ, lots of domestic artefacts, and many Culter Paper Mills artefacts.

One 82-year-old resident who visitedthe centre in 2009 was astonished to discover her own signature, penned on the day she signed on at the mills aged 14.