Approval from tour guides for town’s sights

MONTROSE’S place on the tourist map was reinforced recently when one of the country’s top organisations for tour guides visited the town.

Members of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) toured the local sights as part of a professional development day which proved to be popular and an education for many making their first visit to Montrose.

The STGA is the country’s top provider of professionally trained tour guides across Scotland and members of the party had travelled from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire, Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunfermline, Cuminestown, Aberdeen and Dundee.

Their packed itinerary included tours around the town’s collection of public art, the biggest in Angus, the William Lamb Studio, Montrose Museum, Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, the harbour and the golf courses.

Pauline Corrigan, STGA member, said: “In this Year of Creative Scotland, we are being told that Scotland may ‘surprise you’, and a visit to ‘the sculpture capital of Angus’ - Montrose - delivered on that message.

“We were immediately making connections as we were presented with our first art work of flying geese by David Annand, whose statue of Robert Fergusson ‘walks‘ by Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. We emerged onto the High Street where the Marquis of Montrose, James Graham, one of the most controversial figures in Scottish history, is immortalised in bronze, adjacent to his birthplace of 400 years ago.

“A guided walk through the town included a visit to the former studio of William Lamb. Highlights would include portrait, sculpted heads of the Queen and her sister Margaret when they were little girls and their mother on display with copies of correspondence between the Duchess of York and Lamb.”

The town’s man-made attractions were also contrasted with its natural appeal such as the South Esk estuary, which was deemed to be “a great spot” for wildlife spotting, and Montrose Basin both of which have been endorsed on the organisation’s website.

Ms Corrigan added: “A full day was not over as we said ‘goodbye’ to 2012 Year of Creative Scotland and previewed 2013 Year of Natural Scotland with a visit to SWT’s Montrose Basin Visitor Centre in the hope of seeing some of the 65,000 pink-footed geese that pass through and indeed reside here in the winter.

“The centre’s facilities include scopes and binoculars, which you can use whilst there to wildlife spot or take part in a year round calendar of events. Special visitors include kingfisher, geese, common terns, seals, sand martins, red shank, curlew to name just some

“Altogether an inspiring and magical day in Montrose, highly recommended.”