Montrose Academy to mark its bicentenary

Some members of the Bicentenary Committee. Pictured from the left, James Bratt, Pamela Manley, Bruce Pandrich, Liz Smith and Lesley Anderson.
Some members of the Bicentenary Committee. Pictured from the left, James Bratt, Pamela Manley, Bruce Pandrich, Liz Smith and Lesley Anderson.

Montrose Academy is gearing up to celebrate its bicentenary next year.

February 27, 2015 will mark 200 years since the foundation stone of the school was laid and the Academy is planning on a year’s worth of events from that date.

The Academy’s Bicentenary Committee are preparing for the activities, events and projects which will mark 200 years since of the founding of the school and would like to meet with former pupils and staff to talk about their experiences at the Academy and ask how they feel the Bicentenary should be marked and celebrated.

All former pupils and staff are invited to attend an open evening and social event at Montrose Academy on Monday (November 24) at 6.30 p.m.

The event will be held in the Assembly Hall with its historic Dux Boards dating back to 1860 and visitors should enter the Academy Dome at the front of the school

As well as meeting to share memories and offer suggestions, former staff and pupils will be given an opportunity to look at some of the Academy Archive Committee and tour the school.

Depute Head Teacher Bruce Pandrich will describe and explain the tentative plans for the 2015 celebrations.

He said: “Although the history of education in Montrose can be traced back to the 16th century grammar school and even as far back as 1329, the Academy was founded in 1815.

“The foundation stone was laid on Monday, February 27, 1815 and the Bicentenary Committee are planning a year of activities from that date in 2015, starting with a ceremony to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone and placing a time capsule in the same way as a time capsule was buried in 1815.

“The time capsule, which was accidentally unearthed by a workman in the 1960s, is now part of a rich archive of artefacts and documents held at the Academy.

“Described in 1836 as ‘a spacious edifice, surmounted by a neat dome’, the Academy’s architecture and particularly its golden dome is widely admired and defines part of the distinctive and beautiful Montrose skyline.

Mr Pandrich added: “It is the view of the Committee that the bicentenary will also be a celebration of the physical development of the site as well as the development of learning on the site.

“Among the many activities and projects planned for 2015 is an oral history project to capture the memories of former pupils and staff.

“As well as activities and events in 2015, the Committee is planning a number of projects and activities linked to learning at and about the Academy which will be sustained into the future.

The Depute Head Teacher concluded: “The Committee is seeking support and guidance from the people of Montrose and organisations, businesses and institutions, particularly those with links to the Academy to make 2015 a memorable year.”