Fascinating find of decades-old pot

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A MOST extraordinary set of circumstances has allowed Montrose-educated Ralph Barnett to present a historic flour jar to the town’s museum.

The jar has on it the lettering: ‘William Moir & Sons, Family Grocer, Wine Merchants, Montrose.

It was discovered by sharp-eyed Ralph while kayaking down Lunan Water, on an occasion when the water was high enough to allow this.

Near Inverkeilor, to his amazement, he spotted the jar, complete with lid and undamaged, in the mud at the side of the stream at the high-water mark.

He retrieved it and when he got it home cleaned it and put it away safely, not thinking much more about it.

Until a couple of weeks ago, that is, when he was having a look round the museum and saw jars similar to his one.

So Ralph promptly offered to donate his treasure trove jar to add to the collection.

It was accepted by museum assistant Kay la Rondie, who explained that the jar would have held eight pounds of flour, and that the customer would have taken it to William Moir’s shop to be topped up from a sack there. The flour, no doubt, would have originated from a local farm and a local mill.

Like many thousands of others customised for grocers all over the country, the jar was made by A.W. Buchan & Co, Portobello.

She dated it between 1884 and 1934.

But, just as Ralph had done, she marvelled at how it could have survived for many years where it was found, lid in place and undamaged.