IN DECEMBER, in our ‘100 Years Ago’ feature on page 8, we referred to the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Benevolent Society which had a store of clothing at the Lower Lighthouse to meet the needs of fishermen and mariners who might be shipwrecked along the coast.
Then John Aitken, Port archivist; and Peter Donald, Port Chaplain, told us that the organisation is still very much with us today, operating out of The Haven Seaman’s Centre - and not only is there still a cupboard with clothes, but woolly hats are given to seafarers from warmer climes who are rendered in a state of frozen shock when they encounter Montrose on a winter’s day.
They may have thought that jeans and a T-shirt were sufficient for outdoor work.
Mr Donald said that the need for the stock of other clothing is much less than in years gone by, and often the simplest way to kit someone out is to take them to Tesco!
Many of the hats are knitted by ladies at Balmain Court, as the accompanying picture shows.
Others are handed in to The Haven.
And the proof of the value of the hats is shown by the other picture, in which visitors to Montrose proudly display their new headgear.
It is perhaps no surprise that visiting sailors often say that Montrose is one of the friendliest ports they encounter.