Exhibition to unlock 125 years of Arbuthnot Museum

Councillors gather round a ceremonial drum from the Gordon Highlanders Regiment in the new exhibition
Councillors gather round a ceremonial drum from the Gordon Highlanders Regiment in the new exhibition

Aberdeenshire Council’s Arbuthnot Museum in Peterhead is preparing to mark its 125th anniversary next month with the opening of a commemorative exhibition, ‘Happy Anniversary, Arbuthnot Museum.’

The exhibition opened today (Friday) and will run until January 12 next year to celebrate the past and the present as well as looking to the future.

Councillors Dianne Beagrie and Stephen Smith study a photograph depicting the Arbuthnot Museum circa 1900

Councillors Dianne Beagrie and Stephen Smith study a photograph depicting the Arbuthnot Museum circa 1900

Peterhead councillors were among the first to view the impressive collection which includes a medieval key thought to have been used to lock a casket in Macduff at least 500 years ago.

Other highlights include recent archaeological discoveries such as a 17th century gold ring inscribed with the words ‘let love abyd till death diuyd’ (communicating a secret message of

love and lifelong commitment), a Jacobite letter from Huntly, a journal and photographs belonging to Peterhead’s prominent whaling family, the Gray, a ceremonial drum from the Gordon Highlander’s Regiment and a smoking pipe belonging to John Brown, Queen Victoria’s ‘Highland servant’ at Balmoral.

Also on display are prints of Peterhead ‘then and now.’

It's for you - Councillors Alan Fakley and Stephen Calder admire the exhibition of vintage phones

It's for you - Councillors Alan Fakley and Stephen Calder admire the exhibition of vintage phones

Councillor Anne Stirling, chair of the council’s Communities Committee explained: “It is marvellous to have this opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the North-east.

"The exhibits on display all provide a strong sense of place, celebrating Aberdeenshire’s people, our farming, fishing, whaling, archaeology and architecture.

"This is the first time that many of the objects have been on show and it’s a really exciting time for us. This piece of work links directly to our recently launched Cultural Strategy and our aspiration to continue to celebrate the heritage of the North-east.”

Vice-chair Councillor Iris Walker added: “We have some 250,000 artefacts across Aberdeenshire’s museums collection and it’s great the public will have the opportunity to see some of those particularly poignant pieces in this exhibition.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their generous donations of objects and archival material, some coming from local residents and others from those living as far afield as Australia and

New Zealand. It’s great that these can be preserved for future generations and to enrich the experiences of visitors who enjoy our displays.”