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The Bervie Flag

Bervie Primary School & The RNLI Garden, 2015

In 1974 John (Jack) Gillanders created a garden to commemorate 25 years of sterling service by the Inverbervie and District RNLI Ladies Guild. The garden was in the shape and colour of the RNLI flag but over the years, had fallen into disrepair.

An awareness of the situation and the need for action was raised by the donation of an RNLI flag by Linda Mowatt, grandaughter of Jack Gillanders, to the Maggie Law Maritime Museum. 


Photograph courtesy of Tom Campell at Brighter Bervie.

The Museum decided to take on the restoration of the garden, in partnership with the P4 pupils from Bervie School and their teacher Miss Madden. Support was forthcoming from various community groups and local businesses, and generous assistance came from Aberdeenshire Council Landscape Services. 

The Project began in December 2013, and the garden was restored to its former glory. The opening of the restored garden took place on Thursday 27th March 2014, and was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Carol Kinghorn - who also planted the first shrub to re-populate the garden - and Viscount and Viscountess Arbuthnott. The Reverend Dennis Rose gave the dedication. 


The pupils, along with then Museum Director Dave Ramsay, composed a song to commemorate the Project, and this was performed at the opening  ceremony to an invited audience.  Demand from pupils, parents and community members meant that the project continued and resulted in the recording and production of a CD as a fund raising item for the school. This CD is also available to buy from the Museum: please see our Merchandise page for more details.

As part of the project, the pupils also produced a portfolio for the Museum about the rich maritime heritage of Kincardineshire, featuring Inverbervie born Hercules Linton, designer of the Cutty Sark, James Mowatt, boat builder of the Maggie Law, and Jack Gillanders, the designer and gardener responsible for the RNLI Garden, and the portfolio which the pupils produced is now in the Museum and local library. 

The pupils and school received a letter of acknowledgement from the then Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond for their work and contribution to local heritage.

The story of Jack Gillanders has become widely known, and his important contribution to heritage duly acknowledged in the 40th anniversary year of his garden.

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