Grandson of drifter behind Scottish Fisheries Museum flagship builds copy 110 years on

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 January 2012
  • Archived article
A photo of a model of a ship in a window
The slim Reaper at the Scottish Fisheries Museum
The grandson of the lifelong herring drifter who launched the Scottish Fisheries Museum's flagship Reaper vessel 110 years ago has built a metre-long model of the venue's flagship and given it to the Fife attraction.

Leslie Forbes, whose ancestor, William Forbes, launched the iconic ship from the boatyard at Sandhaven, built the impressive model as a tribute to the most famous boat ever to have been created at the Museum and Boats Club.

Sandhaven, which was once one of Scotland’s most respected yards, is no longer in operation, but its link with the Anstruther museum remains. Officials said they were "amazed" at Forbes's generosity, and have promptly given him Honorary Membership.

"The boatbuilding skills of the Forbes family produced an outstanding herring drifter in Reaper, which is why she is still fully seaworthy 111 years after her keel was laid in the yard at Sandhaven," said John Firn, the Chair of the Boats Club.

"Having Lessie launch another Forbes-built Reaper in Anstruther to complement its big sister is unique."

"We are especially grateful to Lessie for his exceptional kindness in making this beautiful model of Reaper," said David Corner, of the museum.

"The Museum is beginning a major refreshment of its layout and exhibits, and this 'wee Reaper' will be given a prominent and visible role inside the Museum."
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