‘Pirate’ messages in a bottle thrown into River Tay 40 years ago found

Handwritten letters by pupils at the village school were discovered during a beach clean.

Messages in a bottle, thrown into the River Tay at Wormit 40 years ago as part of a classroom pirate project, have washed up in Monifieth.

Handwritten letters by pupils at the village school, dating back to June 1984, were discovered during a beach clean on Saturday.

Preserved in a plastic bottle, the letters and a map only travelled a few miles along the Tay Estuary.

Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith of Monifieth Eco Force, who made the discovery, said she initially thought it was “just a Crayola crayon drawing”.

“But it turned out to be a rolled-up map with wax crayon on the outside with an elastic band around it,” she told STV News.

So what important message did the primary school pirates have to convey?

“They were saying that they were on a ship, the HMS Wormit Primary, and that they were being made to do Maths and English, I think it said,” Jenny explained.

Thanks to her discovery, four decades later, the pirate messages along with the map have now been reunited with the primary four pupils who created them.

“It’s a bit disappointing that it took 40 years to travel about six miles down the Tay. It would have been nice if it got a bit further,” admitted Linda Bell, a former pupil at Wormit Primary School in Fife.

“But it is what it is, and at least we’ve got it back. So, it’s a nice story, and hopefully we’ll be able to share it with the school.”

And it was not just the letters that endured the test of time.

As Linda’s former classmate, Kelly Laskiewicz, explains, the friendship between the two and another pupil, Anna Greenhalgh, the authors behind these letters, runs strong to this day.

“We’re all friends together. They are my oldest friends. We’ve been friends the longest out of everybody. So that’s quite a nice story as well.”

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