Signal Tower spic ‘n’ span for royal visit

Norman Atkinson in one of the newly refurbished rooms in Arbroath museum.
Norman Atkinson in one of the newly refurbished rooms in Arbroath museum.

THE FINAL preparations are being made at the Signal Tower Museum in time for its royal re-opening today (Friday).

The Princess Royal will be visiting the museum to inspect the refurbishment work that has seen a number of improvements to the building and displays.

The museum has undergone the major refurbishment as part of the Year of the Light celebrations which are marking 200 years since the completion of the Bell Rock lighthouse.

And Princess Anne will be in Arbroath today to unveil the new look museum and tour around the new displays.

As well as a significant refurbishment to the building itself, the museum has created new permanent displays on the Bell Rock lighthouse, which includes a scale model of Robert Stevenson’s feat of engineering.

Other new displays also feature information about trade and fishing from Arbroath Harbour and the lives of local mariners.

A multi purpose room will also be used for temporary displays and for both children’s and adult’s activities.

There is also a new sales and reception area and the courtyard now shows the size of the base of the Bell Rock. In addition the signalling ball mechanism has been restored and will be used on special occasions and a webcam has been mounted on the tower, which will show the Harbour area and the sea state.

And Councillor Jim Millar, convener of neighbourhood services is sure the new look museum will be enjoyed by everybody.

He said: “Much hard work and effort has been involved in this £450,000 refurbishment, which is a long-term investment by the council and co-incides with the Year of the Light celebrations.  I am certain that people from near and far will enjoy visiting the museum for many years to come.”

The Princess Royal has already been involved in Year of the Light celebrations, having hosted a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in February to commemorate the Bell Rock.

But today, she will be in the town to officially re-open the refurbishment museum.

The Princess, who is a patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board is said to be fascinated by lighthouses and has visited the Bell Rock on two separate occasions.

As well as visiting Arbroath today, she will also be stopping off at other venues around Angus including the Carlogie House Hotel in Carnoustie, which has been turned into a respite facility for young carers.

Other engagements for the Princess Royal are at the Royal British Legion Scotland in Forfar and Isla Primary School in Kirriemuir.