Unearthed pieces of town’s past could go on display once again
A slice of Montrose history has been returned to the town’s heritage collection almost two decades after a controversial sell-off.
After languishing in a store for years, the donation boards which hung on the walls of the Dorward House residential home have been presented to Angus Alive by former Angus councillor Terry Wood, who said he hoped they might once again be put on local display.
Local merchant William Dorward founded the house in 1838 and his generosity, totalling £28,774 between 1838 and 1851, are the first recorded donations on the five boards.
They chart the support of benefactors from around the globe up to the 1990s, but in 1999 the boards were at the centre of local controversy when the governors of the facility sold them off to a local antiques dealer.
Montrose Community Council criticised the sell-off decision as “morally wrong” at the time and tried to secure the boards in the hope of hanging them locally, possibly in the Ballhouse chamber where the body met.
Mr Wood, who was an Angus Council representative on the Dorward House trustees during his time as a councillor, said: “They were on display in the antique shop but never left the town and have been in storage since. They were gifted to me for posterity when the shop closed, but an approach to Dorward House to return them there was declined.
“I am now over the moon that Angus Alive has accepted them for the local collections.
“I feel they are an important part of local history and hopefully they may once again go on display somewhere to let people see the donations during the long history of Dorward House,” added Mr Wood.
Terry Wood with Angus Alive collection officer Dr John Johnston and the boards.