HRH The Princes Royal visits Fife Fishery Museum

20th July 2023

HRH The Princess Royal visits the Scottish Fisheries Museum to mark the completion of the reaper and view gallery developments

Her Royal Highness visited the Museum to mark the completion of the £ 1 million, five-year conservation of Reaper, the last of the great First-Class Scottish Herring Luggers, and tour the newly developed Whaling and Zulu galleries.

The gallery improvements are part of a wider Museum development programme aimed at engaging more people with the past, present and future of Scotland’s fishing industry.

Her Royal Highness last visited in 2021, during the 50th anniversary of the Museum, which sits on Anstruther Harbour in Fife.

Her Royal Highness was welcomed by Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Fife, Mrs. Fiona Robertson. Mrs Robertson then presented the Scottish Fisheries Museum hosts: Ms Jane Ryder, Chair of the Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust; and Mr Ian Goodyear, Managing Director.

During the hour-long visit, Her Royal Highness toured the Whaling Gallery and Zulu Gallery, hearing about developments made to both galleries since 2021, and viewed the current exhibition ‘Plastic Tide’.

As Patron of the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s Appeal, Her Royal Highness then met students and staff from Waid Academy (Anstruther), Museum Trustees and supporters before boarding Reaper.

Onboard, Her Royal Highness met the volunteer crew, drawn from the Museum’s Boat Club, and heard more about the conservation of this rare survivor from the golden age of sail.

The Reaper is now fully restored to seagoing condition and, crewed and supported by the volunteers, had just returned from the first summer sailings since 2016.

Her Royal Highness was then invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate the visit and was presented with a posy by a Waid Academy pupil, Miss Hannah Logan, aged 13.

Reflecting on the Royal visit, Ian Goodyear, Managing Director of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, says:

“It was our pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness to officially mark the completion of the conservation of our much-loved historic flagship, the 120-year-old ‘Fifie’ Reaper.

“We were also delighted to have the opportunity to present our newly improved galleries and for Her Royal Highness to meet so many of the staff and volunteers who are vital to the work of the Museum.”

Jane Ryder, Chair of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, says:

“In addition to the displays of our historic fishing industry, we are also looking at exciting and innovative new ways of exploring the present and future of this key local and national industry. In the coming year, we will be working hard to secure funding to make these improvements throughout the Museum.

“It’s an exciting time for the Museum and we were thrilled to be able to present to Her Royal Highness the changes since her last visit and to advise on our future plans.”

More Information about the Museum

The Scottish Fisheries Museum is home to a Nationally Recognised Collection of vessels, fishing equipment, exhibits, photographs, reminiscences and artworks.

Housed within handsome historic buildings connected with fishing since the 14th century, the Museum tells the rich story of the ‘boats, fish and folk’ of Scotland’s fishing industry, which has played – and continues to play - such an important role in the country’s economic, social and cultural life.

The Reaper is a recognised vessel within the UK National Historic Fleet and the Museum is unusual in maintaining the vessel, and its smaller sister vessel White Wing, in seagoing condition with the help of committed volunteers.

Visitors can tour Reaper at her pontoon on Anstruther Harbour.

For more information, visit

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