Sandhead pupils are budding detectives as they find clues about the past

Pupils at Sandhead Primary have been learning how to use their detective skills to discover local archaeology, history and beach finds on the Rhins of Galloway.

Nic Coombey from Solway Firth Partnership led a visit to the shore
Nic Coombey from Solway Firth Partnership led a visit to the shore

Jaime Enstone, from Stranraer Museum, provided a show and tell session with objects ranging from a Roman coin of the Balgreggan Hoard to the top hat and diary of the blacksmith and part-time funeral director in the village.

Billy McKnight came into the school to talk about his youth in the village and brought in his cherished find, a rock from a nearby quarry with an unusual dendritic crystal pattern on the surface.

He answered questions from the children about his school days and what he and his pals did to amuse themselves 60 years ago. The pupils also looked at old photographs of the village to see how it had changed.

Pupils look at old maps of the village

Nic Coombey from Solway Firth Partnership led a visit to the shore to look for strandline finds and pupils discovered more about underwater life by taking a closer look at sea shells and mermaids purses.

The visit also provided an opportunity to look at pebbles to discover what they were and how they arrived on the beach.

Mrs Campbell, teacher at the school, said: “Pupils and staff had so enjoyed being budding archaeologists. Through practical activities we have developed many new skills.

"Collecting evidence from objects has helped us find out how we piece together the story of the past.”

The school visits were organised as part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Rhins of Galloway Coast Path project and was made possible by support from the Heritage Lottery, Coastal Communities and the council.

The Path is currently being developed, and later this year you will be able to start exploring the coast on way marked paths and mapped routes.

Peter Ross, chair of the Rhins of Galloway Coast Path Steering Group said: The handling of artefacts, researching of old maps and meeting with a former resident to hear about life in Sandhead 60 years ago, has really brought the past alive to the pupils.

"I hope their new detective skills will help them discover and enjoy more of the rich natural and cultural heritage of The Rhins of Galloway.”