A family walk over the festive season resulted in an unusual find for a young Vidlin lad.
Twelve-year-old John Arthur Robertson was out walking on the shore at Grutwick with his uncle and young cousin when he found a small, sea-worn Lucozade bottle containing some papers.
Closer inspection revealed that the contents were an entire day-to-a-page calendar for the month of May. This was a happy coincidence, as John Arthur was born in May.
Each page included a printed religious passage and although the calendar did not bear the year, the family has worked out that the pages are from 2001.
The sender of the slightly bizarre message in a bottle is a mystery as there are no written details of where the prize might have originated. The family pondered whether May was singled out for a specific reason, or whether the sender may have launched a bottle for each month in 2001. Perhaps John Arthur will discover another 11 bottles on his travels.
This message in a bottle is not the first discovery of this kind John Arthur has made. Last year he found a bottle containing pictures and artefacts on a beach near his home. The young beach-comber was in no doubt as to the origins of that find – the sender was himself!
Back in 2008, while he was a pupil at Lunnasting primary school, each pupil in the school had prepared and sent a message in a bottle. Over three years later John Arthur retrieved his own message at almost the exact spot it had been launched from.
John Arthur is “always purling in the ebb” as his mother puts it and has a treasure trove of items that he has collected on his shore-line travels over the years.
He has an impressive knowledge of his finds. What looked likes a small non-descript blue plastic tray, John Arthur says, was used in a Norwegian dairy.
He had also discovered that some small, curling pieces of bark found during a trip to a local beach were from a tree only found in Scandinavian countries. One of his more useful finds was an intact plastic petrol can which he intends putting to good use.
We’ll watch with interest to see if those other 11 months of the year ebb up around Vidlin.