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Trinity House launches Junior Guide scheme

12 June 2014

Pupils from Leith Primary School in Edinburgh this week took on new roles as junior guides at Trinity House in Leith, the home of the Incorporation of Shipowners and Shipmasters.

Junior guide, Connor Graham, gives Captain Paul Wibberley a tour of Trinity House

The primary six and seven pupils are the latest to participate in the award-winning scheme, which takes place at a number of Historic Scotland sites around the country, including Linlithgow Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

The scheme sees pupils dressed in historical costume providing tours of their local Historic Scotland property for visiting pupils from all over Scotland, and for members of their local communities at special events.

At Trinity House, the junior guides will dress as sailors, whalers and sea captains to teach visitors about the site’s outstanding collection of maritime memorabilia and the local area’s links to the sea.

Following a six-month training programme – which saw pupils learning more about the history of Trinity House as well as developing their performance skills – the Leith Primary School pupils yesterday (11th June) participated in a special graduation ceremony where they were presented with their completion certificates by the Captains of Trinity House.

A joint project between Historic Scotland, Illuminate UK and staff from Leith Primary School, the junior guides scheme at Trinity House aims to support teachers in implementing the Curriculum for Excellence, and to increase community involvement and ownership.

Nathan Bryceland, Learning Development Officer for Historic Scotland said: “Our junior guides scheme has been a huge success at a number of our sites around Scotland and I’m delighted that we’re pairing up with Leith Primary School to bring the scheme to Trinity House.

“It’s a unique site with a fascinating history and a rich collection of maritime memorabilia, and the pupils will help to bring its story to life for other young visitors as well as for members of the local community. They’ve been rehearsing for months now and are as knowledgeable as they are enthusiastic.”

Alasdair Friend, Headteacher of Leith Primary School said: “Leith Primary School has a vision to be at the heart of the diverse and vibrant community we serve. The school building is crowned by a silver weathervane of the ship Persevere and many of its former pupils left Leith for a life as mariners and seamen. For the school to train and provide tour guides for Trinity House has been a huge privilege and has enabled the children to contribute back to the community of Leith.  The skills and knowledge the young people have learnt as part of this fantastic learning opportunity are of the highest quality. Many thanks to Historic Scotland for investing in this school.”

Karen McKenzie of Illuminate UK said: “It’s been my pleasure to create the tour and work alongside staff from Leith Primary School to train the pupils. The children have learned valuable skills for their future while learning about their past. We’ve worked on presentation skills, voice use, movement, tour guide technique and developing characters. We look forward to welcoming other schools to come and enjoy the tour and hear the whaler’s adventures and pirate tales and see if they have what it takes for the Sea Captain to recruit them as sailors on his next voyage!”

Leith Primary School pupils will be offering tours to other school groups during term times in 2014 and 2015. They will also be providing tours to the public on 20 June at 10am and 11am as part of the Leith Festival. For more information and to book tours contact Trinity House on 0131 554 3289 or visit

Picture caption:
“Connor Graham, a primary six pupil at Leith Primary School in Edinburgh and one of the junior guides at Trinity House gives Captain Paul Wibberley, one of the Masters of Trinity House a tour of the historic property, which is the home of the Incorporation of Shipowners and Shipmasters. Pupils from Leith Primary School this week took on new roles as junior guides at Trinity House. Dressed as sailors, whalers and sea captains, they teach visitors about the site’s outstanding collection of maritime memorabilia and the local area’s links to the sea.”

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • “Illuminate UK is a drama education company run by Karen Kyle McKenzie. Drama education allows both adults and children to explore, discover, define, create and make sense of themselves and the people and world around them.  We offer a variety of drama based workshops for early years, primary and secondary school groups. Our workshops are excellent examples of active learning and tie closely with Curriculum for Excellence outcomes. Many of them revolve around our passion for heritage education and are run as part of Historic Scotland's education programme. For more information visit

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information

Alice Wyllie, Media & PR Officer
Historic Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768 096