Andrew Meers: Inverkip Students Found Your Message in a Bottle!
In March 2018, Inverkip Primary School students invited members of the community to help them clean Ardgowan Beach, according to Inverclyde Now. They expected to find trash–they never expected to find a message in a bottle. But they did indeed find a message in a bottle, and now they are looking for the author. How can you help? Spread the word! Send me a message or leave a comment if you think you know how to find Andrew Meers!
Inverkip Primary School Teacher Victoria Chalmers told Inverclyde Now that “We had the Marine Conservation in school back in January where we identified the problems pollution is causing to our marine life. The litter at the beach is shocking. The children wanted to make a difference…We even came across a message in a bottle!”
First of all, let me just say: Kudos to the Inverkip kiddos and community for tackling ocean pollution! They’re in good company–it’s amazing how often good-hearted people go beach-cleaning and earn the small treasure of a bottled letter as reward. It happened to a beach-cleaning couple in Georgia when they found a 28 year old message in a bottle in 2017 and became friends with the sender–one example of many. My point is: If you want to experience the magic of messages in bottles, get out there and clean up the beach! You never know what you might find.
Inverkip Students Find a Message in a Bottle in River Clyde With Strange Tale
Here’s the strange and intriguing message in a bottle the students found–let us hope it is a joke!
S.O.S. 22nd October 2007
Dear Rescuer, I am floating out to sea – holding onto a piece of drift wood. Last landmark – Greenock Esplanade. I have been surviving on seaweed and fish. I am not sure my body can take much more. My co-ordinates are 30 degrees longitude and 24 degrees latitude heading for the Arctic circle – can see polar bears and penguins too… You will be rewarded with some of my treasure … if you send help. Yours helplessly Andrew Meers.
Actually, I know that it is a joke. How? Check out those coordinates. “30 degrees longitude and 24 degrees latitude” puts old Andrew square in south central Egypt, just west of the city known today as Aswan. It would be quite difficult to get a bottle into the River Clyde from there, wouldn’t you agree?
Also, his last landmark is “Greenock Esplanade,” which is further inland and upstream from Ardgowan–nowhere near Aswan or the coordinates he gives. It does make me think that Andrew may have tossed his bottle in the water at Greenock Esplanade…
Students Find a Message in a Bottle in Historic Setting
One thing that amazes me about Scotland is just how much history is everywhere–utterly everywhere. Look at this message in a bottle: Found on Ardgowan Beach, and apparently sent in the River Clyde.
Well, the River Clyde is of course the river of Glasgow and historically important for shipping and so on. But it’s also the river of the ancient ballad, “Clyde Water,” also known as “The Mother’s Mailson” and “The Drowned Lovers”. The song tells a tale of disaster in the Clyde, not unlike Andrew Meers’ message in a bottle. So Andrew is in good company when he imagines himself enduring disaster in the Clyde. It’s a beautiful song and you should stop whatever you are doing and listen to it right now:
Sooo… beware the River Clyde. Based on the message in a bottle and this song, it sounds like a treacherous river!
So that’s where the message in a bottle started out. But it was found at Ardgowan Beach.
Ardgowan Beach gets its name from the Ardgowan Estate that verges on the beach. The estate contains buildings dating back to the late 1400s. Ardgowan Estate has been in one family, the Stewarts (now the Shaw-Stewarts) since the 15th century, which almost breaks my brain. Can you even imagine your family owning a house or piece of land for over 500 years? I can’t. The main house in use today dates to 1797, and was used as a hospital in WWII. The tower–the Ardgowan Castle–is the building that dates to the 15th century. Wikipedia says that it played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence, which would be impressive indeed since those wars had been over for about 150 years by the time Ardgowan Castle was built. You gotta love Wikipedia, bless their little hearts…
In any case, what I’m saying is that the Inverkip Primary School students didn’t find this message in a bottle in a vacuum–they found it in a historically fascinating place, and the message adds another layer to that history. Who is Andrew Meers? Why did he send this message in a bottle? Why pretend to be drifting out to sea? Why give impossible coordinates? And where is Andrew today? So many questions!
Where is Andrew Meers Today?
Andrew appears to have sent this message in a bottle in the River Clyde, somewhere upstream / inland from Ardgowan. He mentions Greenock Esplanade, so maybe he is from that area? Or, perhaps he is from Glasgow? It’s a likely candidate simply because of its great population compared to the surrounding area. One thing’s for sure: We are only going to find him by spreading the word about his bottle being found!
More Incredible Scottish Messages in Bottles
Readers of this site know that I love Scotland, and that I’m fascinated by the endless layers of history everywhere you turn in the country. If you want to read some incredible Scottish message in a bottle tales, check out the following:
6. Finally, the incredible true story of the “mail boats” of Scotland’s St. Kilda. These miniature boats were basically fancy messages in bottles.
I know I say it all the time, but really–Scotland is an amazing place, full of fascinating history and as lively today as it ever was. That these Inverkip students should find a message in a bottle simply underscores that point.
But you know what would make the story even better? If we solved the message and found Andrew Meers! Drop me a line if you think you might know how to find him!
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