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Thomas Glover trail guide to be published with new interest

Thomas Blake Glover
Thomas Blake Glover

A resurgence of interest in Fraserburgh-born industrialist Thomas Blake Glover has inspired a north-east heritage society to launch a book celebrating his achievements.

Mr Glover was a pivotal figure in the industrialisation of Japan in the mid-19th century and helped found the Mitsubishi company.

The Fraserburgh Heritage Society have promoted Thomas Glover as one of the port’s most influential sons and consequently succeeded in attracting Japanese tourists to the area.

Now the group, based at the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre on Quarry Road, have decided to reprint their 1994 tourism publication Thomas Blake Glover in North East Scotland.

The new version highlight’s Aberdeenshire sites with connections to the Glover family, which stretch from Portsoy in the north to Muchalls in the south.

The heritage centre itself boasts a unique exhibition and Japanese garden in honour of the renowned industrialist.

Last night, the book’s author Malcolm Mckillop said: “Over 20 years have passed since the book was published and many efforts have been made to encourage Japanese tourism in the north-east of Scotland.

“During this period, more in-depth information has been discovered about Glover, his relationship with Mitsubishi for whom he became chief advisor, and the role he played in the Imperial Japanese Navy having ships built at the yard of Alexander Hall.”

Mr Mckillop added that Aberdeen City Council’s drive to develop the Glover family home in the city as a business centre, as well as the Thomas Blake Glover Foundation’s cultural and educational links with Japan, could help boost international tourism.

He added: “These initiatives about the Scottish Samurai can complement each other to [achieve] this aim.”

The Fraserburgh Heritage Society has thanked Aberdeenshire Council for a grant which allowed the reprint of the Glover trail book.

It will be officially launched next week and will be on sale at the centre from Friday, October 21.

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