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Stonehaven celebrates 200th anniversary of birth of its most famous historical figure – RW Thomson

Stonehaven Horizon volunteers (L to R): Linda Anderson, Gordon Wood, Aileen Phillip and Kath Boyne. Stonehaven Horizon Project.
Stonehaven Horizon volunteers (L to R): Linda Anderson, Gordon Wood, Aileen Phillip and Kath Boyne. Stonehaven Horizon Project.

Stonehaven is preparing to celebrate one of its most famous historical figures with special decorations and a vintage car rally.

Robert William Thomson was born in Stonehaven on 1822, and at the age of 23 would go on to invent the pneumatic tyre in 1846.

His patent involved rubber being inflated to form an air cushion for more comfortable road travel. It would go on to be used millions of times over the next 176 years.

This year, The Stonehaven Horizon Project has designed a flowed display to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth.

The colours chosen for this year’s rosette are blue and yellow, the same as the Ukrainian flag, to help raise awareness of the war.

‘Keeping Stonehaven looking bonnie’

Directly opposite the flower display, beside Barclay Street, there is an RW Thomson memorial plaque located on the building he was born in.

The flower and tyre project was carried out by the Stonehaven Horizon Project.

Its chairman, John Cruickshank, said: “It’s about promoting civic pride and keeping Stonehaven looking bonnie.

“We have over 200 floral displays across town.”

This year, there will also be the annual RW Thomson memorial classic car rally.

RW Thomson Memorial Fellowship in Stonehaven hast had the car rally in 2019. Supplied by RW Thompson Memorial Fellowship.

It is designed to showcase what RW Thomson’s invention went on to help create.

The rally was last held in 2019, as Covid has caused cancellation for the last two years. Before that, the rally was held consecutively for 52 years

‘A great son of Stonehaven’

The chairman of the RW Thomson Memorial Fellowship, Stuart Allan, said: “It is one of the ways that we perpetuate RW Thomson’s memory.

“He is one of the great sons of Stonehaven.

“An important historical figure whose tyre was of massive importance in allowing transport to become affordable to all.”

Motorbikes from the rally will be set up in the town square afterwards to help showcase the town’s historical figure.

Judges are due to visit Stonehaven in the first two weeks of August for the coastal division of the Keep Scotland Beautiful contest.

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