PUPILS at St Peter’s Primary were excited to receive a letter from the man who found their message in a bottle – on a beach in Fife.

The school’s P1s were reading A Bear in a Boat in the Borders in class and learning about floating and sinking.

The children then came up with the idea of putting a message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea – with Callan Aitchison pointing out that the bottle would have to be plastic so it would float.

Callan was nominated to deliver the bottle into the vast and choppy Firth of Forth whilst visiting family in Portobello – to see where, if anywhere, it would end up.

The class were then ecstatic when, a week later, a letter arrived all the way from Fife – 74 miles away from their school in Galashiels.

Their teacher, Mrs Johnston said: “They were so pleased and so excited when the letter came. Although one child was disappointed that it wasn’t a pirate who found the bottle, as she’d hoped.

“The man said one of his dogs found the bottle whilst on a walk at the beach and carried it all the way home in his mouth – the kids loved that. 

“He sent us pictures of his two golden retrievers with the bottle along with his letter, which we displayed on our classroom wall.

“The kids then wanted to write letters back thanking him and to say they liked his dog and things like that – so I bundled 22 letters into the post for him!”

Executive member for education Sandy Aitchison was equally as thrilled for the kids. He said: “It was just fantastic that it all had such a lovely conclusion because the bottle could have been missed, could have been at sea for years or just simply lost!

"The fact that it all happened in such a short timescale made it all just a great experience for everybody.”

The letter read:

Dear the person who finds this bottle,

We are boys and girls in a P1 class at school. We are all 5 years old (apart from our teacher who is slightly older!)

Yesterday we were learning about floating and sinking. We had an idea to try a message in a bottle.

One child knew it would have to be in a plastic bottle so that it floats.

We are sending our bottle in the sea at Portobello near Edinburgh. Please write to us to tell us where the bottle ends up and who you are.

We look forward to hearing from you.

We are an eco school and would like you to recycle the bottle once you’ve read the message.

Thank you,

Primary 1 and Mrs Johnston

And their welcomed reply:

Dear girls, boys, and Mrs Johnston,

I walk along the beach here in Lower Largo every morning and evening with my 2 golden retriever dogs.

Yesterday my old dog, called Brodie, picked up your bottle that you had put in the sea at Portobello last week. He loves carrying plastic bottles and tennis balls that he finds. He carried it all the way home, then I read your message.

That is the second bottle he has found with a message in it!

I cannot believe it has only taken 4 days to get blown across the Firth of forth, but then it has been very windy! Also the bottle is very light.

All the bottles my dogs carry home are recycled by Fife Council so that is good, as our beach is covered in bottles that people throw away – I wish they would take them home with them!

It really spoils our beach but my dogs always carry them home, so they are helping to keep our beach tidy.

I hope you enjoy school,

Regards to you and your teacher Mrs Johnston,

Brian Millar