Council misquotes Peter Pan author

David Orr pictured with the quotation attributed to J. M. Barrie.
David Orr pictured with the quotation attributed to J. M. Barrie.

Angus Council has been forced to rip up slabs in the redeveloped Kirriemuir town centre after it emerged they had misquoted Sir J.M. Barrie.

The wraps came off the new-look Square days before the town hosted the popular BonFest - but it emerged a quotation attributed to the town’s famous son is inaccurate.

Local historian Dave Orr questioned the authenticity of “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting”, which winds its way around the Peter Pan statue.

He told us: “Local JMB experts have since checked online about the quote and it seems no one knows where it came from, nor how it came to be widely attributed to J.M. Barrie! It seems it is not exactly Disney either, but will they sue Angus Council?

“J.M. Barrie may have said it in an interview, but the point is there is no evidence of it in his book or the stage script. If it isn’t J.M. Barrie then it will obviously be embarrassing for the council to have it cast in stone next to the Peter Pan statue. What we need to do is get the quote changed to one which can genuinely be sourced to J.M. Barrie and Peter Pan. But who will pay for that?”

The council’s redevelopment of Kirriemuir Square was carried out under the five-year, £1.1 million Kirriemuir Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) run in partnership with Historic Scotland.

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We are grateful to one of our museum visitors for raising this with us. While this quotation has been widely attributed to the famous author there is a lack of absolute certainty over its origins. As such, we feel it is appropriate to replace it with one that can be incontrovertibly traced to the work of the great J.M. Barrie.”

It is understood the slabs will be removed and replaced with a suitable comment sourced by staff at the Gateway to the Glens Museum.