On this page we give local news which is related to maritime or heritage.
Crew members and guests today commemorated the tragic loss of the Fraserburgh Lifeboat 60 years ago, by dropping wreaths in Faserburgh Bay.
From FRASERBURGH THROUGH THE YEARS - 9th February 1953 – The Fraserburgh lifeboat ‘John and Charles Kennedy’ while escorting fishing boats into the harbour capsized and was lost. Six of the seven-man crew were lost; coxswain Andrew Ritchie, mechanic George Duthie, bowman Charles Tait, assistant mechanic James Noble, and crew members John Crawford and John Buchan. Second coxswain Charles Tait junior, son of the bowman was the only survivor. Between 1937 and 1953 this lifeboat was launched 99 times and saved 199 lives, the most ever recorded for any lifeboat since the first one in 1806.
Standing at the stern of the lifeboat is our Chairman Stan Bruce's cousin John Buchan who lost his father in the tragedy. His mother Frances and brother Lawrence Buchan were also onboard. Frances is the last remaining widow of those lost.
- Fraserburgh Lifeboat 9th February 2013.
- Dr. Patricia Samson plays Macphertson's Rant on the fiddle. Kevin Cook on the pipes, Ewen Macpherson holding the music, and Reius is carrying Macpherson's replica sword. (S. Bruce).
- Angus MacAllister singing Macpherson's Rant. (S. Bruce).
- Stan Bruce, Angus MacAllister, Riann Thomas (9), and Kevin Cook. (A. Bruce).
A commemorative plaque to James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter was unveiled outside the Broken Fiddle Cafe, Strait Path, Banff. The Banffshire Maritime & Heritage Association (BMHA) in partnership with the Clan Macpherson Association (CMA) paid for the erection of the plaque.
James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter was the last person hanged in Banff under Heritable Jurisdiction 16th November 1700.
Highland dancer Riann Thomas (9) of Banff danced to the tune of piper Kevin Cook of Whitehills, then Dr. Patricia Samson played 'Macpherson's Rant' on her fiddle. Kevin then played 'Macpherson's Rant' on the pipes.
Stan Bruce on behalf of the BMHA welcomed everyone and gave a speech which included an apology to the Clan Macpherson for the hanging of James Macpherson. It is said that a reprieve was on its way for James Macpherson and that the Sherriff of Banff ordered that the Banff Clock be put forward 15 minutes so that James coauld be hanged before it arrived. Therefore if a reprieve was on it's way James Macpherson was in fact murdered. Stan Bruce then recited his own poem titled 'Macpherson's End'.
Robin Wiseman gave a wonderful recital and a prayer for the soul of the deceased.
John Macpherson of the CMA then gave a speech outlining James Macpherson's life, followed by the unveiling of the plaque.
Stan Bruce then handed over a fine looking cross-stitch of the Macpherson clan badge on Smith tartan in a frame for use in the Clan Macpherson Museum in Newtonmore. Angus MacAllister of Banff then talked about the naming of the cafe, the site of the tolbooth cells, and the Banff Clock which is now in Newtonmore Museum.
John Stewart who painted the mural inside the cafe was also in attendance.
The party then made their way into the cafe for teas, coffees, home bakes and sandwiches. Inside the mural was viewed and Angus MacAllister sang 'Macpherson's Rant'.
- Commemorative plaque to James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter.
- Stan Bruce BMHA Chairman and John Macpherson Clan Macpherson Association Chairman at plaque unveiling 17th Nov 2012.
James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter,
Roamed Moray, Banff, an’ Aberdeen,
It’s fair tae sae, he wis a bit o’ a rogue,
But naebody wid sae he wis mean.
Duff o’ Braco ordered his capture,
In Keith at the Fair o’ Summers Eve,
But only wi the help o’ a wifie,
Fa drapped a blanket o’er his heid.
Noo sitting in Banff’s Tolbooth cells,
Wi a fiddle by his side,
James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter,
Took it a’ in his stride.
He jotted doon a bonnie wee tune,
An’ on his fiddle he did proodly play,
While stan’ing at the gallows,
On fit wis, his judgement day.
“Onybody want a fiddle,
Fer it’s o’ nae mare use tae me”,
An’ wi naebody brave enough to tack it,
He kissed it, an’ broke it o’er his knee.
While stan’ing at the gallows,
A reprieve wis on its way,
A horseman rode o’er the hill,
An’ headed fer Banff Bay.
The Sherriff put Banff clock for’d,
So James widnae be set free,
An’ on the 16th November 1700,
They murdered him on the gallows tree.
16th November 2012.
Four volumes of our ALONG THE COAST series of books are now available to download digitally on your kindle via Amazon at the following links:
Burghead to Portknockie
Cullen to Pennan
Pennan to St. Fergus
St Fergus to the Bridge of Don
At the recent Aberdeenshire Design Awards held by Aberdeenshire Council, the Turra Coo received the top award of Distinction in the Public Art category.
- Tura Coo statue (S. Bruce Sept 2012).
- BF83 Audacious (Buckie Harbour 2007).
The Banff registered BF83 Audacious sank today 47 miles offshore in the North Sea. All six of the crew survived by launching the boats liferaft. A helicopter from Lossiemouth was scrambled and a Danish helicopter from a warship berthed in Aberdeen harbour also assisted. It is not known why the boat sank.
- W. Murray's WW1 Medals.
- W. Murray's WW1 Medals.
- W. Murray's WW1 Medals.
A pair of a Banff Gunners medals were sold on e-bay today for £520. The Victory medal is worth about £15 to £20, so £500 was paid for the DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal).
The seller wrote the following:
"DCM -- 95731 GNR:- L.BMBR:- W MURRAY. R.G.A.
Victory - 95731 GNR W MURRAY R.A.
The DCM medal was earned for bravery whilst facing a frightening onslaught of shelling during september 1918.
The only details I managed to get are that GNR Murray was a prominent policeman before and after the war in Banff so local records should have details of his history, I was told this many years ago by a relative".
We are interested in W. Murray, and especially why was he awarded the bravery medal, what act of outstanding bravery did he do? We have asked the Banffshire Journal for help. If you can help with any informnation please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
R.G.A. = Royal Garrison Artillery.,
R.A. = Royal Artillery.
PS - I did put a bid in, but sadly I was massively outbid!
The Harbour Cafe, Macduff, which closed earlier this year has now sadly been demolished. The BMHA offered to take over the building and the former owners were happy to sign it over to us, but Aberdeenshire Council who own the land refused to sign the land over to us. We now have a gap site, and we will be watching to see what Aberdeenshire Council use it for. (For more on this scroll down to 24th February 2012).
- Former site of the Harbour Cafe, Macduff. (S. Bruce 2nd June 2012).
- Kate Alcorn (Museum Curator) receives the replica sword from Stan Bruce (BMHA Secretary).
The replica of James Macpherson's sword is now in the Clan Macpherson Museum in Newtonmore. It was always our intention when we made it that it would spend some time there. The replica was made to generate some publicity so the public could see what the sword looks like in the hope that the original could be found, but so far to no avail. The original sword was taken off James Macpherson the Highland Freebooter (b.c1675) when he was captured by Laird Braco at Keith in 1700. James Macpherson was subsequently tried at Banff Sherriff Court and hanged at Banff's Mercat Cross 16th November 1700.
The sword is not an exact copy, however it is made to the dimensions given in the 'Domestic Annals of Scotland, Reign of William III: 1695 - 1702 Part 7' where I first saw the sword sketch on www.electricscotland.com http://www.electricscotland.com/history/domestic/vol3ch2g.htm
It is thought that the original sword could be of German origin.
After being taken off Macpherson Laird Braco is said to have kept the sword and it was later kept in the armoury at Duff House in Banff. However in 1907 the Duff family vacated Duff House and auctioned most of its contents, and it is thought Macpherson's sword was part of that auction.
The sword has already been photographed and shown in the Press and Journal and Banffshire Journal in the hope someone would recognise it but so far we have had no response. If you recognise it please get in touch.
- BF440 'Onward'. (Macduff Harbour 2010).
BBC News reported that the Banff registered BF440 ‘Onward’ located 50 miles off Orkney sent out a distress signal today at 13.30 hours. The boat had caught fire and the crew of five fishermen had boarded the liferaft.
A rescue helicopter picked-up the men and took them to Kirkwall Hospital where they were being treated for hypothermia. The fishing boat then sank.
Shetland Coastguard Mike Smith said: "This incident shows the importance of having a registered distress beacon and how important they are when you have an emergency.
"We are pleased that all five crew have been rescued and are now in the hands of the medical professionals."
'Onward' was formerly the 'Concorde' of Banff and was featured in one of the BMHA Banff fishing boat postcards.
- Macduff Through the Years.
We have just received a reprint of our book titled 'Macduff Through the Years'. This book is the first one of our 'Through the Years' series, and gives you the history of Macduff through the years. A very popular book reprinted on better paper and cover than originally printed. Copies available at Chapter and Verse, Low Street, Banff or direct from us by e-mailing email@example.com
- Macduff Harbour Cafe.
3 weeks ago The Banffshire Journal reported that the Macduff Harbour Café was to close down and that the building was to be demolished. The BM&HA committee discussed the possibility of taking over the building, and adapting it into a small heritage centre. The owners of the building were contacted and they thought it was a good idea and offered the building to the Association free of charge. A Community Asset Transfer form was immediately submitted to the Area Manager of Aberdeenshire Council. However, on the 21st February we received an e-mail from Aberdeenshire Council stating the following:
“The CAT Policy applies to assets held on the Councils General Fund; however there are some assets which may be considered unsuitable for transfer.
Unfortunately in this case the land in which you have expressed an interest is not deemed to be suitable for transfer under this policy.
This ground is classified as commercial land and sits within a busy industrial section of MacDuff Harbour. The Council must balance the needs of the community and its commitment to CAT against its need to generate capital receipts in order to invest in essential capital projects.
In this case we believe that this land has the potential to generate a capital receipt for the Council and be developed in a manner more in keeping with the commercial nature of the area”.
This is very disappointing for the BM&HA, the building although small would have provided us with a financially self-sustainable base to develop from. The site is also the former site of Peter Anson's house 'Harbourhead', which was demolished when the fishmarket was built in the 1960's; so historically this site was not commercial.
The Banffhshire Journal reported today that Aberdeenshire Council plan to close Banff Museum in March 2012.
This will not be good for Banff and tourism, and would result in 3/4 of the building being shut, with only 1/4 of the building which houses the library remaining open. It is easy to imagine that closure of the library may be next, and the building possibly put up for sale.
Currently the museum is officailly open seasonally June to September,with a part-time curator working about 15 hours per week. The closure therefore will save very little in wages, and could easily remain open as previously. Surely the Council can save more money elsewhere.
The museum is also open at weekends out of season by BM&HA and BP&HS.
- Andrew Bruce shows off a couple of fish from his 'Impressive Haul'.
The preceding week has been a very productive one for the young lads fishing at Macduff Harbour. Thousands of mackerel have been caught in the harbour. It looks like a large shoal entered the harbour and found themselves trapped. Stanley Bruce and his son Andrew made a short visit on Sunday and between them caught 33 mackerel in less than 2 hours. A seal was seen at the harbour entrance, which may also have contributed to the fish staying in the harbour. So many local households have been enjoying a fry of fresh mackerel. Stan said “I’ve never before seen so many fish in Macduff Harbour, or in any other harbour in my whole life”. Andrew said "That was an impressive haul".
According to the July / August edition of Shipping World & Shipbuilder, Macduff Ship Design's new design the 'Multi Mac' is "A viable alternative to the multi-purpose workboat design", and they have already received two orders, one for a 24.5m long version for Kocurek Marine and another for a 36.5m version for the Port of London Authority. The Multi-Mac range extends from 15.5m to 39m long. The 36.5m vessel is currently out to tender, and if Macduff Shipyards win the order it will be the biggest ship they have ever built.
For more on Macduff Ship Design visit: www.macduffshipdesign.com
- 24.5m Multi Mac design from Macduff Ship Design.
The 2nd Annual History Festival was held at Banff Castle. Included in the entertainment was a re-enactment of the mediaeval battle between Robert the Bruce and the Comyn Earls of Buchan. Bruce defeated the Comyn's at the 'Battle of Barra' (Otherwise known as the 'Battle of Inverurie' in 1308. After this battle Bruce's army advanced into Buchan and defeated the Comyn's again at the 'Battle of Aikey'. After the Battle of Aikey all of the castles and strongholds of Buchan were put to the torch, often referred to as the 'Harrying of Buchan'; Bruce reckoned that if there were no castles the English would not be able to regain control.
The 24th July was actually the 600th anniversary of the 'Battle of Harlaw', which would have been good to re-enact on such a special anniversary. This battle was fought due north of Inverurie. To commemorate this anniversary the Clan Leslie Society erected a cross in the churchyard at Chapel of Garioch.
All knight photographs by Nick Dolphin.
Rosemary Sanderson, Stan Bruce, and Andrew Bruce made their way to Fraserburgh today to meet the team from Real Life Media who were making a short fim for the BBC's One Show (Currently has about 5 million viewers daily). The film is about the herring lassies (Gutting Quines), and talks about how hard their work was and the songs that they sung. Rosemary author of the 'Herring Lassies - Following the Herring' ISBN 978-09547960-6-8, was interviewed in a rigging loft belonging to William Whyte.
In The Broch we met up with Evelyn (Bunty) Davidson (Stan's aunt) who Stan had persuaded to give a demonstration on how to gut herring even though she hadn't gutted one professionally for about 60 years, and the presenter Carrie Grant (Fame Academy) donned a gutting apron, and became the most glamourous herring lassie in history, and stuck-in and had a go herself.
Herring lassie songs were later in the afternoon sung in Maggie's Hoosie in Inverallochy.
Look out for the film on the BBC ONE SHOW in about one months time.
For a copy of the HERRING LASSIES book contact firstname.lastname@example.org price £5.00 plus £1.00 for postage in the UK.
- Stan Bruce, Rosemary Sanderson, Carrie Grant, and Andrew Bruce.
- Filming in the Rigging Loft.
- Rosemary Sanderson and Carrie Grant.
- Carrie Grant the most glamourous herring lassie in history with her gutting apron.
- Evelyn (Bunty) Davidson shows Carrie Grant how to gut a herring.
- Carrie Grant guts a herring.
- Carrie from London even managed to fillet a herring, and said "I'm a natural herring lassie".
- Job done - Herrings gutted.
Bill Howatson Provost of Aberdeenshire unveiled the Peter Anson Sculpture at the Maritime Garden, Crook o' Ness Street, Macduff.
- Peter Anson sculpture unveiling. Left to right Anne Robertson (Leader of Aberdeenshire Council), Stewart Stevenson MSP, 2 monks from Pluscarden Abbey (Aelred and Brother Meinrad Gibson) , Stan Bruce (Secretary), Liam Sparke (Vice-chair), Bill Howatson Provost of Aberdeenshire, Malcolm Smith (Committee), Deacon Brian Kilkerr, Tina Haris. (Photo by Andrew Taylor).
- Angus McAllister, Provost Bill Howatson, and Stan Bruce unveil the Peter Anson Sculpture (28th May 2011).
The BMHA launched their 13th book today - HERING FISHING - BANFF and MACDUFF, written by Stan Bruce and Malcolm Smith. A5, 76 pages and ISBN 978-1-907234-06-4.
- Herring Fishing - Banff and Macduff ISBN 978-1-907234-06-4.
150 old negatives taken c1950 were printed as photographs by Andrew Bruce our youngest committee member. These were on show 28th May in the Buchan Street Hall, Macduff, with several folk being recognised by the locals.
To see more pictures click here http://www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php?id=187
- Andrew Bruce and Bodie photographs taken c1950.
Banff registered BF411 ‘Beryl’ sank 29 miles northeast of the island of Unst after taking in water. The alarm was raised to the Coastguard at 2.30pm, and her crew of five escaped uninjured assisted by the Buckie registered ‘Onward’, which took them to Lerwick.
Pumps were flown to the scene by the coastguard rescue helicopter 102, but it was too late because the boat was already listing heavily to one side, the boat sank about 2 hours later.
- BF411 'BERYL' MACDUFF HARBOUR 31 MAY 2005. (S. Bruce)
A £120,000 statue of Robert the Bruce was unveiled in Aberdeen yesterday. The statue of Bruce on a horse stands beautifully in front of the cleaned-up granite of Marischal College.
- Robert the Bruce statue, Marischal College, Aberdeen. (S.Bruce).
Aberdeen registered fishing trawler A446 'Strathelliot' sank 90miles off Fraserburgh at 1.30pm on Sunday 24th April 2011. The four man crew were all saved and picked up by the Banff registered fishing trawler BF206 'Sardonyx'.
- A446 Strathelliot. (Macduff 2010 - Andrew Bruce).
Three Dutch minesweepers of the Tripartite (Alkmaar class) entered Aberdeen Harbour on Friday 15th April, and these were:
HNLMS Hellevoetsluis (M859).
HNLMS Vlaardingen (M863).
HNLMS Willemstad (M864).
- HNLMS Hellevoetsluis (M859) off Aberdeen 15 April 2011. (S. Bruce).
- HNLMS Vlaardingen (M863) Aberdeen Harbour 15 April 2011. (S. Bruce).
- HNLMS Willemstad (M864) Aberdeen Harbour 15 April 2011. (S. Bruce).
7.30pm the Peterhead registered PD400 Benarkle was towed into Macduff Harbour by the Buckie registered BCK262 Accord. At the entrance to the harbour the stricken boat was assisted into the harbour by the Macduff Harbour pilot boat the 'Sea Helper'.
- PD400 Benarkle being towed into Macduff Harbour by BCK262 Accord 30th March 2011. (S. Bruce).
- PD96 Opportunus IV. (Peterhead Harbour). (S. Bruce).
Peterhead registered trawler PD96 Opportunus IV has landed a rusty old device which looks like a torpedo resulting in the harbour area at Peterhead being closed to the public.
Around 8.30am this morning the emergency services were alerted when a suspected torpedo was landed at Peterhead Harbour. A safety cordon was erected around the device, which is said to be very old, perhaps from WW2. Grampian Police advised that a bomb disposal team was on its way.
- Peter Anson Sculpture. (S. Bruce).
Bill Howatson the Lord Provost of Aberdeenshire has kindly offered to unveil our Peter Anson Sculpture on the 28th May 2011. The ceremony will take place at 2.30pm.
In association with the unveilling we intend to also put together an exhibition in the Buchan Street Hall (Macduff Pensioners Hall).
This exhibition will consist of the following displays:
Peter Anson and the building of the sculpture.
Late 19th century farming equipt.
A celebration of Macduff Harbour 90 years since the opening of the Princess Royal Basin (Some old photos and information).
Launch of our new book HERRING FISHING - BANFF AND MACDUFF written by Stan Bruce Secretary and committee member Malcolm Smith.
Display of water colour maritime paintings by marine artist Robert Andrew of Aberchirder.
A sales table with our ever increasing library of books.
A general display about the BM&HA. (This will be relocated to the Green Tree after the exhibtion).
Macpherson the Freebooters replica sword and information. (This will be relocated to Banff Museum after the exhibition).
The exhibition will then be open 1-5pm on the Sunday 29th May for the public.
- BCK620 'Silver Rock'. (Buckie Harbour - 2007).
The Buckie registered BCK620 'Silver Rock' sank today around 9.00am. The fisherman was fishing five miles off Lossiemouth in the Moray Firth, when his 9m boat started taking in water. He is reported to have put out a May-Day call around 8.00am. The Coastguard at Aberdeen broadcast his distress call, and the fisherman was picked up by another vessel, before the Buckie Lifeboat or a rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth made it to the scene.
We reported below (4th January 2011) that the former church bell from the church in Foggie (Aberchirder) was stolen, we are now very pleased to report that the bell has been found and returned to its original location.
Macduff War Memorial – 2 weeks ago in the Banffshire Journal it was reported that the Banff and Macduff Community Council were looking for funding to replace the light which was vandalised, Stan proposed we donate £100 towards the cost, this was agreed by all, Stan to make contact with them and offer our support.
The steelwork for the Peter Anson Sculpture display panel has been collected from A&B Welding Services, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen www.abweld.com . A&B Welding fabricated the panel, paid for it to be galvanised and donated it to the Association. So a big thank you goes to them.
All that needs to be organised now is the information board, which goes on the panel. The text and pictures for this has already been prepared, and this will cost £100 plus VAT, if anyone would like to sponsor this please contact us at email@example.com.
- Stuart Thomson ( www.abweld.com ) hands over the Anson Panel to Stan Bruce (BM&HA Secretary).
We had been advised that Macpherson's sword may have been German. After a bit of research we are happy to confirm this. Swords similar to Macpherson's were used in the 15th to 17th centuries. Some of these were used for processional purposes, however some were also used in battle, see text below.
To see another processional swords click these links:
- Numerals of former Banff Clock. (Banff Museum).
Thanks to the Press and Journal, who ran a story on 25th January 2011, we had a phone call from Mr Davidson of Mintlaw, who had heard that part of the clock from Banff was reused in the Hall in Fetterangus. We shall follow-up this lead, however if anyone has information on the Fetterangus clock we would be very happy to hear from you.
Our understanding is that the clock mechanism was re-fitted to the Dufftown Clock Tower, and can now be seen in the Macpherson Museum in Newtonmore. The old face of the clock with the Roman numerals is currently held in Banff Museum (See picture).
James MacPherson, the highland freebooter, by J. Gordon Phillips, published by Gardener in 1894. We are looking for a copy of the above book, if you have a copy please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be happy to have a copy donated or on loan, but will also consider buying a copy if the price is reasonable.
By Graham Crawford
AN Aberchirder minister spoke this week of his "great sadness" following the theft of a large brass bell from the entrance to New Marnoch Parish Church in the village's Main Street.
Members of the congregation realised the 170-year-old bell had been stolen during heavy snow last month.
It is believed that, because of its weight, the two and a half foot high bell would have required three or four people to lift it and a vehicle to take it away.
Minister Paul van Sittert told the 'Banffshire Journal' this week that it had probably been stolen just for its scrap value - "with no thought to its historical value as part of Aberchirder's heritage".
He said: "Its theft is a matter of great sadness to the church and the village. It was the bell for a United Sucession Church, built at the corner of Cornhill Road and North Street, in 1839. It became the United Presbyterian Church in 1847 and was largely rebuilt in 1893.
"At some point a group of people had worked together to raise money to build this church and buy the bell.
"The bell had lain at the entrance to Marnoch Church for many years following the amalgamation of three of the village's churches."
A native of South Africa, Rev van Sittert became minster at Marnoch in 2007. He said: "As someone from a relatively new country, it is heartwarming to see the way lovely old buildings here are kept pristine for future generations. However, there are clearly still too many people in this world who do not put the right value on things from the past."
Town historian Bob Peden said: "We had talked recently about photographing the bell's inscription for the village website, but it was going to be a problem to move because of its weight.
"If it is melted down for scrap, then a bit of valuable history will be lost for good. That would be sad, but I am still hopeful it can be recovered intact."
Grampian Police are appealing for information following the theft of the bell between December 5 and 12.
A spokesman said: "The bell is described as being approximately two and a half feet in height, and two feet wide at the mouth and had an inscription on it.
"It stood at the door to the church and would have required three or four people to lift it and a vehicle to transport it.
"Anyone with information is asked to contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous."
Shown here is a picture of the bell taken by Stan Bruce (Secretary) in 2007, if you see this bell, please contact crimestoppers immediately, this is an important piece of Aberchirder's heritage and needs to be put back in its rightful place.
The writing on the bell reads 'Thomas Mears Founder'. (See picture below).
- Marnoch Church Bell Aberchirder photographed in 2007. (STOLEN Dec 2010).
- Bell engraving - THOMAS MEARS FOUNDER.
New replacement War Memorials have been erected at Whitehills Cemetery. The £2,500 cost was met by Whitehills and District Community Council. The two granite memorials commemorate the dead of WW1 and WW2. Poppy wreaths were laid on both memorials on Remembrance Sunday. Well done to all those in Whitehills who took part in this very worthwhile project.
- WW1 War Memorial, Whitehills.
- WW2 War Memorial, Whitehills.
The refubished Battery Box and Notice Board on the Battery Green Banff were unveiled today. The new signs sponsored by www.dnv.com have been fitted and look fantastic. (For more on this story see below - 29th October 2010).
- Refurbished Banff Barometer box and notice board, Battery Green, Banff. Left to right - Stan Bruce (Secretary), Andrew Bruce (Committee), and Liam Sparke (Vice-Chair). (Photo Alistair Mason).
We have in our 2009 and 2010 newsletters mentioned that the Longman Hill War Memorial which formerly stood on the north gable wall of the village hall needed re-erected. Today we happy to say see have seen the memorial in its new location, and it looks great.
The inscription reads:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
OF THE MEN FROM THIS DISTRICT
WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES
IN THE WAR 1939 - 1945.
W.O. WILLIAM McRAE
F/SGT ALEXANDER McIVOR
L.A.C. JAMES D. McROBERT
L/CPL LEWIS THAIN
PTE JOHN WILSON
PTE GORDON JOSS
THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.
- Longmanhill War Memorial. (Photo Andrew Bruce).
BM&HA Secretary Stan Bruce today collected the barometer sign and notice board sign. Seen here is Neil Fraser handing the signs over to Stan. Neil is the station manager of DNV (Det Noske Veritas) Aberdeen www.dnv.com . DNV Aberdeen paid for the signs to be made, and we're really grateful for their support. The motto of DNV is 'Safeguarding Life, Property and the Environment' this fits perfectly with the original intention of the Fitzroy Storm Barometer. In the 1850's Vice-Admiral Fitzroy wanted to reduce the number of lives lost at sea and he declared that each port should have its own barometer, those that could not afford one got theirs free from the government, those that could afford one paid for their own. Ports such as Macduff already had one.
The notice board gives historical information regarding the barometer, the Battery Green, the Brewery, and the Coastguard.
- Neil Fraser and Stan Bruce.
- Peter Anson Sculpture
We received a letter today form the Scottish Government reporter dealing with our appeal, and we're very happy to state that we have won the appeal. The only condition is that the anchor is sited elsewhere. This we offered during the appeal process since our main aim was to erect the sculpture. This planning application should have been relatively easy, however the local councillors turned it into a bit of a battle. We will now make plans to erect the sculpture sometime in the New Year, or before if possible.
We will now fabricate the information board and prepare the text for it.
- Stanley Smart, Blacksmith and James Macpherson's sword.
A project we have been working on for a while is about to be launched, this is a replica of Jamie Macpherson the Freebooters sword.
Jamie was hanged in banff in the year 1700, and legend has it that he played Macpherson's lament on his fiddle on the gallows before offering his fiddle to the crowd. Alexander Duff Laird of Braco was present at the execution and no one in the crowd dared take the fiddle in the presence of the laird, so Macpherson broke it over his knee. legend also tells us that a reprieve was on its way for Jamie, but Braco heard of this and put the Banff Clock forward to ensure Jamies' death. The poem Macpherson's Lament was later rewritten by Rober Burns.
The photos below show our replica of James Macpherson's sword and we hope with a bit of publicity to find the original which its whereabouts is currently unknown, it was last heard of in the armoury of Duff House.
We wish to thank the following for their help with this project:
Paul Whyte of DJR Water-jetting who cut the blade.
Robert Taylor of Peterhead who turned the handle.
Stanley Smart, Blacksmith, Aberchirder who did a fantastic job putting it all together for us.
- Stanley Bruce, BHMA Secretary, and James Macpherson's Sword.
- Andrew Bruce BMHA Committee and James Macpherson's Sword.
At the Association AGM held 16th September 2010 in the Buchan Street Hall, Macduff the following changes to the committee were made.
Stanley Bruce stepped down from the chair after almost 5 years, the Association constitution only allows a maximum of a 5-year term, Rosemary Sanderson who was formerly the Vice-Chair took the chair.
Liam Sparke formerly a committee member was elected as Vice-Chair.
Stanley Bruce formerly Chair was elected as Secretary.
Jean Langham remains as Treasurer.
Roger Lewendon was re-elected to the committee.
Malcolm Smith was re-elected to the committee.
Nick Dolphin was re-elected to the committee.
New committee member elected was Andrew Bruce.
Banff Museum today was officially opened as a Community Museum by local MSP Stewart Stevenson. An agreement was signed with Aberdeenshire Council who manage the museum, Banffshire Maritime and Heritage Association, and Banff Preservation and Heritage Society in April 2010. The museum which has changed very little for the past 20 years, has now been revitalised with displays form both community associations, and an exhibition area for changing exhibitions which currently hosts a Girl Guides display. So if you haven't been to Banff Museum or haven't been for a while, get yourself down there. Visitor numbers are now double what they were at this time last year.
- Stewart Stevenson MSP and Rosemary Sanderson BM&HA Vice-chair.
- Stanley Bruce and new book - Whitehills Through the Years. (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
NEW BOOK - WHITEHILLS THROUGH THE YEARS
An Illustrated History including Boyndie, Boyne, and Ladysbridge.
On Saturday 17th July 2010 the BM&HA will officially launch the above book at the Whitehills Gala, to be held in the Playing Field, Blackpots.
The book has been written by Association chairman Stanley Bruce, and is the 3rd volume in the ‘Through the Years’ series, Macduff (2008) and Fraserburgh (June 2010) are volumes 1 and 2 respectively.
In 2009 when the idea of a Whitehills book was first discussed it was anticipated that a book of around 56-60 pages would have been sufficient, however the book grew and grew, and had to be limited to 88 pages, 50% bigger than anticipated and 12 pages bigger than the Macduff book.
We are confident that this book will be popular with locals, visitors, and families out-with the village with family links.
We would like to thank, Whitehills and District Council for supporting the first print financially via the Windfarm Community Fund and for supplying us several old photographs. Isobel Watt, Whitehills for several old photographs, vital information, and for reading over our draft. Andrew Bruce, Banff (Stanley’s son) for hep taking photographs, and George Lovie, Whitehills for a wonderful photograph of Whitehills fishermen at the ‘Auld Boat’.
The Association have gathered information for more volumes of this series. Including Banff, Portsoy, and Gardenstown, and we hope to publish these sometime in the future.
As part of this years COAST Festival of the Visual Arts, we in association with Banff Museum and Banff Preservation and Heritage Society (BP&HS), had a display downstairs in Banff Museum, on both days 10.00am to 4.00pm. The theme was Peter Anson, and BP&HS had on display five of his water-colour paintings. We displayed 13 books of which 11 were original copies of his books, 1 was Back to the Sea our publication from 2009, and last was a book about his religious life by Michael Yelton. Also on display were two of our display panels with historical information about Peter Anson and information regarding our proposed Peter Anson Memorial, which was refused planning permission earlier this week.
- Malcolm Smith looking after the Peter Anson display in Banff Museum.
- Peter Anson books and paintings, Banff Museum.
The councillors on the Banff and Buchan Area Committee today refused planning permission for erection of our Peter Anson Memorial in the Maritime Garden, Crook o' Ness St. Macduff. This was not surprising since local councillors from Banff and Macduff over the past 2 to 3 years haven't supported the majority of our projects. What's really disappointing about this rejection, is that we strictly adhered to Aberdeenshire Council's guidelines for the erection of public art, which included a public consultation, which identified the Maritime Garden as the site where the public wanted the memorial erected, and what an appropriate location it is, just a stones throw from the site of both houses where Peter Anson lived in Macduff. The Aberdeenshire Council guidelines may as well be torn up and thrown in the bin! We shall of course appeal the decision.
- Artist's impression of the memorial (Note the sculpture is a bit smaller than shown).
We were advised today by a member of the press that the proposal for the erection of our Peter Anson Memorial sculpture is on the agenda for the Banff and Buchan Area Committee meeting for the 25th May 2010, and that the planners have recommended it for approval, which is a complete turn around from their letter of 22nd April 2010 (shown below).
During the COAST Festival of Visual Arts 29th and 30th May a small display about Peter Anson, and the building of the sculpture will be on show at Banff Museum.
Malcolm Smith has loaded up a slideshow of the sculptures fabrication which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9Is4HGQVAo
On the 22nd April 2009 our Peter Anson Memorial was erected at the entrance to ACE Winches, Montbletton near Banff. The public consultation was held in the Macduff Town Hall at the end of June. The public consultation Report, project brief and plans for its erection in the Maritime Garden, Crook o' Ness Street, Macduff, etc for the planning application were submitted to Aberdeenshire Council in November 2009. The application became live in December 2009, we have now had an answer to our application from the Aberdeenshire Council planning office, and they have recommended refusal to the Banff and Buchan Area Committee. So we wait and see what the committee decides.
- The letter reads that our maritime memorial would not add to the design of the maritime garden due to a number of street furniture items, which we assume are the plant pots and bench, which have nothing maritime about them. Of course we disagree with this opinion, and are of the opinion that a sculpture with a steam drifter as its focal point would greatly add to this supposedly maritime garden. We are obviously very disappointed about this refusal, since we strictly followed the Aberdeenshire Council guidelines for the erection of public art, which they may as well now rip up and throw in the bin. The public consultation as required by the guidelines was the mechanism for choosing this site, and it seems very undemocratic that the Public Art Officer's opinion is apparently more important than that of the members of the public. In the meantime we shall wait and see what the Banff and Buchan Area Committee decides.
Two separate fires were visible at Tarlair, one adjacent to the access road, and one adjacent to the Lido. Two fire engines were attending to the broom on fire adjacent to the road, however, the broom on fire adjacent to the path from the Lido up to the 13th hole of the golf course was not accessable to the fire engines. The fires didn't appear to be a threat to the category A listed Lido.
- Broom on fire, Tarlair, 14th April 2010. (S. Bruce).
- Broom on fire, Tarlair, 14th April 2010. (S. Bruce).
- Broom on fire, Tarlair, 14th April 2010. (S. Bruce). (Also published in the Banffshire Journal 20 April 2010).
Seaway Marine of Macduff have completed a catamaran named the 'Bugofisk', this boat is for Norwegian owners and will be fishing in the Artic Circle for king crab and lobster. King crab was introduced to Russian waters to feed the starving population, howver the crabs which can grow up to 6ft in size have munched their way westward to the Norwegian coast. The Norwegain Government are now worried that the king crab is wiping out many of their indigenous species, and how far south the crabs have already spread. Some of the fishing boats in Norwegian ports such as Hammerfest (The most northernly town in the world) make a good livng fishing for king crab, many of the steel creels are big enough for a man to fit inside.
- Bugofisk, Catamaran, Macduff Harbour 13th March 2010 (S. Bruce).
Another new vessel has been added to the Banffshire fishing fleet - BF240 'Fruitful Vine' built by Macduff Shipyards. It is owned by Nicol Fishing Ltd, and she will fish out of The Broch (Fraserburgh). The boat is 21metres long and 191 GRT.
- BF240 'Fruitful Vine' 7th March 2010, Macduff Harbour. (Andrew Bruce).
1st March 1910, the original Duff House Golf Club was formally constituted to a plan by James Braid (1870 to 1950). Braid was five times Open Champion.
2010 is the centenary of the club, and to celebrate Sandy Chalmers of Banff has written a new book and Sandy the Snowman, came down to play a round, here he is at the 12th.
- Andrew Bruce (16) with his husky and Sandy the Snowman. (5th Jan 2010).
The new trawler PD17 'Favonius' sailed out of Macduff today. She was built recently by Macduff Shipyards. Presumably she's heading for a berth in Peterhead.
- PD17 'Favonius' 31 Dec 2009. (S. Bruce).
Not much of Banff Distillery at Inverboyndie can still be seen today, however up to now the sluice gates (excluding the wooden slats which have rotted away) were structurally intact. All the recent rain and flooding has however caused part of the structure to collapse. Photos show it as it is today (26th December 2009) and as it was 11th April 2006. Banff Distillery closed in 1983.
- Banff Distillery, Inverboyndie sluice gates 26th December 2009. (S. Bruce).
- Banff Distillery, Inverboyndie sluice gates 11th April 2006. (S. Bruce).
We spotted a yacht in Banff Harbour with christmas lights, and in the darkness of night Santa and his sledge landed on one of the pontoons - Merry Christmas.
Our response to Aberdeenshire Council's questions regarding the erection of our Peter Anson Sculpture at Crook o' Ness Street, Macduff were submitted to Aberdeenshire Council today.
The Hall Russell Shipbuilders exhibition officially opened at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum today. Our chairman Stanley Bruce accompanied Adam Leiper author of 'A History of Hall Russell Shipbuilders'. Stanley and Adam worked together in Hall Russell's in the 1980's. Our latest title 'Hall Russell Remembered' 2nd edition ISBN 978-1-907234-02-6 was specifically published this week to coincide with the exhibition and copies of the book can be bought in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum (Only £5.00). Nearly all of the pictures in our book are different to those in Adam's book, with only about three the same, which couldn't be avoided.
- Adam Leiper (Photo by Stanley Bruce).
- Stanley Bruce. (Photo by Adam Leiper).
- Hall Russell Remembered book cover.
In 2006 and 2007 we had a visitors corner at our exhibitions in Macduff. The visitors corner had its own theme, which was 'Hall Russell Remembered'. This display consisted of ship crests, builders plaques, ship information sheets, plans of ships etc, and from this a booklet was prepared for 2007. A limited print of 50 was run. The new book is technically the second edition, and has an additional 20 pages. The launch of the new book was timed to coincide with an exhibition on Hall Russell opening in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum 5th December 2009. ISBN 978-1-907234-02-6, price only £5.00.
The planning application for erection of our Peter Anson Memorial sculpture in the Crook o' Ness Maritime Garden, Macduff complete with 'Project Breif' and the 'Public Consultation Report' were ready for submission to Aberdeenshire Council. (It was submitted a couple of days after).
As part of Stanley Bruce's research into the history of Portsoy, he visited the Milton of Tillynaught on the 8th November 2009. Stanley took a photograph of the category 'B' listed bridge over the 'Burn of the Boyne', which was built c1800. The bridge had a huge crack on it, which had developed due to the recent heavy rainfall and flooding. Stanley e-mailed his photograph to the Banffshire Journal and on 11th November 2009 it appeared on the front page of the newspaper. A revisit to the bridge on the 14th November found that the bridge had collapsed since his last visit on the 8th November. Photographs show the bridge with the crack (8th Nov) and the collapsed bridge (14th Nov).
- Milton of Tillynaught Bridge 8th November 2009. (S. Bruce).
- Milton of Tillynaught collapsed bridge 14th November 2009. (S. Bruce).
A 28 year old Philipino crew member of the Banff registered BF500 'Osprey III' was lost overboard last night, 5 miles off Macduff. He is reported as not wearing a lifejacket, and this tragedy has raised the question once again - should all fishermen wear lifejackets?
- BF500 'Osprey III'.
- Stanley Bruce with the 2010 Bard of Banff Calendar. (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
Our 2010 'Bard of Banff' Calendar is now on sale. This is the third year of what has been a very successful and popular calendar. We have had very nice e-mails commenting on the 2008 and 2009 calendars from people all over the world, especially Australia, and America who have recieved a copy from their relatives at Christmas.
This years calendar features views of Banff, Macduff, Whitehills and Portsoy.
If you'd like to buy a copy please contact us at email@example.com price only £5.00. Copies also available at Chapter and Verse, Low Street, Banff, and J.J. Porterfield, Duff Street, Macduff.
- Stanley Bruce with the new book 'Coming Hame'. (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
Our 2009 poetry anthology titled 'Coming Hame' sub-titled 'A Burns and Homecoming Celebration' will be collected from the printers today, and officially for sale on Tuesday 20th October. ISBN 978-1-907234-01-9 price £5.00, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to buy a copy.
Our first ever annual outing was held. We visited Fochabers Museum and Heritage Centre, and had tea in the Station Hotel Portsoy. Fochabers Museum is packed with artefacts many of which we were allowed to photograph for use in Rosemary's new book 'A Woman's Place'. We also discussed another new publication volume 3 of Along the Coast series from Burghead to Portknockie. This book when publisjed in the Spring of 2010 will be on sale in Fochabers.
- Fochabers 27th Sept 2007. (Photo by Roger Lewendon).
- Fochabers Museum and Heritage Centre 27th Sept 2009.
The digital files for our 2009 poetry anthology titled 'Coming Hame' was given to the printer. We expect to receive the proof by 30th September and the book to be printed about a week to ten days after. The new book will be on sale for £5.00 or £6.00 (still to be finalised) and if you'd like to order a copy contact us at email@example.com
- Coming Hame book cover.
The digital file for our 2010 calendar was given to the printer, we expect a proof within one week, and printing about a week after. The calendar will be on sale for £5.00 and if you'd like to order a copy contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bard of Banff 2010 Calendar.
Our 2009 Newsletter titled NAUTICAL NEWS was published, it consists of 32 pages, and can be viewed on www.banffshiremaritme.org.uk
Committee members were re-elected:
Chairman - Stanley Bruce.
Vice Chair - Rosemary Sanderson.
Treasurer - Jean Langhan.
Secretary - jointly Stanley Bruce and Rosemary Sanderson.
Committee - Liam Sparke.
Committee - Nick Dolphin.
Committee - Roger Lewendon.
Committee - Malcolm Smith.
A further committee member wasn't at the meeting, and was re-elected subject to her consent.
Renata Edge who kindly gave us two pictures for our Peter Anson book titled 'Back to the Sea', sent in some close up photo's of Peter's final resting place at Nunraw Abbey, East Lothian.
- Cross on Peter Anson's grave. (Renata Edge).
- Final resting place of Peter Anson and other monks. (Renata Edge).
The Banffshire Maritime and Heritage Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Monday 7th September 2009 at Macduff Town Hall, all welcome.
Work started on the demolition of the Mill at Portsoy about a week ago, and it won't be long before it's gone. But when was it actually built? In 1862 John Allan was the owner of the Mill, but who built it and when? If you know the answer or anything else interesting about the mill, please get in touch email@example.com
- Demolition of Portsoy Mill 8th August 2009. (S. Bruce).
Between 26th and 28th June approximately 200 people visited the exhibition / consultation. At the exhibition / consultation a questionnaire was available for anyone to complete, and on display were artists’ impressions of how the sculpture would look at each proposed site.
From the questionnaires which were completed the following feedback was provided by the public:
- Do you think we should erect the sculpture in Macduff?
YES 100% NO 0%
If you chose YES:
2) Please tick the box of the site which you think is best:
- To the east of the petrol station, Union Road 20%
- Maritime Garden, Crook o’ Ness Street 45%
- Near the Harbour Café. 5%
- Piece of ground adjacent to the Waterfront Hotel, Union Road. 5%
- At the east side of Banff Bridge. 15%
- On a roundabout to be constructed in the new Industrial Estate. 0%
- At the A947 entrance to Macduff adjacent to the cemetery wall 0%
- I have no preference – anywhere as long as it is erected. 10%
- Anywhere else (Add below)
Other comments made by the public:
It would give a point to the “Maritime Garden” name of the garden, and balance the fountain on the opposite side.
Maritime Garden – A fitting setting being near the harbour.
Congratulations on your concept and execution of this wonderful project.
Peter Anson sculpture is a good idea.
Once we have finalised the report on behalf of the BM&HA we will send it to Aberdeenshire Council for comment, once we have received any comments - we will then submit a Planning Application.
- Maritime Garden, Crook o' Ness St, Macduff. (Artist's impression by Margaret MacKenzie).
The new Banff registered trawler BF12 Ellorah is seen here in Macduff Harbour completed.
- BF12 Ellorah Macduff Harbour 11th July 2009.
Banff registered fishing boat BF4 is seen in Macduff Harbour, virtually complete.
- BF4 Macduff Harbour 11th July 2009.
- Canoeist - Mark Bragg.
At 01:00 hours on the 11th July 2009 canoeist Mark Bragg landed his canoe at Berwick-Upon-Tweed after a rough end to his 21 day journey. Congratulations to Mark on his completion of a great feat! Mark's original thought's on this trip is that it would take about a month, so to do it in three weeks is a fantastic achievement!
Mark Bragg of Aberdeen, a work collegue of Association Chairman Stanley Bruce, left Workington on the Scottish / English border with his canoe 16 days ago. Stanley and his son Andrew Bruce caught up with Mark in Macduff. Mark left Workington on the 20th June, and has made remarkable progress canoeing up the West Coast and along the Moray Firth. Mark said "It's very lonely, and I'm very happy to see you, it's been a good day today". Mark had paddled from his overnight stop just west of Spey Bay, with a stop at Portsoy, with a charge-up of his mobile phone at the pub before making it to Macduff. After a bite to eat at the local Chinese takeaway Mark paddled off into the sunset heading for Gardenstown where he intends to make camp for the night on the beach at the west end of the village. He said he then hopes to make it to Cruden Bay the day after. Mark has had the best of the weather over the past 16 days and made fantastic progress, looking at the map he's well past the halfway mark, near 2/3rds and I'd guess within a week, he'll have done it! Will this one be in the Guinness book of records?
Interested in his progress then follow this link: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110010142729126523576.00046c8f8fc15e5f9dd69&ll=56.644147,-4.108887&spn=3.422116,2.585392&t=h&source=embed
- Mark Bragg canoeing into Macduff Harbour 4th July 2009. (Andrew Bruce).
- Mark Bragg and his canoe in Macduff Harbour 4th July 2009. (Stanley Bruce).
- Mark Bragg paddling into Macduff Harbour 4th July 2009. (Stanley Bruce).
- Mark Bragg gorging his Chinese take-away, Macduff Harbour 4th July 2009. (Stanley Bruce).
Our newest title 'Back to the Sea' which celebrates the life of Peter Anson in the north east of Scotland is officially launched today. The book was written jointly by Stanley Bruce (Association Chairman) and Tina Harris (Committee Member). Peter loved Scotland and in particular Macduff, it was a very special place to Peter, with fond memories. This book will be greatly received by those who knew Peter, and it will bring him into the lives of those who didn't. ISBN 978-1-907234-00-2, price £6.00. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to buy a copy. The sculpture in the photograph is dedicated to Peter Anson and from the 26th to 28th June you can let us know where you'd like to see it sited in Macduff, all you need to do is visit us in Macduff Town Hall, and fill in a short form.
- Stanley Bruce with the Association's latest tile 'Back to the Sea' next to the Peter Anson Sculpture. (Photograph by Andrew Bruce).
- Co-authors Tina Harris and Stan Bruce 28th June 2009. (Photo by Jaquie Killkerr).
The Association's 2009 exhibition in Macduff Town Hall was the venue for our 2009 Painting and Poetry competition prize-giving. The prizes were presented by Dr Eilidh Whiteford who lives in Macduff. Eilidh was the ideal choice for our prize-giving since she lives locally and has a first class honours degree in English and Scottish literature from Glasgow University. Eilidh also helped us with the judging of the poetry entries.
- 2009 Painting and Poetry competition prize-giving. Left to right - Kyle Finnie, Stanley Bruce (Chairman), Chloe Skinner, Charles Geddes, Chloe Cowie, Lindsay Ross, Jean Mortimer, and giving-out the prizes Eilidh Whiteford. (Photograph by Andrew Bruce).
A brand new fishing vessel to the Macduff fleet was seen in Macduff harbour - the Banff registered BF800 Reliance II. A fine looking addition to the fleet!
- BF800 Reliance II (Macduff Harbour 13 June 2009).
A Filipino crew member of the Fraserburgh registered FR29 Ajax died in the early hours of the 8th June while attempting to board the 35 foot long trawler. The man referred to as Sergio is said to have fallen into the harbour, he was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary but died later.
- FR29 Ajax (Fraserburgh Harbour June 2009).
The Banff registered BF61 Transcend fishing trawler ran into difficulties on Wednesday night 3rd June 2009 while 100 miles off Shetland. The alarm was raised at 22.00 hours, after the five man crew had made attempts to save the boat but failed. All of the crew were rescued, with no loss of life. The boat was skippered by Neil Robertson and the Engineer is Ian Rigby.
- Banff registered trawler - BF61 Transcend, sank 3rd June 2009. (Shown here in Macduff Harbour).
Today we have reached a milestone in the future of the BM&HA, we have received a letter from OSCR 'The Office of the Scottish Charity Register' dated 18th May 2009. The letter states that we meet the charity test, and it gives notice of our charitable status, stating that we are now officially a 'Registered Charity'. The letter also gives our registered charity number as SC040505.
- General Patrick Gordon's cairn, near Ellon. (Photo by S. Bruce).
On Radio Scotland this morning they talked about General Patrick Gordon who was born in Scotland but became a hero in Russia. His diaries are one of Russia's greatest historical finds. They also stated that there is nothing in Ellon or Auchleuchries in memory of him, however this is untrue, there is a large cairn approx 8 feet high sited north of Ellon. See photograph. Sadly the cairn is unmarked and it would be great if a path and an information board could be erected beside it as a result of his diary 'volume I' now being published this year.
This is my notes from a publication I'm working on about the history of Buchan:
Gordon, General Patrick (1635 to 1699).
- Patrick Gordon was born in Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire. He was educated at the parish schools of Cruden and Ellon. At the age of fifteen he left Scotland and enrolled at the ‘Jesuit College’ in Braunsberg, Prussia. He didn’t like the school and decided to leave and head back to Scotland; however he never made it back to Scotland instead enrolling in the Swedish Army (1655). He spent the next ten years fighting for the Swedes, the Polish, and then the Russians. In 1678 the Russian army appointed him as major-general. In 1683 he was promoted to lieutenant-general, and in 1689 he was promoted to General. He gained great respect and friendship from the ‘Tsar Peter I’ and later became ‘General-in-chief’ of the Russian army, he died with the Tsar ‘Peter the Great’ at his bedside in Russia in 1699. Gordon kept diaries during his life and there was eight volumes but two covering the years 1667 to 1676 and 1678 to 1683 have been lost, leaving six volumes which are deemed a ‘particularly outstanding source’. The six remaining volumes are of great historical importance to Russia and are kept in a museum in Moscow. General Patrick Gordon’s unmarked memorial cairn which is about eight feet high can be found ½ mile from the ‘Halfway House’ just off the A952 heading west, it sits on the top of a dyke separating two fields. Grid ref NK009360.
Sitting on the quay at Macduff Harbour we spotted the newly built small ambulance boat named 'Good Hope' destined for Monkey Bay in central Malawi, which is located on the shore of Lake Nyasa. The boat was constructed out of aluminium by Macduff Shipyards, and paid for by the Raven Trust a Christian Charity based in Argyll Scotland. The new boat replaces an old lifeboat which is long past its best. On the side of the boat stencilling reads ‘D.G. M. H. Marine Ambulance’, which stands for DGM Hospital in Livingstonia, Malawi. The boat is to be partly dismantled and shipped to Malawi in a container. This boat is not Macduff’s only connection with Malawi, Elizabeth Mantell (1941 to 1998) born in Africa but who lived in Macduff for a while before becoming a missionary nurse in Malawi is remembered in the stained glass windows of Macduff Parish Church which were erected in 2000.
- Malawi ambulance boat 'Good Hope', (Macduff Harbour 2nd May 2009).
The boundary wall at the Tarlair Lido has suffered once again, another panel has been vandalised on the south wall. A further panel of the western wall has also been broken. (See earlier photos below 8th April and 28th April 2009).
The second photo below taken in 2007 shows the intact south boundary wall and the gate which has recently disappeared.
- Tarlair Lido damaged boundary wall 2nd May 2009.
- Tarlair Lido 2007.
- BF240 Hull of the Fruitful Vine. (Macduff Harbour 2nd May 2009).
The newest boat hull to take a berth in Macduff Harbour is that of the Banff registered Fruitful Vine (BF240). This new steel hulled boat built by a sub-contractor in England will replace the existing wooden hulled boat of the same name which was the last boat built by J. & G. Forbes of Sandhaven in 1989.
The Bodie Fountain which was taken down from its site in Duff Street by monumental masons in Aberdeen, has now been cleaned up and re-erected at the recently declared Maritime Garden, Crook o' Ness Street, Macduff.
The fountain was originally erected at Macduff Harbour by Dr. Walford Bodie and his wife in 1910 in remembrance of their daughter Jeannie who died at the very young age of eighteen in 1909.
Due to harbour improvements the fountain was moved c1938 to a second location still at the harbour opposite the Market Arms. In 1965 it was moved for a third time to Duff Street. Crook o' Ness Street is the fountain's fourth site in the town and £15,000 was spent cleaning it up and moving it from Duff Street to this site. The fountain is category C(S) listed by Historic Scotland.
The boundary wall has recently been painted which has brightened up the shaded corner tremendously, however the road signs still spoil the view, and if these could be altered in some way the transformation of this once unsightly corner would be complete.
The only downside of this project is that the moving of the fountain from Duff Street has left a rather empty hole in Duff Street.
- Bodie Fountain, Crook o' Ness St, Macduff, 29th April 2009.
- Damaged boundary wall at Tarlair Lido 29th April 2009.
- Tarlair Lido entrance with missing gate 29th April 2009.
The boundary wall at the grade 'A' listed Tarlair Lido has once again suffered more damage. This is the third time in the past weeks that vandalism has occured at the Lido. We gave a photograph to the Banffshire Journal showing earlier vandalism (see below), and they published it in the paper (22nd April edition); however this hasn't deterred the vandals who have been back to break some more panels. These have been broken between the 26th April Sunday evening and the 28th April Tuesday evening. It raises the question is it really worth spending £1,000's on restoration at such a remote location which over the years has been subject to regular spates of vandalism? And it's not only the vandalism which is affecting the Lido, Mother Nature has played a major part in the deterioration of the site over the past year, some areas of the pool wall are in a terrible condition. There used to be a gate at the entrance to the site but it has been stolen, and even one of the signposts has been taken down, stolen for scrap?
See 8th April 2009 below.
Kevin West (43) skipper of the Fraserburgh registered trawler FR307 'Ryanwood' was reported missing at sea on Sunday afternoon when he fell overboard in the North Sea off Rattray Head, Aberdeenshire. Fraserburgh lifeboat was called-out as the fishing boat crew frantically searched the sea. A helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and several other boats in the vicinity also came to assit, but Kevin couln't be found. Kevin appeared in the recent BBC Trawlermen series.
For a photograph of Fraserburgh lifeboat and a rescue helicopter see http://www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php?id=145
- Fishing Trawler FR307 'Ryanwood' (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
The Peter Anson Sculpture has been temporarily erected at the entrance to ACE Winches near Banff on the A947 Banff to Turriff road, and boy does it look ACE! (Please note the bars at the base won't be seen when it's cemented in place; also the design of the base has been modified from the artist impression because due to having extra bars forming the net there was no access to get underneath to clean out any rubbish which may get blown in there, so the net has been raised).
- Peter Anson Sculpture 22 April 2009.
- Banff Museum and Library, High Street, Banff.
The Banffshire Maritime & Heritage Association and the Banff Preservation & Heritage Society have agreed to form a Working Steering Group to put forward more detailed proposals regarding the future use of Banff Museum. In December 2008 J&J Associates put forward a proposal to Aberdeenshire Council regarding concerns over the future of Banff Museum should Banff Library be relocated elsewhere. The new Steering Group will discuss and prepare a more detailed proposal outlining possible use of the building in the future. It is hoped that the new group will provide a recipe to bring new life to the museum. The Museum of the Banff Institution for Science, Literature and the Arts was founded in 1828, and is the oldest museum in Scotland, the museum was first located in the school building at 9 Old Market Place. It was relocated with the school to Institution Terrace in 1838. In 1902 it was relocated again to a purpose built building in High Street, which was partly funded by Scotsman Andrew Carnegie (The richest man in the world) and has stood on High Street ever since.
At around 2.30pm a net box containing trawler nets located at the east end of Macduff Harbour near Macduff Aquarium caught fire. The flames were 20 feet high and the box and its contents were completely destroyed. A tender from the Macduff Fire Station attended the scene, extinguished the blaze, and made the site safe, but it was too late to save the fishing nets. Local fishermen typically use these type of boxes (crates) to store their expensive fishing nets which cost thousands of pounds. Once the blaze was completely extinguished it could be seen that at least four net boxes were destroyed, and the adjacent building was also damaged making the cost of the blaze tens of thousands of pounds. (A. Bruce).
- Net boxes on fire at Macduff Harbour 13 April 2009. (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
- Burned out fishing net boxes Macduff Harbour 13 April 2009. (S. Bruce)
The boundary wall of the category 'A' listed Tarlair Lido, has suffered badly from vandalism attacks. Damage to the wall was first noticed on the 29th March, and reported to the Banffshire Journal, however it couldn't be confirmed if it was actually vandalised or had just fallen down during bad weather. However on the 8th April further damage was evident and it is clear that it was in fact vandalised. Pictures show the damage found on the 28th March and on the 8th April. On the 8th April it could be seen that a further three concrete slabs have been broken.
- Tarlair - Damage seen 8th April 2009. (S. Bruce).
- Tarlair - Damage seen 28th March 2009. (S. Bruce).
The Peter Anson Sculpture returned from the galvanisers in Elgin. The silver galvanising looks really great. Unfortunately we have a small problem, some of the finishing brackets on the base weren't welded prior to be sent away, so a little bit of rework is needed. It is important that these are fully welded to prevent them rusting in the future. Luckily we have plenty time before it's erection; the public consultation is pencilled in for the 26th to 28th June in Macduff Town Hall, so we have plenty time to get it fixed before then.
- Peter Anson Memorial Sculpture. (S. Bruce).
- Liam Sparke's Nautical Knot Board. (S. Bruce).
Ex fisherman and committee member of the BM&HA Liam Sparke donated his 'Nautical Knot Board' to the Banff Boy Scouts. The large Knot board will be an asset to the Scouts, books are all well and good, but there's nothing like seeing the real thing. This knot board made it into the news 2nd June 2007 in a Press and Journal article (See our 'BM&HA In The News' section). Liam Sparke has also agreed to teach the youngsters how to tie the nautical knots, and will be giving a lesson every week for a while.
Stan Bruce and Malcolm Smith added 12 steel triangular brackets to strengthen the base of the sculpture (Provided by A&B Welding Services, Aberdeen). 3 further steel rods were also added to the bottom for securing into the concrete. The sculpture is now basically complete, and will be heading off to the galvanisers in Elgin on Monday 30th March, the next time we see it - hopefully the end of next week it will be all silver and shiney.
For more info on the sculpture and Peter Anson http://www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php?id=138
- Base brackets and a silver darling. (S. Bruce).
- Stan with the grinder (Photo by Malcolm Smith).
The newest Banff registered fishing boat BF515 Endeavour IV returns from being painted in Peterhead and berths in Macduff Harbour.
- BF515 Endeavour IV, berthed in Macduff 28 March 2009. (Photo by Andrew Bruce).
Stan Bruce and Malcolm Smith put the finishing pieces on the Peter Anson Sculpture. This included fitting the rest of the herrings, fitting the base, and fitting the cap to the net; and finally the steam drfiter on top. There still is a little bit of welding do do - otherwise it's finished. This week in the Fraserburgh Herald in the 'Ten Years Ago' section it tells of the net sculpture being erected in Fraserburgh in 1999 at a cost of £45,000, which would be circa £70,000 to £75,000 in todays money. Alike the £150,000 RNLI sculpture commissioned recently it is clear that these items are very expensive, however thanks to the local companies who donated the parts and time, we have so far built this sculpture at no cost, showing what can be acheived with the support of the local community, and it is thanks to them that we have got this far. The finished sculpture will be fully galvanised and will be silver in colour. The third picture down from here is the Fraserburgh Net.
- Peter Anson Sculpture fabrication 21 March 2009. (S. Bruce).
- Peter Anson Sculpture fabrication 21 March 2009. (S. Bruce).
- The Net, Fraserburgh, erected in 1999 (Cost £45,000) - (S. Bruce).
- Stan Bruce and the Sculpture 21 March 2009 (Photo by Malcolm Smith).
The newest Banff registered fishing boat BF515 'Endeavour IV' nears completion. Pictured here in Peterhead Harbour.
- BF515 Endeavour IV, 18 March 2009 Peterhead Harbour. (S. Bruce).
Below is a photograph of the net fully welded. During the nightshift of Sunday night a welder at ACE Winches, Banff, welded all the rods together for us. So a big thanks to ACE Winches for that.
- Peter Anson Sculpture fabrication 16 March 2009. (S. Bruce).
14th March 2009 - Peter Anson Sculpture Week 4 - The Peter Anson Sculpture suffered a set-back this week when a forklift driver reversed into it and damaged it. Several of the tack welds burst and one of the main side bars had to be replaced. There now seems to be a bit of a bend to the net, however it gives it a bit more character.
Stan and Malcolm then finished off the third side of the net. Four more fish have been requested, and one of these will have 'Stella Maris' cut in it. Once the horizontal and vertical bars forming the net have all been welded together the fish can then be placed inside. All that needs to be done after that is to add the tubes and bar to the base for attachment inside the concrete base, and place on top the steam drifter. A dip in the galvanising tank will then finish it.
- Peter Anson Sculpture fabrication 14 March 2009. (S. Bruce).
- Peter Anson Sculpture fabrication 14 March 2009. (S. Bruce).
Work continues on the sculpture - Stanley Bruce and Malcolm Smith made good progress - the two sides of the net are now complete, and the fish inside the net have been welded to their pole. Duncan Brown photographer for the Press and Journal came down and took a photograph, so there should be a piece in the Press and Journal this coming week. We have six fish in the net, but there is space for another two, so we will endeavour to get another two cut.
And the sculpture has inspired our Nick to be poetic:
The sculpture's standing on the Bray,
'Cos Stanley's out there everyday,
Welding, scraping come what may,
And he's doing it for love, not pay.
For more information on this sculpture see http://www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php?id=138
- Peter Anson Sculpture week 3 (Note the fish in the net).
- Malcolm Smith with the steel steam drifter. (S. Bruce).
- Malcolm and Stan doing a trial fit of the drifter. (Photo by T. Harris).
- Sculptor Sam Holland with the model of the memorial garden sculpture to be constructed at the RNLI headquarters Poole. Photo credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams.
RNLI have commissioned a new memorial sculpture for their head office in Poole, this sculpture is dedicated to all of the RNLI men who have died in service. The sculpture is to be made by Sam Holland and its estimated cost is said to be £150,000. Macduff man Mr James Mcdonald is included in those who will be commemorated.
28th February 2009 - Work continues on the Peter Anson Sculpture - the vertical rods are completed on side one and on side two, and the fitting of the horizontal rods has started on side one. Looks like another two Saturday mornings will be needed to finish it.
- Peter Anson Sculpture - Week 2. (S. Bruce).
- Drifter for the top of the sculpture. (S. Bruce).
The fishing boat 'Endeavour IV' gets towed out of Macduff Harbour by the tug 'Intrepid' it is believed she is heading for the dry-dock in Peterhead. (Photographs by Andrew Bruce (15) taken from across the bay in Banff Harbour).
- BF515 'Endeavour IV' on tow at Macduff Harbour (Andrew Bruce).
- BF515 'Endeavour IV' on tow at Macduff Harbour (Andrew Bruce)
ACE Winches, Banff provided use of their fabrication workshop and an employee, and fabrication of the Peter Anson Sculpture commenced. The work was done on Saturday morning and it is expected that it will take another two or three Saturday mornings to complete the work.
- Peter Anson Sculpture - early stages. For more information on this sculpture see www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php
A new fishing boat hull is towed into Macduff Harbour by the tugboat 'Intrepid'. The hull was built by Richard's of Great Yarmouth under a contract from Macduff Shipyards. This fishing boat is the Banff registered BF12 'Ellorah'. The hull was towed into the entrance channel of Macduff Harbour and handed over to the 'Sea Helper' Macduff Harbour pilot boat which towed her to her berth, where her wheelhouse is lying waiting for fitting by Macduff Shipyards. The new boat is 18.95m long with a 7m beam.
- Tug 'Intrepid' towing BF12 'Ellorah' into Macduff Harbour (15th Feb 2009).
- The 'Sea Helper' towing BF12 'Ellorah' in Macduff Harbour (15th February 2009).