Memories come floodin back o lost Aiberdeen - February 14, 2005
Author(s): Robbie Shepherd
Copyright holder(s): Robbie Shepherd
Syne ma thochts switch tae ma early days o wark in a CA's office an the wikkly tryst doon tae the Green for a news wi Wull an Peggy Smith on a Friday, the Penny's, Jimmy Smith an mony mair stallholders - my kyn o fowk, kintra fowk sellin eggs, tatties, flooers, cheese, fresh produce o aa kyns.
I'll sweer sic memories will come floodin back tae lots o you an aa gin ye lay yer hauns on a gran beuk - Lost Aberdeen, Aberdeen's Lost Architectural Heritage, by Diane Morgan.
Shame on me that I'm jist catchin up noo on beuks I got aroon Christmas time bit, losh, es beuk will keep an be pickit up time an time again.
I HAE lang been an admirer o Diane as an aathority on oor heritage, a meticulous researcher inta Aiberdeen in bygone days, an on her ability tae pit it doon in print in sic detail bit still mak it maist readable.
I hae scriev't in es column afore on her warks in her Villages o Aiberdeen series wi sic like as Mounthooly an Fittie, but here the emphasis is on an Aiberdeen we'll nae see again, concentratin mainly on the city centre, rivven tae bits ower the eers.
A lot o demolition in the late 19th century an inta the 1930s wis cairriet oot as slum clearance, road widenin an commercial development, wi a misguidit philosophy files that "if it's aul, ding it doon".
Ere's nae denyin fit side her hairt lies an she follas on the laments o Fenton Wyness, a man afore's time in maitters o conservation, fa died in 1974.
He wrote, in 1971, that the cheenges in some areas were ayont belief, wi the demolition o the Guestrow and Gallowgate a major disaster.
Weel-a-wyte, bit it's nae for me tae discuss the richts an wrangs here. Let me jist guide ye tae Lost Aberdeen, 200 pages an mair linkin sae weel aul photos an sketches tae the skeely pen o the aathor.
STORIES come loupin oot at ye as weel, like the Puffin Briggie. Fin the railway wis biggit at the back eyn o the 19th century, the brig wis made in the Denburn an fin trains passed in aneth, loons eest tae pit their bonnets doon on the slats tae see foo heich the stame wid lift them.
At briggie wis lost fin the Trinity Centre wis under construction in 1982, an fit hae we noo? As Diane says: "The right of way to the Green now runs through the middle of a dismal multi-storey car park." Tak Exchequer Row neist an Burnett's Close, named efter Robert Burnett, o Elrick. Fin his hoose wis knockit doon at the start o the 20th century, they discover't a secret passage rinnin fae the cellar tae the shore - a century or twa afore, smugglin hid been the name o the game. An tae think the Inspector o Taxes hid offices on Exchequer Row in my days as an accountant.
Far cwid I tak ye till neist? Ach, far ower mony lost placies - tint for aa time - tae news ower the day, although I see Diane dis tak in a veesit tae the Green as I did a 50 eer syne.
Sadly, it's nae the same place noo, bit the echoes remain.
Shop names will nae doubt spark aff mair memories. Names that shone oot abeen the doors - like Argo's in George Street, far I bocht ma first suit, an Neil & Co, in Queen Street, far I bocht ma first moothie.
Lost City? Ah, bit foo muckle shid still o been staunnin? Judge for yersel, bit hae the beuk by ye for ready reminders.
NOO, up tae date tae feenish, comparing the aul wye o shoppin till the new. His the warl o shoppers gane clean gyte? Weel, a new Ikea store doon sooth hid tae steek the doors wi the thoosans queuing for opening-day bargains, an here in Aiberdeen the same happen't on Big W closing doon. Bring back the Green an the Co-opie in the Gallagate.
Lost Aberdeen: Aberdeen's Lost Architectural Heritage, is published by Birlinn at £ 16.99.
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Memories come floodin back o lost Aiberdeen - February 14, 2005. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1029.
"Memories come floodin back o lost Aiberdeen - February 14, 2005." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1029.
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