New Images from New Aberdour, including the chapel where the Baird Aisle is located were recently uncovered by local Archaeologist, Corrine Cox.
According to Bob Watson, local resident and former Council member:
" ..while the auld St. Drostan Church looks much the same as it is now, but I suspect that the Baird stones in the Baird Aisle would have been legible at the time that photo was taken." - Bob Watson
He further noted that photographer, William Norrie, was a famous photographer based in Fraserburgh. Norrie was active from 1880 to 1920 in Fraserburgh and his work can be seen in the several galleries in Scotland. We are fortunate to have this image of a young boy juxtaposed in the ancient graveyard showing the progression of life and time set in rural Scotland.
In a different image, Cox uncovered an early photograph of the Rob Roy Concert. This image mostly like predates radio and television. In the center, we see the main actor as Rob Roy. It is amazing that this small village in Scotland boasted such talent. We see musicians and bagpipers not to mention costume design and acting. It boasts that this small corner of Scotland both held and affection for Highland stories as well as a flair for the dramatic.
The Commerical (Dower) Hotel in 1950
Watson also remembered
"The 1950s photo of the Commercial Hotel is the one I remember well. Notice that it was wet harled and whitewashed, with a door at the cable end which led into the bar (men only). My father was born in 1909 (my paternal grandfather was born in 1876). They would have been familiar with the vista shown in the photograph of the Post Office. That eventually reverted to being a house, but next door shown where the solitary woman is standing was opened (not sure when) as a shop selling groceries, homemade ice cream and liquor (an off licence). I knew it as Fraser’s Shop (Tom Fraser). When I was a boy there was Fraser‘s shop as described, Grant Gauld’s grocery shop, auld Grant Gauld’s clothing shop, Stewart’s grocery shop, Charlie Leslie’s grocery shop (the only shop now remaining, but set to close on the 30ᵗʰ September), Burnett’s Bakery, Kennedy the Butcher, a Police Station, Bank, Post Office and Watt the shoemaker who had the property now incorrectly named as ‘Cobbler’s Cottage’ in Elphin Street, when it should have been correctly named in Scots as ‘Soutar Cottage’; and of course we had the hotel and a school, not forgetting the church now in danger of closing, and another church which I believe was Episcopalian which was situated next to the Commercial Hotel, but demolished and the stone used to by a Carnegie to build the new Dundarg Castle in 1901."
Another early view of New Aberdour. Note that horse carrying individuals and the post office.
That was Grant Gauld’s grocery shop. Across the road was Grant Gauld’s father’s shop (auld Grant Gauld) where you could buy shirts (sarks), socks, all types of underwear, and other forms of clothing such as jackets, trousers etc. I can’t remember seeing female clothing, but perhaps that was kept discretely hidden.