The lost house

The pictures and comments shown below are based on what members loaded into the Portsoy Past and Present FaceBook group on, and shortly after, 29 January 2013.  The names of the contributors have not been added but it might be better if they were.

It is called the lost house because it was demolished a few decades ago.  Sadly it is no longer standing.  Nobody seems to know now what it was.  Possibly a merchant’s house as it’s next to the harbour.  Some people think it might have been an Inn.

Great to see the train!  My mother in law remembers as a child being put on the train from Aberdeen to visit aunties in Portsoy.  What a shame you can’t do that any more.

I gave mum this picture at Christmas time, thought it was lovely.

What a wonderful photograph, so historic and, being the daughter of a builder, I love the architecture, thanks for sharing I do like the arched walkway, which I cannot find anywhere else in Portsoy let alone for the 17th Century.

Feels Mediterranean! … Costa Del Soy.

I wonder if owners who now have this land as a garden might fancy selling some land?

What an asset this would have been to the town had it been preserved. Many people objected to the demolition I believe but I’m sure to others it became an eyesore and a danger in the end. I see the circus was in town!

Yes I saw that, so that building was uninhabited, as was the one next door. Maybe the wifie cleaned her fish in it, I see her basket there.

Yes, the fish wife has put down her load for now. Doesn’t this photo make you wonder though. Was she about to set off up country to sell her husband’s catch or had she just made her weary way home. No doubt she is related to folk who stay in Portsoy today – if only we had a name.

Pretty sure the McGregors were the last people in there as James McGregor, my cousin’s granddad, was born in that house.

I can tell you the fisher wifie would not use a basket like that to sell her fish.  It would be shaped to lay flat against her back.  The name of it escapes me now.  So I think she was ready to go to the harbour to meet the boaties comin` in wi ` their catch, so that she could buy some fish.

Oh ! on a second look, she has a load on her back, it blended in with the building, it looks heavy she is on her way to sell.!!

1/4 cran herring basket …

So, does that mean that she would be carrying up to 60 lbs fish at the start of the journey. Salted herring?

I remember somebody saying long ago that folk bade in the whitewashed bit. You can see it’s the only window with glass. There wouldn’t have been many luxuries there though. It’s a really clear photo isn’t it? The paintings of this house are nice to see, but obviously prettied up a bit by the artist.

You would think that someone would have taken a photo of the train coming into or away from the harbour at one time. Did the train reverse down to the harbour do you know?

I thought that the train ended at what is now Ian Bright’s house, behind the Shore Inn.

Artistic licence maybe?

I believe it came right on to the quay. Now, there’s a question. Unless there was a turntable, and I don’t think there was, I’m thinking the train must have gone down and back up without turning.

I didn’t think there would have been room for a turntable either so I thought at first two engines but then they wouldn’t have one sitting idle. Nae enough siller for that!

The most common thing at the harbour was 1/4 cran baskets.  Very handy for washing and carrying boats stores.  When new, a boat would carry at least 20.  Had several in the house in the garret.  Yes old Bodie knew that there had been photos taken, but taken by the ‘Gentry’ so they never filtered down to the non camera carrying fisher population.

Surprised that Anderson the photographer had not taken a few snaps, although the harbour line had closed I was told the train still ran to Low Street for a time …   Some where in the midst of my crazy filing system there is regulations for the harbour line, also the names of the two engines …

The photographer Anderson was my Bryan Angus’s (my other half) great great grandfather, so I can have a rummage for train photos although I don’t think the family have a lot.  There’s some story about a lot of the glass plates for the photos being found made into a greenhouse at some point. I wondered if that story was true.

I was told someone was looking for glass for a greenhouse and a lady said she had plenty. In the middle of cleaning the plates the penny dropped …

There were two engines then – amazing …

It’s a shame there appear to be no photos at all of activities on the train line going down to the harbour.

A photo of a steam train on Shorehead would be really something.

Brodie the Banff photographer told me if I found a photo I would be in the money.  The old man tried his whole life to unearth one…

James Slater’s Books refer to the Fisher Ladies as “Cadgers”

more to follow …


3 Responses to The lost house


  2. lynn marshall

    My great grandmother Christina Anderson Milne Duncan ran the Shore Inn. Can anyone give me a fuller history of it?

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