Note from Colin Murray – evening of 25 March 2012. (The photo of the railway station (now the Scout Hut) was the first one to be posted on the FaceBook page.)


Portsoy Railway Station

Ach, why not?  I eventually  said to myself after I was cajoled once more by Raymond Hadden (more commonly known as Yogi Hughes) to set up a Portsoy Facebook page. Allan Robertson suggested ‘Portsoy Past & Present’, no doubt recalling the name of the late James Slater’s book, and I thought – ‘that will do for me’ , and with little more than a handful of right clicks of a mouse the ‘Portsoy Past & Present was birthed.

Barely four hours later with 124 page members joined I received a nigh prophetic message from Allan with these now immortal words ‘Aye Col, you have created a monster!’

Folks jumped on board at a rate of nearly 100 a day as everything was discussed from one legged Annie Hochie to the prefabs that were thrown up for no more than 20 years after the 2nd World War. The page has unearthed some amazing characters like Johnny Simpson a sprightly octogenarian who is a walking reference book of local history and fascinating anecdotes – and his young namesake Scott who regularly posts some stunning photos before we devour our corn flakes in the morning.

With nearly 1000 members and approaching 2000 photos now uploaded (NOTE: as of Feb 2013 there are over 1300 members and over 4500 photos) we made for what many of us seems like a natural progression to a website and a community group in the process of completing it’s constitution. In an age where people everywhere are bemoaning the demise of community spirit isn’t it so encouraging that something as unremarkable as a Facebook page can engage with people from all over the world and draw them back to their roots, heritage or simply favourite holiday destinations of Portsoy, Fordyce and Sandend.

As one of our members Marion Philip perceptively observes “I think this page is achieving more in the short space of time in terms of photographic evidence, collective memories and a sense of community, than any greatly funded community and cultural initiative that has been started in any town”

5 Responses to Beginnings

  1. Hi, I am looking for info of my Grandma’s relatives. She was born in Sandend, Mary Smith, She married James Walker From Fraserburgh. She died here on 1st April 1960 age 75

  2. I found your site by chance and liked your seaside location and your old photos. Wouldnt it be great to have a time machine and pop back to see how life was in the day. Cheers, Steve Jones

  3. June Marshall

    Hello, I am the sister of the above Liz Moor and also want to request if anyone at all knows anything of MarySmith who was born in Sandend in 1885. She is our grandmother, Mary Walker who lived with us and died in 1960. Her Father, our Great Grandfather was James Smith and her mother Mary Smith nee Davidson (From St. Monance). They lived at 47 Sandend. Our Grandmother Mary Smith was engaged to someone who was conscripted to WW1 and was killed during the war. She then married James Walker from Broadsea, Fraserburgh. There are a lot of Smiths in Sandend and we would like to contact anyone who may know anything about our grandmother or great-grandparents. There is a photo on the Internet of four people in a row in Sandend, taken around 193o or so, and the two middle ones are our Grt Grandparents. There is also a photo of the same great-grandmother with a creel at her feet. Any information would be gratefully relished. Thanks, June

  4. John Thomson

    Dear Sirs My name is john Thomson and i am trying to research my grand father George Thomson i am led to belive that he came from portsoy . He was a ships cook, and thats all i know, i guess its some where in the 1900 give or take a few years that he was born, and he lived into his ninties .O yes he married a woman called Hobbs thanks Regards JohnThomson

  5. Roger Griffin

    I am a relation of George Augustine Griffin who was the Minister of the Catholic Church 1836-1839. Have you any information on him as I am trying to trace my family history. His father was Roger Griffin and lived in Edinburgh but was born in Ireland.
    Roger Griffin, Heatherton, Victoria, Australia.

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