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.)
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”