Thursday, November 12, 2020

Exploring Royal Deeside in 1959

This is a nice find. In a film made in 1959 for the Scottish Educational Film Association, two children follow the River Dee upstream from Aberdeen Harbour to somewhere close to its source in the Cairngorms.

Click on the still above to view it on the British Film Institute site.

The blurb there says:

Visit Aberdeen harbour, crammed with fishing boats, then row up the river Dee to see the fishermen, with crates of salmon and wriggling eels. After Cults station, stop at Peterculter for the Culter paper mill, then at Banchory for A & G Paterson’s saw mill. Steam on to Ballater for a bus to Balmoral Castle and a Highland Games for some right royal revelry.

And after that, visit the Linn of Dee, watch some mountaineers and see are young protagonists Maria and Michael do some scrambling themselves.

The absence of adult supervision is striking and we see other children helping out on a farm. The past is a foreign country.

As we visit Royal Deeside, I suppose I had better mention again that my forebears worked on the Balmoral Estate.

I am particularly proud of Alexander 'Sandy' Campbell, my great great grandmother's brother, who is said to have refused to shave his beard off for Queen Victoria and who may be the subject of a silver statuette on display in the ballroom at Balmoral.

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