Sunday, 27 January 2013


The snow has, at last, almost vanished revealing the first tentative snow drops under the trees in the park.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Fraserburgh's key bearing ostrich

Just as we thought that the snow was about to disappear there was a fresh overnight fall leaving  a dusting  on the Promenade railings into  late morning, despite the sunshine.

 The Saltoun Place Fountain 

Today Grey Granite has learned that the 'Granda Swings', the name given to  the play park behind the fountain, is  apparently a corruption of 'Granders'. This is due to the 'grander' folk who liked to be seen taking the air  in this genteel district.

The Saltoun Place Fountain was erected in 1904 and originally stood on the current site of the War Memorial at the junction of Strichen Road and Saltoun Place where it was intended to create an impressive entrance to the town from the main Aberdeen road. When it was first erected the fountain was the centre piece of the newly created playing fields on land gifted by Lord Saltoun .  The fountain was one of the prefabricated iron fountains produced by Walter MacFarlane and Co., Saracen Foundry, Glasgow. The prefabricated design was customised for Fraserburgh by surmounting the canopy with an ostrich holding a key. This bizarre addition was in acknowledgement of the ostrich in the burgh coat of arms. The ostrich is thought to  be derived from the ostrich holding a horse shoe which appears in the arms of the Comyn Earls of Buchan through whom the Fraser's of Philorth obtained their lands. The ostrich was incorporated in firstly the Fraser coat of arms and later, holding the key to the burgh, rather than a horse shoe, in the burgh arms.

In 1923 the fountain was replaced by the War Memorial and moved to its current site by the 'Grandad Swings' in Saltoun Place. The fountain was painted silver in commemoration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Philorth Woods:Winter landscape

A favourite elm by the North Lodge entrance to the woods catches snow and sunshine  on a beautiful still morning. There was a couple of inches of snow during the night, it was bitterly cold, still below freezing at 10 am and a little icy underfoot, but the conditions were perfect for a walk.

 The wood was still and magical

Looking back towards the woods from Philorth Halt

Friday, 11 January 2013

Avian foodstore.

The recent combination of storms and high tides has left banks of seaweed and other debris on the beach. Here at the mouth of the Kessock this provides rich pickings for the birds. This morning oystercatchers, starlings, sparrows, wagtails, sandpipers, the odd crow and a great cacophony of squabbling gulls were picking over the spoils.