Probus Club taken on a trip round Old Aberdeen’s sites

Brechin Probus Club met on April 2 when they observed a minute’s silence, as a mark of respect of the recent death of Bob Christie.

Chairman Bob Berry introduced new member Brian Thorby, before introducing Ian Bell whose talk and slide presentation was entitled ‘Old Aberdeen’.

Ian spoke of Aberdonis, the Latin name for Aberdeen, and took members on a tour down memory lane as well as to areas of Aberdeen that have been built over the centuries.

He drew attention to how the River Don split Old Aberdeen from modern Aberdeen, and that the Bridge of Don was at one time the main route into Aberdeenshire.

The Brig o’ Balgowie was next and Ian said the bridge was built 700 years ago from money raised by Robert the Bruce and was still used by pedestrians to this day.

He commented briefly on Thomas Blake Glover who, as a young Aberdonian, set off to make his fortune in Japan, and ended up founding the Mitubushi company and other enterprises.

The talk took members round many sites in old Aberdeen, some of which included Seaton Park, Mitchell Alms House, which became a hospital, and the 1680s Town House that at one time housed the Police Station, the council boardroom and a primary school which were all located on different floors within the house and in operation at the same time.

There was also discussions over a haunted house where a green lady has been seen on numerous occasions, and various Coats of Arms of eminent personage, including Bishop of Elphinstone.

Other buildings like the Kings College Chapel and a modern Sir Duncan Rice building, which cost £34 million to build and houses over one million artefacts were all seen as part of the slide presentation.

Ian’s talk, accompanied by an array of humorous stories, went on to explore many of old Aberdeen’s streets and houses and engendered a number of questions from the members at its conclusion.

The vote of thanks was given by Brian Timus, who commented on how interesting it had been to explore some of the glories that can be seen round almost every corner of Aberdeen.