Friday morning the sun rose happily & shining brightly promising yet another beautiful day! Perfect weather for exploring a section of the northern coastline of Aberdeenshire & Morayshire on our way to Elgin for the weekend with Keith and Helen to volunteer once again at the churchyard to search for more buried headstones!
Naturally along the way we stopped at Morgan McVeigh’s cafe and gift shop to stretch our legs and grab a Latte to “take away.”
We managed to resist the tempting treats.
Lindsay, however, couldn’t resist a new set of sunglasses to fit over his regular glasses. He had been struggling with driving in all of this blasted sunshine!
He’s looking pretty ‘cool!’
The countryside was gorgeous and I especially liked the cloud formations over Knock hill.
Ah! I spy the ocean just over the hill; we must be arriving in Portsoy!
What a quaint little fishing village with all of it’s old fishermen houses all in a row….
We enjoyed a bit of a walk along a path on the grassy dunes before heading to the next village…
Yet another nice fishing village, complete with a harbor and a lovely cove beach on the other end of town! Doesn’t get much better than this….
Now we’re approaching another fishermen haven called Portessie.
A little further down the road as we were driving through Portgordon, I filmed the following video. Lindsay and I had BBC 4 Scotland radio on in the car as we were driving. I thought you might enjoy hearing some Scottish conversation as I filmed. It so happened the people on the radio program were discussing a television show they all enjoyed watching in the past and were touring around the town where it was filmed… it was NOT Portgordon but ironically they were discussing houses and various points of interest as we drove along! Enjoy….
The road turned sharply inland and away from the coast taking us to the town of Fochabers. As we came into town, Lindsay pulled over and parked the car. I thought he was just pulling over so I could take a picture of the church sitting kitty-corner to us, but instead he got out and said “I think you just might like having a look inside this church.”
“Sure, I said,” expecting to see pews, stained glass windows, an organ etc. Not!!!! What I found instead blew me away! We spent well over an hour (or two) browsing around. I would never imagined what is in that “little” church on the corner and how terribly interesting it could be. Ya wanna see? Come on then, let’s head inside!
First off, little did I know but we were in “Gordon” country – BIG time! I found out as I left the church that the Gordon Castle & Walled Gardens are just down the street as you head out of town! Gordon Castle is privately owned and not open to the public for tours etc. It’s still very much an active castle of the Clan Gordon.
Okay, let’s continue on our tour of this little church. When you first walk in before entering the sanctuary there is a bit of a “reception area” which contains all sorts of old WWI and WWII mementos from the local inhabitants of Fochabers.
Then we passed through the sanctuary doors and lo and behold the whole place was literally wall-to-wall displays of historical items from days gone by, assembled all together here from local residents over the years. It is totally amazing and so well organized and presented.
Old posters, signs, furniture, clothing, knick-knacks, tools, paintings, you name it, it was here.
Let’s start with the children’s toys and forms of entertainment such as musical instruments and cameras….
Remember the Gordon Highlanders’ Regimental Colours on display at Crathie Kirk a couple of blog posts ago? Well, here they are again!
(I just checked my Frew Family Tree in Ancestry and realized I have Gordon connections as well! Imagine that! My oldest known Gordon ancestor is, “Sir Alexander ‘1st Earl Huntley’ Gordon 1410-1470,” and was a 15th great grandfather through my dad’s mom’s side of the family (Clapp). Alexander was alive about 300 years before the guys and gals in the paintings below.)
In the center of the church they had these “rooms” set up as various scenes such as the two below; one of a child’s nursery and the other filled with women’s fashions! Pretty cool!
Next turn was an old cobbler’s bench and a bunch of kitchen items! Wow!
Another room set up like a Merchant’s Shop or “General Store”…
and then a room set up like a ‘parlor”….
Now back to some miscellaneous displays along the outside wall…some very interesting little tidbits…
Lindsay just HAD to give it a try in the following video!
Much to my surprise there was a stairwell which lead to a loft above us so we of course we headed up there too… “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
I couldn’t believe my eyes! This whole loft was totally filled with old carriages of every sort, even a Hearse! “How in the world did they ever get all these carriages up here?” I wonder with amazement!
By the time I got to the end and was admiring all of the old Teddy Bears, I heard Lindsay call up the stairs to me, “Claudia, they’re wanting to close the doors for the day, time to go!”
What an experience that was! We continued on our way a short distance to Elgin where we met up with Keith and Helen and enjoyed a nice Fish & Chips dinner in Cullen with them as their first dinner guests at their caravan. A perfect ending to a perfect day – cruising the coast. Tomorrow we’re headed back to Keith Cemetery to volunteer once again and hopefully we will find some more buried headstones there!