Post Office and Shop  
The Village Shop and Post Office circa 1912. This well appointed granite building was originally built as a bank and bank manager’s house but, with the decline in fishing, it never functioned as such.

Standing in front of the shop on the pavement which, like the road, is unpaved, are the proprietor, Geordie Forrest, a postman in his pony and trap and villager Johnny Brand, a veteran of the Crimean War, accompanied by his dog Princey.

The two-storey granite built 'Leask Cottage' can be seen in the background.

How this looks
Whiteness Hotel is closed
Whiteness Hotel, viewed from the north circa 1890, stands on a cliff top location in the High Town area of Collieston. Built in the latter half of the 19th Century and consisting of some thirty rooms, it was eventually closed in June 1911 after many of the locals, particularly the women, objected to the hotel's well-attended drinking sessions.

The building was later extended into a shooting lodge and during World War Two it was requisitioned by the Army when Forvie was used as a training ground. By the end of the 20th Century it had been converted into three individual flats.

The smaller two-storey building seen to the left of the main building was the original public bar and servants' quarters.

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The fishwives are standing in the Bog area of Collieston beside fish drying on racks circa 1910. Gutted and split the fish were salted, laid in a circle head out, tail in the centre, and then laid on racks to dry.

The dried fish were then called speldings. Sold for one penny each for a large one and one half penny for a small one, the demand for this famous Collieston delicacy often exceed the supply and sometimes speldings had to be posted on to the customer when a fresh supply was available.

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Rachel King Walker was the wife of Thomas 'Tooley' Walker who owned the Peterhead Registered boat 'The Ella Keith'. She is seen here standing outside Ebenezer Cottage the home of her sister-in-law, Jessie King, circa 1910. Carrying a creel on her back, Rachel has a shawl wrapped over her shoulders to protect them from the heavy weight of the creel filled with fish.

Wearing a striped skirt, knitted jumper, hessian apron and stout shoes, Rachel would have had to walk many miles round the neighbouring countryside to sell her fish or barter them for fresh produce from the local farms.

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  World War 1  
Three fishermen from the village who fought in the Great War of 1914-1918. George Buthlay (seated left) saw active service in France on the Western Front. Andrew Mitchell (standing centre) also fought in France on the Western Front and served in the Royal Artillery.

Thomas Walker (seated right) served in the Drake Battalion Royal Naval Division. This special unit of soldiers in the Royal Navy was sent to attack ports. Thomas saw active service in the Dardanelles. All three men returned home safely to Collieston after their wartime service.

Andrew Mitchell and Thomas Walker lived next door to one another in the Low Town area of the village in cottages known at one time as Jubilee Terrace, the houses having been built in 1887 the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. It is interesting to note that the cottages are still inhabited by members of their families.

An Army Officer home on leave in 1916. Accompanied by friends and relatives, the young officer is enjoying a welcome break far from the hostilities of World War One. The group of people are seated on a wooden bench near the foreshore on a sunny day in summer.

The houses in the distance are situated on the part of the village known as the Cliff. The grassy mound behind them, the 'Rivie' (the promontory which divides Cransdale from Collieston), is where the 'herdie lad' would have looked after the dairy cows. .

A gentleman and his two travelling companions in 1915. It must have been a welcome diversion for the villagers from the troubles of World War One when the handsome vehicle was driven through Collieston.

To the rear of the travelling party a window of Leask Cottage is clearly visible. Facing out to sea, the cottage is situated in Hightown next to the Village Shop and Post Office.

A group of people are sorting sphagnum moss on the Pier in 1916. During World War One there was an urgent need for emergency field wound dressings and sphagnum moss, with a natural chemical substance that could aid healing, complete with a natural antiseptic, was much sought after.

Sphagnum moss grew in abundance on the Forvie Moors, to the south of Collieston. Groups of people would pick the sphagnum moss and carry it back to the village where it would be sorted before being despatched to field hospitals.
Sphagnum Moss, found in abundance on the moors of the Forvie National Nature Reserve, was in great demand as a field dressing during World War One. With a natural chemical substance that could aid healing, complete with a natural antiseptic, the common plant was much sought after.

In addition to its ability to absorb several times its own weight in water (liquid or blood), Sphagnum Moss was also light to carry, making it ideal for carrying as an in-pocket field dressing.

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Hackley Bay  
A young woman is bathing at Hackley Bay in 1918. Accessible only on foot or by boat, Hackley Bay is situated approximately two kilometres south of Collieston below the coastal path on Forvie Moor. Forvie's unique moorland, dune system and beaches led to it being declared as one of Scotland's first National Nature Reserves in January 1959.

It is worthwhile making the effort to reach this spectacular bay. Access is much easier today than it would have been when the young woman made her way down the cliffs in 1918 thanks to a new access route which has been built from the cliff top in the form of stone pitching and steps.

Hackley Bay, nominated as one of Scotland's most beautiful beaches at the end of the 20th Century, continues to offer peace, tranquillity and relaxation in addition to being a perfect spot for bird and marine watching.

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The pupils and teacher of Collieston School in 1913. The school roll was dramatically affected by the decline of the fishing industry in the early years of the 20th Century when many of the fishing families left the village to work in Torry, Aberdeen.

As a result, the school had to close in May 1922 and the few remaining pupils continued to be educated at Slains School, some three miles distant. However, due to overcrowding at Slains School, Collieston School was re-opened ten years later in 1932.

This was only to be a relatively short-term reprieve for the school and it finally and permanently closed its doors as a teaching establishment on 1st July, 1949. The last Head Teacher was Mrs Gladys Robertson.

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Party Time  
People in fancy dress in 1915. The tide is well out allowing the people, a mixed group of all ages, to parade their fancy costumes on the beach.

The Pier, constructed at the end of the 19th Century, is clearly visible behind them. The sand, upon which the people are standing, has now completely covered the rocks which used to be very much in evidence before the construction of the Pier.

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....copyright collieston's century 2003