Salmon Fishing Ends at Forvie  
This video clip is part of a programme called 'Redfish' which documents the last season of salmon fishing at Forvie.
The Lang Reel of Collieston
This re-enactment was staged as part of the celebrations to mark the updating of the Collieston Harbour Act of 1894 with the Collieston Harbour Revision Order 1991.
The traditional musicians from the band Hallyracket who provided the music, also researched the dance steps.
  Rescue at Sea  
Four members of the Collieston Auxiliary Coastguard Company received a commendation and special medallion from Gordon District Council for their part in the rescue of Paul Forbes on May 13 1993 after he had been washed into heavy seas from rocks at the Needle’s E’e, Cransdale.

HM Coastguard in Aberdeen was alerted and the Company from Collieston was called out to assist with the rescue. Treacherous sea conditions at Collieston harbour meant that a boat had to be launched instead from the beach at Cransdale.

From the vantage point on top of the Needle’s E’e, John directed his colleagues by radio to where Paul was trying to keep afloat about one hundred yards offshore. While Robin controlled the boat, Malcolm and Jack managed to haul the boy on board. A search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth soon appeared and Paul was winched on board and flown to hospital in Aberdeen. He was found to be in the early stages of hypothermia but otherwise OK.

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Harbour View
The harbour and beach circa 1997, as well as the areas known as Low Town and the Cliff. The small boats berthed on the left, above the area of the beach known as the ‘boatie shore’, are still used for fishing but now only as an enjoyable pastime.

The houses have all been modernised and many of them have also had the living areas extended by the addition of dormer windows upstairs and conservatories at ground level. The house in which Lawrence of Arabia stayed in 1930 stands out in the centre of the top third of the photograph. It is painted white with a raised roof and much-enlarged gable.

The row of cottages built in 1887, originally known as Jubilee Terrace to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, are clearly visible centre left.

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  Major Road Repairs  
In 1991, cracks appeared in the road and pavement bordered by a wooden fence above the area of Collieston known as the Bog. The cracks grew larger by the day and a survey was commissioned. It concluded that the upper part of the village was slipping down into the Bog. Major engineering works, financed by the local authority, began to build a retaining wall.

In order to allow the trucks carrying the massive steel piles to reach the work site a wooden road was built along the shore and up into the Bog. Pile driving equipment can be seen behind the white gabled house. In the foreground there is an articulated lorry loaded with piles. Parked alongside are three contractors’ white vans.

The work took some six months to complete and the constant vibration of the pile driver caused widespread minor cracking and damage to drains in surrounding houses.

Looking north along a track that was specially constructed to allow pile-driving equipment to be brought in, the tops of the steel piles can be seen in the trench to the left of the track. Still under construction, is the curved retaining wall. Above the wall the slope is being landscaped to form a gentler gradient.

In the foreground is the shuttering for the reinforced concrete that was poured to secure the piles.


Following significant pile driving, the steel piles were screened behind a massive curved wall built with synthetic stone blocks. The gradient of the bank was landscaped to make it less steep and the whole area of the Bog was reinstated in grass, covering all signs of the temporary roadways that had been used during the construction phase.

A steel railing safety fence runs along the top of the wall and a similar fence was built along the pavement at the top of the slope.

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December 1999 after a significant fall of snow. Looking northwards, Slains Lodge is clearly visible standing on the cliff above Perthudden. To the right of the Lodge is the whitewashed building known as the ‘Lookout’. The Lookout is now a private residence but was formerly the lookout post for the Collieston Coastguard Company.

Slains Lodge was originally built from a mix of faced granite and harled rough-cut local stone with a slated roof. By the close of the 20th Century the building had been converted from a hotel/shooting lodge of some 30 rooms into 3 individual flats and a smaller two-storey house in what had once been the public bar and servants’ quarters.

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Three men after an early morning fishing trip in 1999. To the rear of the men, Ronnie Chaplain, Mike Wallace and Ken Ingram, small boats are clearly visible tied to moorings near the ‘boatie shore’ at the foot of the Braehead.

Commercial fishing in Collieston is now a thing of the past but it is still a popular pastime with both residents and visitors alike, although it is now only undertaken when the weather is fair and the sea calm. Gone are the days when fishing boats had to be taken out in all weathers and women had to carry their men-folk out to the boats to prevent their leather sea boots from getting wet.

Herring and flounders are still caught and there is still a small private smokehouse in the village where the herring are kippered. Speldings, however, are no longer made and the days of Collieston’s famous Spelding Teas have indeed passed into history.

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The “Fogies”
The Collieston “Fogies” Arthur Green. Dave Stewart, Walter Moncrieff, Islay Stott, Alex Ross, Steve Ritchie & John Robertson

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Collieston Village Shop in the 1990s

Alec Ross (L) and Rear Admiral Steve Ritchie (R) outside the Village Shop in 2000. Behind them seated on a bench is Arthur Green with his dog Danny.
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How this looked
Collieston Community Centre was originally built as the village school and opened as such in 1877. After a temporary closure in 1922, due to a decrease in the school roll, the school was finally closed on July 1, 1949.

As was common practice in small rural communities in the latter part of the 20th Century the building was altered internally to enable it to function as an important focal point of village life and toilets and a kitchen area were installed.

The house attached to the original school building, formerly lived in by the headmaster and his family, is now used as storage space for the various organisations which use the building on a regular basis. These are many and varied and include the Children’s Playgroup, Over 60’s Club and Women’s Rural Institute.

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....copyright collieston's century 2003