by Andy Strachan

This thoroughly researched book tells the story of the struggle over the centuries to make Whitehills a successful and thriving community, through its four successive harbours. For most of that time, those directly engaged in fishing endured hard and dangerous work from open boats at the mercy of the elements and for little reward. They created a close-knit community determined to survive, despite the loss of life sadly all too common among fishermen. With only a relatively few years of comparative success and wealth after the Second World War, the present harbour has seen its once substantial fleet disappear like many others along the coast, but has re-invented itself as a busy yachting marina. The success could not have happened without the dedication and continuing work of the Harbour Commissioners, all volunteers, who have committed themselves to the common aim of continually improving the harbour facilities.

Born in Peterhead and brought up in Whitehills, Andy Strachan started the research for this book during his retirement and completed it just before his death in 2014. Published by the Banffshire Field Club, this comprehensive book on the story of the harbours of Whitehills has over 200 pages and includes 50 black and white photographs and other illustrations. Written and compiled in recognition of what has been achieved with the hard work and common purpose of the Harbour Commissioners and of the community, this book will be an important record and a valued keepsake for anyone who lives in, or has family connections with, Whitehills.

The book is priced at a very reasonable £15.

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This book, published by the Banffshire Field Club, tells the story of Cullykhan, a windswept headland on the scenic Moray Firth coast, its ruined mediaeval castle and Fort Fiddes, the last fortification built there. The headland lies in the lands of Troup to the east of Troup head.

This new, extensively illustrated, book examines the history of the people who lived in the castle. It describes the landscape and includes new work on the place names in the immediate area. The history begins with the earliest written references to the lands of Troup dating from the 17th century.

The book focuses on the castle from the time of Robert the Bruce through to the reign of King James VI, from about 1300 to 1600, and two families who lived there, the de Trops and the Keiths.

For the first time, the full history of Fort Fiddes, and Captain Fiddes who built it, is set out in a book. Previously unpublished correspondence from local and national archives brings to light Francis Garden of Troup’s role in the project.

Alex McKay is a native of Sandend in Banffshire. While a pupil at Banff Academy he took part in excavations at Cullykhan and developed a lifelong interest in archaeology and history. After a career in teaching and educational management, he is now retired and lives in Scone.

The book is priced at £18. 

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by John Aitken

A comprehensive stroll through the lives of the people of Deskford over the centuries, and the changing rules, conventions and conditions which moulded them, this book reflects the existence in any rural parish in the North East, and indeed more widely across Scotland.

It illuminates the grind of daily life and the changing fashions in agriculture, education and housing, together with the moral and legal control exercised by the Kirk and the local landowners. All social life is here, from folk belief and superstition and petty crime, to the Mutual Improvement Association, to local witches, to the local football team’s exploits, to the Women’s Guild, and throughout including the names of the individuals involved.

The book describes local antiquities such as the famous Carnyx, a Roman silver hoard, a Pictish silver hoard, a 12th century motte, three ruined castles and much more, but also includes a number of whimsical references, for example to the ‘farmer’s wife who gave birth to a child with a wooden leg’.

Copies of this book @ £25 sold out over two years ago, and, given prohibitive reprint prices, we are making 600 plus page PDF copies of print quality available to download at a cost of £10. Visit shop.
Deskford Book

by Donald Findlay

Banffshire Churches first appeared in 1994. Its author, the late Donald Findlay, set out to explain the context of where churches were built, as well as architectural trends through the centuries, highlighting those churches of particular interest. Mr Findlay (1944-1998) was the Secretary of the Council for the Care of Churches, a leading figure among students of church architecture, and himself a son of Banffshire. The book had been out of print for several years when the Banffshire Field Club decided to re-issue it, updating the material where necessary and adding a number of new illustrations.  

In every county, the contribution of the churches to the landscape, and to the townscape, and to the history of the county is immeasurable. This is certainly true of Banffshire.
The price is £7.

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Banffshire Churches