Popular Buchan Field Club still going strong after 127 years

Buchan Field Club on their recent visit to the Land Girls memorial near Clochan, Fochabers
Buchan Field Club on their recent visit to the Land Girls memorial near Clochan, Fochabers

The Buchan Field Club is one of the oldest clubs in the North East of Scotland and still continues in the same format 127 years on, with field trips in the summer months and speakers at the winter meetings.

This year’s talks included, Aberdeen Silver and Hallmarks, John Boyd Orr of the Rowett Institute and Local reflections on the Great War.

In May members visited Marischal College and Aberdeen City Archives followed in June with a visit to the early 13th century church in Cullen then on to Deskford Castle or Tower.

This was followed by a visit to the “Women’s Land Army Memorial” which was dedicated to the women who fed the nation and its armed forces during two World Wars and was recognised when HRH Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, unveiled the first permanent memorial dedicated to the Women’s Land
Army.

The memorial, designed by Yorkshire artist Peter Naylor, is sited on reclaimed farmland near Fochabers, donated by The Crown Estate.

The metal piece features a group of enthusiastic young Land Girls sitting on a farm gate, waving and leaning into each other, as they overlook the Moray coast.

The club, founded in 1887 has currently over 80 members, and was granted its own coat of arms by the Lord Lyon at the 125th anniversary celebrations in 2012.

It was set up as an educational group where members could share knowledge and encourage the study of a wide range of subjects including, natural science, archaeology, folklore, history, literature and the heritage and culture of Buchan.

There was a large number of eminent professors, doctors, lawyers, ministers and academics with links to the area who were willing to share their knowledge to be part of this prestigious club, often travelling great distances from as far afield as the south of England to present their own particular piece of research in the form of a lecture which the club subsequently published.

The Buchan Field Club has left a great legacy in its publications or ‘transactions’ as they are called, 18 volumes of which have been printed including the “Book of Buchan” in 1910 and the 50th anniversary edition printed in 1942 and edited by J F. Tocher, all of great historical value in research today.

A number of books have been published on local topics by local authors the last, in 2008, being “Pitfour” - The Blenheim of the North by Alex R Buchan.

There is not a castle or place of interest within reasonable travelling distance that has not been visited by the Field Club over the decades.

The motto of the club is “Our Past - Our Future” and it is the task of the committee to ensure talks and outings whatever the subject, continue to be interesting, educational and well-presented, which is now much easier with modern technology.

The Club has an active and supportive membership from across Buchan, however, like all clubs new blood is always needed and a welcome is extended to everyone who would enjoy our winter programme or summer outings whither historical or topical.

Our next outing on 20th September is to Inverugie Castle and will include a talk from a local historian on the Keith’s and their Castles. It so happens that the first President of the Club, William Boyd, a solicitor in Peterhead, gave a lecture in “The Music Hall” Peterhead in 1885 entitled “Old Inverugie” which was later published.

The Club photograph of a visit to Inverugie in 1932 includes a number of eminent locals.

We meet in Stuartfield Village Hall on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm over the winter months and outings are intimated and included in the syllabus, further details can be had from Sandy May 01779 821301.