The collapse of the Soviet Empire in the 1990s had interesting results across Europe touching the lives of millions in a myriad of ways – least of all the explosion of the European Union, bringing with it the free movement of peoples and goods.
The Scots have a long tradition of contacts with the Baltic countries over the centuries and until the ‘iron curtain’ was lifted very limited avenues were available into Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
In Buchan, we have come into contact with a variety of people from those countries and so it was interesting to hear of contact being made from Scotland to Estonia.
This was the background to a talk given to Peterhead Probus Club by Longside farmer Neil Godsman, a ‘wee-kent’ face in the Buchan area and throughout Scotland for his work done in farming circles.
Here was a man comfortable with his subject and his audience, outlining his reasons for being introduced to Estonia, the acquisition of a farm, the immediate difficulties after the Soviets left and how equipment and livestock were acquired and transported to Estonia.
Neil is a natural story-teller, full of pawky humour and interesting pieces of information and so with the aid of a DVD, aspects of farming in Estonia, showing the people, the changing weather, the flat countryside and town life, members were thoroughly informed and entertained on a dreich Tuesday morning.
The next meeting is today (Tuesday) in the Palace Hotel at 10am. Members should be looking ahead to the Christmas meal on December 11 in the Palace Hotel.