Bessie celebrates 99th birthday

Bessie Wilkins with her family at her birthday meal at Cruden Bay Golf Club
Bessie Wilkins with her family at her birthday meal at Cruden Bay Golf Club

One of Cruden Bay’s oldest residents celebrated her 99th birthday last month.

Bessie Wilkins (nee Cordiner) celebrated her special day on Tuesday, April 30 with a family meal at Cruden Bay Golf Club.

Bessie at the Golf Club's best wishes notice board

Bessie at the Golf Club's best wishes notice board

She was brought up in Cruden Bay and attended Port Errol School.

Bessie caddied in her teens for some of the gentry who stayed at the Cruden Bay LNER Hotel -most notably Sir Geramiah Coleman, who owned the mustard company in Norfolk.

On leaving school she worked at the Laundry attached to the big hotel, and during the war was drafted down to Glasgow to work in the hospitals.

Her father, Alex Cordiner, was the engineer at the Hotel in the 30’s and at times drove the tram from the Station to the Hotel. He was also an engineer on many drifters and seine netters with the PD registration, notably PD 246 - Summer Rose.

She met her one love Bill Wilkins (RAF) when he was installing top secret LORAN RADAR masts on the Ward Hill above Cruden Bay. They were married in 1945 in the “Killie” and had more than 60 years of very happy marriage.

Bessie has so may memories of Cruden Bay and the local Heritage Group have been active in starting to capture her history.

Bessie was so grateful to all the staff at the Golf Club for making her day so special, however she declined the offer to caddy 18 holes as she said there were too many changes!.