Turning back time at Broad St clock

The family gather at the Broad Street clock to welcome in the new year.
The family gather at the Broad Street clock to welcome in the new year.

A Peterhead family decided to turn back the clocks this Hogmanay as they celebrated in traditional style in the town centre.

Lynn Brown and her family had joked about heading to the Blue Toon’s traditional Hogmanay celebratory spot at the town clock in Broad Street to ‘bring in the bells’.

But after some discussion, they decided to actually go there and try and recreate some magic from years gone by.

Lynne told us: “My family all gathered round at my mum’s house on Hogmanay with all of our children and my sister suggested we go down to the clock to bring in the new year!

“It started off as a joke but then we thought, why not?”

The family headed down at around 11.50pm and found the street to be quite bare compared to years gone by when folk often struggled to find a space to even stand.

Lynne’s daughter Hannah (8) had taken along her bagpipes to play at the clock.

“We all gathered at the top of the steps next to the Marshal Keith Statue and Hannah played her bagpipes to bring in the new year,” continued Lynne.

“It was a proud moment for me and it brought a tear to my eye.

“There were a few others gathered in the street and people cheered for Hannah and she was thrilled.

“This was then followed by some super fireworks that were being set off nearby.

“A local man approached us to say that the one thing he loved to hear on Hogmanay was the sound of the pipes and so he was delighted to have heard Hannah play!

“It’s a shame this tradition of the residents of Peterhead coming together down at the clock to bring in the new year is sadly no more! It would be great if we could get this going again,” she added.

However, one thing that did disappoint the revellers was the failure of the clock bells to chime.

The bells have been silent for a number of years now, despite regular maintenance by Aberdeenshire Council.

A council spokesperson told the Buchanie: “We’ve put in a request for information about the clock from the property service and are waiting to hear back.”

Regarding organising street events, they added: “The council has a limited budget to provide a large number of towns, villages and communities and generally we encourage communities to organise their own where there is a desire.”

But they noted that licences are required in some cases.