Saturday, 25 June 2011

Finechtie is Gaelic for Findochty.

Last evening we had received an invitation to meet a local couple, Sam and Beth Campbell who had been born and raised in Findochty who also had connections with New Zealand. Well it transpired that Beth has family contacts (Wright family of Holland Street, Wainuiomata) who were known to Dot through being in Real Estate in Wainuiomata. What a small world. Sam had two sisters in NZ the sole survivor living in Tokoroa. Needless to say a couple of hours slipped by quite rapidly but we parted company much the wiser of local matters.

The old fisherman's cottages by the harbour entrance.The old fisherman's cottages by the harbour entrance.

The oldest part of Findochty.The oldest part of Findochty.

One such conversation that came up was that up until approximately 1913 Findochty had no street names and houses were numbered as they were built so the house numbers were not in numerical order. Luckily at that time there were only about five surnames in the village, all related, and the postman would have probably known them all personally anyway.

Herd and Mckenzies old shipyard around the coast from Findochty harbour.Herd and Mckenzies old shipyard around the coast from Findochty Harbour.

Restored or built to the original design?Restored or built to the original design?

Investigating the oldest part of the village we found the remains of an old ship building industry that began in 1903 when a family of shipwright’s moved to the village from Dumbarton and built a slipway and associated buildings at what is known as the Crooked Hythe. Herd and McKenzie built 36 timber Steam Drifters (fishing boats) here at Findochty but eventually moved to bigger premises at Buckie where they could build 4 boats simultaneously. The Crooked Hythe was used until 1932 when the last boat built there was launched. It took a skilled boatman to bring a boat into the slipway between rocks that put the boat side on to the incoming waves. This all had a big impact on the local fishing industry and Herd and Mckenzie became one of the biggest shipyards in Scotland.

Local church in Findochty.Local church in Findochty overlooking the harbour

Narrow passage into Findochty harbour.Narrow passage into Findochty Harbour.

The locals know the town as in the spelling Finechtie and are unsure as to when it was changed.  Probably by a misspelling in naming the railway station which disappeared with the railway in the 60’s, although the Station Masters house is still there although almost unrecognisable in Station Road.

Not a car to be seen.Not a car to be seen.

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