Black­ford facts

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - COMMENT -

“In re­sponse to the re­cent fea­ture about Black­ford, may I point out some in­ac­cu­ra­cies and pro­vide some facts re­gard­ing the vil­lage,” emails Wil­lie Mclaren. “A con­densed his­tory was com­pleted about six or seven years ago and can be ob­tained from the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety or the vil­lage store.

“The ar­ti­cle stated that the church on the hill was re­built in 1738 after it had been de­stroyed by fire. There has been a church on this site since be­fore the Re­for­ma­tion and the first ref­er­ence to it is in 1544. The ru­ined church which is there now is the third church built on that site.

“The sec­ond church was de­stroyed by fire when the school­mas­ter went away curl­ing and a boy started throw­ing burn­ing peats which set fire to the church. The present church was opened in 1959 and the con­gre­ga­tion cel­e­brated 150 years in 2009.

“The Par­ish of Black­ford was orig­i­nally the Par­ish of Strageath and what is thought to be the bell from the abbey of Strageath was then used in the bel­fry of the Old Church on the hill. The in­scrip­tion on it proves that it is prere­for­ma­tion.

“Black­ford has al­ways been fa­mous for the qual­ity of its wa­ter and the High­land Spring plant has grown to em­ploy a work­force of more than 500. The dis­tillery also pro­duces a fine whisky from the wa­ter.

“In the past Black­ford was fa­mous for boots and beer records show that King James V1, after his corona­tion in 1488 drank ale at Black­ford.

“There were three brew­eries and two boot fac­to­ries in full pro­duc­tion un­til the de­pres­sion in the 1920s forced their clo­sure. One of the boot fac­to­ries sup­plied the High­land reg­i­ments dur­ing the First World War. Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War Black­ford was a gar­ri­son town.

“I will never for­get the last Sun­day in April 1944 when the sol­diers, who were mov­ing south the next day in the build up to D Day, oc­cu­pied the en­tire body of the kirk with the con­gre­ga­tion seated in the bal­conies.

“The last hymn was On­ward Chris­tian Sol­diers and the swell of the mu­sic made you feel they were try­ing to lift the roof off. It was a very emo­tional oc­ca­sion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.