A Comfy Loo
Isn't aw thing comfy noo
theres even carpets in the loo
but sixty year ago an mair
the wateries were sae caul an bare
Nae fancy coloured toilet role
nae bonny pot ...... a timmer hole
ye'd nae fin ony carpet there
some cracket waxcloth on the flair
A timmer shedy sax by fower
leanin like the Eyefel Tower
an cracks far howlin win's blew in
the reef ...... a roosty sheet o tin
The WC for water closet
ye spent nae time on yer deposit
for, fegs there wis nae comfort there
an caul on bits ye had tae bare
Foo water closet ? that beats me
for ilka een was dry, ye see
the fancy pot ..... a stable pail
I'll nae gang in tae mair detail
Upon the wa hung up wi threed
"The Peoples Freen" wisnae there tae read
it hid been torn up intae squares
so ye just sat an said yer prayers
The sate wis offen rogh an cracket
an files ye'll fin yer hin-en hacket
ye jerkit doon yer drawers an up yer sark
five meenits, aye, ye were back at wark
Bit noo-a-days they sit for ages
hostin an turnin ower the pages
a cosey place tae sit an smoke
a saft sate, easy on the dock
I dinna want the aul wateries back
the time they tak
there maun be oors an oors lost noo
wi gaein fowk a COMFY LOO.
* * *
Thanks to Davie Munro for supplying the poem.
How "Things were Done" !
A invite to dinner and of course the menu.
In 1915 Dunphail estate probably had a very large staff, both
"Indoors" and on the "Estate". It certainly had a lot more
tenants and individual farms than exist today. If anyone has information about
staff or tenants from this period, please get in touch. Thank you.
A Russel wedding reception at The Braemoray Hotel.
Ray Henley writes,
my mother was one of 15 children (no TV in those days!). In 1977 my
cousin Christine (daughter of Frederick) was married in Edinkillie
Church and the reception was held in the Braemoray. Ten of the
surviving brother and sisters were in attendance, which included Alex
who came over from Alaska where he emigrated to in the 1920s.
I enclose a photo taken that day at the Braemoray.
Reading from the left is Alex (Alaska), Janet (Boat of Garten), Alice
(Ascot), Emily (London), George (Forres) Christina (Ascot), Eve
(Tillyglens), Edith (Inverness), John and Fred (Ascot). The only
surviving member at the time and not in the photo was Simon, who also
emigrated to Alaska. I think all of them would have attended Dunphail
School at sometime. Sadly there are no survivors today other than
the widows of John and Fred.
My thanks to Ray Henley, now of Ascot Berkshire
for the photographs and information supplied. 12th January 2009.
Another story from a former pupil.
Edinkillie Names and meanings
An occasionally added to article explaining the origins of our local placenames.
Modern name ( if different ) shown in italics .
Belvlair. (Balvlair) - From the Gaelic Baile, a residence, and Blair, Blar, a
plan or field, and by extension a field of battle. The residence on
Edenkillie. - The first part of this word is from the Gaelic^
Eudan, the face, literally a brow ; hence by extension it is applied
to the face of a hill. It is also found as Aodann, and contracted
to Ediji, Eden, Edan, and Edn. The latter part is from the Gaelic
Coille, a wood, and in topography takes the forms of Kel, Kil^
Kelly, Killy, and Kyle, the wood. Signifies the woody hillside or
Lochnuan. - From the Gaelic Loch, a lake, and the Gaelic Uan, a
lamb, cognate with the Latin Agnus, Welsh Oen. As is usually
the case, it occurs here in the genitive plural with the preposition
of prefixed, forming the word Nanuan, of the lambs. Uanan is
the diminutive form. The loch of the lambs.
Oichquhorn. (Aucheorn) — The first part Oich is from the obsolete Gaelic
word Oiche, water, as found in the Oich river, the Oichel, and Loch
Oich. It is also found as Ock, Ocker, Ocke, Eck, and Uich. The
latter part of the word is from the Gaelic Cam, a mound, and by
extension applied to a stack-like hill. The genitive form is
Chuirn ; hence the old form of the word would have been Oich-a-
Chuirn. The mountain stream or the mountain lake, as the case
Pressley. - From the Gaelic Preas, a furrow or ground cut up by
running water, and Ley, a meadow. The furrowed meadow land.
Regall. (Regaul) - Is from the Gaelic Reidh, a plain or level field, and more
commonly employed to signify a mountain flat, and Anglicised
Rea, Re, and Ray, and the second part is from the Gaelic Ail, a
hill or rock. The smooth hill or rock.
Tillyglens. - The prefix here is from the Gaelic Tilach, a little
hill or mound, and variously found as Tilla, Tillow, Tilly, and
Tilli. In an Irish glossary it is given as the equivalent of Briy
which is another word for a little hill, and cognate with which is
the English Brae. The latter part is from the English Glen, and
has the same signification as the Gaelic Gleann, and though nearly
identical in form, the one has not been derived from the other, the
one being Anglo-Saxon, and of much later date than the Gaelic
Gleann, Welsh Glyn, The hill glen.
The Secret Valley
By A H Forbes
The secret valley, if it ever had a name it has been lost, lies off
the Grantown-on-Spey to Forres road 10 miles south of Forres, just
beyond the hairpin bend and bridge at Edenkillie Church. It is
recognised by an insignificant sign reading "The Beachans"
the valley is not even well known locally except to a few people
who have returned to renovate the once abandoned houses. The valley
can hardly be described as one of outstanding beauty, but, once
visited it lays a spell upon the traveller who has time to tarry along
After passing the little group of occupied houses the valley or actually
two valleys come into view. One runs eastward and the other towards the
south. Both are fairly level at an altitude of 800 feet. This encircling
barrier gives and illusion of distance, which is brought home to the
driver when the white house of Rochuln (Ro-hooln) comes into view,
apparently many miles ahead, but in fact is only two miles along the road.
( Today Rochuln is hidden by forestry trees )
The eastern road ( track ) continues for two miles until Johnstrype
is reached, and here a rough track turns to the left over the hills,
but this should be ignored unless one wants to stretch the legs.
Another mile brings a further choice of routes. Take the right hand one
as the other, leading to Dallas, cannot now be traversed by car as the
( two ) bridges crossing the little streams have collapsed,
although the traveller on foot can soon reach the village.
The right hand track passes Rochuln, unoccupied except during the grouse
shooting season. Another mile brings you to Loch Dallas, the largest
of the many lochs and lochans, and an attraction for anglers. Ahead are
Loch-an-Noir and the Loch Trevie, both the sources of the streams that help to
make up the river Lossie, and here the track ends. In this area there are more
than 30 of these little lochs, and in the two valleys an equal if not greater
number of small streams rising from springs, and eventually making two rivers,
the Divie and the Lossie. These flow in opposite directions and reach the sea
fifteen miles apart, though here only yards separate them. ( In recent years a
new track has been made which goes round the hill and links up with the
metalled road via the ruins at Berryburn and then on to Tomcork farm. )
Returning to the Beachans the south road follows the Divie closely, crossing it
at the falls of Feakirk, and continues past Shenval, Glenmore and Lynagowan.
From here a path leads to the former village of Ourach, (Chaorach in Gaelic)
which still had inhabitants at the turn of the century. ( One can then
chose to continue south over Fox Hill and eventually to Grantown on Spey,
or turn westward following this track up past Aitendhu to Dava Station and
the A940. )
The valley had never been sheep country, and until the railways came
in 1863 the year's quota of black cattle was assembled from the various
crofts at Feakirk and driven by Ourach to the Spey where the main drovers
were joined. It was said that the drovers went from Feakirk to Fa'kirk,
as Falkirk was pronounced then.
This road to the Spey was the one used by the Romans according to records,
and maintained as an alternative route if the tribes of the Laich of Moray
were troublesome. It can still be walked or traversed by Landrover.
We know from the many Stone Age graves ( and hut settlements ) in the
valleys that had been occupied for over 3000 years, safe in the isolation
from marauders and cattle thieves. The surrounding hills shelter it also
from the worst of the storms, and the air is usually calmer and warmer than
in the more exposed parts of the country.
Thanks to Davie Munro for digging this out.
( The additions in italics are mine JF. )
The War Memorial
Situated in the Edinkillie Kirk carpark.